I think it's safe to say I never met a grilled cheese I didn't like (all you have to do is take a quick look at my unintentionally but admittedly dairy-centric "sandwiches
" board on Pinterest). And as appealing as the idea of a "moist maker" is, my pescatarian diet combined with my deep-set apprehension toward all things gravy-related prevents me from eating what most would consider a typical Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich (sorry, Ross
So, it should come as no surprise that the first thing that came to mind as I stared into a fridge full of Thanksgiving leftovers was to combine the gouda that had served as our hors d'oeuvres with some tangy, sweet cranberry sauce for a Turkey-less day-after-Turkey-Day sandwich. Melty, tangy, sweet, and just a little salty, this recipe further proves my theory that there's no such thing as a bad grilled cheese sandwich.cranberry + gouda grilled cheesemakes 1 sandwich
2 slices whole grain bread (or your favorite bread for grilled cheese)
1/4 leftover cranberry sauce, room temperature or cooler (like this
1 teaspoon butter
lots of gouda cheese (that is my exact measurement)
I come from a city that's famous for its chili
, but I've never been a fan of Cincinnati chili. I grew up with my mom and aunt making this veggie chili as an easy dinner that leaves tons of leftovers which freeze well to have on hand for many future dinners. This chili can be served over spaghetti (Cincinnati style) or in a bowl, as shown. I made a batch just as the weather started to turn cold so I could stock up the freezer for those days I need a filling meal but want to put off braving the cold to grocery shop (which will happen often).
1 batch serves 4-6
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 1 teaspoon fresh basil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large yellow or sweet onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
2 8oz. packages of sliced fresh mushrooms
2 stalks celery (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
1 14.5oz can stewed tomatoes
1 15oz. can tomato sauce
3 diced green chilis (find cans of these)
2 15oz cans spicy chili beans
sour cream or plain yogurt
shredded cheese (cheddar or mexican mix work best)
red and/or green onions
has been a staple for my mom's Yom Kippur break fast for as long as she's hosted it, so I decided to follow suit. This is perfect for big brunches...or whenever because I could probably eat the whole thing myself. I halved it because I only had a few people over, but it turned out just as delicious. It's super easy, but be prepared to make it in advance since you have to let it refrigerate overnight!
french toast casseroleserves 6-8
13 to 16 ounces bread (she calls for french, but brioche or challah add a great texture and sweeter flavor to this dish)8 large eggs2 cups half-and-half1 cup milk2 tablespoons granulated sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/4 teaspoon ground nutmegdash salt1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter1 cup packed light brown sugar1 cup chopped pecans (optional; I roasted them and served them on the side)2 tablespoons light corn syrup1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Sometimes I just need to bake things. And thanks to Pinterest, easy recipes are not hard to come by. I saw this
recipe, which is possibly the easiest baking I've ever done without simply using a box mix or break and bakes. Just because they're easy doesn't mean they're not also extremely delicious.
Oreo-peanut butter-brownie cakes
1 box 8x8 size brownie mix
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
12 cupcake liners
Last fall when I was here interning, I found out about Madison Square Eats
, and visited it an embarrassing number of times over the month or so it was open. This year, I made sure to make the pilgrimage, and (not surprisingly) the food didn't disappoint and the atmosphere was just as pleasant. I brought my camera along to document... and tried to pretend like I was a legit photographer.
view from outside of the park.
, a Mexican food truck parked at the south entrance posts its usual whereabouts on its Twitter page
. I tried this last year and it made for well-portioned and delicious Mexican, and a nice Chipotle to-go alternative!
Delicious food in a pretty downtown setting. (obligatory "atmosphere" shot
I beelined for AsiaDog
, one of my food festival faves.
Maura opted for Roberta's
, a delicious Brooklyn-based wood-oven pizza place. I also had this last year, and it is some quality pizza.
I went with 2 veggie dogs,
the mel + steve topping and vinh topping (with veggie paté).
I shared one of these ice cream sandwiches from Melt Bakery
last year at a Grub Street
food fair, and after one bite, I knew sharing would take too much self control. So when I saw these here this year, I was happy to get a red velvet allllll to myself. mmmm.
red velvet perfection.
Maura went with snickerdoodle, also delish.
in which I try to be a photographer.
peace out, MSP.
Crab rangoon is one of my favorite guilty takeout pleasures. Crab, cream cheese and fried dough: what's not to like? Other than the fact that it's extremely unhealthy, of course. When I found this recipe for a lighter baked version on Pinterest, I couldn't wait to try it. I'm not going to tell you that it tastes exactly like its deep-fried counterpart (it doesn't), but the flavors are spot-on, and the wontons still come out crispy and ready to be dipped into sweet and sour sauce.
