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Easy-Cheesy Lunch

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Happy new year!

I’ve been adjusting to graduate school and not posting much because, well, mostly everything I eat is boring. I cook quick easy ordinary things for myself. But in a recent conversation I realized that quick easy things to cook for yourself are pretty handy, and recipes us fresh out of college folk don’t necessarily have mastered yet.

So! Let’s start with my favorite thing to bring for lunch recently: warm, tasty, healthy, and easy to pull together
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Thank you cookies

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Project of the day: delicious tokens of appreciation

Well hello again! It’s been some time because I’ve been busy applying to, getting into, visiting, deciding on, and settling things with graduate school. It was quite a process, and many people helped me out in tons of ways–rides to the bus station, letters of recommendation, listening to me agonize over pros and cons… And so I had a lot of people to thank. As I said to one friend after she dropped me off at the bus station yet again, “I owe you such a cookie!”

And so I made her, and the rest of my kind friends and advisers, such cookies! And they turned out so well I thought I’d share : ) Read the rest of this entry

Baked eggs

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Project of the day: newfangled comfort food

Its been a really mild winter this year! Which makes those occasional cold and/or wet days feel a little more dreary.

Those days you come home, curl up with a blanket and a cup of tea, and crave something warm and creamy for dinner. Macaroni and cheese, soup, mashed potatoes, pot pie… Everyone has their favorite. But if you’re in the mood for something new, or maybe something simpler, or really just something delicious, you have got to try baked eggs. Read the rest of this entry

Banana bread

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Project of the day: waste not, want not

You know when you take too long to eat bananas? And they get all brown and soft? I like my bananas just past green, but even if you like them more on the brown side, for most people there’s a point of too far gone. When that happens, don’t throw them out! Make banana bread!

You have the power to transform mushy unwanted produce into moist, delicious bread that will attract every nose in your building to your kitchen, where their attached faces will wait and stare at you imploringly until they receive a fresh warm slice. And it makes an awesome grab&go breakfast!

The other cool thing with banana bread is that mashed bananas are often used as a substitute for butter or eggs in vegan cooking. SO all you really need to make this is flour, sugar, baking soda, and bananas! If you have an egg it will help it be less crumbly, and the oil helps keep it moist,  but if you don’t have any, just add some more banana! The spices and extracts just add a little extra flavor. Use what you have, and if you have none, it will still taste like bananas, so you’re good! Assuming, of course, that you like bananas. (If you don’t, what are they doing in your house anyway?)

If you’re lucky enough to have a freezer and don’t quite have the time to bake, throw your past-ripe bananas in the freezer until you do. They’ll keep for a long while and be even mushier when you thaw them out.

Banana bread Read the rest of this entry

Forging new traditions: Saltine brittle

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Project of the day: Simple dessert

Trado, tradere, tradidi, traditum. Our derivative from the latin for ‘to hand down’ is one of the most frequently used words this time of year. Everyone has their favorite traditions: gift giving, decorating, candle lighting, that special holiday dish, gathering, service, or sweater.

But sometimes that old sweater gets torn, or people move away, and the old tradition just doesn’t work. Its hard to adjust to our new conditions, sad to let go of the old traditions.

The traditional christmas eve of my childhood was to gather at my mother’s parents house with her brother’s family for a big dinner and gift giving. We would have tons of delicious food, some of Grammy’s specialties like pearl onions or waldorf salad, and sparkling cider or orange juice with seltzer in it. After dinner we’d lie in front of their fireplace as Grammy read The Night Before Christmas aloud. After we worked through our presents, always organized in piles according to recipient, we’d turn to the impressive spread of dessert. There was usually rumpie, sometimes trifle, and other varying treats, but always tea served with lots of milk and sugar in teeny little teacups.

But Grammy died last september, my uncle moved to Kansas this summer, and Poppop’s getting older. Since it’s just Poppop and my family, we had him over to our house for christmas eve this year. With such a smaller gathering, it seemed silly to have as large a meal. So for dessert after our dinner of salad, carrots, rolls, and a roast, I wanted somthing light and simple. Read the rest of this entry

Caramel pudding round 2

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Project of the day: second chances

Remember carmel pudding round one? Well, we made do. But this time, we got it right!

Silky, smooth, just carmely enough… A perfect comeback! So delicious, I had trouble making it last until ninja could have a taste : )

The best part about this is that if you make regular use of a kitchen, you probably have everything on hand already, so you can easily make it whenever you feel like it! I’ve added cornstarch to my basic pantry necessities (like baking powder and sugar) for exactly this purpose. The worst part about this is it takes a while to chill. However (while it tastes delicious warm and soupy) it is worth the wait!

Carmel Pudding (from Smitten Kitchen) Read the rest of this entry

And we shall call them squishies, and they shall be ours, and they shall be our squishies!

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Project of the day: succumbing to chocolate cravings

There comes a time when chocolate must be had for dinner. This time was now.

And these did not disappoint! Imagine the fudgiest brownies ever, but fluffy as a cake with a pudding-like center. And thus we dubbed it chocolate squishy.

Think of it this way: you can eat your hershey bar straight out of that care package, or turn it into warm chocolate squishy goodness. Your choice : ) Read the rest of this entry