Friday, December 17, 2010

случайные вещи

I can't remember if I mentioned it in the blog or not, but Polly endeavored to make some chocolate vodka awhile back. We drank a little of it at the time, but mostly it was forgotten in her freezer due to a lack of creativity on our parts. Well, last weekend (on my birthday no less), we found the perfect mixer for it: it's some sort of a sweetened condensed milk flavored cream liqueur (not creamy flavored, which is a little dubious being that creamy isn't a flavor!!!). But, anyway, the two were meant for each other:

I discovered that I had my camera in my bag with me most of the week, so I took the opportunity to photograph a couple of things "at the office." This, for instance, is the hockey player that hangs out in our teacher's lounge:

Notice he plays for Khimik, NOT Mytishchi. That's probably why he's hiding behind the bookshelf.

And this here is the view from where I was sitting (next to the hockey player). The cacti made me feel right at home. Until I looked just past them to the snow outside, that is...

Now onto today, Friday, my glorious day off. I woke up and talked to my mom on the skype for awhile, then moseyed into the kitchen and proceeded to spend much of the day baking/cooking. First, I made two loaves of bread. This is a picture of one of them, you will have to trust that the other looks very similar:

This is probably the most bread-looking bread I've made thus far. And it's really all thanks to the awesome bread pan.

A little later in the evening, as I became hungrier and hungrier (as [wo]man cannot live on bread alone), I decided I would attempt to make a pizza. Once again, Polly is my source of inspiration for this , as she regularly makes it herself. I roughly based my recipe off of this one here (a site that I really like, btw), though with many, many differences. Mainly, I used that recipe for the dough... the only difference there is that I don't own a pizza stone and used a greased baking sheet (with no problems). Aside from the usual tomato sauce and mozzarella, for toppings I piled on: black olives, pineapple, red onion, yellow and orange bell peppers, and mushrooms. In the recipe, she warns not to pile too many toppings onto the pizza (because it will prevent the crust from becoming crispy), but in my excitement I completely ignored her advice. I can't say I regret doing so, as the pizza (apart from looking a little wonky, likely due more to my inexperience than anything else) turned out completely delicious(!!!!!!):

(i put most of the toppings on under the layer of cheese, so all you can really make out here are the olives and pineapple)

So that was definitely time well spent, and I have half of it left to eat tomorrow. Here are what the slices looked like:

Messy, it's true, but I wouldn't want it any other way.

My final oven-based product of the evening were some snicker-doodles from a recipe passed on to me by Colleen, from this evil, evil website. Here they are before going into the oven, in an attempt to document the sparkliness of them:

And here they are afterward: soft, chewy, buttery, delicious, warm cookies:

I'm planning to take a few to my individual students tomorrow, and then perhaps I will come home and make more. I'm also hoping to make some more banana bread tomorrow afternoon. It seems the holiday baking madness has begun...

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