Mission Statement

Culinary Adventures in a College Kitchen

Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's Halloween!!!

It's Halloween, y'all!!

My Halloween weekend was pretty amazing. There was candy. Dancing. And general frivolity.

That's me in the middle...getting my Rachel Berry on :D

What were you guys for Halloween?! I can't wait to hear all of your costumes!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Costumes and Halloween Candy Bark

I lloooovvveee Halloween. Yes, I may be 20. And does this mean I should be a bit more mature? Sure. But I am still dressing up!

The costumes?

Well, since I am terrible at keeping secrets I'll just let it slip:

Rachel Berry (Glee)

AND Lucy Ricardo

Two costumes for a weekend of spook-tastic entertainment ;-)

My original idea was Rachel Berry but I went costume shopping with a friend and when I saw the Lucy costume I just couldn't say no. I mean, it has a red wig that will completely clash with my brown eyebrows. How could I say no?

Anyway, since I am in the Halloween spirit I wanted to make some treats to bring to my friends and I found the perfect thing!

Halloween Candy Bark


1 lb semisweet chocolate
4 Butterfingers coarsely chopped
4 Heath bars coarsely chopped
8 Reeses Peanut Butter Cups chopped
3 oz Peanut M&Ms


Line a baking sheet with foil. In a microwave safe bowl melt the chocolate in 20 second increments. Makes sure to watch it so that it doesn't burn!

Pour the chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and smooth out with a spoon. Sprinkle the chopped candy over the chocolate, pressing it down gently so it will adhere.

Put in the refrigerator and let it set for at least one hour. When it is hardened peel off the foil and break into irregular pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Question: What are you going as for Halloween?? I want to hear all of your costume ideas!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chicken Florentine

Chicago is supposed to be hit with a storm being heralded as the worse in 70 years. Right now, though, all I am seeing are blue skies. Some clouds. I think they are cumulous. I could be wrong. (Probably am).

I'm not too worried about the whole storm thing, though.

You see, I've got some chicken. Some wine. And a whole season of Glee waiting for me to sing along with it. So, epic storm, bring it on. I'm ready for you.

Chicken Florentine


4 chicken breast halves
flour (for dredging)
2 tbsp chopped shallots
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 tbsp butter
2 10 oz boxes of frozen spinach (defrosted and drained)


Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Next, put flour into a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken in it. Make sure to get an even coating, shaking off the excess.

In a large saute pan, melt 2 tbsp of butter and add the chicken. Cook for five minutes on each side until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and add another 2 tbsp of butter and the shallots and garlic. Cook until the shallots are translucent-about one minute.

Add the white wine and bring to a boil, cooking until the liquid is reduced by half-about three minutes. Next, add the cream and cook until the liquid reduces again by half-about three minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked chicken breasts and coat in the sauce.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a separate saute pan and add the spinach, cooking until it is heated. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the spinach on a serving platter and lay the chicken on top. Mangia!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Being in college has taught me something about eating and exercising--it is difficult around those who do not practice the same things you do. (This conversation suddenly sounds religious...) Fortunately, I feel I'm pretty lucky to have my friend Christina also known as CC, participate in a healthy lifestyle as well. I think having a friend is extremely important especially because they will push you.

So while pursuing my healthy lifestyle my meals have been pretty much consisting of the following:


Lately I've been loving anything that resemble oatmeal products like Live Laugh Eat's Oatmeal Pancakes as well as greek yogurt with a sandwich thin slabbed in almond butter with topped with some form of fruit.

Lunch has been everything from wraps to salads.
Dinner has fortunately consisted of a little bit of cooking; a little bit of pasta tossed with some
vegetables, a homemade pizza from the book, Hungry Girl. As well as veggie burgers with sweet potato fries and veggies. Simple, healthy and easy. Perfect on an on the go college girl.

Hopefully today I'll be able to post one more time :)

Byeeee for now.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Warm Apple Crisp

It is a Saturday night and my roommate and I are sitting watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding while eating homemade Apple Crisp.

And before that we watched When Harry Met Sally...

We are so cool.

Baked Apple Crisp


4 red apples peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
1 egg


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare the apples and then mix them in the baking dish with the brown sugar. In a separate bowl mix the sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon together. Add the wet ingredients and then pour over the apples.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.

In honor of my romantic comedy filled night: What's your favorite romantic comedy? Mine is definitely When Harry Met Sally... It gets me every time!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Salted Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Every Thursday I have lunch with some friends from high school. Last week my friend Amanda said, "Liz, you should bring us cookies every Thursday."

It was a joke, but I never pass up an opportunity to pass my baking adventures onto my friends. Besides, I get to sample a few myself which totally makes it all worthwhile. So, this morning I ventured into my kitchen and set out to make some cookies.

But not just any cookies, my friends.

These are double chocolate chunk cookies with not a bit of cocoa powder in them. You know that means? Twenty ounces of semi-sweet chocolate.

I blanched at the grocery bill for this one-luckily the results are pretty fan-freaking-tastic.

Salted Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies


8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped coarsely
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)
2 large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped coarsely


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine 8 oz of chocolate and the butter. Microwave at 30 seconds increments until the chocolate and butter are completely melted. Make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar and eggs with a handheld mixer until the sugar is completely dissolved, roughly 4-5 minutes. With the mixer on low, add the chocolate and mix until well-combined. Using a spatula, mix in the flour. Make sure to scrape down the sides. Fold in the remaining 12 oz chocolate with a spatula.

