Friday, May 30, 2008

Greek Spinach Bake

the term "Bake" is very loosely defined in my kitchen. If I don't feel like cooking, I'll throw eggs, milk, cheese, and some random stuff in a pot and put it in the oven. Last night's result was pretty great, though, so I'll share:

5 eggs, beaten
1 c milk (Again, I used Soy. Doesn't really matter)
1 tbsp butter
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
tbsp Parmesan cheese
a few Feta cheese crumbles
1/4 c breadcrumbs (optional)
1/2 c chopped spinach
a few black olives (optional)
a few mushrooms (optional)
red onion (optional)
zucchini (optional)

preheat the oven to approx 375 degrees F
get a large baking dish and mix the eggs, milk and butter. Chop the spinach and vegetables until you can mix them into the egg dish. Add HALF the cheddar cheese and the other cheeses. Once you have a pretty well-mixed dish, level off the top and sprinkle the remaining cheddar. Top with breadcrumbs.

Cook for 45-60 minutes. When the bake is brown on top, it is done.

Again, this is pretty experimental. You can substitute basically anything for the vegetables. If you guys have your own glorious bakes, you should post them.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 45-60 minutes

Servings: 3-4

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

The food processor never fails. This one is easy, as long as you've got one. Although, I'm sure any form of mashing, shredding, chopping, etc will work.

-4 washed potatoes (I prefer red, and I keep the skins off, though you can skin them as well)
-1/2 c milk (I used Soy Milk, but I'm sure cream or whole milk would work. Your preference)
-1 tbsp salt
-1 tbsp butter

Boil potatoes in large pot for about 10-15 minutes. When they begin to fall apart, they should be ready to go.

Cut potatoes into small enough chunks for food processor (or whatever you're using). Once you have the potato mixture ready, add the milk, butter, and salt. Whip until you get the desired consistency. You can add a bit of cheese at this point as well, if you like.

Total Time: About 25 minutes
Servings: 3-4

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wacky Cake

Easiest (and tastiest) homemade dessert:

In a 9x9 pan mix:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
3 T cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Make holes in mixture and add:
1 T vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
6 T salad oil

Pour 1 cup cold water over mixture and mix well. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

For the Icing:
3 T flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt

Mix until smooth. Cook over low heat until thick. Remove from heat and let cool. In another bowl cream together: 1/2 cup shortening, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 cup sugar. Add to cooled flour mixture and beat until fluffy.

Bean Salad

The perfect side dish to any summer meal, not to mention a picnic favorite:

1 can green beans
1 can wax beans (yellow)
1 can kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced

Dressing (mix separately)--
2/3 cup vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil (NOT olive oil-I use canola, or vegetable works, too)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Drain Beans and mix in onions and peppers. Pour dressing over bean mixture and stir throughly. Refrigerate overnight (or for at least ~5 hours).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fettuccine Alfredo

This Alfredo sauce is really easy to make and really tasty.  A friend actually found it on the Food Network's website, and sent it to me.  

18 ounces fresh fettuccine (store bought works just as well as fresh)
2.5 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
a "pinch" of nutmeg (surprisingly this really adds to the sauce)
salt and freshly ground white pepper (I typically use black pepper)

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Drain

Stir 2 cups of the cream and the lemon juice in a heavy large skillet to blend.  Add the butter and cook over medium heat just until the butter melts, stirring occasionally. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add the pasta and toss. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream and Parmesan to the cream sauce in the skillet.  Add the lemon zest, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Toss the pasta mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens SLIGHTLY. This should take about a minute.

Hummus Factory

Upon acquisition of a food processor earlier this year, I've been experimenting with different kinds of homemade hummus. If anyone would like to add to this post, feel free. I'm always looking for new hummus recipes. I'm going to list the basic ingredients, then tack on the ones that have made each batch unique:

2 cans chick peas (drained)
about 1/4 c olive oil
about 1/8 c lemon juice
2 garlic cloves (1 per can of chick peas)

Directions: throw everything into food processor. Turn on. If too dry, add olive oil or lemon juice to make creamy.

So the above is necessary (also tahini, if you can track it down. We've managed to get by without it. Pretty sure it's at Wegman's), but here are a few ideas to make your hummus different every time:

banana peppers (probably the best)
black olives (the green olive batch was a bit odd, I don't recommend it)
artichoke hearts
roasted red peppers
sun dried tomatoes
hot sauce
sautéed mushrooms

This is the most creative recipe I have. Basically, we see what's in the fridge and make it different every time. Homemade hummus is more of a dip than a spread, since you can't really replicate that consistency with a food processor. If you run it through a few times, it will help, but don't expect to mimic store-bought hummus. This one is way better anyway.

I recommend toasting the pita bread and maybe sprinkling it with garlic powder before eating. Bon appetit.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Burrito Bonanza!

There was really nothing better than burrito night this past year, and it happened at least twice a week. Your options on this one are pretty much unlimited, but I'll get you some basics:

1 package of wheat wraps (make sure they're big enough to roll up)
1 c brown rice
1 can black beans
1 package of shredded taco cheese

Hot Peppers
Hot Sauce (I recommend Crystal Hot Sauce, it depends on how hot you can handle it)
Sour Cream
Shredded Lettuce

Start with the rice. This takes longest, especially if it's bagged. Brown rice is better for you than white, and any bagged rice is better than minute rice. 1 cup should be enough to fill about 5 burritos.

If you have vegetables, I'd recommend sautéing them. Throw some sliced mushrooms and zucchini and peppers in a pan for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Once they brown a bit, they're done.

Black beans in a can are usually microwavable. Put them in a rubber-maid container and heat for 2-3 min.

I also microwave my tortillas for 15-30 seconds to get them flexible. Once everything is done, throw a spoonful of each ingredient in the tortilla, flip the sides over and roll. You'd be surprised how cheap and delicious this one is.

This recipe takes about 30 minutes due to the rice cooking. If you have an apartment full of starving roommates, they will appreciate this one. I frequently have rice and beans left over. Toss the mix in a container, and use it for lunch the next day.

Thai Peanut Sauce

Per lb. of Pasta (Works better with Rotini or Ziti instead of Angel Hair)

1/2 c water
1/2 c lite soy sauce
1/2 c chunky peanut butter
1/8 c brown sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 minced garlic cloves
dash red pepper

Mix ingredients in large bowl (do not heat!) until peanut butter completely dissolves. Cook pasta to desired tenderness and strain. Add still hot pasta to sauce and mix. Takes approx 10-15 minutes. Feeds 4-6 people per lb of pasta


After a few years of living away from home on a tight budget, I started experimenting with different kinds of meals that are fast and cheap, made for college students on a tight budget. While health is an issue of mine, it is often trumped by cost and time. I have a bunch of recipes I'd like to share that have helped me eat a quick, cheap meal between classes that isn't always a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

(As a side note, I'm a vegetarian. Although other bloggers may not be, I will be primarily posting vegetarian recipes.)

If you'd like to write to this blog, comment or email me at