11/10/2011 § 1 Comment
Where has the time gone? It’s seems like just the other day I was in high school and my mom and I were running a little vintage dress shop online. When I left for college it became difficult to maintain so it slowly died out. I am happy to report that recently my mom revived the little shop, this time with a mixture of different vintage and antique items. You should take a gander at what’s available.
08/22/2011 § 1 Comment
Yesterday was my 24th birthday.
Honestly, it was one of the best birthdays I’ve had in a long time. I felt a lot of love from family and friends, new and old. The last six months have been an interesting transition, and I often find myself in a frustrated rush to know what’s next. I’m trying hard to slow down and truly enjoy life as it comes. Finally, I think pieces are starting to fall into place and I’m really excited to see what the future holds. Twenty-three was an amazing year full of traveling and new life-changing experiences. My goal is to continue to build on that foundation and make this next year even better. It’s going to be tough, but I know it’s possible.
07/17/2011 § Leave a comment
06/02/2011 § 3 Comments
I’ve created numerous blogs that I’ve never written in and I blame it all on one thing. The introduction. I come up with a name, pick the theme, add a picture and then go to write, and… nothing. I think introductions to blogs box you in. Right now, I can’t be boxed in.
That said, I think it’s finally time for me to properly introduce my[self] blog.
My name is Brooke, and this is Brooke Lauren’s Finest.
I have always questioned my parents logic when I comes to my name. Why not Brooke Lynn? My mom said it never even crossed their minds, so I’m embracing the Lauren.
This is not a food blog [at least I don’t think it’s going to be]. I know it doesn’t appear that way, but initially food was not my intended focus. I’ve just had food on the brain in a very serious way the past couple of months. You see, I’m waiting to hear back on a job offer that has to do with farm to cafeteria programs. It’s an amazing opportunity that would consume the next year of my life if I get it. I should know mid-June, but I’m starting to get antsy.
I just graduated from college in December. Don’t ask me my major, it’s practically worthless and I know that. When I tell people I get a funny look followed by, “What are you going to do with that?”
I got accepted to graduate school recently, but couldn’t rationalize the bill. So, that’s on hold.
I’ve since moved back home and work at a restaurant. I think it makes some of my family member’s blood-curdle. I guess I can understand some of their frustration. I’m just trying to make ends meet.
Moving back home has definitely been an interesting transition that no one really prepared me for. I really hadn’t realized how much some things had changed since I left and how many other things that stayed the same.
It’s strange in a way, [almost] every time I see someone that I know but am not close to, I these two questions:
1.) Are you married yet? Answer: No. Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not even close.
2.) What are your “plans”? As is, you’ve just spent the last four years in college, what in the hell are you going to do with the rest of your life? Answer: I don’t know. That’s right, I said it.
I’m getting used to it now but it’s frustrating at times.
To be quite honest… this blog has about as little focus as my future does. I’m just doing what feels right. I love photography, I love food, I love my family and friends, I love my dog, and I love not having to do homework. Those are some of the things that I know right now. I’m just trying to take it all in, and enjoy it while I can.
Simply put, this blog is just good for me right now.
So… to those of you that have subscribed, thank you! I hope you’ll stick with me as I figure things out. If I’m lucky, maybe I can help provide some inspiration along the way.
05/11/2011 § 3 Comments
If you stand back, cross your eyes and squint a little, it almost looks like a Pollock painting; minus the corner of course.
The road to mastering the art of pizza making (or baking in general) has been a slow and rocky one for me. When I was in college my roommate Jackie and I went through a bit of pizza phase and I got pretty decent at making a pie. Unbeknownst to me, I’ve since lost my pizza-bilities.
I’ve been experimenting with different techniques and lately my go to gals for everything cooking have been Heidi Swanson and Deb of Smitten Kitchen. Any time I have an ingredient and I don’t know what to do with it, I check their recipe indexes first before looking elsewhere. They’ve both officially made it to my ‘bookmark bar’. ANYWAYS, the other day I came across Smitten Kitchen’s section on pizza, so I figured I’d give the whole baking thing another go. She makes it look so easy that it’s really hard to resist.
What you see above is a culmination of a couple of different recipes (I’m a notorious recipe tweaker) and some ingenuity. I use the term “pizzaster” lightly, because it actually came out tasting really good. However about half-way through the cooking process I had to add more sauce and cheese. Oops! Let’s just say, I need a little practice.
dough recipe: For the dough I used SK’s recipe almost exactly.
1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. Not sure I would do that again, upon reflection)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (+1 tablespoon because it was a little dry)
1 tablespoon olive oil (in this case all I had was a canola+olive oil blend, but I don’t think that’s a problem)
To find out how to make the dough look here.
I really have very little experience making dough and I don’t think I properly knead it… My dough was pretty tough and took quite a bit of manipulation to get it to stay still on the baking sheet. I also forgot to dust the pan with cornmeal prior to rolling the pizza out. So, that was fun trying to fix.
toppings: you can make this with whatever your little heart desires.
On hand I had Yukon Gold potatoes, vidalia onion, and white mushrooms. As a base I made a mixture of 3 tablespoons of alfredo sauce and a little bit of oil. I could have gone a little heavier with the amount of toppings, but what I had did the job. I also topped with some spinach and mozzarella cheese and rosemary.
I set my oven to 400 and let that bad boy cook for about 15 minutes.
Here’s where the disaster part came about: The spinach crisped up like dried leaves. So those had to go asap. Also it was very dry and the cheese was getting crispy. Discontent with the result, I turned the oven off and was about to say the hell with it! But, I decided to throw on some more alfredo and cheese one top and set it in the oven for a few minutes.
VOILA, it turned out really well and my mom is a big fan.
Not so bad after-all.