Thank you so much for following along with Epicuriously Living. I have loved every moment with it and you, as readers. I felt like it was time to move on, so this will be my last post. If you want to follow me on my new journey, check out SouthernElleStyle.com.
I like to eat.
I like to cook.
I like to try new things.
Here’s a peek into my life and what I’ve eaten the past couple of weeks.
Spicy Pad Thai
I was blessed with the chance to visit my aunt, uncle, and cousins whenever they were missionaries in Thailand. Before traveling across the globe, I had never experienced Thai food. Chinese food? Yes. Hibachi? Yes. Americanized Asian food? The answers are all yes. Authentic Asian food is 10 billion times better than what they serve at Pei Wei. I was craving something that Bangkok Royal in Waco couldn’t satisfy, so this is what I came up with.
- 1 TBS crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup Veg oil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 TBS soy sauce
- 3 TBS honey
- 1 egg
- angel hair pasta
Begin boiling pasta and set aside.
Combine crushed red pepper, vegetable oil, and olive oil in a pan and heat for 2 minutes. Then strain the pepper, but save the oil.
Add honey and soy sauce, mix well, then add to the pasta.
In skillet that was used to make sauce, place desired amount of chicken. Once almost done cooking, place an egg in the skillet as well and scramble.
Mix the chicken and egg in with noodles and enjoy!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup milk
- 6 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Dip slices of bread in egg mixture and place on greased baking pan. Pour the mixture that is left after dipping the bread, over the slices on the pan.
Place butter in skillet. Place slices of bread in skillet and brown on each side until crispy.
Add syrup, powdered sugar, and fruit if desired.
Go ahead and cue Zac Brown’s song. I made fried chicken. Now, this isn’t your ordinary Babe’s Fried Chicken. It’s different, but still so good.
- 1 qt Coca-Cola
- 1 tsp Liquid Smoke (optional)
- 2 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp Tabasco
- 3 tbsp ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp coarse salt
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup olive oil
Dry Mix (well combined):
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp coarse salt
- 4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 1/2 cups flour
Rinse chicken, drain, and set aside. Blend together brining mix until salt dissolves. Place chicken in brine in a large covered bowl and marinate, refrigerated, for 4 hours.
Whisk egg well in a stainless-steel bowl and add peanut oil and 21/2 cups water. Add in dry mix, whisking slowly so batter doesn’t clump.
To prepare chicken: Fill a large cast-iron skillet halfway with equal amounts peanut oil and lard. Slowly bring temperature to 375 degrees. (Use a candy thermometer.) While oil is heating, remove chicken from brine and place in a colander in sink. Once chicken has drained, pat dry with paper towels (a critical step) and season with salt and pepper.
Dip chicken in batter and place (carefully) in hot oil. Adjust heat, as the chicken will bring the oil temperature down dramatically — you want it back up to just above 350 degrees. Turn chicken regularly using tongs to prevent burning. After 8 or 9 minutes, remove a piece, prick it to the bone with a fork, and mash it. If the juices run clear, it’s done. Continue cooking if necessary.
Canadian Beaver Tails
I went to Montreal least summer and was feeling reminiscent recently. My mom joked that I ate my way through Canada and New York on my trip, which is true. Here is a recipe for my favorite Canadian treat.
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 cup warm milk
- tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup oil
- 4 1/4-5 cups self rising flour
- a pinch of baking powder
- a pinch of baking soda
- oil (for frying)
- granulated sugar and cinnamon(for dusting)
Orange Butter Cookies
- 10-1/2 oz. (2-1/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more as needed
- 1/2 tsp. table salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbs. finely grated orange zest
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 oz. (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbs. orange extract
1-1/2 Tbs. heavy cream; more as needed
2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
Pinch of table salt
Cajun Chicken Pasta
- chicken breasts
- 1-2 tsp Cajun seasoning (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup skim milk
- 1 tbsp flour
- 3 tbsp light cream cheese
- fresh cracked pepper
- salt to taste
Sugar Cookies with Buttercream frosting.
I made these for a class presentation and they were a hit. (yes. I’m the girl who always brings food, because it wins people over and they are more apt to listen)
- 3 cups Flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 large egg
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and cream cheese (if you’re using it) until light and fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts, and the egg; scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Add the flour mixture, and mix at low to medium speed until the mixture is evenly moistened.
Place the 3/4 cup sugar in a large plastic bag, or in a shallow pan. Scoop the dough by tablespoonfuls into the sugar, rolling them in the pan or gently shaking them in the bag to coat them with the sugar.
Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2″ between them. Using a flat-bottomed glass, flatten the cookies to about 1/4″ thick.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes — 10 minutes for softer cookies, 12 minutes for crunchier. The edges of the cookies will just barely begin to brown.
Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a rack to finish cooling completely.
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- food coloring
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.
I used neon food coloring. If you’d like to add color, wait until the end and make sure it’s mixed well, then frost.
Hope you have feasted with your eyes!
It’s no secret that I enjoy making things to eat.
Cooking and baking, along with sewing, are some of the only areas that allow myself complete free reign in.
As a person who likes to plan things in advance and mark down things in her planner 99% of the time, I’m learning to let things go and let more things just happen. No, that doesn’t mean I’ll slack off…it just means that I’ll be more accepting of taking things as they come at me, even if they are short notice. I’m learning to just do my best at what I’m supposed to be doing, and let God take care of the rest.
You’re probably reading that and thinking that it is an elementary thought, and in reality, it is. Sometimes it takes realizing it and actually living it out to completely understand it.
On a less serious note, here are a few of my treats that I have made in the new year- some from my head, others are a tweaked recipe, and some are just from a box.
Hope your New Year’s diet and Spring Break bod don’t take too bad a hit from the following goodies…Enjoy!
Strawberry Sprinkles Cupcakes
I’ve made these many a time before and they never get old. Most recently, I made these on Valentine’s Day morning for my friends. It was a very eventful morning to say the least…I broke a jar of hot sauce on the ground, spilling red sauce and broken glass everywhere. Then, to top it off, I broke bowl filled with melted butter all over the floor. Even though it got off to a bang and I didn’t exactly have a Valentine, it was probably my best one yet.
Chocolate Chip Pancakes
I made pancakes for the first time this semester. I had never thought to make them, but now I make them for brinner or “breakfast for dinner” quite frequently. Next on my list to learn how to make is French Toast and Crepes.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
I literally can’t go home without my Dad asking for some.
Ginger Spice cookies with Cinnamon, Molasses, and Clove
I saw these pre-packaged, break and bake cookies at HEB and was tempted by how good they looked. I added a little bit of extra cinnamon, but they were delicious, none the less.
Texas Themed Sugar Cookies
Texas’ independence day was recent and I just had to make something to celebrate. I used the classic Pillsbury dough and Betty Crocker Frosting. They’re always a hit!
My sweet Dad bought me a Hershey’s cook book for Valentine’s day. This was one of the cakes out of it and man was it good. I made it on a Friday night and it was practically gone by Saturday afternoon.
Salted Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
One of my roommates found these on Pinterest and didn’t have to ask me twice to make them- they were good! If you don’t like salt with your chocolate, then you’ll be in for a surprise.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 3 Heath bars crushed into pieces
- Salt to sprinkle
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly add flour mixture and blend until completely incorporated. Stir in chocolate and toffee.
Drop 2 ounces of cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of salt, but not too much. Bake until cookies are puffed and just started to brown, 13-15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Mint Chocolate Mousse Brownies
adapted from Betty Crocker
- Box Bet Crocker Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
- 1/3 c. water
- 1/3 c. vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 c. whipping cream
- 1 c. Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 c. sugar
Topping: 1/3 c. Andes Creme de Menthe baking chips + a handful more for sprinkling over the top.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of a10-inch spring-form pan with shortening. Make brownie mix as directed on box, using the water, oil, and the 2 eggs listed here. Spread evenly in spring form pan.
In a 2-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream and 1 c. Andes Creme De Menthe chips over medium heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
In another bowl, beat 3 eggs and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until foamy; stir into chocolate mixture. Pour the chocolate mixture evenly over brownie batter in pan.
Bake for about 1 hour and 5 minutes or until the top is set. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt about 1/3 cup Andes Creme de Menthe chips, stirring in 15 second intervals, until chocolate is melted. Drizzle melted chocolate over the brownies. Sprinkle more Creme de Menthe chips over the top if desired.
Run a metal spatula around side of dessert to loosen; remove side of spring form pan. Serve at room temperature, or cover tightly and refrigerate until chilled.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 heaping cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- *1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar & 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon for rolling cookies in
Dark Chocolate Chunk Oreo Cookies
- 1 (18.25 oz) box chocolate cake mix- I used Duncan Hines
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 bag of dark chocolate chips
- 10-15 crushed Oreos
Preheat oven to 350°
With your mixer, beat together cake mix, oil and eggs until combined.
Pour in entire bag of chocolate chips and oreos.
Mix on low until they are evenly incorporated.
Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and place n a parchment lined baking sheet about 2″ apart. Cookies will spread.Bake for 8-9 minutes.
