Last post

This week will unfortunately be my last post. So today I decided to make a creme brulee made from my friend Raphaela’s recipe! Enjoy!

 

 

Ingredients
5oz Full-fat Coconut Milk

1/3 cup Water

5 tablespoons Sugar

1 1/2 tablespoon Egg Replacer Powder (I used Ener-G)

1 1/2 tablespoon Organic Cornstarch

1/2 Vanilla Bean Caviar (This is what you scrape from the inside of the Vanilla Bean)

1/2 teaspoon Nutritional Yeast

A PinchSalt

ExtraSugar (for Brulee-ing/Caramelizing on top)

Directions

Step 1 Preheat oven to 325ºF.

Step 2 Place all ingredients into a blender and puree for at least 30 seconds, making sure there are no powdery chunks in the liquid.

Step 3 Pour the mixture into a small sauce pan, over low heat (or medium-low if you have an electric stove like mine) and bring to a simmer.

Step 4 Whisk the mixture continually until it thickens, without becoming chunky. Test this by seeing if a thick layer will stick to a spoon or finger. It is crucial that it reaches a hot enough temperature or else it will not set properly.

Step 5 Get a casserole dish ready, along with either 4-2 oz. ramekins or 2-4 oz. ramekins. Place the ramekins in the casserole dish and fill it with water until it is half-way up the ramekins.

Step 6 Carefully pour the creme mixture into each ramekin, and transfer the dish to the oven, making sure not to splash the water.

Step 7 Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on which dish size you chose. Bigger dish = longer baking time, obviously.

Step 8 When I baked mine, I saw them just a little bit; and before taking them out would bump the casserole dish to see how much they jiggled. There will be a little jiggle, almost like jello.

Step 9 Once the ramekins are cool enough to touch, place them on a cooling rack and into the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Step 10 When you want to serve them, sprinkle roughly 1-2 tsp. (depending on how wide your dish is) of sugar on top of the Creme Brulee. Using a culinary torch or broiler, melt the sugar until it reaches a light brown/orange color, or more if you like it burnt.

Step 11 If you’re having a hard time melting the sugar, I suggest putting it into a dry blender and making it finer, so that it melts more easily. Once it’s caramelized, serve immediately or up to 10 minutes later.

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Homemade Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

This week I wanted to change things up a bit and make some Chocolate Ice Cream. Chocolate Ice Cream has been a long time favorite of mine. So one day I was bored and decided to try to make some of my own!

The ingredients for this recipe are:

  • 2 cups of Amul heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 Hershey’s cocoa powder
  • 1/2 sweetened  of Amul condensed milk
  • 1/2 of packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

 

First, add the milk and brown sugar to a small saucepan on low heat. Once the sugar has finished dissolving, add the cocoa powder and mix thoroughly. This is a really important step. Make sure there aren’t any small chunks of powder because this later there will be small pockets of undissolved powder. Next, you have to add the condensed milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. To speed thing us a bit I used a food processor.  After you’re done mixing and stirring, let the mixture sit and cool for about 10 minutes.

 

 

In the meantime, whip heavy cream with a mixer at high speed. Add the chocolate mixture. Gently fold the mixture until it’s all evenly incorporated. Store the mixture in a small container. Seal with a lid and pop your soon to be ice cream into the freezer for about 8-10 hours.

 

After the 8-10 hours have passed, take your ice cream out of the freezer and serve into a bowl. Serve your homemade whipped cream and garnish with a few berries. Enjoy!

April 26, 2017: Portraits of Survival

Today I decided to try and work on A LOT of missing work and get as many extra credit points as possible because the end of the year is ending and I am NOT trying to fail this year. So, immediately after school I meet Raphaela at the flag pole and we hop onto the bus. As we’re sitting in our seats, were making our game plan. Go to the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara, Grab something to eat, and finish my missing work. I’m determined to finish as much work as possible. After we get to the Transit Center, we stroll down Chapala Street for a mile or two until we reach the jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. The first person we encounter is a sweet middle-aged woman. She greets us as we walk in the door and finishes up helping the man before us. She makes us sign in to a log and points us to the room the portraits are held in.

