Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Christmas Pavlova Minis   1 comment

Hi everyone, and Merry Christmas! I haven’t blogged in a while, sorry. But I’m in the process of making Pavlova Minis and I had to share. These little bites are delicious!

Pavlova is an Australian/New Zealand dessert, named after the ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who performed so beautifully for the government at the time, they had the head chef whip up a dessert in her honor. Usually Pavlova is a cake topped with whipped cream and various fruits, but these little diddys are far more manageable.

Here’s me using my neighbor’s retro-fabulous stand mixer (I borrowed it after my crappy $10 hand mixer broke mid-whip)…note the bowl is turning. Mesmerizing.

…And here’s me using a zippy to pipe out the Pavlova Minis – once these are baked and cooled, I’ll fill them with chopped up fruit and cool whip. YUMMO!


Protip: Ensure all your bowls and kitchen utensils are very clean and dry. This recipe is about purity, so you don’t want the remnants of last night’s cheddar scones screwing things up.


1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups fine granulated sugar

3/4 cup egg whites (about 5-6 large eggs)

toppings: whipped cream, assorted fruits & berries


1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. line baking tray with parchment paper.

3. In a small bowl stir cornstarch in with sugar.

4. In  a large mixing bowl, whip egg whites with cream of tartar, vanilla and salt. Whip on low speed for 2-3 minutes until soft peaks form and bubbles are small and uniform.

5. Increase speed to medium & gradually add in sugar/cornstarch mix spoonful by spoonful.

6. Once all ingredients are mixed together increase whisk speed to high and whip for 4-5 minutes until mix is glossy and stiff peaks form.

7. Pipe or spoon mix into rounds (see picture above – I use a large zippy as a pipe and slice off a corner so the opening is about 1 centimeter in diameter). If you spoon the mixture into dollops on the parchment paper, use the back of a spoon to create an indent in the center of each dollop for toppings.

8. Reduce oven temp to 250 degrees Fahrenheit & add trays to oven.

9. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until Minis are crisp and completely dry to the touch. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN AT ANY TIME DURING THE BAKE.

10. Remove from oven and carefully transfer to a cooling rack. Minis will break easily if you’re not careful. PROTIP: Use a wide spatula and check the underside of each Mini. If it’s squishy put it back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until it’s baked dry.

11. Minis will stay fresh in a sealed Tupperware container for up to 5 days at room temp. (don’t keep them in the fridge), so I find it easiest to bake these the day or 2 before I need them, then I just top them with whipped cream & fruit when it’s dessert time. NOM.

12. Enjoy!

I hope your Christmas is filled with as much nomtastic food as mine will be!



Posted December 23, 2011 by Elfawin in And Now You Know, Random

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Wallabies Narrowly Defeat Boks in 2011 Rugy World Cup   2 comments

The Rugby World Cup (#RWC  on Twitter) is currently underway in New Zealand. Well, it’s almost over – the semi-finals are next week. Here in the USA, college football dominates the Saturday night sports channel lineups, so last night I forked out $29.99 to watch Australia take on South Africa in the quarter-finals. It was the most intense $29.99 I’ve ever spent, and I was up until 3:30am enjoying every cent.

A young Australian side narrowly defeated the older, defending champs from South Africa, 11-9, in a game riddled with with errors on both sides. Here’s a more in-depth review of the game from the BBC. Judging by the Bokkie fans who took to Twitter last night, you might easily get the impression the refs were biased and should be fired, but the NZ commentators I was listening to called it a fair match with good, solid refereeing. I guess it’s always agonizing to be on the losing end of such a gripping World Cup game. Although the Boks maintained more than 50% possession and territory for more than 3/4 of the game, the Wallabies scored an important try early on, and their defense, including some spectacular turnovers, kept the Boks from scoring a try of their own. Almost ever Wallabies player, especially scrum-half Will Genia, stepped up the game to make up for the team’s mistakes.

Although some superb kicking from Boks fly-half, Morne Steyn, put South Africa ahead by one point in the last quarter, it was a beautiful penalty kick from winger, James O’Connor, that sealed Australia’s victory in the end. Flanker, David Pocock, was well deserving in being named Man of the Match for his tireless tackling and tenacity on the field.

Wallabies def. Springboks 11-9 on Oct 9, 2011. Photo credit: Rugby World Cup

I don’t get to watch a lot of Rugby Union here in the States, but when I do, I’m reminded why I love this sport so much. It’s gruelling, fast-paced, incredibly tough, and the shirts the players wear are nice and tight. Seriously ladies, check out a game on the TV or your local YouTube channel, post haste.

So what’s next? The semi-finals – Australia vs. New Zealand and France vs. Wales. it’s going to be another epic round of matches, and I for one am hoping the Wallabies will prevail again!


This Doesn’t Happen   1 comment

This Doesn't Happen

Chipotle Does It Right   1 comment

I’ve been on hiatus from the blogging world for a while, huh. Sorry about that. I’ve been so busy doing insert meaningful-but-lame excuse, and I haven’t had the chance to make heartfelt apology here, but today I’m back! Maybe I’ll be back tomorrow as well too, I’m not sure. One day at a time. Alright kids, what we have here is Willie Nelson covering Coldplay. Check it, yo. After that, go grow some vegetables and also tell your mum I said hi.




A Moment   2 comments

I haven’t had much time over the past few weeks to post anything. I’m nearing the end of the summer semester, so I’ve been busy finishing up a monster of a project and working two jobs. Every few days I come up for air and browse the Internet for a few minutes to see what’s going on (and mostly to feel normal). The terrorist attack in Norway on July 22nd that killed 90 people and probably injured many more reminds me of 2 things.

1) Even though I think my class project is all consuming and the most important thing ever, the world still turns.

2) There are far larger problems out there than my stupid project.

Here’s a poignant photograph taken by Tommy Ellingsen for a Norwegian newspaper of Jens Stoltenberg embracing the leader of the AUF camp where so many people died. You can find more images and an article at that link too (good luck reading Norwegian).

This photo helps me realize that everything in my world is going pretty well, and I’m going to be fine. My project is going to get done. I’m sleeping well at night. I have great friends and family to talk to. Yep, things are okay.


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