Chocolate eXXXtreme Cupcakes
(You have been warned. These cupcakes are ridiculously chocolaty and good)
These are a bit complicated to make, so I’m going to number the steps to make it a bit easier.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Beat butter until softened.
- Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
- Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine.
- Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
- Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine.
- Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3.5 oz of dark chocolate broken into small pieces
- 1/3 C heavy cream
- 1pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
- 1pkg. (6 squares) BAKER’S White Chocolate, melted, cooled slightly
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add melted chocolate and vanilla; mix well.
Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy after each addition.
I hope you liked the recipes! You can look forward to new ideas for Southern Elle and updates on my Spring Break soon.
p.s. Guess who I get to hear sing this week?
Yes. Gavin DeGraw. I’m stoked. You can be envious. It’s okay.
Clearly it has been a while since I posted. Montreal and New York City really wore me (and my friends) out. Don’t be mad, Lauren, you’re beautiful.
Having never been to Canada, I was surprised at the “laid back-ness” of the culture. Their unofficial motto is “party when you can,” or something like that…this explains their almost lackadaisical nature, or at least that’s what our Canadian guide, Peggy, told us. It is also said that if you put New York City and Paris in a blender, you would have Montreal; the city is very French. That was great and all since I’ve been in Spanish since elementary school…”hola” doesn’t get you much there…
Canada was beautiful, and one of my favorite things about it is that it had tulips everywhere, and tulips just happen to be one of my favorite flowers.
I can’t lie, the food was good too. The Montreal bagels were very good. I almost like them better than American bagels, but now that we’re getting an Einstein Brothers Bagels put in at Baylor, I don’t know about that…
And of course, what I went there for…fashion. We visited Bod & Christensen, an amazing leather-wear company. We got to meet with the owner/designer, and Sabrina Roy, their handbag designer. Megan got a beautiful jacket.
My favorite meal was probably from Thursday’s. It was delicious, plus we were absolutely famished from all of the walking we had done.
My favorite purchase had to be my fox fur earmuffs from Hercules Furs. They are so soft and warm, that I can’t wait for winter! (and I’m a summer girl!) My roommate Megan, is quite a fan of them; she has been known to run into my room and grab them to randomly wear. But hey, the fluffyness isn’t just for girls; boys seem to like them to. My friend Zach almost had an attack when Megan showed them to him, and in this picture, Mason doesn’t know what to do, they’re so comfortable!
My favorite Canadian treat would have to be the Beaver Tail. It was fried cinnamon dough and you could put whatever you wanted on it. I got extra cinnamon, a lot of chocolate, and m&m’s. It was a chocolate lover’s delight.
I really enjoyed Canada, and wouldn’t mind going back! But, perhaps before I visit Montreal again, I should get a Rosetta Stone in French…
I have a miraculous way of finding other things that need to be done when it comes to studying for finals. Friends, the beautiful sunshine, and the pool always seem to be calling my name. When it gets down to it, yes, I do study, but not without doing some necessary things beforehand. This blog is one of those “things.” I’ve been saying that I wanted to start one for a while now, but obviously just recently put it into action. Thank you Baylor dead days!
You may be wondering why this blog is called Epicuriously Living…If you read the “About Epicuriously Living” tab, then you probably have a slight idea, but I’m going to elaborate on what’s really behind it.
The definition of Epicurism or Epicureanism is to have a cultivation of refined taste in food, art, fashion, music…you catch my drift. Not only is it a cultivation of taste, but devotion to luxurious tastes or indulgence in pleasures that tantalize the senses. Epicurism was a philosophy by Epicurus in the ancient Greek world; he considered happiness, or the avoidance of pain and emotional disturbance, to be the highest good and that advocated the pursuit of pleasures that can be enjoyed in moderation. Without pain we would not know happiness, so I do not agree totally with his philosophy in avoidance. Pain cannot be bypassed, though it can be dealt with in positive ways. Though happiness is relative, I believe in being happy in the moment for how you deal with a situation has an effect on your peace of mind.
Since I don’t exactly concur with Epicurus’ thoughts, I took his meaning and gave it a little twist by adding the “curiously.” It was combined because people tend to be investigative about countless objects and issues in life. While most aren’t “Curious George’s,” Shakespeare knew what he was talking about when he coined the term “curiosity killed the cat.” Kittens get into trouble quite often due to their inquisitiveness, and it is pretty much the same in regard to humans. I’m here to help you avoid this “trouble” whether it be with a pair of shoes or a greasy restaurant.
Epicuriously Living was created to be informative and to feed your curiosity in trends and popular items surfacing in the world.
Stay curious, my friends!