While we were in here, I read a couple amazing stories. One that really stuck with me was the story of Norman Jaffe. He was raised in an upper middle-class family. His mother was an opera star as well as a pianist and his dad owned a 100 year old furniture store. He spent his childhood defending his religion against anti-semitic classmates and had to withstand learning of Nazi Theories in the classroom. On November 9, 1938 his family’s store had its windows’ shattered due to Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass). He had also witnessed Nazis’ burning the Dresden Synagogue. He got arrested during Kristallnacht and shortly after his family attempted to emigrate out of the country but could not get enough visas’ in time. In 1942, He was sent to a labor camp and in February of 1943 he was sent to the death camp known as Auschwitz. After four weeks he began to starve and after that seeked somewhere to go. He found a position painting SS homes. He escaped death by gas chambers three separate times because of a couple Christian prisoners. After being liberated by the Soviets in January of 1945, Norman moved to the United States of America and met his wife, Rose, became an American citizen, and finally moved to Santa Barbara after years of working as a Graphic Artist in Los Angeles, CA.

June 28, 2016: State Street.. again…

The day starts out pretty mellow with me getting ready for a day out with my friends. I did my usual routine, shower, and get dressed. After this, I text my group chat with Vicky and Raphaela. I tell them i’ll be leaving soon. I eat a slice of toast and a cup of Chia Seed Pudding and run out the door. I take the trolley and meet up with them at the Central Library downtown. Once we meet up, we walk across the street to the county Courthouse and climb up to the bell tower.

 

After this, we climb back down and walk on over to a nearby parking lot with great architecture and views. We realize that it’s a great place to take a few pictures. Raphaela struggles to climb onto a pillar and we all laugh as she looks SUPER funny. After five to twenty minutes, she finally gets up there and I hop on up along with her to snap some pictures. Later on, it’s Vicky’s turn. She too, struggles to climb on.

 

As soon as we finish snapping a few pics, we order an Uber and go to Vicky’s dad’s house. She changes into a new outfit and we get a ride from her dad and go to the Earl Warren Showgrounds. We pay a few dollars to get in and then walk over to the wristband sales booth. We ride almost all the rides there and repeat some of our favorites like: The Zipper, 1001 Nachts, and Fireball. Sooner or later, someone complains about being sooooo hungry. So we walk over to the food area and buy cheese fries and one or two funnel cakes to split between us.

March 29, 2017: All Alone

When I wake up at 8 AM, I notice my house is empty. I look around and can’t seem to find anyone. I text my mom and ask where my brother and sister are. “They should be home. What do you mean you can’t find them?” she responds. I tell her they aren’t here and she tells me to text her in thirty minutes if they still don’t show up. About twenty minutes later, they both walk through the door and explain that they went to the store to buy a few things. I go back to my room and listen to music while doing some of my missing work. I spend a couple hours doing this. All of a sudden, I hear a faint knocking on my door. It’s my brother. “Do you want to go on a walk?” he asks. “Sure, let me just finish this.” I respond. Once I wrap up my last worksheet, I pull on my pair of Nike’s, grab a leash, and tell my brother it’s time to go. I look for my dog, Lula, so I can walk her while we’re out there.

We walk down Milpas Street until we end up at East Beach. As we’re walking, my brother is running around chasing my dog and vice versa. Once we reach the pier, he tells me he’s thirsty so stroll down State Street looking for somewhere to get something to drink.

On the way there, this man is singing amazingly. I drop a $5 bill into his basket and continue walking. We’re walking around when I notice Blenders in the Grass and ask him if he wants a smoothie. He says yes so we walk in and I order a Tropical Kale for myself and a Red Pineapple for my brother. I pay the cashier and take a seat on a bench. My brother then grabs a nutritional pamphlet and starts showing off how fast he can read. After a while, it does start to get annoying but I keep this to myself. We get our drinks and begin to walk home after this.

