Tuesday, September 22, 2009

college eats, week 3: anita brownies/cupcakes

Eat it. Now. Dooooooo it. You know you want to. ;)

Wow, I'd be a great drug-pusher, huh? Except that my drug of choice would be desserts. :) I had a yearning to make something chocolate tonight, so what did I bake up? None other than the chocolate cookie dough cupcake recipe from my good friend, Anita. I made these about a year ago for a BBQ with a bunch of friends....but I have just recently discovered that these puppies are even better when you bake 'em in an 8x8-inch pan. I had a little extra cake batter and cookie dough left over and didn't really feel like washing out the muffin tin after the first batch had finished baking. So I basically just made a mound of cookie dough in the center of the pan, poured in the rest of the cake batter, and made sure it covered the dough. Bake until a knife comes out clean, and voila! Deeeelicious cookie dough brownies. :)

Anita Cupcakes

1 box chocolate cake mix
chocolate chip cookie dough
1 can chocolate frosting
sprinkles

Prepare cake according to package instructions, and pour batter into cupcake pan. Before baking, push a teaspoon-sized ball of cookie dough into the center of each cupcake well. Place in oven, and bake for time indicated on cake package instructions. Remove from oven, and cool.

Frost cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

college eats, week 3: tuscan risotto

So for my food science class, we had to make a whole slew of things at home for our "lab"...three different white sauces, a pudding, and this reallllly good risotto. This is now my favorite class of all-all time (obviously...really, are you that surpirsed? ;)

Onions look so pretty once they're out of their wrapper for some reason.

And so does celery. I really don't like raw celery....like a lot. But it's good cooked up in rices and soups, so I suppose I'll have to allow it this time.

Say hello to my roommate, Janine! She's a nutrition grad student, too. And we both loooooove food, so I think we'll get along quite fine. :)

And then Arborio rice was added....


Mmmmm, looks so pretty, huh?

And it tasted really really good, too. The only problem was that we ran out of vegetable broth, so we had to add water instead while cooking it. It definitely would've been much more flavorful with the broth, but still really good.

college eats, week 2: eggplant parmesan

It's official. I have fallen in love.......with the Farmer's Market. I picked up two eggplant for $1 this Saturday from these nice Amish farmer-kids. Once I bought them, I immediately knew what I could concoct with them: eggplant parmesan.

WEIRD FACT #1: Eggplant start to get brown VERY VERY quickly after you slice them up! Why? I am not quite sure. I really should Wiki this later.

So my grandma makes some HOT DAMN GOOD eggplant parmesan. No joke. And she's told me how to prepare it a number of times, and I am always in awe of how easy it is to make! Simply slice, bread your eggplant, bake 'em till brown-ish, then layer them up with sauce and mozzarella. Yes, my friends, it is that easy. Even a caveman could do it.

WEIRD FACT #2: Michael's mom also makes some HOT DAMN GOOD eggplant parmesan....but with a different twist. She uses their fam's sauce for the layer-age, which has sausage in it sliced slightly thinly. I had never had eggplant parmesan with sausage in it before until Michael brought a tray of it over for us to eat one night. And wow.....was it good, or what. So if you feel the need to be carnivorous, feel free to add some sausage. It definitely won't do it harm.

Ohhhh, there it is, there it is! Isn't it lovely? Here's a close-up for your viewing pleasure:

Ohhhhhhh. Ahhhhhhhhh.

After I told my grandma how I had made the eggplant, I realized that I had forgotten a step in the process: peeling the eggplant. Whoops. Yay for eggplant parmesan with increased fiber. Anyway, the main concern was that it would be difficult, if not annoying, to eat with the skin on there, but a consultation with my Great Aunt Bernie proved otherwise. Apparently, Aunt Bernie never peels her eggplant before parmesaning-it up, so I am in good company because she is an amazing cook! I like to think that it was my inner Italian-cooking instincts that told me not to peel that purple veggie. :)

Yum, I can't wait to eat this. I'll be inviting Michael over to try it with me soon....I need a fellow Italian with me to enjoy eating eggplant parmesan. :)

college eats, week 2: cheesy garlicky dill mashed potatoes


Ooohhhhh....yummy Vermont cheddar cheese from Zingerman's.

And then all mixed together with fresh dill and minced garlic.

Mashed up with some boiled white potatoes from the farmers market....

And TA-DA! Delicious, homemade, gourmet-tasting mashed potatoes in about 15 minutes. It's that easy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

college eats, week 1: veggie extravaganza

So one of the joys of living in this new pseudo real-person area is that I am three short blocks away from the local farmer's market that goes on twice a week. It's great....there are TONS of fresh veggies, fruits, and herbs. Basically, I feel like I'm in heaven. :) The downfall? It's kinda expensive. But hey, you're paying for locally grown, fresh, organic food, so I think it's quite worth it. And the experience itself is worth it....for some reason I just love walking up and down the pavilion looking at everyone's fresh produce. Everything just looks so good, I want to buy one of everything!!! So yes, I definitely think I'll be making a weekly trip.

This week, I bought tomatoes and potatoes. Hey, that rhymes....haha. And let me tell you, these potatoes were SO SO adorable! They're the smaller kind, and they tasted delicious sliced up, seasoned with basil, salt, pepper, and fresh chopped garlic. Oh, and olive oil. Gotta love the olive oil. :) Then I just made a little packet to hold them in and placed them in the toaster oven until they were cooked. Mmmmmm. Sorry, guys, I didn't take any pictures of the concoction, I was wayyy too hungry.

Ohhh, look at that fresh garlic. I've decided to try to use fresh garlic this year instead of the minced stuff that I usually get. And the best part? My fingers smell like garlic for a good few days after. The best kind of perfume, huh?

I also got carrots when I went on my Kroger adventure....and yes, they are....GASP....organic. I know, I know, I know. I swore I wouldn't cross over to the dark side. But these guys just looked so so cool with the green stuff still attached! And they were super cheap, too.

So yes, I will admit that my dinner this night consisted of solely vegetables: tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and basil; potato-concoction; and carrots in balsamic vinegar. Okay, yes, I need to work on incorporating protein in there, but let's take things one step at a time, okay?

Friday, September 4, 2009

college eats, week 1: peanut butter oreos

I am officially back at U of M, and so begins the eight months of strange eating habits. Wahoooo. If we're lucky, hopefully I'll try to write one post a week....each week featuring a delicious or funny food.

This week? Oreos with peanut butter. And they're even better when there's homemade peanut butter sandwiched in between that delicious cookie. And look!! I managed to perfectly split the cookie, schmear on the peanut butter, and top it with the other half of the cookie. Look at those beautiful layers! One of my new roommates, Janine, laughed when she saw me bust out my camera and take pictures of this beauty mid-bite. Guess they'll have to get used to my quirks, haha.

Oh, how I love love peanut butter. :)