Friendsgiving

In honor of thanksgiving, my roommates and I decided to have “Friendsgiving”! We all pitched in and decided to make turkey burgers, green beans almondine, and mashed potatoes!!!!! Basically, it was the best meal ever. Healthy, easy, and delicious!

Turkey Burgers

For the turkey burgers, we got 1.5 lbs of ground turkey meat and seasoned it with some salt, pepper, and garlic salt. We even added some onions to it!

Here is the step-by-step process:

  1. Mix the ground turkey meat with the salt, pepper, and garlic salt. image-30
  2. Chop up onions and add them to the ground turkey meatimage-29
  3. Separate the meat, and make individual patties.image-21
  4. Grab a pan and heat up some olive oil and place the pattiesimage-14
  5. Flip over once you notice the meat is cooked.image-35
  6. The meat will be fully cooked when the inside is no longer pink!

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are kind of tricky and a bit time consuming to make BUT they are delicious.

So here is the step-by-step process:

  1. Get your potatoes and begin to peel themimage-23
  2. Once they are peeled, you want to cut them up into quartersimage-9image-12
  3. Place them in a pot and fill it with water (make sure that they potatoes are covered with water)image
  4. Boil the potatoesimage-33
  5. After 20-25 minutes, drain the potatoes and place them back into the potimage-18 image-19
  6. Begin to mash them in low heatimage-4
  7. Add half a stick of butter and a cup of milk to the mashed potatoesimage-25
  8. Mix everything together and season with salt and pepperimage-1

Green Beans Almondine

This was the best part of the whole meal, so yummy! Green beans with butter, sliced almonds and salt & pepper…

Here is the step-by-step process:

  1. Bring a pot of water to boilimage-5
  2. Once the water is bubbling, add the green beans and leave them there for 7 minutesimage-6
  3. While those are boiling, get another pan and add two tablespoons of butter, salt & pepper and two handfuls of sliced almonds                                                      image-22
  4. Once the green beans are fully boiled, drain them and then mix in the sliced almond and butter sauce image-15

Aaaaand there you have it – the best meal ever for Friendsgiving! Super simple, relatively cheap, and actually healthy! Feel free to add gravy to the mashed potatoes or cranberry sauce to the turkey patties!

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Overall Prep Time: 1 hour

Overall Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Overal Price: $25

I hope this post inspires you guys to host a Friendsgiving before you go home to celebrate with your families! Happy Cooking!!!

Buff & Blue Bakers

Hi everyone! Today’s post is dedicated to Buff and Blue Bakers GWU’s Baking student org!!!!!

Today we held a Fall Baking Event where we made a bunch of yummy treats!!

I was in charge of the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of milk chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray PAM on a cookie sheet
  2. Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth and beat in the white and brown sugar as well image-14 image-22image-21
  3. Beat in the egg, and then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin pureeimage-19 image-9
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon image-6
  5. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds and then stir in the chocolate chipsimage-11image-7imageimage-13
  6. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edgesimage-5 image-15
  7. Once the cookies are cooled down – you can drizzle some melted white chocolate in order to make them the perfect fall treat!

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Some of the other treats we made include:

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Marshmallow Cookies (recipe here)

image-18Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles (recipe here)

image-20Cinnamon Apple Muffins (recipe here)

image-4Mini Pumpkin Pies (recipe here)

image-17Hope you guys enjoyed this post! I had so much fun making all of these treats! Make sure to follow Buff & Blue Bakers on Facebook, Twitter on Instagram! Happy Cooking!!!!

Southern Comfort [GUEST POST]

Hi everyone! So today you are in for a treat! My roommate Annie volunteered to do a guest post for Cooking Between Classes – and trust me the following recipes are to die for! 

ANNIE: Hi y’all!! I’m so excited to do a guest post on Paula’s blog. I always think I want to make a blog and become, like, the greatest blogger ever, but the fact that I have yet to follow through to even make one is a sure sign that maybe I should stick to one-time blog appearances like this one.

