Category Archives: lunches

My Favorite [ridiculously easy] Pasta

Oh, hey there, November! When did you get here? How did you sneak up on me like that? How did my little brother just turn twenty-freaking two? How is Thanksgiving next week? I had such grand plans. They involved butter, sugar, and lots of practice. They used egg whites and whipped them to peaky perfection. And purple sweet potatoes and coconut milk. And getting me to like brussel sprouts. So many things I had planned! And yet, here I am. Trying frantically to clean out my refrigerator to make room for a turkey that can feed eight. and three pies. And how many sides? I lost count. 

So if you are finding yourself in the same boat, with November flying by without you being entirely prepared for it, lacking motivation to do grocery shopping before the epic bender you’re going on this weekend, and your refrigerator stockpile slowly dwindling in the face of what you know is going to be a pie-turkey-potato-green bean EXPLOSION next week, this one’s for you.  Continue reading

Advertisements

Handmade Noodles

Homemade noodles were  one of those bucket-list things for me. Which probably makes me a pretty boring person considering most people have awesome! fun! exciting! things on their bucket list, like, I don’t know, skydiving or swimming with sharks. Me? I wanted to make noodles. But I don’t have a pasta machine. I have one teeny tiny, low, wood laminate counter. And a rolling pin. And some determination. And I made noodles.

Turns out they shouldn’t have been relegated to my bucket list, they should have been on my do-this-right-now-like-immediately list. Which means you should probably put them on yours too, because, uh, they are awesome. And really not hard at all. Seriously! It just takes one tiny counter. And a rolling pin. and some determination, in the form of arm strength. But not a lot of strength. I mean, shoot, I did it. Also, they taste like no noodles you’ve ever had before. Unless you, unlike me, eat at fancy restaurants where they actually make fresh pasta. Or unless you, unlike me, have discovered the joys of fresh pasta eons ago and think I’m waaay behind the times. I generally am. But I’m catching up.

Continue reading

Pasta with Walnut Sauce

We Love Nick. What’s that? You have no idea who Nick is? That’s okay. I have a feeling you love him too, you just don’t know it yet. Nick is my cousin’s fiancée, and also our friend. Because we like him. So, well, you probably don’t know him. But let me tell you about him: he gave me this recipe. It was delicious. And deliciously easy. I think that’s all you need to know for now.

Do you know how awesome walnuts are? Um.. they’re like one of those superfoods people talk about a lot these days. They’re one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat and they are really high in omega-3-fatty acids which, if you didn’t know, make you smarter. Fact. Or something like that. Anyways, this sauce is mostly walnuts which means this pasta is ridiculously healthy for you. Another win. Because it means you can eat giant servings of it for several days in a row and feel really good about yourself. And have an extra-large milkshake for dessert. It’s called balance, people.

So. Grab yourself a bag of walnuts (okay, I know they are kind of pricey. But you can get a three pound bag at costco and eat walnuts for the rest of forever. Just make sure you keep them in the freezer so they don’t go bad.) And let’s say a silent ‘thank you’ to Nick for this kick butt pasta sauce recipe. Thanks Nick!

ps. check this recipe out on the Magic Bullet Blog too!

Walnut Pasta Sauce (courtesy of Nick. and also his mother, whose recipe this really is. I think. I adapted it only slightly.)

So not only is this recipe ridiculously easy to make (like, blend and dump easy) and ridiculously healthy for you, but it is also vegetarian and could oh-so easily be made  gluten free. I’ll mention below what you can sub out to make it so!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted until deep golden brown (you can do this in a 375 degree oven or on top of a stove, tossing them often, just watch them carefully if you do it on the stove so you don’t burn them. But don’t skip the roasting step! it’s what brings out all the nutty flavor of the walnuts)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup half and half (you could use milk or cream or whatever you have. or even a non-dairy alternative.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • a large 1/4 tsp italian seasoning
  • 3 tsp fresh squeeze lemon juice
  • 1 lb linguine, fettuccine or other pasta; cooked and drained (if you use brown rice pasta, this recipe is gluten-free. Ta-da!)

These are the instructions as they were given to me: Blend first [11] ingredients. Dump onto pasta.

I’ll add that you should then mix it well and serve it with some wine. But that’s just me. 

Some Chili + Cornbread, baby!