March 15, 2017: Running Late

Oh no… I was hoping this wouldn’t happen, especially not today. I knew this would happen. I’m late! I quickly run to the bathroom, shower, and throw on a pair of sweats, a sweater, and my Vans. I gather my suitcase and pack any last minute items. I say goodbye to my grandma and my mom and hop into my Uber. I stop at Starbucks and pick up two Chocolate Croissants and a Hot Chocolate. I also stop at Raphaela’s house and pick her up. By the time we get to the MAD Academy the students are about to board the bus. We check in with one of the administrators, Pablo, and find relatively good seats on the bus. Makayla and Elizabeth are behind us and Claire and James sit in front of us. Luckily, we kind of cut in front of the others. Otherwise, we would have had the very front seatsRoughly two hours into the trip, we stop in some random hole-in-the-wall town. The town is called Visalia (I only know this because of Snapchat’s Geofilters). My friends and I go to McDonald’s order some food and sit to enjoy it. Once we finish, we rush to the supermarket and buy a platter of fruit, a Naked, and a “Family Sized” bag of chips for Elizabeth. We pay and rush back to the Airbus as we were given a time limit. The rest of the ride there was lots of twists and turns. After about another hour or two, we finally got to see some snow and sequoias! The noise levels rise and soon everyone is talking about it.  We STILL continue to drive for about 45 minutes until finally, people begin noticing signals dropping. At last, we see signs of civilization (other than the roads, of course) and most of us are exhausted by now. We rejoice and a lot of us can’t wait to get off this jam-packed bus. We get off, collect our suitcases, and wait for instruction. Of course, someone throws a snowball and pretty soon everyone has a handful of snow and is ready to chuck it at the next person.

 

March 8, 2017: A Day at the Beach

I wake up to the sound of my alarm blaring. It’s 8:30. I’m gonna be late! I throw on the first thing I find and rush to the bathroom and do my hair as quickly as possible. While I prepare my lunch, I order an Uber. I pack up my things and rush out the door.

After six and a half hours of sitting in classrooms, students begin crowding the door. The long-awaited bell finally rings. I meet up with Raphaela at the flagpole. We quickly begin walking down towards State Street to grab something to eat. We stop at Blenders in the Grass and I get a Tropical Kale smoothie, my new favorite drink. After that, we go to The Habit and wait in line. When it’s finally our turn, Raphaela orders a Chocolate Smoothie and a Kid’s Grilled Cheese while I get a Charburger Lettuce Wrap. Once we’ve collected our orders we stroll on over to Chase Palm Park to enjoy our meals.

Along the way, I throw a few fries to some birds. I quickly regret this as it calls its buddies and soon enough there’s a pool of sea gulls sitting at our feet. We leave the park and walk over to West Beach. We realize we forgot to bring a beach towel or something to sit on so I take off my jacket and she pulls a shirt out of her backpack and we sit on our make-shift towels. We had been talking for at least an hour when I decided it was a good time to take some pictures.

We’re taking pictures when all of a sudden, some random guy comes up to us and asks Raphaela if she’s a supermodel. We both laugh and she tells the guy she isn’t. Once he leaves she talks about how awkward that is. Her phone starts ringing, her mom is calling, and I can hear her talking about how she was supposed to be home almost an hour ago. I call my mom’s boyfriend to pick us up but know he’s probably gonna take a while to get here. While we’re waiting for him to pick us up, we take a few more pictures until he gets there. After around 15 minutes, he gets there and takes us both home.

October 15, 2016: Homecoming

Today is the day. The day we have been waiting for, for weeks. It’s 8:00 AM and I have all the time in the world. I immediately check my Snapchat and reply to those who have contacted me. I scroll through my Instagram feed and comment on a few posts. I do this for about an hour. I finally get up, walk over to my kitchen, and pop a bagel into the toaster. I wait for the familiar little “ding” notifying me that my bagel is perfectly toasted. I spread cream cheese on both slices and serve myself a glass of milk. Once I finish, I confirm my plans with Raphaela, Leslie, Kim, and Victoria. I gather my clothes and jump into the shower to start getting ready for tonight. After about ten minutes of washing up, I hop out, brush my teeth, and get dressed. I meet up with Kim and we go to State Street to kill time and just hang out. We pop into Zumiez and buy a few bags of stuff each. We quickly get bored and head to the bridge in between Montecito Street and Gutierrez Street. We get a text from Raphaela saying she’s almost done getting ready and we realize what time it is. We only have about an hour and a half to get home and get ready! We quickly take a few pictures and get an Uber immediately after that.

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It drops off Kim at her house first then heads over to mine. I jump in the shower again and take the quickest shower of my life. I wash my face, do my hair, brush my teeth, and get dressed all within about forty-five minutes. I wait for Kim to show up to my house so we can share an Uber over to the courthouse to take a few more pics with the rest of our friends. Raphaela is the only one there when Kim and I get there. So we take a few pics of ourselves before everyone else arrives.

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Shortly after, Vicky gets there with Leslie by her side and quickly jumps in to take pictures with the rest of us. By this time, the entire property was crawling with either tourists or other students trying to take pictures. We all agreed to take pictures somewhere a little less typical next time.

