Awesome in August

Awesome in August

Awesome in August

I spent the first three weeks of August in my house. July was so outrageously awesome that I needed a bit of a break from life. My bank account appreciated the break as well. I watched the Olympics non-stop and loved every minute of it. Michael Phelps was awesome, Katie Ledecky blew up the world, Mo Farah might be the nicest man ever born, and Simone Biles is basically a god. I can’t wait for the Winter Games in Korea. I’m thinking figure skating, snowboarding, and non-stop hot chocolate. What were your favorite Olympic moments?

Howlin Wolf3

We also went back to Howlin’ Wolf this month and had more great cocktails and totally awesome food. I think it might be becoming my favorite. I can also recommend the milkshakes at Byron Burgers. 

I’ve been watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix, and I can’t decide if I like it or not. Rebecca is a terrible person, but Greg is exactly my kind of funny. The theatre kid in me can’t look away from a musical. Also, I was an assistant teacher in Santino Fontana’s tap class when I was in high school and he was like eight years old, so I’m pretty sure I’m at least partially responsible for that Fred Astaire number he did in episode 4.

I’ve been dying to eat the internet. Most especially, I’d like to eat Snickerdoodle Muffins, S’mores Ice Cream Cake, and Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies. Clearly I need to start jogging.

Brazilian Sunrise Cocktail from Awesome on 20

Your favorite recipes this month were Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels, Chicken Parmesan, and Brazilian Sunrise Cocktails. Clearly I wasn’t the only one wishing I was in Rio.

I’m happy to have escaped the house again. Adventures await. It’s gonna be awesome!

Chocolate Orange Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Chocolate Orange Cake

Chocolate Orange Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Tea is serious business in Britain. People have a very specific way they like to make their tea, and they get, some might say, unreasonably upset when someone suggests that it could be done differently. Do you put the milk in before the water? Do you take the tea bag out before adding the milk? Are you a loose leaf tea snob? Everybody has their way, and it’s the only way.

For the record, I add the sugar and the tea bag to the cup while the kettle is boiling, this way the sugar will dissolve more easily in the very hot water. The water should be added within 30 seconds of the kettle clicking off so it’s at maximum heat. Let it steep for two minutes (while you wash dishes), then remove the tea bag, add a splash of glug of milk, give it a quick stir, and enjoy. My husband does it differently. We’re still together, and it’s fine.

Chocolate Orange Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Brits aren’t nearly as fussy about cake from what I can tell. Not that this cake is less than awesome. In fact, it’s pretty damn amazing, and entirely Brit approved. Chocolate Orange Cake tastes exactly like those orange-shaped chocolates you get at Christmas. It’s heavenly.

The brown sugar gives it a deep richness and it stays tender for days, not that it will last that long. It’s simple to make and pleases nearly everyone, even picky British people.

Chocolate Orange Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I love the British. I love tea. And I most especially love this Chocolate Orange Cake. Try to put all three together if you can.

Chocolate Orange Cake
Serves 8
Chocolate Orange Cake is perfect with tea and makes everyone happy.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 150 grams unsalted butter, softened
  2. 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  3. 175 grams dark brown sugar
  4. 150 grams all-purpose flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 25 cocoa powder
  7. 2 eggs
  8. Zest and juice of 1 orange
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 170C (350F) and line a loaf tin with parchment. If you can get those cute loaf tin liners, they work great.
  2. Beat together the the butter, golden syrup, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer for several minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder.
  4. With the mixer on lower, add a big spoonful of the flour mixture followed by an egg and beat until combined. Add another scoop or two of flour and the second egg, and then finally mix in the rest of the dry ingredients.
  5. Scrape down the sides of your bowl, then zest your orange into the batter and squeeze in the orange juice. Give it all one last spin with the mixture until smooth.
  6. Pour the batter into your waiting pan and bake for 40 minutes. It's okay if your cake tester comes out with a few bits.
  7. Allow it to cool before slicing and eating with tea.
Notes
  1. Golden syrup is extremely sticky, but a dab of vegetable oil in your tablespoon will help the syrup pour out more easily.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Sour Cream Scones | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Sour Cream Scones

Sour Cream Scones | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I frequently run out of things to talk about that aren’t food related. For example, the only thing I have on my mind right now is the difference between jam and jelly. I’m so boring.

Sour Cream Scones | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Sour Cream Scones are delicate, delicious, and the perfect vehicle for your favorite jam. If you’re more of a savoury person, these would be perfect as well. I just can’t imagine not saving at least one tender scone to douse in butter and sweet, tart raspberry jam. 

Much like buttermilk biscuits, the slight acidity of the sour cream makes these scones not only more flavourful but also tender and light. It’s like eating a pillow. Scones are best served fresh, in my opinion, so I’ve intentionally made a small batch. I promise, these were all gone in one day.

Sour Cream Scones | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Life can never be boring with Sour Cream Scones. Get on it!

Sour Cream Scones
Yields 6
Sour Cream Scones are delicate, delicious, and the perfect vehicle for your favorite jam.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  3. 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/4 teasoon baking soda
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  7. 3/8 cup cold sour cream
  8. 1-1/2 tablespoons cold water
  9. 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add your chunks of butter and use your fingers to squish the butter and flour together until you have a loose shaggy mixture.
  3. In a separate dish, whisk together sour cream, water, and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix quickly and gently with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until everything starts to stick together.
  4. I build my scones right on my parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle some flour onto the parchment, plop your dough onto the tray, and sprinkle some more flour on top to keep everything from sticking. Gently pat your dough into a rough rectangle until it's about an inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into six pieces. Gently lift each piece to spread it out a bit on the baking tray.
  5. Baking for abut 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve warm with all your favorite jam.
Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson
http://awesomeon20.com/
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