Anonymous said: i like that u focus on a HEALTHY lifestyle, not necessarily a "thin" one...too many young girls are told that there natural body shape isn't "right" and it's a shame.

Confession time: I was one of those girls for a really long time too. I thought I was heavy and I hated my thighs and waged a war again the mirror every time I put on a swim suit. I saw all the other girls in my classes who got to wear extra smalls and small sized clothing and wondered what it would be like to always have something that fit you. But then I started to consider the opposite of my situation. I was always a healthy kid, exercised (I dance and swim religiously,) and had healthy and supportive relationships with family and friends. I looked at the big picture and realized that the size on your tag is hardly a reason to have a bad day. When I was in the eighth grade I started taking control of my health by really being concerned with what I put in my body. I made smarter choices (wheat bread over white, those kinds of things) and really educated myself on nutrition and health. Heck, there for a while I wanted to be a nutritionist because these things genuinely excited me. I liked feeling in control.

Fast forward a few years and I still have my sights set on a food related career, and I still plan on helping those who want it to eat better. You don’t have to deprive yourself in order to be healthy, that’s not the goal at all. Just think about the big picture. That’s what I did and it turned me into a secure and healthy young adult. So many adolescence are constantly comparing themselves to super models and the “skinny” girls at school, but what they don’t realize is “skinny” does not mean “healthy” all the time. I would much rather be healthy, hands down, and ever since eighth grade I have kept that in mind anytime I have a fat day. And yes, those happen still from time to time.

Anonymous said: i kno u moved to another site, but i have to say that this site is really cute & you have some great posts!

Well thank you for that, I really appreciate you taking the time to check out my posts and read about my cooking adventures. Obviously I still check this one from time to time and haven’t forgotten about it in the least, being that it is my first baby blog and all, but have moved on to something that is a little more conducive to commenting and the pictures I post. Regardless, happy reading!

And don’t forget to check out my new blog at:

peachandkiwi.blogspot.com

Anonymous said: Mm, cupcakes! How do you make whipped cream?

Whipped cream is the easiest thing in your culinary arsenal. Just pick up some heavy whipping cream (I didn’t say it was the healthiest) and beat it either by hand or with a mixer until it starts to get frothy. At that point add some confectioners sugar (regular granulated sugar works just fine too) and a teaspoon of vanilla or so and beat until it looks like whipped cream. You may have heard people refer to the “peak” test in order to gauge whether they have whipped enough air into their cream. You are looking for medium peaks, meaning when you lift you whisk or beaters straight up from your bowl, the whipped cream on the whisk should make a peak when you flip it upside down. Give it a try and wow next time you serve a fabulous dessert!

Time for a Face Lift!

Good Morning all! I don’t know why of all days I decided to wake up at 4:12 (in the morning that is) wide awake and ready to conquer the day. I have no reason at all to be awake this early. I am not even hungry for breakfast yet, and I am ALWAYS ready for some breakfast, which is just evidence enough that I should still be snoozing at this hour. 

It is incredibly boring before the sun rises in the morning. It’s quiet, which I like, but I am too social of a person to be the only one awake in my zip code. So what do I do to pass the time? Give my blog a face lift of course! I have moved my blog to the Blogger host, which will allow readers to comment on individual posts, allow me to make it prettier for you readers, and over all is nicer of a host. I am still working out the kinks (I am the farthest thing from a technical goo-roo so hang in there with me until I get everything figured out) but I am happy with it and hope y’all love it as well. I will be posting blogs to that for now on up this blog will be up for your viewing and reminiscing pleasure. 

The URL for the new blog is in the previous post; just click on there and it will take you right to it. And bookmark it so you don’t have to remember the address. Or, you can get the address here:

http://peachandkiwi.blogspot.com/

Happy Reading!

Time for a Face Lift! For Peach&Kiwi's New Home, Click Here.

Cinco de Mayo fiesta! (reconstituting dried chili peppers, romesco sauce, my marinated flank steak searing to crispy perfection, all the fixings ready for my plate, and the final product.)

Cinco de Mayo

Hi friends! With finals week this week and the academic portion of this semester wrapping up I find myself looking for creative ways to take breaks from studying. Last week it was taking a break to pack up in order to move into a new apartment at the end of this week. And today, it is blogging to you. Economics 391 and Management 410 can wait, I have food to talk about. And we are already in May if you can believe it. One of my favorite foodie holidays is right around the corner and I embraced it by celebrating early! Enter, Cinco de Mayo!

