Mission Statement

Culinary Adventures in a College Kitchen

Friday, May 27, 2011

Raise Your Glass

I have a confession. Despite what my blog entries have suggested, I've been a bit spastic lately. And for those reading this who know me--I mean more spastic than I usually am.

Getting older isn't as great as it's cracked up to be. Suddenly you have all of these responsibilities. Your biggest worry isn't a simple exam, but one that will determine your entire future. My LSAT is in one week and to say that I am feeling the pressure is an understatement.

In the rush of LSAT prep, I'll admit that I've taken the simpler things here for granted. They seem inconsequential when pitted against three hour prep tests. But they are important. They are the little things that I barely think about, but probably keep me from going completely mad.

So, here's to all the things I don't think twice about.

Here's to sunny days in May.

To staying up late with a good book.

Passing the afternoon with some Pride and Prejudice.

Said Pride and Prejudice sparking a full Colin Firth appreciation week.

Discovering a new recipe.

Spending a night with friends.

A night with family.

And then here's to you, my lovely readers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Baked Pita Chips

Yesterday my butt was kicked by this woman.

I did one of the Last Chance Workouts from my On Demand. Holy cannoli, was it hard. With weights and spurts of cardio, it was definitely one of the harder workouts that I've done. When it was finished, I was an absolute mess.

Huffing and puffing.

Soaked shirt.

Skank bangs.

Thank God I was home alone, otherwise my parents would have taken one look at my sorry self and wondered how in the world I would ever find myself a husband. Someone's going to have to add a few more goats to the dowry.

They can throw in these pita chips, too.

Baked Pita Chips

2 whole wheat tortillas
cooking spray (or olive oil with mister)
sea salt


Preheat oven to 375.

Slice the tortilla into small triangles (slice it in half, the halves in half again, and so on). Place on a baking dish and spray with oil. Add sea salt. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until crisp.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tamari Roasted Chickpeas

Chicago weather is PMSing. One day it's bright, cheery, and 86 degrees. The next it's dark, moody, and below 50. Someone needs to slip it a Midol. Seriously.

Anyhoo, on the last rainy day I went into full-blown hermit mode and baked/cooked my little heart out followed by hours of Doctor Who on Netflix Instant View while I shoveled roasted chickpeas into my mouth.

These chickpeas. These beautiful, revelatory chickpeas.

They are magic.

The bee's knees.

Da bomb.

The answer to every chickpea-related-prayer. (Which I'm sure you all have plenty)

Make them now. Make them often.

Tamari Roasted Chickpeas

1 can chickpeas, rinsed
1 tbsp olive oil
2-2 1/2 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)
2-2 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp honey
pinch salt


Preheat oven t0 400 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and toss to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the chickpeas have absorbed all the liquid.

Serve anyway you like! I had mine with roasted zucchini and it was fantastic. It would be equally delicious tossed in a salad, with other roasted vegetables, or in a soup.

Source: Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Funfetti Cookies

A funny happened this morning.

I was all ready to do my usual Tuesday post. I pulled up my iPhoto and began to look through my photos for something to post. And then I noticed something.

I had absolutely nothing to post.

Apparently every bit of my mad dash of cooking before finals had already graced the pages of this blog. Summer pasta salads. Homemade peanut butter cups. Even the ever-so-ugly sweet potato and black bean stew. So, I went and did the only real thing that I could do once I realized I had no recipes left.

I made one up and crossed my fingers.

Funfetti Cookies

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup sprinkles
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Using a handheld mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy. Add the vegetable oil and mix well. Next, add both sugars and mix until incorporated, roughly 1 minute. Add the egg and beat until well mixed. Fold in the sprinkles.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for an hour.

Scoop the dough onto a prepared cookie sheet. Press down with your fingers and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake 12-14 minutes.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Summer Pasta Salad

Warm weather is finally here and just like that, summer Liz emerges with all her new, summer behavior.

Iced coffee

A hair drier break-up

Sorry Conair, it's you not me.

Fruit OD

Cute sandals that give me blisters yet I still wear due to said cuteness

Sunglasses Tan Lines

Welcome back, Summer. It's been a while.

Summer Pasta Salad

1/2 cup whole wheat pastsa
1/4 cup roasted peppers
1/4 cup black olives
1/2 cup basil (loosely packed)
1/2 cup cannelini or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup goat cheese


Boil pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile, chop the peppers and basil. Once the pasta is cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and add the frozen peas and carrots and cook for 1-2 minutes. Combine all ingredients, finishing with the goat cheese. Toss together until the cheese has melted.

The great thing about this recipe is that you really can toss any vegetables with it or even change the cheese. I've made this a lot recently, subbing in whatever vegetables that I had one hand. Any way you make it, you have a quick and nutritious lunch or dinner!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Trip to Far Distant Lands

Hi all!

It's Jen and I have some pretty exciting news. In approximately 5 days I have leaving on a two week cruise to Europe and the Mediterranean! I consider myself very fortunate for this opportunity to explore Europe with my family and grandparents for that long of time and will definitely not be taking it for granted :) But... I definitely need some help as I approach the trip in full speed after my last final tomorrow. So what I am asking from you all is:

-What are some good books you recommend me taking along? Just fun reading books that I can take on the long plane rides, before bed and in the airport?

-What are you tips for eating relatively-healthy on vacation? As well as in the airport. (We have a three hour layover in London).

-If you have been to either London,Rome, Italy, Greece or Istanbul, Turkey--What are some recommended restaurants or dishes I have to try while I am there?

-What is weather like there and what are some essential I will be needing? Like clothes, etc.

(Note: This is my first time to Europe so I am in fact clueless when it comes to stuff like that. I am in fact an interior design and art history major and minor so when it comes to architecture and sight-seeing I have that one down!)

Thanks for your help and expect some amazing food and sight seeing pictures :)

xoxo Jen (I am literally having trouble sitting still as I type this).