Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Chicken Tacos

Taco night is a thing around here about once a week, as is guac. I usually make beef ones, with the little seasoning packets from Publix, but it's just as easy to make your own seasoning, and chicken is a nice change at times.

This smells so good OMG.
This recipe starts, as all good recipes do should, by sauteeing onions. It's the best way to start anything and I love it. 

Does raw meat freak you out? I understand.
I made a lot of chicken, so feel free to scale this one down, or feed your roommates. Make them do dishes, though. Tell them I said so. It's what I do. If I was you, I'd serve this one with this guac and lots of salsa. I was out of salsa when I made this, so that didn't happen.

Anyway, happy taco-ing!

Chicken Tacos
1/4 cup red onion, roughly chopped
1.5 lbs chicken breasts, cut in half inch cubes
4 tbsp olive oil (or vegetable oil, it's your call)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
tortillas, guac, salsa, and anything else you need to make tacos awesome

  1. Saute the onion in 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat until it's soft.
  2. While this is happening, toss the chicken cubes with the remaining oil and all of the spices. I used my hands, but you can use a spoon if raw meat bothers you.
  3. Add the chicken to the pan, and cook it, stirring occasionally, until it is white all the way through.
  4. Remove the chicken from the heat and serve it however you want. On tacos, in quesadillas, in burrito bowls, plain, in lettuce wraps, on salad, etc. The possibilities are endless.

I ate mine on tacos with guac, which is not particularly appetizing. It's yummy, I promise.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Study Food

Hello fellow students,

If you're taking summer classes, finals are quickly approaching (I KNOW.), so you're probably going to be pulling some looooooooong hours in the library (why must this be necessary?). So like, what are you going to be eating during that awfulness? That depends. What kind of study session is it going to be? The kind where you know that if you study you'll secure your A in the class and it'll be fine? Or is it the kind where you'll be doing a lot of crying? I've been through both of those, and I can help.

For either type, you need protein and healthy fats to keep you alert and energetic. I'm a big fan of hummus, guac, and chicken salad, but as always, do yo own thang.

The fact that my tea is "trenta" size should tell you what type of study session this was
If it's going to be a long study session, get some caffeine. I like Starbucks, more specifically black tea lemonade. However, it's really important that you don't overload on caffeine because after a certain point, especially when you're sleep deprived, it can be detrimental to memory function. Also, try not to get anything too loaded with sugar because that can make you sluggish after a certain point, and goodness knows we don't want that.

If it's one of the chill study sessions, I like to eat Goldfish. If it's awful, I eat M&M's for a sugar rush/reward/sign that life doesn't totally suck.

I'm in Physics lecture here, studying Biochem. Whoop.

I'm literally ALWAYS a fan of Juicy Juice, so like drink it whenever you want it. It's great because it gives a little mini-sugar rush and there's not the awkward caffeine crash after. I. LOVE. This. Stuff. Nectar of the gods.

Anyway, study hard, chickadees! We'll get through this.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Curried Chicken Salad

I'm going to apologize in advance for the lack of pictures in this post. If we're all being honest here, chicken salad is not a photogenic recipe. However, what it lacks in aesthetic, it makes up for in flavor.

Chicken salad is sort of great. It's quick and easy, but also can be really tasty. I make it like once a week. Or more. Or everyday. Don't judge.

I use canned chicken because it's easy and cheap. You can buy a rotisserie chicken if you want to, but that's just not my style right now. Hello, college.

Don't let the curry in this recipe freak you out, it adds a unique spice and flavor. It also lends itself well to grapes, raisins, or apples, if any of those appeal to you, but I'm not really a fan of fruit in my chicken salad. As always, make it your own.

I ate it off of croissants because they make me feel classy. I also made two sandwiches because I bought the little baby croissants from Publix and I'm a hungry girl. Also, two sandwiches look better when you're taking pictures for your invisible internet friends. I've eaten this stuff on everything from lettuce to chips though, so, you do you.

Curried Chicken Salad
1 can chicken (I like the white meat stuff)
2 tbsp mayo
1 stalk celery, chopped
roughly the same amount onion, chopped (I think it's like 1/8 cup or some weird amount like that)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp garlic powder (or about 1/8 tsp of fresh minced garlic but I was out)
1/4 tsp curry powder
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

  1. Combine all ingredients and smush together.
  2. Serve on croissants, bread, chips, tomato, lettuce.....whatever your heart desires.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

What Should I Eat?

This feature will be discussing restaurants in Gainesville, where I attend school.

Yes, I'm eating a popsicle in my car. It's not that weird.
Hey there, happy popsicle week. Did you know that was a thing? I didn't. But it is, and if you're in Gainesville, celebrate by going over to the Hyppo. They're slowly taking over the town with three locations; downtown, Butler Plaza, and midtown.

The pops are delightful, with fun, fresh, fruity flavors like Watermelon Hibiscus. The one above (my fave) is Key Lime. It's tangy and creamy and just really wonderful.

The shops are super cute too. I didn't take pictures because I wasn't sure if that was okay? Bottom line: get over to the Hyppo. Celebrate popsicle week. Treat yo self (if you get that reference, we'll be friends). The pops are $3-$5, which is sort of expensive for a popsicle, but it's definitely worth it at least once. 

