What I Made This Week: Rose Sangria, Tabbouleh, and Banoffee Pie

I have one goal, and one goal only, for this summer: learn to cook. Okay, that, and to read more and make bank so I can continue with my frivolous spending habits (jokes- I'm really responsible with money, I promise).

Next year, I have no choice but to cook in order to eat because I'll no longer be on a meal plan. Yes, indeed, I am having a real-life adult responsibility thrust upon me at a mere 19 years of age. This means I have to be able to fend for myself when it comes to eating so that I don't to succumb to the evils of fast food and pre-made sandwiches (I'm looking at you, Sainsbury's meal-deals).

I consider myself a better-than-average baker, and I like to think my friends and family would agree. From the softest chocolate chip cookies you'll ever eat, to decadent sea-salt caramel brownies, I can pull off nearly any chocolate-based dessert (that's because I eat almost exclusively chocolate baked-goods).

But while my baking is spectacular, I could use some experience with cooking. Or, in this case, 'no-cook' cooking (the best kind!). This week, I tackled three recipes that I had never made before to improve my skills so that I can totally one-up my friends when we move into our flat (once again, completely joking).

In any case, here's what I've been up to in the kitchen this week:

Let's start with drinks, shall we? I'm a big fan of sangria- it's my second favorite drink to order in a Mexican restaurant (after margaritas, of course). I don't love red wine, so this rose-based cocktail was perfect for me. The longer you let the fruit sit in the wine, the better it will taste. That way, the wine achieves a sweeter and fruitier taste, and the fruit becomes infused with the alcohol. Oh, and if you don't know how to make a simple syrup it's just one part water and one part sugar that you bring to a boil in a pan and stir until the sugar dissolves.


You can never go wrong with an Ina Garten recipe! While this recipe makes a whole lot of tabbouleh, it keeps really well in the fridge and can be used as the base for pretty much any type of protein. You can even stuff it inside pita pockets to make it into a portable lunch! The recipe tells you to pour boiling water over the bulgur wheat, then mix with olive oil, lemon, and salt before letting it sit in the bowl. After an hour, the wheat will have completely absorbed the water- it's like magic!

Banoffee Pie

I literally saw this everywhere when I was at school in the UK. At first, I thought it was banana and coffee pie- but it turns out, the 'offee' part is referring to toffee! Pretty classic of me to not understand something that is so distinctively British. Mary Berry is my new favorite chef- my mom got hooked on the Great British Bake Off this winter when it came to PBS in the US, and now I'm obsessed. This lady can bake. And this recipe just proves that- it's easy to follow and results in an absolutely beautiful pie if you do it right. Pro tip: when cooking the toffee, it wont turn fully brown, but more like a light brown color. Also, it's ok if there are little bits in the toffee. Just make sure it doesn't burn!

Sometimes, the best recipes are those that don't require too much effort and are as simple as can be. I mean, as long as it's tasty, does it matter that you didn't slave all day over a hot stove?

Hopefully, I'll be doing more posts like this as I continue to improve my cooking and baking this summer, and throughout next year.

P.S. I post a lot of what I cook, bake, and eat on my Instagram account! I love to annoy my family by making them wait for me to take a picture before we dig in.    


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