Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Oh my gosh you guys.
So. As of late, if you invite me to your apartment, there's about a 87% chance that I'll end up a) sleeping, b) studying, c) cooking, or, in the case of my best friend's apartment this weekend, d) all three. Yeah. I'm a lot of fun.

Yes, this is going into the potatoes.
While these might not sound like ideal weekend plans or make me seem like the most fun friend to have around, sometimes it results in fantastic things like these sweet potatoes.

Um, yeah. I'm in love with them. Basically, it's fall now, so you can brace yourself for too many a lot of sweet potato recipes up in here. They smell and taste like Thanksgiving to me, and I love them.

Best friends that cook together stay together.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
4 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup pecans, chopped (or at least broken up)

  1. Poke holes into the potatoes with a fork, then bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on how big they are).
  2. Allow the potatoes to cool slightly until they are still warm but you can handle them.
  3. Slice each potato down the middle, but not all the way through. You want to keep the "shells" intact.
  4. Scoop out the "meat" of each potato into a bowl, mash with a fork.
  5. Add half the butter, all of the maple syrup and 2 tsps of the cinnamon. Mash together.
  6. Carefully spoon the potato mixture back into the little potato shells.
  7. Melt the remaining butter and combine with the brown sugar and remaining cinnamon. Add mixture to each potato.
  8. Top with as many marshmallows as your heart desires.
  9. Turn on the broiler and put the potatoes back into the oven until the marshmallows get nicely browned. This takes about a minute, but it goes quickly, so you should just turn the oven light on and watch it happen.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

What Should I Eat? 4


Let me just tell you about a lovely place to get Asian food: Bento. It's not exclusively a Gainesville thing, but it is a north-ish Florida thing. It's so good, I'm telling you.

What you see above is the spicy cream chicken noodle bowl. Despite its name, it's not particularly spicy, so don't let that intimidate you. The sauce was creamy and sweet but also savory. Also, I'm not sure if you can tell just how big that bowl of food is, but that was easily two meals for me. It was only $8, for TWO MEALS. Yes.

If you're a UF student, make sure you show ID at the Archer road location. They'll upgrade you to a combo meal for free and you can get some of the wonderful edamame you see above. Edamame is really fun to eat, you should try it.

Go to Bento. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Aaaaaand we're rounding out summer time with a nice classic. I wasn't planning on putting normal, run-of-the-mill burgers on the blog, but after talking to some friends I realized that apparently a lot of college students don't know how to make them? So I just would like you all to realize that these aren't that hard to make and also are cheaper and yummier than the weirdly circular ones you get out of the freezer.

A lot of people, like Bobby Flay, HATE stuff like chopped onion or whatever in their burgers. But I don't like Bobby Flay and I do like stuff in my burgers. It adds so much flavor and texture. You deserve it.

1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 tbsp garlic, minced
salt and pepper
buns and any condiments you want

  1. Combine all ingredients. I just sort of smash it all together with my hands.
  2. Shape patties. You can just sort of mush together the meat into ovals and make a little well in the center so the patties stay flat during cooking.
  3. Put into a skillet over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes on one side, allowing a crust to form. Flip, cook for 3 minutes on the other side. I like my burgers cooked to medium well, and that's what these times are for. Cook more or less depending on your preferences.
  4. Serve with buns and toppings of choice.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

What Should I Eat? 3

Um, yes.
Need good BBQ in the Gainesville area? I've got you. Please please please go try Four Rivers. Like right now. It will actually make your day better. I promise.

I went to Four Rivers the first time the other day with my sweet best friend. Not only was it lovely to spend time together, the food was AMAZING. If you're from the south, I'm sure you're fairly picky about your BBQ. I am. As such, I wasn't sure I'd like it, but oh my gosh. I have zero complaints.

We both got pulled pork sandwiches, and the meat itself was really good, with a nice smoky flavor, and the sauce was the right balance of sweet and smoky and tangy. That being said, it's the side dishes that really take the cake. I had mac n cheese and baked beans and wow. They were both fantastic.

This place also has the GOOD ICE. If you don't know what I mean, go, and you'll see. (I mostly just couldn't get a good picture, but anyway...) So delicious.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

French Toast Breakfast Sandwiches

I realized that I hadn't posted a breakfast recipe yet. To make up for that momentary lapse, I made you this. It's a sandwich that will make your life better.

Yes, I feel a little silly about posting a sandwich recipe, but this one is special. The bread part is FRENCH TOAST. So good. We also have bacon, egg, and a Dijon syrup sauce. Seriously incredible.

This will brighten up any morning, I promise. No matter what time you had to get up for class, this will make it better. Get ready.

French Toast Breakfast Sandwiches
2 1-inch thick slices of day-old challah bread (or French, or any other sturdy bread)
3 eggs
3 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp Dijon mustard (with the specks, aka stone-ground)
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 slices bacon, fried

  1. Whisk together two of the eggs, the milk, and the cinnamon. Place the bread slices in the mixture.
  2. After two minutes, flip the slices, allow to soak for another two minutes.
  3. Heat a pan over medium heat, add butter. Cook the toast for two minutes per side, until brown and crisp on either side.
  4. Combine the mustard and syrup. Drizzle as much as is desired onto one or both slices of toast.
  5. Cook the egg however you like; I fried mine over medium. Add the egg to the sandwich, then top with the other piece of toast.
  6. Slice in half and enjoy.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My Food {and exercise} Philosophy

It's pretty simple, actually. I only eat when I'm hungry, only continue eating until full, and I only eat food I like. That's all.

