Mission Statement

Culinary Adventures in a College Kitchen

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Soba Noodle Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

Soba noodles are my new best friend. Yes, they are made of buckwheat. Yes, they are healthy. Yes, they slightly resemble worms. Dressed up, though, they pack quite a punch.

Everything is better with the right packaging. Perfectly wrapped gifts. Men in suits. Patrick Dempsey in hospital scrubs. Alexander Skarsgard in...er...nothing. And soba noodles are no different. Except they don't wear suits or hospital scrubs; because that would be weird.

If you haven't tried soba noodles yet, do it. Not that I am trying to peer pressure you or anything, but all the cool bloggers are doing it.


Seriously, though...give it a try. Your life will be exponentially better! At least the part in the kitchen...

Soba Noodle Stir-fry with Peanut Sauce


soba noodles
shredded cabbage
carrot, shredded
peanut butter
soy sauce


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Press tofu and slice into bite size pieces. Spray a baking sheet with cooking oil and add the tofu in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes and then flip the tofu. Another five minutes and remove from the oven.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the soba noodles. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until tender. Remove to a strainer and wash noodles. Add the tofu, shredded cabbage, and shredded carrot.

In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, and honey. Vary the ratio to match your taste. More soy sauce lends a sharper, saltier flavor which I prefer. Honey makes it sweeter. Peanut butter make it more, well, peanut butter-y.

Add the sauce and mix. Enjoy!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oy to the Vey

Here's something I've realized today.

Sending out law school applications is scary.

Like really scary.

Like, hide in your house with a pint of ice cream scary.

Can't leave the house. My future is too terrifying. And I'm allergic to cats.

I'm trying to calm myself down by all the other options that semi-adulthood promises. There's always working for a bit before law school. Or grad school. Or the circus.

But, none of that is working. Still breaking out in hives. Still double fisting cups of coffee while envisioning all the ways the US Postal service could screw my application and I over.

Return to sender? Return to sender?! Why is life so difficult? Why couldn't I find a brush?

If things are a little wacky here in the next few weeks, I apologize. It's very likely that I will be headed toward a stress-induced-sabbatical. It's also very likely that I will be double fisting something besides coffee. Oy to the vey.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Inter-Campus Shuttle Love

I love my college's inter-campus shuttle. There are just so many fascinating human moments that you have 20 or so minutes to be privy to. It's free entertainment. I love hearing the random conversations. Or watching shuttle romances bud. And people nodding, off, that is my absolute favorite. I once had a guy accidentally drop his head on my shoulder and I non-accidentally imparted a sharp jab to his side. No shuttle romance there.

It's called personal space. Ever hear of it?

Today had to be one of my favorites, though. There is always that one person who will insist on standing up by the driver. Maybe it's a security thing. Maybe they feel above seats. Or maybe they're just being douchebaggy and want to get off first.

Pretty sure today was the latter. This guy in a full suit took residence at the front of the bus and proceeded to just lean casually against the railing and scroll through his blackberry. Now, I knew immediately-from my comfortable seat-that this would prove problematic. Large buses encountering fairly sharp turns tend to necessitate holding onto something that isn't only your posh smartphone.

Sir, you are on your way to bad-decision-central.

He fared pretty well for the first half of the trip. No sharp turns and he held his ground, literally. When neared campus, though, things took a turn for the worse, again literally. We made a narrow turn and he careened backwards, flailing arms grabbing onto the railing at the last moment. It ended with a chorus of swear words and momentary glare at me while I tried to hide my laughter in my scarf.

Not laughing. Not laughing. Okay...sort of laughing.

Now, many things crossed my mind at this moment.

1) Why the hell was he not holding onto the railing in the first place?

2) How is he legitimately upset with centripetal force?

3) And why is he in a full suit?

Sadly, none of these questions were answered. He stormed off the bus the moment that the doors opened, leaving all of us behind him in the wake of his self-importance. I laughed for about an hour.

I love the inter-campus shuttle.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Salted Fudge Brownies

People say that you're either a salty or sweet person. You're either shoveling pretzels in your mouth or double fisting cupcakes. Well, since I tend to do both (on a daily basis--I wish) then I suppose that I lean either way.

I love sugar.

I love salt.

I also love clogged arteries and jiggly thighs.

I found these brownies on Eat, Live, Run and I nearly peed myself. Okay, not really but I think that phrase properly conveys my level of excitement upon finding a recipe for salted fudge brownies. If there were ever a recipe worth spontaneously peeing oneself, it would be these brownies. They are rich and fudgy with the lightest dusting of sea salt on top.

Crazy good.

