Happy Sunday Everyone ❤
My first wave of midterms ended last Wednesday morning at exactly 11:33am. It was statistics and I was expecting the worst, but it wasn’t too bad. The exam covered probability, discrete and continuous random variables, estimation and hypothesis testing, and a little simple linear regression. For me, they are as intimidating as they sound. Math, especially probability and statistics, has never been my strongest suit, but I’ve experienced several ‘lightbulb’ moments in this class, when the things I’m learning begin to fall into place. I think that’s one of my favorite things about learning: when everything you’ve been hearing and reading about suddenly makes sense. When I checked my grades yesterday evening, I saw that I got an 86 on it. I’m a little disappointed, especially since the mistakes I made were stupid mistakes i.e. not rounding the numbers correctly. But that’s okay! I’ll just have to study better next time.
Speaking of learning, I thought that the above quote by Kofi Annan says a lot. There’s so much meaning to it. To be honest, sometimes I take my education for granted. I go to class, do homework, study, and even complain about class being difficult quite often. But I don’t often realize of the impact it can make. Growing up, my uncle always told me that people can take everything away from you, even your life, but they can never take away your knowledge. Hence, I will do my best to value my education more.
I hope that you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day and weekend! I sure did 🙂 I was able to have some downtime and do a bit of cooking and baking. The past two weeks I have been busy as a bee with typical schoolwork and exam since it was exam weeks. But I have several highlights that I want to share from the past two weeks (not in any particular order):
1. Last Friday, I went snowtubing for the first time with a group of friends in the Poconos, a mountainous region in northeastern Pennsylvania. The weather was forecasted to be around 7 degrees Fahrenheit, with the wind chills, but it wasn’t that cold for me during the day. When it got to nighttime however, my toes felt like it was going to fall off! Every step I took felt like stepping on needles. I wore three layers of clothing and that was plenty to keep me warm. When it came to the actual tubing down the mountain, it felt like those water slides in amusement parks, and I kept spinning on the way down. Thank goodness I had Westley; we linked our tubes and he held on to mine real tight. I also learned this the hard way, but if you want to go snowtubing and it’s your first time, do not fully sit on the tube. The first time I went down, my tail bone ended up hurting for the rest of the day. So when you sit on the tube, you have to push your booty up slightly as if you’re floating. Does that make sense?
2. I created my first html webpage on Friday!
3. On Thursday night, my Valentine, Westley, took me to see the Ringling Bros. Circus. It was my first time seeing the circus and it was wonderful. I had an amazing time watching the performances with <3. My favorites have to be the poodles, tigers, and camels.
4. My final highlight is catching up with my best friends. Even though we sometimes do not see each other for a long time, when we do get together it’s like no time had passed. Like my very good friend Jenny, I love my small circle of friends. By the way, Jenny and I are like two peas in a pod. There’s no one as weird as us. I love you Jenny! ❤
My questions for you today are:
How do you spend time with your best friend(s)? What is your friendship like? How long have you known your best friend(s)?
On Valentine’s Day, I made some panko and cornmeal crusted chicken sandwich with sauteed spinach and puff pastry. I refrigerated the puff pastry overnight and made some Chocolate Turnovers this morning. Puff pastries are known to be a little time-consuming to make because it takes time to achieve those flaky, buttery layered goodness. They also require a lot of butter. Since this was my first attempt at making it, I wanted to try an “easy” recipe before trying my hand at the real thing. I used King Arthur Flour’s recipe, which can be found here.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Easy Puff Pastry Recipe
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt*
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter* (sliced in cubes)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
*If you use salted butter, reduce the amount of salt to 1/4 tsp
1) Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
2) Add the butter, working it in to make a coarse/crumbly mixture. Leave most of the butter in large, pea-sized pieces.
3) Stir in the sour cream; the dough won’t be cohesive. Turn it out onto a floured work surface, and bring it together with a few quick kneads.
4) Pat the dough into a rough log, and roll it into an 8″ x 10″ rectangle.
5) Dust both sides of the dough with flour, and starting with a shorter end, fold it in three like a business letter.
6) Flip the dough over, give it a 90° turn on your work surface, and roll it into an 8″ x 10″ rectangle. Fold it in three again.
*I repeated steps 5 and 6 multiple times to get more layers in my pastry.
7) Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before using. To make pastry, roll into desired size.
8) Freeze dough for prolonged storage, up to 2 months. To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
To make Chocolate Turnovers:
- puff pastry sheets
- chocolate chips, or desired filling
- 1 egg yolk
- dash of milk
- Lightly flour your work space and roll out puff pastry sheets into 1/4 inch thickness. Then cut up into squares.
- To make egg wash, whisk 1 egg yolk with a dash of milk.
- Put several chocolate chips in the middle of the bottom half of your pastry. (I like to brush a little egg wash on the inside of the pastries before adding the chocolate chips, but that is optional.) Fold the pastry closed and use a fork to seal the edges. Next, brush some ogg wash on the top of your pastries.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 14-15 minutes, or until amber brown.
Until next time,