Skills, yo!

Skillz, yo!

Except for those on the front lines (medics and other first responders and whatnot), we all had a lot of time on our hands in 2020, particularly during the lockdown.

I chose to use that time to develop a skill and eventually master it (I practice what I preach).

It wasn’t really a new skill because I’ve dabbled in it before (Awesome Blossom/Blooming Onion and Elote Mexican Street Corn), but during the lockdown, I can confidently state that I’ve mastered it.

It started off with the best tasting cookies I’ve baked on March 3 (here). After that, I became obsessed!

I started looking up recipes online and trying them out and customizing them as I went along. You name it, I made it!

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Levain Cookies (step-by-step with pics)

I wasn’t happy with my previous post about the infamous Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies (this) because it didn’t feel… enough.

So, I decided to bake those Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies again, while taking pictures to document the entire process for this post.

Unfortunately, I had the carpenter over, with the electrician on the way (remodeling my place… or rather modeling it for the first time lol) and ended up burning the cookies, just a bit.

I was supposed to leave them in the oven for 20 minutes, instead I left them for 25 minutes, and that made all the difference, sadly.

In any case, they still tasted pretty great (according to the familia) if a bit harder than usual lol

For reference, the first time I made these was back in March 2020 (dis).

I’ll list the substitutes and everything below.

2/3 cup White Sugar (large refillable tub in the back)
2/3 cup Brown Sugar
2 sticks of Butter (100g each)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda (I use Bicarbonate of Soda, same thing, right?)
1/4 tsp Salt
1 1/4 cup Cake Flour (or 1 cup AP Flour + 2 tbs Cornstarch)
2 cups All Purpose Flour (regular flour)
2 Eggs
2 cups Chocolate Chips (whole bag)
1 cup Walnuts (chopped)

I believe I got these Colourworks Measuring Spoons from Lakeland (Marina Mall) back in 2016.

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Levain Bakery Cookies (Best Cookies in NYC)

Sorry for the size of the video, but it was taken straight from my personal and only Snapchat account. I dunno’ know how to edit it to make it look smaller and more proportionate.

In a way, it’s kind of appropriate though, because the recipe I’m going to be sharing is of these rather large (6 oz / 170g) Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies!

Basically, there are these super famous Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies from Levain Bakery that although located in New York, have somehow achieved world renowned status!

Locals and tourists flock to Levain for their world-famous Cookies! Everyone loves them! They’ve even made it to the top of multiple lists!

I don’t know why these babies popped up randomly on my YouTube feed, but I became obsessed!

Seeing as how I wasn’t going to be going to New York any time soon (been there once before, nice place, bit far though lol), the next best thing was to make them at home!

While the actual recipe is “top secret”, thankfully, there’s a ton of copy-cat recipes available online (you can even find them in everything from Chinese to Korean)!

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2020 (The First Half)

There was a lot (and I mean a lot) of stuff that I’d planned on writing about, as soon as I finished my Bath & Body Works Hauls, from earlier on in the year (this).

However, between my hair and my nails and my teeth and my heart I kinda’ got preoccupied and didn’t get around to doing much blogging.

Not to mention the fact that 2020 was a pretty horrible year all around (not just for me personally, but in general and worldwide). That in and of itself deserves a whole other separate post (maybe I’ll work on it, maybe not, we’ll see).

In any case, the following is all the stuff I had planned on talking about on my blog, but never got around to (because… 2020).

Edit: I’d started writing this post way before the tragic passing of His Highness Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, may he rest in peace. Like I said, this year has been awful.

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Elote (Mexican Street Corn) Recipe

Once I discovered how easy, and more importantly, fun, messing around in the kitchen could be (dis), I started looking into even more “easy” recipes! That’s how I came across the recipe for Elote (also known as Mexican Street Corn).

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Awesome Blossom (Blooming Onion) Recipe

So I’ve never actually prepared a proper dish before. Usually, everything I “make” is microwavable (popcorn, poptarts, etc…). The closest I’ve ever come to actual cooking is heating up some ready-made soup (haulage here). However, years and years ago a friend of mine mentioned having an “Awesome Blossom” at either Chili’s or Applebee’s or one of the other ee’s (can’t remember) and he wouldn’t shut up about how awesome it was! Every time I would visit one of the aforementioned ee’s and ask about the Awesome Blossom, I was told that it was currently unavailable. It’s been years now, so I don’t know why they still keep saying “currently”, because they’re making it sound like it might be available again in the future. Anyways, I finally gave up and decided to just go ahead and make my own.

We were having guests over for Ramadan Iftar/Futoor (breakin of the fast after dusk prayer) and my decision (like most of my decisions, really) was a spontaneous spur-of-the-moment decision. I found an easy how-to video on YouTube (clip below) but most of the ingredients were missing, so I had to dash to the nearest co-op, purchase the missing ingredients, make the Awesome Blossom, pop it in the freezer, go shower (‘cuz Arab spices… stink and the stench stays in your hair), dry my hair (hate this part the most!), style it, apply my make-up (no time to get creative so just some neutral shadow, liner, mascara, lipstick, topped off with some highlight on my cheekbones) take the onion out of the freezer, fry it, go back to my room, change out of my lounge-wear into something more Ramadan-esque (Kaftans usually do the job), light some incense around the house and prepare to welcome the guests as they arrive (all in around 2-3 hours). My life would be so much easier if I just planned things ahead of time lawl but I just can’t bring myself to commit… to anything. Nothing crushes my soul more than having a routine that’s set in stone (I thrive during chaos)!

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