Salted Fudge Brownies


1 1/2 sticks of butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 plus 2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
3 whole eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt


Preheat oven to 350

Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with foil, letting a bit hang over the edges. Butter the foil. This will make it easy to remove your brownies at the end.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate. Add the butter and stir until melted. Fold in the remaining ingredients (up to salt) and pour into a prepared baking dish. Sprinkle generously with the sea salt.

Bake for 35 minutes. Remove and let come to room temperature. Now for the hard part--chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Don't skip this! Cut into squares and enjoy :D

Source: Eat, Live, Run

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rainy Thursdays

It's a rainy day here in Chicago.

I don't know about you, but there are actually many things that I love about rain. Granted, when I am trudging through the showers to get to work my thoughts don't exactly lean toward the positive, but there is still something about rainy weather that I love. In fact, many somethings.

Adorable Wellies

I bought a pair of these my freshman year of college. Three years later I chose to leave them back in the suburbs when Chicago had its random monsoon month. So smart.

Rain Coats

Who doesn't look good in a trench coat? I'll tell you, absolutely no one! Sadly, not all trench coats come with George Peppard. Le sigh.

TV. Preferably with Colin Firth.

If I'm not braving the elements, I am almost certainly in front of the old tube. Rainy days call for all things British, so there will probably be some Colin Firth. Definitely some Doctor Who. Funny side note, this picture was labeled as Wet Firth. Yes, I giggled.

Tea & Coffee. Yes, there will be both. Don't judge.

What are your favorite rainy day things?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Straight-From-Heaven Sugar Cookies

Yesterday some guy used Steve Jobs to hit on me. While we waited at a stoplight. Needless to say, we did not exchange numbers.

Too soon, dude.

On a better note, I brought brownies to work yesterday and they were gone before 10 AM. I consider this quite the feat because that is a whole lot of sugar to be consumed before The View even starts. Star Jones would be proud.

I'm not giving you that recipe today. Mainly because I am sitting at a coffee shop without my camera cord. And the pictures are pretty bad, even for me. That last fact will not keep me from posting them next week. I apologize in advance.

Anyhoo, instead of brownies I am giving you a cookie recipe. Anyone know those thick sugar cookies from Dominick's? The ones so buttery that they leave a glistening sheen on your fingers after you're finished? Like 'em? Love 'em? Well, hold on to your hats. I've got a recipe.

Straight From Heaven (or Dominick's) Sugar Cookies


4 1/2 cups flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 sticks butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. With a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and extract, mixing until combined. Mix in the flour mixture with a spatula. Make sure to scrape the bottom.

Cover the dough and let chill for 1 hour.

Scoop a scant 1/4 cup of dough and roll into a ball. Place on prepared cookie sheets and gently press down the center. If you are making them with sprinkles (and no frosting) press the sprinkles gently into the dough. Leave about two inches between cookies. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until set. I would recommend checking at 10 minutes because these are really ones that you don't want over-baked. The edges should only be slightly browned.

Remove and let sit for five minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

I chose not to use frosting for these because I didn't know how it would hold at room temperature. If you like frosting, though, you can make a simple frosting with butter, powdered sugar, and milk.

For the chocolate drizzle, melt chocolate and drizzle over the cookies. Let set completely before touching.

Source: Annie's Eats

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I learned a valuable lesson this weekend. Distance makes the heart grow fonder and the mind forget really annoying things. Saturday morning I was scheduled to take the LSAT at a university about an hour from my apartment. My parents offered to get me a hotel room and stay with me the night before, which seemed like the perfect idea. I would have some company that morning. Dad would pay for my coffee. Perfect!

Perfect, huh?

And then it was time to go to sleep.

Spending more than half of my year away at school, I had forgotten one little thing about my parents. They snore. A lot. I swear that their snoring is almost like an art form. They literally snore in time with each other.

First Mom.

Then Dad.

Mom again.

Dad for the crescendo.

If it didn't keep me up half the night I would have been impressed.

I appreciate the lung capacity, but pipe down!

Miraculously, even with the snoring symphony keeping me up, I was marginally bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning.

Bright eyed and bushy tailedddd!!!!

I think it was partially because I knew I was on my way to never having to look at another LSAT question. I also knew that night I would be back in my apartment without the snore-a-sorouses.

Love you, Mom and Dad!

This week I haven't had a lot of time to cook as I have been stuck under the weight of my eighteen hundred LSAT books. Sandwiches were my best friend. Here were two of my favorites!

Ham and Cheese with Caramelized Onion

Havarti Cheese
Dijon mustard
Caramelized Onion
Whole Wheat Bread

Goddess Sandwich

Marinated Tofu
Broccoli Slaw
Goddess Dressing

Any of you know some snore-a-sorouses?