That being said, I don't go completely crazy. I try to maintain a semi-healthy diet, limiting my sugar intake and eating vegetables and protein on a regular basis. But in my mind, life is too short to be worried about eating a doughnut. Yeah, you shouldn't eat the whole dozen, but I don't have time to mentally berate myself for the indulgence. It tastes good, and I'm allowed to enjoy my food. It just comes down to moderation.

Additionally, I don't strictly adhere to any "food rules", such as a number of carbs I'm limited to each day. I'm more concerned with eating food that will keep me fuller, longer. As a college student, meal times aren't a regular thing, and often they are very spaced out. I know that eating bagels doesn't keep me as full as peanut butter will, so I keep that in mind when I make breakfast. Chicken salad keeps me fuller than chips. Salad makes me feel better than French fries.

Am I trying to tell you that I am the pinnacle of healthy eating? Ha. Not at all. But I like to think that I'm doing a decent job. I don't have an achievement-oriented relationship with food, so I don't worry too much. Food is not the type of thing that should ever center around achievement. It's not an option, it's a necessity. That's why I hate calorie counting. If you're hungry, eat!

As far as exercise goes, I try not to adhere to any strict guidelines with that, either. Personally, I am incredibly achievement-oriented, and this tends to result in obsessive behavior and feelings of failure whenever I define success in any area of my life. In the area of exercise, this often leads to me ending up either injured or sick. It also sucks the fun out of the activity.

When I exercise, about 80% of the reason really is the mental benefits. I am a person who is full of stress and in desperate need of an outlet. I do yoga because it's pretty much the only time my frenetic mind grinds to a stop and finds peace. I also love cycling, running, and swimming, which calm my anxiety in a completely different way. When I do cardio, I spend a lot of time screaming in my head ("SWIM FASTER, PUSH HARDER, JUST DO IT"). It gets my aggression out. Yeah, the physical benefits of working out are great. But the mental benefits are more important to me.

I love feeling strong and confident, and I also love food. So I work out, and I eat food I enjoy. And it keeps me happy. I don't obsess over either one. There's so much more to life.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Peaches n Cream Milkshakes

I love the aesthetic.
These are a good way to celebrate making it through the first couple weeks of classes. The transition from talking about syllabi to actual, real course work is always sort of disorienting for me. These will make that better.

These aren't overly peachy, you can definitely taste the "n cream" part. If you get lucky and actually find the rare, coveted, amazing peaches, I'm jealous. The ones I had weren't bad....but they could've been better. I wish you luck. I know it's late in the season.

Karen makes a great hand model.

Peaches n Cream Milkshakes
2 peaches, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup milk
2 cups vanilla ice cream
whipped cream

  1. Put everything except the whipped cream into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass and add a swoosh of whipped cream. Yay.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A Few of My {current} Favorite Things

A post in which I talk about the things I'm oh so in love with as of late. Mostly food related, because I actually don't do much other than eat or study.

Have a magical day!
  1. This cake from How Sweet Eats. I haven't made it yet, but oh my gosh it looks beautiful and I need it ASAP.
  2. Guac. So much guac. Must keep making it while avocados are sort of still in season.
  3. Boba Tea. My love for this stuff may never end. Goodness gracious. If you're in the Gainesville/UF area, hit up Lollicup or Kung Fu Tea. Praise.
  4. Law and Order: SVU. Sorry not sorry. There's new seasons on Netflix. I can't stop.
  5. These biscuits from Joy the Baker. Lord have mercy they are beautiful.
  6. The saying "Lord have mercy". It's my favorite Southern-ism, mainly because people from the deep south drawl it together and it just sounds like "Lord-a-mercy".
  7. MAC lipstick in Pink Pigeon. It's a bright blue-ish pink, great if you're whiter than white, like I am.
    Popcorn from this dinosaur of a popper. It's an old style air popper that was my dad's in college and is now mine. Love.
  9. Being an RA. I love it.
  10. Cupcakes from Bakers Royale. Um, yes please.
  11. Instagram. Follow me at KimmiesKitchen. (yes, that was a shameless plug.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Strawberry Lemonade

Decorations in the background by yours truly
Strawberry lemonade is one of those things that I really enjoyed, but never really thought about being able to make on my own. Turns out, it's not only completely doable, it's not hard either.

I sweetened mine with honey, and I'm really a fan of the flavor it added. You can definitely taste the honey, though it's subtle. It's lovely. This entire drink is lovely. It's summery, fruity, fun. And pink. Yay.

Strawberry Lemonade
1 cup lemon juice (this was 4 lemons for me)
1/3 lb strawberries, hulled
1 1/2 cups water
8 oz. honey

  1. Put the strawberries in a blender with 1/2 cup of the water. Blend until smooth.
  2. Add the honey to the lemon juice and stir.
  3. Warm the other cup of water, then add to the lemon juice and honey. Stir.
  4. Add the strawberry puree, then stir again.
  5. Pour over ice and enjoy.