Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bruschetta

So. Let's talk about High School Musical


There was the ten year reunion recently, which I didn't watch for whatever reason. But I mean, Zac didn't even show up, so how was that going to be worth my time?

That being said.....it's junior year of college, and as I write this it's a Sunday morning, and my best friend and I are sitting on the couch watching High School Musical. I have no regrets. This movie is a work of ART.


Let me just say, this movie has so many weird little quirks. For example, WHY DON'T THEY HAVE BACKPACKS?! It is their junior year of high school and you NEED actual supplies during junior year of high school. WHY IS THERE A COMPLEX SUMMATION ON THE CHALKBOARD?! That nonsense is stuff I learned to solve in Calc 2 at the University of Florida, not a little high school in Albuquerque. More importantly, why is there a larger-than-life poster of Troy? Also, their theatre department is hella well-funded even though they have an award winning sports team. That doesn't happen in real life.


The characters and one-liners in this movie are GOLD. Like, freaking Jason with his oblivious "how was your break, Ms. Darbus?" I can't. Also, Troy has a random line about pink jelly which I'm still confused by. There's also Ryan with his flagrant gayness that none of us managed to pick up on when we were ten years old. Ms. Darbus with her anti-cell phone tirades. Beautiful.

Anyways. High School Musical is great. Eat this bruschetta while you watch it with your friends.

Bruschetta
Ingredients
1 loaf Italian bread (or French or Cuban)
3 tomatoes on the vine
1/4 red onion, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt
2 tbsp olive oil

  1. Chop the tomatoes into half-inch chunks. Salt liberally and add to a bowl.
  2. Add onion and garlic, then gently toss with the vinegar. Let sit, preferably in the fridge.
  3. Slice the bread into inch-thick pieces, then drizzle with the olive oil. Toast in a toaster oven or under the broiler. This goes fast (only a couple minutes), keep an eye on it!
  4. When bread is toasted, let it cool. Spoon tomato mixture on top. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I'm Actually a 50s Housewife

Meatloaf is one of those things that's so annoyingly middle class, white, suburban America, that it immediately makes me feel like I need to be wearing an apron, pearls, and heels while making it. Naturally, I wore none of those things and instead was rocking yoga pants and a hoodie. Also bare feet. I'm classy in my own way. Anyways.

I'm willing to admit in advance that the picture at the end of this post isn't the prettiest, but um, have you ever tried to make meatloaf pretty? It's not pretty food. It honestly doesn't even sound pretty. I know all of these things. But trust me. This is easy and there's nothing about it that's gross. Just your classic, simple American food. It also lends itself well to new flavors. Want Italian meatloaf? Substitute tomato sauce for ketchup and add Italian seasoning. Add jalapenos for spice or bacon just because. This is good stuff, my loves.

Meatloaf and Roasted Green Beans
Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

green beans
1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
salt and pepper

  1. Combine all meatloaf ingredients in a bowl by mashing. Press into a loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to an hour.
  2. Put the green beans on a baking sheet. Pour oil and garlic over, then massage, making sure all the beans have some of both. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bacon and Egg Bake

The alternate title to this post would be "Fairly Serious and Reflective Stuff Sandwiched in Between Pictures of Food", but that doesn't quite roll off the tongue, so you get the above instead.



I recently switched my major from biochemistry to psychology. This has been a huge change, and heartbreaking and wonderful and terrifying and exciting....all at the same time. In the words of one of my residents, "You walked away from a major that you were 85% done with halfway through your junior year?" Yes. I did. And yes, I'll still graduate on time, and yes, I understand that this sounds like a dumb decision. Yes, I did only have two classes and two labs left to complete my biochem degree. But I just couldn't do that anymore.



I am, in so many ways, a goal-oriented, type A, perfectionist. Being honest enough with myself to recognize that the goal I'd been working so hard on for so many semesters just wasn't for me was a truly painful process. I don't quit things. I never have. I don't give up, and I push myself as hard as I can. Finding the courage to admit, to myself at first and later to others, that studying biochemistry just wasn't making me happy was by no means easy. Finding the courage to walk away from it was even harder.



But here's the thing, the truth of the matter, just the facts: biochem was making me miserable. Plain and simple. And a couple of people have asked which class did it for me, pushed me into actually switching. The answer? There wasn't a class. This wasn't about a class. This wasn't a spontaneous decision. This was the realization that I'd been hating my classes for about two years and had been hoping that a semester would come where it would all click and be fun again. But that semester didn't come. 



Yes, biochem is difficult. The classes I was taking were difficult. The classes I'm taking now are easier. But here's the gospel truth: I am happier already, not because I know the classes will be easier, but because for the first time in a very long time I am excited to learn about the subjects I'm studying. I look at my schedule for the semester and get excited, not anxious. And that means the world to me. So here's some eggs. They're like me: scrambled, but I like to think they're still pretty good.

Bacon and Egg Bake
Ingredients
1 tube crescent rolls (8 count)
6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 eggs
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp fresh basil, torn into little pieces
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Unroll the crescent roll dough, but don't tear the perforations. Lay it in the bottom of a 9X9 in. pan (spray with nonstick spray if it's not nonstick already). You'll have to fold the dough into shape, or I just ripped it into sections of two little triangles and layered them the way I wanted. Press down with your fingers to sort of flatten it out, but don't get hung up on that.
  2. Sprinkle the bacon crumbles on top.
  3. Crack the eggs into a bowl. Add a splash (about 2 tbsp) or water or milk. Add the cheese, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix with either a whisk or fork, making sure to mix quickly, incorporating air. Pour into pan.
  4. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Warm Brussels Sprout Salad


Hi. I know you probably aren't super excited to see Brussels sprouts on the menu today. That's okay. I get it. Too often these little green guys are really not good. I've seen them steamed into a flavorless mush probably just as often as you have. Ick.

But don't worry. This isn't that. This salad packs a punch. And if you're lucky, the sprouts shouldn't be mushy at all. And the apples are crunchy. So don't worry, friends. These aren't the sprouts you've had before. They're delightful. I pinkie promise.

Also.....can you believe it's 2016?! Because I can't. At all. Are you a resolutions person? I'm not, but I do make lists for each year. They aren't resolutions, really, but more like a goal list or a bucket list for the year. We'll see what happens.

Warm Brussels Sprout Salad
Ingredients
1 lb Brussels sprouts, sliced thinly
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green apple, diced
5 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
  1. Cook the Brussels sprouts in either the bacon grease or a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until they are a darker green, roughly 3 minutes, stirring. Remove from heat.
  2. Combine the oil, vinegar, honey, and garlic in a pot over medium heat. Allow the garlic to sizzle for about 3 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Place Brussels sprouts, apple, and bacon in a bowl. Pour cooled oil dressing over the top. Mix.
  4. Enjoy while warm. It tastes good cold too though!