I’ve been working at Pure Barre in Dupont Circle since the end of the summer, and yesterday we had a party at my friend Lauren’s house for college game day. Being from the south (Memphis, TN to be exact) I was raised on game day and tailgate fare. Not necessarily the healthiest cuisine, but as long as you keep it in moderation (AKA just every Saturday during the fall) you should be fine…

Anyway, Lauren’s husband was making Carolina-style pulled pork, so I offered to bring one of my all time favorite foods and a southern classic—cheese grits—to accompany it. Good grits are hard to come by in DC grocery stores (Whole Foods only offers “Polenta [also known as Grits].” Not willing to compromise on quality, I found what I consider to be the real McCoy—Palmetto Farms Yellow Corn Stone Ground Grits— on Amazon, and they were here 2 days later. The grits were a hit at our party, and I made them again for Paula and our other roommates Gaby and Gabi. If nothing else, they are the epitome of comfort food. BONUS: they’re super easy to make. I also made home made chex mix yesterday, another southern holiday tradition, and am including that recipe as well!

Best Ever Baked Stone Ground Cheese Grits

1 Cup Palmetto Farms Yellow Corn Stone Ground Grits (you can also use Quaker Oats quick cooking grits)

4 Cups of 2% milk

¼ Cup butter

1 egg

2 Cups grated cheddar cheese (I use half sharp and half mild cheddar)

½ Cup Parmesan cheese, divided

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

IMG_6582 Step 1: Bring the milk, butter, and grits to a boil in a large pot, stirring frequently

IMG_6585Step 2: After the mixture has reached a rolling boil, reduce to a simmer (low heat) and cover the pot with a lid. Let it cook for 6-8 minutes or until done. It should still be bubbling as it simmers, so watch it closely and stir it around every couple of minutes. You’ll know it is done when it has reached the consistency of mashed potatoes or oatmeal.

IMG_6586Step 3: Remove from heat. Stir in the egg, cheddar cheese, half of the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Pour the mixture into a large baking dish (I used a 9×13 glass Pyrex dish, but a large stockpot or a cake/pie tin works too). Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese.

IMG_6589Step 4: Bake at 350 uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until the top turns a golden/light brown color.

IMG_6606Never heard of grits? They’re very similar to Polenta. I like to eat them with eggs and bacon at breakfast, or with roasted chicken and sautéed spinach at dinner. They also paired really well with Matt’s pulled pork yesterday and are a great alternative to mac and cheese. If nothing else, grits are comfort food at its finest.

 Home Made Chex Party Mix

5 cups Rice Chex Cereal

4 cups Corn Chex Cereal

1 cup bite-size pretzels

1 cup mixed nuts or peanuts

1 cup cheerios (I didn’t use these in this batch)

8 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 ½ teaspoons seasoned salt

¾ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

IMG_6575 Step 1: Preheat oven to 250. In a large bowl, mix the cereals, pretzels, and nuts.

IMG_6578Step 2: Heat the butter in the microwave until it has completely melted. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, orange juice, seasoned salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.

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IMG_6577 Step 3: Pour the butter and seasoning mix over the cereal mix, stir so that the entire mixture is coated evenly. Spread the mixture pour on a large roasting pan or cookie sheet.

IMG_6579Step 4: Bake for about an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving, store in an airtight container.

IMG_6588WARNING: you’ll never be able to eat the bagged chex mix again!

Told you guys that you were in for a treat! These are really simple recipes and they are absolutely delicious!! 

Overall Prep Time for Grits: 20 min 

Overall Cooking Time for Grits: 30-40 min 

Overall Price: ~$20-30 (depends on what kind of grits you buy) 

Overall Prep Time for Chex Mix: 10 min 

Overall Cooking Time for Chex Mix: 1 hour 

Overall Price: ~$15-25 

Let me know if his post inspired you guys to learn how to make some southern comfort food! Also, let me know if you enjoyed the guest post! I have other friends that have been wanting to share their recipes as well! 

Happy Cooking!! 

Le omelette du fromage

Hello everyone!!! So yesterday I woke up bright and early and was craving an egg-white omelette! Weird – I know, but it is one of the healthiest breakfast recipes I have come across throughout my four-years in college.