For those of you who did not take five years of Spanish, allow me to entertain you with a history lesson. Cinco de Mayo is typically misconstrued as the Mexican Independence Day, but in fact it commemorates the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1892 (and yes, I have to look that date up. I don’t have a lot of Mexican history memorized.) What is so unique about this holiday is that it is celebrated more in the United States than in Mexico, as it allows Americans to tip their hats to Mexican culture and heritage.

Alright, time to get to the food! Since my kitchen is still non-existent (but only until the end of this week, when I will get the one that goes along with my new apartment for the summer, can you say excited?!) I had to push this American holiday forward a bit. I served carne acada, which literally translates to “acid steak,” and is prepared probably the way you are thinking. Marinate a not-so-tender piece of beef (try a flank steak) in any acid you would like. Mine consisted of the juice of limes, lemons, and oranges, along with some hot sauce, green and yellow onions, cayenne pepper, salt, drizzle of olive oil, and cumin. You can’t mess up a marinate like this, so play around with the flavor combinations you like most. I loved the smokey sweet and acidic flavor from this particular combination, so you can also play with contrasting flavors such as salty and sweet or savory and acidic. Once your cut has marinated for a while, simply sear it on both sides in a super hot skillet, then bake it in the oven until it reaches your desired doneness in the middle. Slice and dice and you’re ready to eat! (and I dare you not to snag a nibble here and there…)

I didn’t stop there though! I made a homemade romesco sauce to top our fabulous tacos. Romesco is a traditional condiment in Spain, consisting mostly of dried chili peppers and toasted bread. I know it seems a little on the odd side, but don’t tune me out just yet. It is a wonderfully complex sauce, and oh so easy to make. Almonds, toasted bread, reconstituted dried chili peppers (choose whatever kind you would like depending on your spice level) and fresh herbs and then just blend it all in the blender! American really doesn’t have a sauce like this to compare romesco sauce to, so sounds like you’ll just have to try it. On top of a taco, it adds such depth and complexity. Not to mention represent another region of culture in our Cinco de Mayo celebration!

I rounded out the meal with some traditional favorites of my family: spiced black beans, homemade pico de gallo, and lots of fresh taco toppings. All in all, a very successful Cinco de Mayo… a whole week early! Wonder what I will do to celebrate on the fifth?

Jumbo cupcakes for a very special hostess.

A Hostess Gift

As you all know, I am a college student currently pursuing my Management Degree with my eye on three culinary degrees as soon as humanly possible. I am awfully anxious to become a chef… or at least some sort of force in the culinary world. But while being out on my own (getting myself up, grocery shopping and laundry, working a few jobs here and there plus a full course load, maintaining relationships and balancing work and play…) I have had no trouble taking care of myself due to the wonderful efforts of my mom when I was still at home and under her watchful eye. So this post is only a small tribute to her. And one of the many wondrous lesson she taught me was never show up without a hostess gift. This post is of course dedicated to one of the tastiest hostess gifts I’ve ever given.

I really like to give edible gifts when it is appropriate because it shows that you put some effort into thinking about what your host’s tastes are or what they would savor as a treat. Quick breads are one of my favorites to gift, anything from fruit based ones like banana nut or cranberry walnut, to more savory unique ones like beer cheese bread or peanut butter. Drop and bar cookies are a good choice too because they travel well. Shortbread is a great classic, along with chocolate chip or peanut butter (but remember to consider allergies!) Or, if you want to cater to a more eclectic group of people, try an off the wall combination, like chipotle and apricot, or salted caramel. Plus, you get to play around in the kitchen, what could be better than that?!

Over winter break I was able to do some traveling to visit friends and my boyfriend’s family, and of course I had numerous yummy treats tucked in my bag to show someone that I truly appreciate their hospitality. And I decided to make huge vanilla cupcakes and customize them with various toppings and decorations in order to cater to the different tastes I of my very gracious hosts. There is a caramel with vanilla frosting, orange marmalade with homemade whipped cream, peanut butter and chocolate glaze (since I am convinced that this is the most heavenly combination as of late,) simple chocolate glaze and miniature chocolate chip on vanilla frosting, and to lighten up the mix, a whipped cream and fruit topped cupcake.Remember these are jumbo cupcakes, so my hosts could enjoy these as dessert… or a meal! Thanks mom! For teaching me to be a gracious guest, and for your kitchen. 

Here are the aforementioned Bahamas pictures, as I promised. (and yup, that’s my boyfriend and me parasailing!)