Happy eating!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Spiritual Experience Guacamole

Upon trying this guac, one of my friends (who admittedly doesn't even like guacamole) announced, "This is the closest I've come to a spiritual experience." With an endorsement like that, how could you not want to make it?

Yes, I did use a red bowl for the aesthetic. Because we're all about looking good around here (queue laughs from anyone who has ever seen me in an 8am class). Unfortunately, these are Florida avocados, despite the fact that I like Hass better. But Florida ones were on sale and I'm not here to spend extra money on what is essentially the same thing (ONLY BETTER). Anyways.

Also, how do you pick a ripe avocado? Thanks for asking, lovely. I'm sure you've seen the Buzzfeed video or a thingy on Pinterest, but let me tell you what I do: I literally squeeze it and ask myself if I can mash it up without too much pain. So yeah.

A rainbow of flavor

I added corn because WOW, it's delicious this year. So summery. So sweet. And it adds a nice crunch.

Emeril's Essence, while not essential, makes this so much better. You could substitute paprika, I guess, but you're missing out on so much flavor.

My hands are weird, sorry
The above is how I cut up my cilantro. You could just do it by hand with a knife and cutting board, but it takes forever and I'm just really not about that. So, what I do is put the cilantro into a glass and just cut with scissors (or kitchen shears, but God only knows where mine are. maybe wash your scissors first.) until the cilantro is little. It's like you're your own food processor. Lovely.

Life- changing Guacamole
2 Florida avocados (or 4 Hass)
1/4 cup cilantro, snipped/cut
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 ear fresh corn, off the cob
1/2 cup tomato, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (depending on your spicy tolerance)
1/2 tsp salt (or more, depending on your taste)
1/4 tsp Essence
1/4 cup Miracle Whip (or mayo, if you must)
juice of 1/2 a lime

  1. Mash the avocados with a fork.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.
  3. Taste it and make sure you like it. Adjust amounts of spices accordingly.
  4. Serve with literally anything. Chips. Tacos. Burrito bowls. Chicken. Ice cream (maybe not that). Feel better about life. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

On My Shelf

I've decided that this blog will be a semi-weekly deal, with me sharing a recipe once a week, and a food related, but recipe-free post once a week. Enjoy!

My lovelies
I have heard conflicting things about cookbooks from other food people. Some love them, while others insist that they inhibit kitchen creativity. I think you can guess which camp I'm in. For goodness sake, I'm hoarding copies of Southern Living from like 2008. Sorry not sorry. Today we'll be going on a quick walking tour of my cookbook shelf.

I feel a little silly posting about these three, all from Emeril's line of books for children. However, they were my first three cookbooks and I believe inspired my love for cooking. These are perfect for kids. Easy recipes, but not so dumbed-down that they lose flavor. There's good food here, I promise.

When people know you love the kitchen, you get lots of cookbooks as gifts. Or you steal them from your parents' shelf, which is where I got Top Secret Restaurant Recipes. I haven't made anything from that one, but am intrigued by the idea of creating restaurant food twins at home. The Deceptively Delicious books are great if you're trying to get veggies into your diet without actually eating plain carrots. They teach you to integrate vegetable/fruit purees into normal recipes. Cooking Light has a lot of yummy, easy, healthier stuff. I haven't used Cuisine a Latina yet, but one day.

I. Love. Disney. That's probably enough information, but despite being hella expensive, these books are wonderful. Lots of upscale recipes. So, why not make fancy food endorsed by Mickey Mouse? It's a great idea.

Um, yeah. I sort of have a baking obsession. Demolition Desserts is definitely not a beginner cookbook, but the others are. All of the cake mix books are great if you're short on time but want to make cakes that taste perfectly homemade. Great for a college student!

Last, but in no way least, we have cookbooks from my two favorite food bloggers, Joy the Baker and Jessica from How Sweet It Is. These ladies are honestly so talented. They're like blog goals and life goals, rolled into one. I've made several recipes from all of these, as well as their blogs, and have never been disappointed. Seriously, check them out when you can.

I wish I could say those are all my cookbooks, but their are a few at my parents house somewhere that just didn't make it to college with me. I have a problem. At least I'll admit it, right?

Do you have a favorite cookbook or food blog not talked about here? Please let me know so I can hoard more books and stare at more pretty food.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Spaghetti and Garlic Bread

Hi there! We're kicking off the new blog with a very traditional recipe. Who didn't grow up with spaghetti?

My goal with this blog is to create recipes that are simple enough and easy enough to follow that any other college student can make them.

This garlic bread can solve all your problems. I promise. Didn't do so hot on that exam? Bad break up? Extra homework on a long weekend? Did a frog jump in your car while you were buying groceries? (yes, this happened. I panicked.) Deep breaths. Eat some garlic bread.

Not pictured: my laptop blasting "Arrested Development"
Spaghetti & Garlic Bread
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup onion, chopped (I used red for the looks, but you do you)
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 lb ground beef
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
cooked spaghetti

Garlic Bread
1 loaf French bread
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp oregano
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

  1. Cook onion and celery in the olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they are soft. This took about 5 minutes for me.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add beef and cook until brown, stirring to break up any chunks.
  4. Add all the tomatoes and water, bring to a simmer.
  5. Simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Serve with spaghetti in desired ratio.
  1. Slice the bread in horizontal slices.
  2. Mash together the garlic and spices using a fork.
  3. Spread on bread, then sprinkle with the cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Happy cooking!