Category Archives: Food

Carbs and Electric Blankets – A Journey of Trying

Peasant Bread

Time commitment: 4 hoursIMG_20140207_171904_964
Cost: $18
Ease of activity: 5/10
“Re-pin” Worthiness: 7/10

If only had to eat one thing for the rest of my life it would be bread. Seriously. Carbs are fantastic, and bread goes with just about every meal.

I love baking, but have never actually made my own bread from scratch before. So, as I was browsing through Pinterest I found a recipe that I knew I kneaded to try. (Sorry for that pun, I just couldn’t resist…)

IMG_20140207_193719_265Well, little did I know that there was a reason that I’ve never made bread before: it’s hard.

The recipe I found has only a few ingredients, and mixing them together doesn’t take long. However, having the bread rise was not as easy as it looked. To get the dough to rise I had to cover the bowls with a heated blanket on high for about 45 minutes. Let’s just say that an electric blanket is not on the list of ingredients.IMG_20140207_202617_041

Regardless of the unconventional baking methods, the bread turned out pretty well. There’s almost nothing better than warm, fresh bread and this recipe definitely fit the bill.

It’s not an overly cheap or fast project for the time and money deficient among us, but trying something new was worth it. And having delicious bread at the end of it was rewarding too.

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So I encourage you to look on your Pinterest boards. What is on there that you’ve been dying to try? It may be hard, it may take more time and money than you’d prefer, but jump in anyway. All I’m asking is that you try.

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A BLT, but Better

While Sriracha sauce has been in the news lately for not-so-good reasons, it is still having its moment and I am one of many people who have become obsessed. Specifically, it started with liking spicy mayo with my sushi and evolved into eating it on pretty much everything. When I came across the pin for today’s blog post, I couldn’t help myself.

See, a BLT is my favorite sandwich. I’m not such a fan of eggs, but the allure of spicy mayo on a BLT made me want to try it. Throw in some avocado and I’m a sucker, I just had to.

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Ingredients:
6 slices thick-cut bacon, fried
4 slices whole grain bread, toasted
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)
2 bunches of baby romaine lettuce
1 tomato, sliced + seasoned with salt and pepper
1/2 avocado, sliced + seasoned with salt and pepper
2 eggs, cooked as desired

To spare you a step-by-step tutorial of how to make a sandwich, you toast the bread and then assemble the sandwich. I found that frying the bacon first and then the egg is the best way to keep the warm ingredients from getting cold. Due to my love for spicy mayo, I own a pre-made bottle. The lady in the post uses mayo and sriracha sauce, but I think that’s more expensive and not as easy. My sandwich turned out pretty dang well, but it was a bit messy since the yolk of the egg broke while I was chowing down.

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Time commitment: 15 mins
Cost: Depending on how many ingredients you already have, $10-20
Ease of activity: 9/10
“Re-pin” Worthiness: 10/10

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Snickers Muddy Buddies: Your new favorite Super Bowl snack

Let’s face it. People enjoy Super Bowl Sunday for three reasons: 1) Football 2) Commercials 3) Food.

As the 100 million Super Bowl viewers realized on sunday, sometimes the game itself can be disappointing. The commercials may or may not be funny, the halftime show will be controversial, people will complain that the referees are biased, but the food will always be amazing.

I heard a statistic once that 10 million total hours are spent in food preparation on Super Bowl Sunday. That is equivalent to the number of hours that went into the making the movie Avatar. Let that sink in. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a yummy snack that could be made quickly so we could all spend less time in the kitchen and more time in the living room, arguing about the halftime show and complaining about the refs?

Well, friends, I’m glad you brought it up.

This is a recipe Puppy Chow that I found on Pinterest. It claims to only take 5 minutes. I’d allow for more like 15, but it was still really easy and a really big hit! Here’s the link for the actual pin -> Super Bowl Snack

IMG_4057IMG_4061INGREDIENTS

7 Cups Rice Chex Cereal
12 oz milk, semi-sweet or dark chocolate
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup Snickers bites, chopped

                                  INSTRUCTIONS

Melt chocolate over double boiler.
Pour melted chocolate over Chex cereal, stir until evenly distributed.
Toss chocolate covered cereal with powdered sugar.
Add chopped Snickers and peanuts to mix, allow chocolate to set.

*I also bought a  bag of M&Ms, picked out the team colors of the Seahawks and the Broncos and mixed them in, just to add some color and some festive flair.

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Time Commitment: 15 minutes
Cost: $12
Ease of Activity: 9/10
“Re-pin” Worthiness: 9/10

Overall, this snack will help you kiss those hours of kitchen prep goodbye and have time to go join your party. If you’re going for healthy and cheap, keep looking. However, if you’re looking for yummy and fast, consider this a touchdown.

