Monday, October 25, 2010

Thursday Fiests: October

This year, my girlfriends and I started the tradition of Thursday night dinners. Sometimes we stay in and make food, and sometimes we go out in search of new restaurants in the city. This past Thursday, I wanted to try a recipe I found in October's Bon Appetit magazine. It looked a lot harder than anything I'd made before, but I really wanted to tackle it. Four hours and several sliced fingers later... ta-da!
Click Here to try it!

Ok, so this is clearly not my picture but I couldn't get a great one while cooking and I was having too good of a time with my friends to worry about capturing it. Even though I spent hours in the kitchen that I should have spent writing a paper, it was well worth it. My friends raved about this dish the entire evening, and not gonna lie I did a pretty damn good job. I think I'll appreciate homemade pasta way more now after making it myself. The only bad thing about this recipe when it comes to college cooking is it called for a potato ricer. (I still don't really know what that is.) But with a little Google searching I decided that it looked like a garlic press for turning potato into pasta, so I ended up chopping the potato into little cubes and pushing it through our garlic press. Time consuming but it got the job done. Another key to this recipe is in the Parmesan. I made sure to get the freshest grated Parm possible, and it definitely made a difference. So, if you have a day with not much to do and are feeling ambitious, I certainly recommend you try this out! The final product is rewarding and absolutely worth the effort.

Oh, and to top it all off, why not a four layer pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting?
We might need to institute Friday night gym dates next...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Perfectly Seasonal Apple Cider Syrup

Another simple recipe I'd like to share, and a favorite from my childhood - my mother's apple cider syrup. I can't get enough apple cider come fall. This syrup is easy to make and, in my opinion, far better than maple syrup which, as a native New Yorker accustomed to fresh-off-the-tap maple syrup, says a lot. This apple cider syrup is super easy and tastes great with apple pancakes (seen above). It makes three cups so with one batch of pancakes there should be half left over. I'm thinking it would also be great on some sort of apple dessert with vanilla ice cream... mmmmm my sweet tooth is swelling just thinking about it. Look for that recipe to come.

Apple Cider Syrup
Makes: 3 cups  Prep: 10 minutes  Total: 15 minutes 

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons baking mix (Bisquick)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups fresh apple cider
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup butter
    Mix dry ingredients in pot, then add cider and lemon. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for one minute, then immediately remove from heat and add butter.

    Grilled Eggplant Bagel Sandwich

    If you like eggplant, you'll love this easy recipe. I, for one, love eggplant, but have a hard time putting it to use. In my opinion it's one of the most underrated vegetables (well, fruit if you wanna get technical). It is the steak of produce; tough, meaty and full of flavor. So after purchasing an eggplant with no idea as to what I would do with it, I got a little creative. I present to you... the Grilled Eggplant Bagel Sandwich.

    Takes about 15 minutes to prepare. Begin by lightly coating a medium saucepan with olive oil (this is important or else the eggplant will get too greasy, an olive oil mister works best) and lay down three 1-inch slices of eggplant on the pan. Cook at medium heat until golden and firm. In the meantime, slice several pieces of fresh mozzarella cheese and one large roasted red pepper (cut one side and lay flat). Place the mozzarella on top of the eggplant and cook until slightly melted. Next, remove from heat and assemble on a toasted bagel.* First lay down the eggplant, then drape the red pepper on top. Now throw it on a George Forman and get it extra toasty. Remove at desired toastiness and serve with Stacey's Pita Chips and a cup of butternut squash soup.

    *(What made this sandwich so great was a multigrain New Jersey bagel my roommates brought back with them after their trip home. NY/NJ bagels are known for their fluffiness. However, if you don't have time for a trip to the Dirty Jerz, any bagel will do.)

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Food Beginnings

    In the time that it's taken me to create this blog, my roommate and her boyfriend have stormed into the kitchen in our modest university apartment and scoured the fridge for desirable lunch options. After rummaging through the pantries for fifteen minutes, the disgruntled boyfriend finally settled on an unappetizing selection of frozen mystery meat from our campus on-the-go food service, and unbeknownst to him, provided me with the perfect impetus for my first post.

    Food has always been a central aspect of my well-being. Growing up, family gatherings included excessive homemade feasts, resulting in the ordinary heap of leftovers. I sat down with my parents and siblings every night to a well-prepared meal as we cycled through the events of our day. Once I moved away to college, I quickly learned that this is not the norm in most American households these days. In our fast-paced society, people don't have time to prepare good quality food or even enjoy what they eat anymore. My goal is to prove that it's possible to create delectable meals, even while balancing classes, exams, a job, clubs and a typical college social life. Whether you're throwing a dinner party for your friends, baking a cake for a loved one's birthday, or just trying to make breakfast without breaking the bank, good eating is easy.

    My plan is to post several times a week about recipes I've found or created, and recommend new food to try. I'm not a chef, and I'm not in culinary school. I'm just your average college undergrad who loves to cook and share food with her friends. I do, however, have a dream of one day creating my own catering company, so if you have any feedback as to what looks good or what to improve on, feel free to share. (I'll try to post pictures of the food I share to make this blog more aesthetically enticing, but since all I have currently is a camera phone stick with me until I invest in a higher quality camera.)

    On that note, I've got midterms to study for. Stay tuned for my first featured recipe!
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