A How-to on Cooking in College!

Latest

Pre-Game Boost

smoothie

I have recently moved to the Greater Los Angeles Area and between moving-in, getting acquainted with the city, and cooking I have not had time to find a gym which suits my needs. In the meantime, I have taken advantage of my furniture-less living room and created an exercise space where I work out to the videos of my NikeTraining application. Upon completion of a 45 minute workout this afternoon, the app provided me with a delicious recipe for a smoothie! And I thought it was simply too good to not share.

The ingredients are pretty basic and I think it appeals to most palettes.

INGREDIENTS:
4-5 strawberries
handful of raspberries
1 banana
3-4 fresh pineapple slices (or 1/2 can)
4oz of orange juice
ice cubes

Throw it all into a blender and you are ready to go!

Advertisements

It’s All About The Open-Face

Good Afternoon College Cookers!! Today is certainly a day when the fridge is famished, my stomach is rumbling, and my wallet is crying to not be opened!! Sound familiar?? Well, I do happen to have a few ingredients in the freezer and I came up with my own version of an open-faced salmon sandwich.

sandwich

Fish, poultry, beef, tofu.. it is always good to buy a bag of these cooking essentials and keep them in the refrigerator for days like today, when you can’t get to the grocery store and really don’t want to leave your apartment.

As you may have discovered by now, my palette is fond of variety! So here we will combine Indian, Italian, and Mediterranean ingredients to create another wonderful but simple treat.

INGREDIENTS:
Salmon (at Trader Joe’s you can buy frozen salmon already marinated, which I’m using for the recipe)
Pepper
Tandoori Naan (also buy frozen at Trader Joe’s)
Mixed Greens
Olive Oil
Tzatziki Sauce (or plain greek yogurt)

This is definitely a 10-minute meal!! If you have a toaster oven, place the Naan inside, otherwise, use the toaster. Grill the salmon on a frying pan for roughly 8-12 minutes, or until the skin is a golden brown color. When the bread is done, place on plate, add about 2 tbsp yogurt/sauce, add about a handful of green

You Say Tomato..

tomato sandwich

I have recently moved into a new apartment and unfortunately have to wait 2 more days until my stove gets turned on. For now, I have had no choice but to become more creative in the kitchen! So here is a healthy snack I have made up in the meantime. It is made with real ingredients, fresh veggies, and items you don’t even have to heat up!

INGREDIENTS:
whole wheat multigrain bread
1 large heirloom tomato (any tomato will work, but there is nothing better than a juicy ripe heirloom tomato)
1 VERY ripe avocado
pepper
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion
*tapatio is you want*
fresh basil

Toast your bread. In the meantime, thinly slice the heirloom tomato and avocado which you will put on top of your bread. Once toasted, place the veggies on top, and lightly drizzle some olive oil. I suggest sprinkling some fresh ground pepper just to give this open-faced sandwich a little bit of a kick, otherwise feel free to throw on some Tapatio.

In just minutes you will have yourself a delightful snack! Filling, scrumptious, and you didn’t even have to open your stove! Don’t forget to get yourself some fresh basil, it is the supreme final touch to a healthy meal.

For the full-time cookers, and those that enjoy the smell of plants, I highly suggest buying yourself a little basil plant at your local grocery store. I have a very small one sitting on my counter top. It smells great, adds some decor to the kitchen, and I can never complain that I don’t have basil, especially when you are craving a caprese! yum! All it needs is a little bit of sunshine and some water.

Sausage Bolognese

sausage

Compliments of my friend Chef Mancini, this recipe is a special treat that he created in his kitchen and is one of the few common Italian recipes his mother never made for him! With a bit of creativity and spontaneous combination, Chef has found the perfect recipe for a unique bolognese dish!