My New Favorite Snack Dip

What is better than food? I think a lot of you would agree with me that the answer to that question is “not much.” As wonderful as it is, as a college student I fall into a vicious cycle with food. Wake up early, skip breakfast, grab lunch on the go, dinner, snack, snack, snack! I often times find myself with chips, candy, fruit snacks, or other snacks that make me feel gross. One of my goals for 2014 is to add more variety to my food. Pinterest is a great way to do this! The first snack I tried is Garlic Feta dip and oh my word, I love it.

Garlic Feta Dip Image

It’s a little expensive due to the amount of feta used (and the fact that I didn’t own any spices prior to this), but if you have the the other ingredients already, the price isn’t too bad. Here’s what you need:

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. FETA CHEESE
  • 8 oz. CREAM CHEESE
  • 2/3 cup MAYO
  • 4 GARLIC CLOVES, minced (you could use less if you don’t like a lot of garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon DRIED BASIL
  • 1/2 teaspoon DRIED OREGANO
  • 1/4 teaspoon DRIED DILL
  • 1/4 teaspoon DRIED THYME

Like I mentioned before, I didn’t own any of the ingredients before making this snack so it was around $17. If you owned the herbs and garlic, it wouldn’t be nearly that much.

The instructions were pretty simple: “Crumble the feta if it didn’t come already crumbled. Stir together all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Put in a serving dish and chill until you are ready to serve.” At most it took 5 minutes to dump everything in a bowl and mix it up.

Garlic Feta Dip

I love pretzel chips, so I chose to enjoy the creamy dip with those! It is a bit heavy on the garlic, so if you don’t like a lot of garlic, just don’t add as much.

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This is easily one of my new favorite snack dips. I made it over the weekend and I ate it all week!

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The Wild Rice Experiement

baa5f05b37ab8c0c68cbf0344fe72218Chicken Wild Rice Soup is my absolute favorite soup.  I could probably eat in on a daily basis.  I pinned this recipe a while back and finally had the time to try it this week!

The recipe claims that it is “quick and easy,” so I  put that claim to the test.  I am an amateur cook on a small budget and the reason I was drawn to this recipe was because it had only a few ingredients.

4 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package of Rice-a-Roni long grain and wild rice
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
2 cups half and half (I used fat-free half and half)
1 cup grated carrots (I diced mine)
1 cup diced celery

photo 11This recipe is a crock pot recipe but you could easy cook in in a soup pot over low heat.  Place the two chicken breasts, package of rice and seasonings,  chopped carrots and celery, water, and chicken broth into the crock pot and let it cook on high for three hours.  The original recipe says to cook it for four hours but my chicken and veggies were cooked after three hours.

Once the chicken is cooked take it out and shred it with two forks. Return the chicken to the soup. Then melt the stick of butter in a small pot and gradually whisk in the flour, salt, and pepper mixture. Whisk in the cream a little bit at a time until totally incorporated and smooth.  Pour the whole mixture into the crock pot and stir well.

I let the soup cook for a half hour more and then I gave it a try!  It was a little bland, but overall yummy!

photo 13photo 14My favorite part of this recipe was that it was very easy.  I had most of the ingredients on hand already.  I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

What are your thoughts? Any suggestions on what spices would make this soup more interesting?

Relax, It’s Time for Chocolate

Chocolate Peanut Butter 7-Layer Bars

Time commitment: 35mins
Cost: $12
Taste: 7/10
Ease of activity: 9/10
“Re-pin” Worthiness: 8/10

IMG_20140120_182249_755  I think it’s the smell that gets to me. Whenever I get stressed out, I have the overwhelming desire to bake something with chocolate in it. The scent of baking chocolate somehow soothes me into believing I can handle whatever it is I’m overreacting about.

As my last semester of college began, I thought, “You know, who neIMG_20140120_184640_544eds a degree anyway?” When my syllabus shock started to wear off a little, I knew I needed brownies. But not just your grandma’s brownies, something with a little kick to them.

IMG_20140120_183327_824The recipe I’ve linked above is a lovely mix of chocolate and peanut butter that was sure to satisfy my sweet tooth. Or, at the very least, put me in a sugar coma until I was emotionally stable enough to deal with the pile of books on my desk.

It’s a quick and easy recipe that left me with minimal dishes, frustration, and left-overs. It is the perfect recipe for the last minute potluck you inevitably forgot about until the day of. (Or is that just me?)

 So grab your apron, preheat the oven, and relax with some chocolate fumes wafting through the air. IMG_20140120_192523_752

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