Monday, May 30, 2016

Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

School's Out!! Summer's Here!  Sorry for the May absence, but sometimes life can get away from you! The exciting stuff certainly happens,i.e. graduations, summer jobs, traveling abroad, falling in love, post-graduate work--but, oftentimes, it is the tedious errands and day-to-day tasks (not necessarily important) we are all at risk of falling victim to!

Literally, slow down and smell the coffee and make sure you pick some strawberries, hit a few farmer's markets, grow some herbs, and get outside! Try this super awesome recipe for college students to ensure a warm homecoming or make someone's day with a homemade treat--you only need the pan you bake it in--perfect for college cooking!

(Great concoction from The Smitten Kitchen--doesn't get any simpler to spoil yourself!)

Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

8" x 8" pyrex baking dish / baking pain
Parchment paper

1 cup of rolled old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup of flour plus 2 Tbls of flour
1/2 cup of light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbls of butter, melted
1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbls lemon juice
1 Tbls sugar, divided
1 cup small diced rhubarb
1 cup small diced strawberries
Powdered sugar

1. Wash your hands and fruit.
2. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.
3. If you have it, line the pan with parchment paper.
4. Combine oats, flour, light brown sugar, salt and melted butter in pyrex dish until clumpy. 

5. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture.
6. Flatten the remaining mixture into the pan as your base.

7. Add half of the fruit. Sprinkle cornstarch, lemon juice and half of the sugar.

8. Add remaining fruit and half of sugar before crumbling 1/2 cup of oat mixture on top.

9. Bake 35-40 minutes at 375F degrees until crisp. 

Let cool in fridge before dusting with powdered sugar and sharing.

Even your mom will ask for this recipe!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Spaghetti DeepDish 4 College Cooking

Finding new ways to have traditional meals is always fun and great for putting a twist into dinner.

I have seen this concept of a "spaghetti pie" on multiple occasions, but when I realized how darn easy it was to make (and super delicious) seemed perfect for college cooking!! Let's go!

Spaghetti DeepDish

12" Springform (or plain old pyrex rectangle)
Large mixing bowl
Large skillet

1 lb ground hamburger or sirloin
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb spaghetti, cooked al dente and drained
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup ricotta
1 cup mozzarella, divided half
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper
1-2 Tbls freshly chopped parsley (optional)

1. Wash your hands.
2. Preheat oven to 350F degrees and spray your pan with non-stick PAM.
3. Saute onions until translucent.

4. Add meat, garlic, 1 tsp salt, and ground pepper. Brown meat. Set aside.

5. Boil and drain pasta. Drizzle with oil. Set aside.

6. In a large mixing bowl, add marinara, ricotta, 50% mozzarella, parmesan, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

7. Add pasta and cooled meat mixture.

8. Stir well and pour into the prepared form.

9. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and a little extra parmesan.

10. Bake at 350F degrees x 25-30 minutes until top is golden brown.

Always try to invite a few friends for this dish. Prep some extra marinara sauce and parmesan for sprinkling! Add awesome Garlic Bread or a simple salad.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Day 1 NYC

Travelling this week to foodie heaven: NEW YORK! No recipes to post, but hopefully a few suggestions and pics!

1. Russ & Daughters

Family-owned since 1914. 
Consistently rated above other shops which makes the short and easy subway ride from downtown evenmore worth the effort.

2. Nathan's Hot Dogs
Since 1916. Make the trek to Coney Island along the 'F' line which practically drops you onto the boardwalk to sample this taste of Americana!

Normally, I hardly ever have hotdogs, but we are talking Nathan's Hot Dogs at the place of origin!

3. Coney Island Wall Art
Dont miss the 'Coney Island Wall Art' on your way to the boardwalk. Pretty cool stuff developing. The pics below were a few finished pieces set to be featured Summer 2016.

4. Brooklyn Bridge Park
On your way home from Coney Island, head over to the Brooklyn Bridge Park where you can soak up great city views and Instagram-to-your-hearts-content! 

But...before you leave after roaming the incredible path along the river, stop by @thebrooklynicecreamfactory to nourish your aching muscles from the mileage and calories you are logging (and burning)!

5. Don Antonio's at Starita
After walking over 18,000 steps, or approx 7 miles, today...I just wanted simple and good! Found this recommendation from @tastingtable on @instagram. 

Totally worth the endless stairs of the Metro and walking all day--eat your way thru a city--best thing!! We shared most bites in order to sample everything!

All said and done: 19,354 Steps / 8.08 miles with phenomenal eats and sites along the way! 

Day 1 NYC. Check!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Strawberries Delight

Strawberries are simply awesome--stand alone sweet or combined with other flavors--these little bites make for an easy snack or light dessert! In other words, ideal for college cooking and college living especially when the farmer's markets start opening for business. Try seeing which fruits you can get during prime season to make your meals (and eating) bursting with flavor (and nutrition).

The recipe I am posting below was listed on the last page of Cooking Light May 2016 edition--almost like a side note or after-thought or space-filler--but what an idea for anyone trying to keep desserts simple, clean and healthy without sacrificing deliciousness and cravings. 

Additionally, this hidden gem of a recipe identified a simple way to ensure common leftover ingredients like low-fat sour cream do not go to waste, but instead, get incorporated as a component to making your fruit salad "sing"--multi-use in other words!  Add a few small chocolate chip cookies and you are good to go!

Would recommend less sugar when the berries are sweet...maybe none at all!)

Strawberry Delight

Large bowl 
Paring knife
Mixing bowl

1 lb of rinsed, hulled and quartered strawberries
3 Tbls of sugar or use Vanilla Agave syrup
1/2 tsp grated orange rind
2-3 Tbls of orange juice
1-2 basil or mint leaves, finely chopped (optional)

Dipping Sauce:
7 Tbls reduced-fat sour cream or greek yoghurt
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbls sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Wash your hands and the strawberries. 
2. Prep your fruit.
3. Add sugar, orange rind and orange juice to the strawberries. Let stand x 20 min.

4. Prep your dipping sauce by combining sour cream, whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla.

6. Enjoy the sun in your mouth today!