I lightened up the recipe even more by substituting Greek yogurt for the recommended sour cream and reduced-fat neufchâtel cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese. As long as you include all of the spices and use some semi-decent canned crab, it will taste just as delicious. My best piece of advice is to make a lot - they'll go quickly (and you can reheat any leftovers in the oven or toaster oven fairly easily).baked crab rangoonmakes about 20-24
2 tablespoons nonfat plain greek yogurt (you can also use nonfat sour cream)
8 oz neufchâtel cream cheese, softened
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup lump crab meat, drained
20-24 wonton wrappers
I've always loved experimenting with grilled cheese. Whether it's with a different kind of bread, mixing cheeses or adding something new to the traditional recipe, I'm always up to try a twist on the comfort food. I saw this recipe
and knew I'd have to try it. French onion is one of my favorites, and even though this isn't true
french onion, it was good, easy and the perfect update to a tried and true classic.
french onion grilled cheese
makes 2 sandwiches
2 medium yellow onions, sliced thin, about 1/4"
3 tablespoons butter softened, plus additional for outsides of bread
3 tablespoons white wine
4.5 oz gruyere cheese, shredded...or more! (I felt it needed more than this)
4 slices bread (I used sandwich multigrain, the options are endless)
salt and freshly ground pepper
Brussels sprouts are the resident enemy vegetable, but I like including them in my vegetable side rotation every once in a while. I've braised them as a side and roasted them as an appetizer, but I like to find new tastes for them. I googled a recipe for sesame brussels sprouts and found this one
, so I went with it. They turned out well and were really easy, though a little more of the sauce wouldn't have hurt.
sesame roasted brussels sprouts
1 lb fresh brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
fresh cracked black pepper
When I decide what to cook every week, I try to stay away from pastas because as a vegetarian, I could probably eat some form of pasta for every meal, and that could end badly health-wise. So when I was scouring Pinterest
for this week's selections, I found this recipe
from The Sprouted Kitchen
which I had pinned a while ago. I loved the Mexican-inspired dish with slightly surprising flavors. I altered the recipe a bit for myself because I don't like goat cheese, but for the most part kept it the same. These were easy to make and on her recommendation of going with Trader Joe's enchilada sauce, made my life that much easier. It will definitely be added to my usual rotation!
black bean and zucchini enchiladasserves 4At her suggestion, I used the Trader Joe's enchilada sauce (it's a whole bottle), but she also recommended this one if you want to go homemade. I hope to try and make it eventually but having the pre-bottled stuff insures that you're going to get a good flavor and saves some time (for the full time employee like me!)
3 large zucchini/summer squash, 1/4'' dice (about 4 cups once chopped)
3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/4 tsp. lemon pepper/garlic salt*
1/2 of a small red onion or 4 green onions, finely chopped
1 15 oz. can/ 2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
5 oz. soft goat cheese (or other soft, melt-able cheese. I used feta)
10ish taco-sized corn tortillas (the amount will depend on how full you stuff them)
12 oz. red enchilada sauce, see note abovefor topping
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped (parsley or nothing works, too, if you're cilantro-averse)
squeeze of lime*I decided against investing in these seasonings because I wouldn't use them very often. Instead I just roasted them in olive oil, salt, pepper, Paula Deen seasoning and half of a lemon. The fun part about this is that it lets you improvise to your taste and what's in your kitchen.
Pasta has always been my go-to when I'm hungry, home alone and want something that requires minimal effort. And as much as the 9-year-old inside me still loves pasta with butter and parmesan, I've decided to take my new status as a college graduate to branch out on my quick and easy pastas. I found this recipe in the Trader Joe's cookbook, and the 5 minute prep time and 20 minute cook time is not far off. With one amendment to the original recipe, this turned out to be the perfect post-work easy, filling and tasty meal and my new fall-back pasta.
Yeah, you cook it in wine. In a sauté pan. I was skeptical, too.
red wine pasta
1 (16-oz) bag of long pasta (spaghetti, capellini, etc), I used angel hair
1 bottle red wine (I used Trader Joe's Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon, the book suggests Zinfandel or Syrah)
4 cubes frozen crushed garlic (also found at Trader Joe's)
red chile pepper flakes
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
4 oz crumbled feta (the original recipe called for Gorgonzola)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts (optional)
parmesan for topping (also optional)