So I realize that chili is different things to different people. And it’s one of those foods that gets people all riled up. Y’know, the kind of food that can start a fight. Because people, they love Their Chili. Not just chili. Their Chili. And they’ll get all up in your grill if you do/do not add beans/fresh chilis/ground beef/beef chunks/ veggies/tomatoes/doyagetthepicture? I guess you could call it  a contentious food, even. Well, I’m sure this here chili that I made is gonna get some of you all riled up (as will my cornbread, probably, since that gets people plenty riled too!). And I’m about to tell you something that’ll get you even more riled up..

      Not only was last night the first time I ever made chili… but up until, oh I don’t know, a couple months ago maybe, maybe as long ago as a year, I had never eaten chili. Seriously. Never. (Whenever it was chili night at my house growing up I ate cottage cheese. Like, people, I ate cottage cheese with crackers for dinner. What the eff was wrong with me?!) So clearly I am not of of those chili experts and I’m not gonna try and tell you what does and does not belong in a chili. But I will tell you this: this here chili I made.. it was fantastic.

Continue reading

Savory Grilled Chicken

I wasn’t there to witness the inception of this chicken, but from what I understand, it probably took place after several beers, and was basically the result of, well, whatever was in our friend’s cupboards at the time. But as it turned out, Brett and his friend Paul (is it cool if I mention you by name, Paul? I’ve done it twice now so I hope it’s okay.) made quite a tasty little marinade in their state of questionable inebriation. Good on you, boys.

What’s in it? Well, basically everything you  have sitting in your cupboards right now. Yep. Somehow when you take all that down and throw it on top of some chicken thighs and then let those thighs take a nice long bath, and then slam those down on a nice and hot grill you end up with crispy, crunchy, juicy, altogether yummy piece of chicken you’ll be glad to have at your next bbq.

Continue reading

Superbowl Snacks: Pizza Pockets

This Sunday marks the end of the great season we know as Football. Many of you might be awfully broken up about it. But this year I’m not for three reasons. 1. the Chargers failed so hard this year I want to pretend it never happened. 2. I just plain hate the Patriots and the NYGiants aren’t much better. Not-so-super-bowl in my book this year. and 3. UH baseball starts soon. Whoo!

   

   

But, regardless of how I wish both teams could just lose this year, I’m still going to watch and I’m still going to yell and shout and drink a bunch of beer and eat a bunch of food. We actually got invited to someone else’s house for the superbowl this year (which is kind of a big deal for us..), so I’m really excited to bring over some snacks. The first of which will be these pizza pockets.

Continue reading

Happy New Year: Spring Rolls


I must preface this post by letting you all know, I am not a professional spring roll -roller. Never have I made spring rolls before. Now, I have eaten plenty, that’s for sure. But never tried to make them myself. So I figured what better time to make Chinese Spring Rolls (also known as egg rolls) than Chinese New Year! And boy, do I sure wish I had made these sooner. 

Truth be told, they weren’t even hard to make. In fact, I might even call them downright easy. Well, sure some of mine looked like they had been squashed, or sat on, or just wilted, but I mean they tasted fine. And I think that Brett has found his calling, because his rolls were just so..rolly. Seriously all of the nice looking ones were ones he rolled. They do take a little bit of time to make, but not as much as I thought. We made Gyoza one time and those were much more difficult, so I was pleasantly surprised by these spring rolls. The best part is, the recipe makes a whole bunch and you can just freeze them up and then have spring rolls anytime you want! yessss.. Continue reading

zucchini tacos

ok so. after I graduated from college, my parents, older brother, boyfriend, and myself decided to run around my college “town” (one square mile of crammed-together-overpriced apartments, bars, liquor stores, and mexican food, all mere steps away from the beach) and.. for lack of a better (tactful) word… explore. Anyways. One of the last stops of the evening before my little brother begrudgingly picked us up to drive us back to our hotel was a little place called El Sitio. Now if anyone is ever in the Santa Babara Area; drive to Isla Vista and EAT  at El Sitio. If you love mexican food (real mexican food not taco bell or El Torito) you will not be dissappointed.

Most of us were pretty full already, but my mom wanted to try something called a zucchini taco. I had never heard of it, but she thought it sounded like the most delicious thing in the world. And as it turns out, it really was. She was kind enough to share with both me and Brett, and dear lord almighty, those tacos were delicious. Unfortunately, we weren’t able at that precise moment in time to figure out how they  made them, and we haven’t gotten to go back since.

Continue reading