Either spray your cookie sheets with cooking spray or use parchment paper. Scoop heaping tablespoons of the batter onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. The cookies should have crackly tops and be slightly soft in the center when done.

Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the cookie sheets for ten minutes. Sprinkle the cookies with extra salt.

Source: Annie's Eats

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vegan Pumpkin-Banana Bread

I think the definition of Monday should just read: blah. I don't even have class until late afternoon on Mondays but it still gets me every week.

And this morning I had to do my laundry, which just put me in a splendid mood. The funny thing is, I put off laundry all weekend so I knew I had to do it this morning, yet when I looked at my full hamper I still went: Really?!

That is why this pumpkin-banana bread is necessary. It is necessary because laundry is stupid. And Mondays are icky. And my vocabulary has become that of a five year old.

Vegan Pumpkin-Banana Bread


2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (which I never seem to have)

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup canola oil

4 very ripe bananas


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the first set of ingredients (flour to pumpkin pie spice) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine the second set of ingredients (brown sugar to the canola oil) and then add to the flour mixture. Combine with an electric mixer until the batter is smooth. Next, add the bananas and mix. Make sure not to overcombine because you want to see some chunks of banana.

Bake for one hour, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Or if you are like me and lack proper baking items like toothpicks, take out after an hour, wish for the best, and be very (extremely) happy that the lack of eggs means no possible salmonella.

Source: The Weekly Bite

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Curry Along

As you probably know, I bought some curry powder and now have been dreaming up all sorts of different ways to use it. I threw it in with some tempeh. I've been dreaming about shannalikebanana's idea to toss it with some pumpkin. But with a whole block of tofu and spinach in my fridge, I decided to attempt to recreate one of my favorite Indian dishes.

I used tofu instead of cheese in this version, purely because it was what I had on hand, but the texture paired really well with the spinach. Added bonus of not using cheese? It makes this vegan!

Saag Paneer

Extra-firm Tofu
Olive Oil
Curry Powder

Start by preheating the oven at 400 degrees. Wrap the tofu in a paper towel (I used coffee filters due to my lack of papertowels-bad choice, lol) and press between two plates. Put something heavy on the top plate and let the tofu sit for 5-10 minutes. Next, unwrap the tofu and chop it into small squares. Spread on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkle on salt. Bake for 25 minutes, turning it over halfway through.

For the spinach, heat up about 1 tbsp of olive oil on the stovetop and then add the spinach and roughly 1 tsp of curry powder. Depending on how hot you like your food you can add more or less of the curry powder. Cook down the spinach and then add the tofu and mix together.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Days Are Here Again

It's been a long day, but this song never fails to make me smile. I hope it can brighten your night, too.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Hi all!

Jen here! Yes, Jen. I figured I would say a quick hi and apologize for my absence but would like to applaud Liz for keeping up with the blog. She is amazing.

So thanks Liz :)

So where have I been?

I have been super involved with school as of late. I am in my very first studio class so I am devoting a lot of my time to that as well with my sorority. Shockingly enough I have been extremely healthy despite my busy schedule. I am sad to say, my workout schedule has been suffering so I have been trying to make up for it by walking to class a lot.

That's all I have for now.

But goodbye, see you soon!!!!

Oh wait!

I have a recipe for Skinny Pumpkin Muffins! :)

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup milk

1. Mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
2. Beat the butter until creamy,then beat in the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat in the pumpkin and the milk. Beat in the flour mixture.
3. Put batter into 12 greased muffin cups. Bake about 25 minutes at 400 degrees until toothpick comes out clean

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Curried Tempeh Salad


The weather has been crazy in Chicago lately. One day it is freezing cold. The next suddenly 70 degrees. Usually I wouldn't really mind except for the fact that I have consistently been choosing the wrong type of coat each day. Weather, make up yo' mind!

Clearly, I want it to be cold because all of my food choices are leaning toward the warm and cozy types. I've been slurping on soup and making pumpkin oats like they're going out of style. Last night's dinner was no different.

I bought a block of tempeh from Trader Joes a while back (hopefully not too long of a while back) and gaining inspiration from Une Vie Saine's Mexi-tempeh dish I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I didn't have any of the Mexican ingredients that was used in Gabrielle's recipe but I did have an unopened jar of curry powder. And some random carrots.

Hence, a recipe was born!

Curried Tempeh Salad


1/2 block multigrain tempeh
1/2 tsp curry powder
baby carrots


Bring a pot of water to boil and add the carrots. Boil until crisp-tender, 4-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, crumble the tempeh into a microwave safe bowl and add the curry powder. Mix with a fork until well-combined and then microwave for one minute.

Plate the spinach and add the heated tempeh and carrots.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pumpkin-Butterscotch Cookies

I've never met a cookie that I didn't like. Really, from basic chocolate chip to the more exotic Lemon Ricotta -I love them all. Well, this weekend I met a cookie that might just make me exclusive.

Enter the pumpkin-butterscotch cookie.

It's not a looker but it tastes so good it'll make you a believer, too. It turned me into a one-cookie sort of woman. Yup, it's that good.

On a different note, I feel the need to show off my apron. I feel all Julia Child when I wear it.

Now, back to our scheduled program.

Pumpkin-Butterscotch Cookies


2 cups of flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup butterscotch chips


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and set aside.

Using a hand-held mixer combine the sugar and eggs until pale yellow, roughly one minute. Add the pumpkin, vegetable oil, and vanilla and mix together until combined. Add the flour in two batches, combining with a rubber spatula.

Spoon cookies out onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 14-16 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. The cookies are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or the bottoms turn golden.

Source: Annie's Eats