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Italian Sausage
1 large carrot
2-3 sticks of Celery
1 Red Onion
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
Basil
3 cans of crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
pepper
1/2 bottle of red wine
1 mini can of tomato paste
approx 2(T) sugar
Basil

INSTRUCTIONS:
This recipe calls for a slow/low-temp cooking. Take the sausage out of its casing and mix it with the beef. Preferably prepare the meal in a dutch oven, but any oven will due. Set to a temperature of approx (250F). Allow for the fat and natural oils to fall into pan. Take the meat out and marinate the veggies (after dicing them) in the fats and oils, meanwhile add the paste and the rest of the ingredients.

Cook on low and stir constantly. It is important to keep your eye on this dish because the sugar will burn if left at the bottom of the pan for too long. You want to sweat the garlic until translucent.

Buon Appetit!

Moroccan Me

moroccan chicken

This takes some time, patience, and planning, but it is a delightful treat, especially if you have a palette for flavor!

Here is what you will need:
Sliced Almonds
Non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Shredded Chicken Breast
Wild Rice/Wheat Rice
Canned Roasted Tomatoes with Peppers
Garlic Cloves (preferably already marinated)
1 large yellow onion
Thyme
Ground Pepper
Salt
Oregano
Olive Oil
L.O.V.E..

Ready?? Alright let’s get cooking….

Take a frying pan and generously cover it with olive oil (it’s better for you than butter, and it will bring more flavor. Meanwhile, get a small pot and empty the canned tomatoes, bring it to cook on low (it will slowly warm up as you prepare the rest of the meal. if you are cooking for more than 2 people I suggest 2 or three cans).

Slice the onions (pouring about 1/4 cup into the warming tomato mix). Also place a generous amount of garlic in the pot (if you are a TRUE garlic lover, as I am, sometimes the recipe can call for a whole half of a garlic bulb.)

If you have not purchased pre-cooked rice, place the rice in a boiling pot of water (I trust you can take it from there).

Did I mention this recipe calls for some multi-tasking?

Anyways, let’s get to the good stuff. You are going to want to wash your chicken, and then I like to put it into a tupper-ware of some sort (it makes it easier to marinate). You are then going to add about 1/2 cup of olive oil, a 1/3 cup of sliced onions, as much pepper as you personally would like, 1/8 cup of oregano & thyme (be generous with the herbs they need to be absorbed) and place the lid on the tupperware and shake it up! After your chicken seems to be fully marinated place in frying pan. Cook until skin is golden-brown (approx. 5-6 minutes on each side.)

By this time your sauce should be warm, your rice should be cooked, and your stomachs should be almost ready.

Once the chicken is cooked to your liking. Place a serving of rice on your plate. Gently blanket the chicken on top and then about 3-4 large spoonfuls of tomato sauce should be added to the left and right sides of the chicken.

Now for the toppings.

About 2 Tablespoons of Greek Yogurt should be dolloped on top and then sprinkle however many almonds you would like.

Bon Appetit!!

Remember, all of these recipes I concocted in my spare time, so if the portion sizes or directions are too difficult to follow it is simply because I am used to cooking without measuring!! I hope you have created a successful meal for yourselves! Enjoy and be proud that you just learned something new to cook!

Mo’ Cheddar Please

I have received this recipe as compliments to my dear friend, the Culinary King.
If you like burgers, and you LOVE cheese, then this is the ideal recipe for you. Whether you are having a tail-gate party or cooking for two, this recipe will make you drool..

STUFFED/TOPPED CHEDDAR BURGERS:

2lbs 80/20 Sirloin
As much cheddar cheese as you can handle (both shredded and sliced)
Worchestire Sauce
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Pepper
Salt

Form the big bottom patty, mixing ingredients generously in a bowl. This is a type of recipe where serving sizes or amounts go out the window, and you only cook by feeling. After forming burger, place small ball amount of shredded cheddar in the middle and a slice of chedder cheese on top. Grill on the BBQ.

*Compliments of Culinary King*

Kitchen Creations

playdoh

A kitchen is more than a resource for creating decadent and delicious meals, it should be a place where you have fun and take a break from your hectic schedule. That being said, I have decided to make today’s blog post about making your own playdoh! Remember playdoh?! How could you not? It was fun, creative, and the best part was feeling the doh squeeze through your fingers, as you just destroyed your brothers “spaghetti” dish that he spent 20 minutes squeezing through the playdoh pasta machine!