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It’s nearing 6:00 PM so we rush over to Benchmark Eatery to make it in time for our reservations. We all ask for our drinks and decide to wait for our other friends to order. The waitress returns every five minutes or so, and we finally decide to order. I get a simple Benchmark Burger and let everyone else order. Right as our waitress wraps up our order, our friends rush in and apologize for being so late. They promptly sit down and order their meals. A short wait later, our meals arrive and we all dig in. All the while, were conversing and building up the anticipation leading to tonight. We finish our meals and hop into Isabel’s mom’s car. She drives us up to the flagpole and we get in line with the rest of our peers. We get through the awfully long line and stroll down to the dance. After about three hours of nonstop dancing, the DJ announced that he had to stop the dance because of noise complaints.

February 21, 2017: A Night Out

Bells are ringing, Kids are screaming. School’s out. Victoria, Stephanie, Kim, and I walk on over to the MAD Academy’s Lounge. We find our friends Alize and Desirae already there waiting for us. Spongebob Squarepants is playing in the background and a couple of freshmen are sitting on the couch enjoying the cartoon. Alize notices I’m holding a small black bag. “What’s in there?” she asked. I give a quick answer telling her it’s my camera. We sit down and watch a few of the episodes with the others. All the while Alize and Desirae are commentating. We quickly get bored and bring up a random topic to start talking about. The topic was Vicky’s super duper wavy hair tied up in a half ponytail. They crack a few jokes and tease her a tad bit. Me being extremely bored, I sit behind her and take down her half pony and mess around with it until I come up with something resembling two space buns.

img_1194After messing around with my camera for a little while, Leslie and I begin our walk to State Street. We shop a little, buy a few things and pop into stores every now and then. I call my mom and ask her to pick us up and take us home but she tells me she isn’t in town. This is a problem.The sun has almost completely set and Leslie’s curfew is quickly approaching.

img_1273We stop at Starbucks on the corner of De La Guerra and State. I order a Venti Double Chocolate Chip Frappe and she gets a Grande Java Chip Frappe. We walk upstairs and begin to think of ways to get home. My phone is dead so I can’t get us an Uber. My mom is not in town. How are we possibly going to get home? We decide to not worry about it immediately and go to a nearby parking lot to shoot a few pictures.
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We spend another hour and a half up there constantly trying new settings and poses. We check the time and it’s 6:00. She’s late! We run to the Transit Center as a last resort and check if any buses are still running. We see the last bus to Goleta beginning to take off. Leslie chases the bus and is banging on the window the entire time. Finally, the bus driver decides to let her in and shortly scolds her for chasing the bus down the street. Later on, Leslie texts me at around 7:15 and tells me she just got home.

July 4, 2016: Fourth of July

       It’s Fourth of July! I wake up and prepare for the jam-packed day ahead of me. Shower? Check. Dress? Check. Do hair? Check. I’m ready for the day. I walk to the nearest bus stop and wait for the Crosstown Shuttle. Once I get to State Street, I immediately look for my friends, Kim and Raphaela.  We begin strolling down the street and pop into shops that catch our eyes. We’re walking out of VAN’S when Kim yells, “OMG! Let’s go to Yogurtland!” Raphaela and I decide to tag along. I get a mix of cheesecake and strawberry.

Once we’ve finished, we walk over to the pier and take a couple of pictures every now and then to kill time as we wait for the annual fireworks show. All the while, joking around and telling stories. It’s around 3:30 PM and we still have a couple of hours to kill, so we all try to think of something to do. We decide to shop a little more and

img_0681We spend around twenty minutes arguing about where to go and what to do that we end up just walking to Raphaela’s house. As we’re strolling, we walk past a huge amount of street vendors, all with lines of at least five to ten people each, skateboarders, and tourists all moving along by the dozens. We walk past La Mesa Park, Shoreline Beach and end up on Cliff Drive. We finally get to her house and pop “Finding Nemo” into the DVD player and start making some popcorn while the ads are playing. After two hours has passed, we decide to mess around with my camera and take more pictures in her lounge. We end up needing two SD cards to hold all the pictures we take. It’s around 7:00 PM and we remember it’s almost time for the annual fireworks show! We begin to walk back towards the harbor and as we’re walking, it’s absolutely packed and extremely hectic with parents chasing after their kids, music playing, and others trying to find a comfortable spot to watch the show. We walk on over to Sandspit and find a comfortable spot to sit. Finally, we get to sit back, relax, and watch the show with some of the people I care about most.
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