When I was young my mom used to buy me tons of playdoh, but we also made a lot of it! So I would like to share the recipe with you because it is just as simple as all of my others…..

INGREDIENTS:
3 Cups of flour
1 1/2 cup of salt
6 teaspoons of cream of tarter
3 Cups of water
3 tablespoons of oil

Mix dry ingredients in saucepan
Add wet ingredients while stirring over low heat
Continue cooking until thickens and pulls away from the side of the pan–will be very lumpy at first!
Knead to cool, and store in an airtight container. I like to keep it in the refrigerator–it lasts longer that way.

Add food coloring while cooking (bright oranges, red, maybe some blue!)
May add scent if you like..I like to add peppermint or orange extract!
I also add glitter if the kids want it.

Local Produce Poll:

Eating local produce is healthier because…surveys
local produce

Time for Rum!

rum cake

Need to bring dessert to a friend’s party? Want a delicious recipe & something simple? Want to include alcohol in your cooking?! If yes, then this RUM CAKE recipe is just for you..

Ingredients for Cake:
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar

Although the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of rum I usually put in about 3/4-1 cup!

Make your own glaze:
In a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup rum.

Directions:
– Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over the bottom of the pan.
– In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in the eggs, 1/2 cup water, oil and 1/2 cup rum. Blend well.
– Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto serving plate. Brush glaze over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze and repeat until all glaze is used.
– I also like to use a spoon when applying glaze and lightly puncture slits in the top of the cake and pour the glaze into them. That way the glaze has a chance to really soak through the cake. The moister the better!!

Appeteasers..

proscuitto

Spring is around the corner, and the only thing on my mind is warm sunshine, blossoming flowers, and delicious finger foods. I went to an adorable Italian restaurant in Boston’s North End this weekend (Gennaro’s 5 North Square) and the appetizer I order was simply divine! It was easy to recreate, and perfect for when you are in between meals.

Prosciutto Wrapped Figs with Goat Cheese-

Ingredients:
6 Figs
1/2 small package of mild goat cheese
1/4 pound prosciutto
honey

Directions:

Remove stems from figs. Using a small sharp knife open up the fig from the top to about the middle with an X-cut. Place a small amount of goat’s cheese into the opening. Wrap the fig with a piece of prosciutto and secure with a tooth pick.

Place figs on a baking sheet, drizzle honey over them and put under the broiler just until prosciutto starts to sizzle. You only want to warm these up and melt the cheese just a bit. These are sweet and salty, creamy and gooey.

(recipe compliments of Herbal Gardens: http://www.herbalgardens.com/articles/fig-appetizer.html)

Delicious Dip

dip

Easy. Quick. Delicious.

The other day I had an amazing cheese & cracker plate at a Local Cafe in Cambridge, and I just had to share the recipe.

1 tub of cream cheese (8oz approx.)
1 – 1tsbp curry powder
2 sliced apricots

Circus Salad

salad

I like to call this a circus salad because it involves a ton of tasty ingredients and is an explosion of flavor in your mouth. For those who want to be healthy and don’t care about red meat or fish, THIS salad is the perfect afternoon delight!

Ingredients:
Mixed Green Lettuce
Craisins
Feta Cheese
Chicken Breast
Snow peas
Onion
Olive Oil
Soy Ginger Vinaigrette (*optional, but highly recommended)
(or for vegetarians: replace chicken breast with 1 scrambled egg)

Alright, so this salad may require a bit of effort but this will be the best investment, especially for your taste buds!

Marinate the about 2-3 strips of chicken breast in a soy ginger vinaigrette for approximately 10-15minutes add in salt & pepper (as much as you like), meanwhile, chop an onion into small square pieces and place in a seperate pan (heat on low and covered with about 4Tbs olive oil) and put in the onions and snowpeas (about a handful).

put the salad in a bowl and add: craisins & feta cheese… after slowly cooking the onions and peas for about 5 minutes add all ingredients to the salad bowl and let your taste buds be amazed!