It all starts off with separating the egg white from the egg yolk. This is the trickiest part – so I used this helpful YouTube video as a guide.

IMG_6173 IMG_6180 IMG_6181 IMG_6182After removing the egg whites. you stir all of it together (similar to when you make scrambled eggs)

IMG_6183You grab a pan and you add some butter to it – wait until it melts and spread it around the pan

IMG_6184 IMG_6185Add the egg whites to the pan (which is on medium heat)

IMG_6186 IMG_6187 IMG_6188While that heats up – cut up some veggies!! I used tomatoes and onions – but you can also use spinach, bell peppers and if you are the carnivorous type – add some ham!

IMG_6177Once the egg whites are completely white (instead of clear) add the veggies to it!

IMG_6189 IMG_6190Add some cheese

IMG_6191And then start folding the omelette

IMG_6192And voila, your egg-white omelette is done!

IMG_6194Easy. Healthy. Delicious!

Overall Prep Time – 15 min

Overall Cost – $10-15

Hope you guys decide to make this for breakfast one of these days! Let me know if you added any other veggies! Happy Cooking!!

Fiesta Time!

Tonight was Fiesta Night in our room! My roommates and I decided to make some delicious Chicken Fajitas! It’s  super simple and really fun to make!

I went to Trader Joe’s this afternoon and bought the following things –

3 Bell Peppers

1 Onion

Salsa Autentica

Chicken Breast

Guacamole

Shredded Cheese

Whole Wheat Tortilla

To get started we first cut up the bell peppers, onions, and chicken into long strips

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We then add a little bit of olive oil (1 tbs) to two pans, once they have heated up – add the ingredients to begin cooking them

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Once the chicken is fully cooked and the veggies are heated up add the Salsa Autentica to the pan with the veggies and heat it up

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In the meantime, start preparing the tortillas – put them in a damp paper towel and add them in the microwave for 30 seconds

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Once that is done – set everything up in a buffet style so everyone can create their own fajitas!

image-5It’s fun, simple and interactive!

image-12 Overall Prep Time/Cooking Time: ~30 min

Overall Price: ~$20

Let me know what you guys think of this recipe – Happy Cooking!

Fall Treats

Fall is here! Fall is here! Fall is here!!!!! What better way to celebrate fall than with some delicious fall treats!?!?!

This week, I made two simple treats that were absolutely delicious: Cinnamon coated pumpkin seeds & chocolate/peanut butter pretzels!!

Let’s begin with the Cinnamon Coated Pumpkin Seeds:

It all started when my roommate and I wanted to carve a pumpkin…. We went to Whole Foods and bought a giant pumpkin, once we started to carve it – we realized that there were so many pumpkin seeds that were going to waste, so we decided to save the pumpkin seeds and look up a simple recipe for them.

image-5Your first step is to remove the pumpkin seeds and place them on a colander… You run it under some water and make sure to get pumpkin gunk off of them.

image-9image-10Preheat the oven to 400. In the meantime, dry the seeds on paper towel and then place them on a butter-coated pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon powder on them and once the oven is ready – you place them inside.

image-3They are going to be in the oven for 20 minutes total, but after the first 10 minutes you have to remember to move them around just to make sure that all of the pumpkin seeds get evenly roasted.

image-4Once the 20 minutes are done, you place the pumpkin seeds on a plate and enjoy them!! SUPER SIMPLE & DELICIOUS!!

imageimage-2The other recipe has more steps…

Chocolate/Peanut Butter Pretzels

 You are going to need a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, a cup of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter powder and a cup of confectioner’s sugar.

Get the bag of chocolate chips and the cup of peanut butter and add them to a bowl

IMG_6436 IMG_6437Place in the microwave for 1:30 min or until the chocolate chips fully melt. Once melted, mix the peanut butter and melted chocolate together.  Also, add the peanut butter powder to make it a little bit denser.

IMG_6444-1Get your pretzels and place them in a bigger bowl

IMG_6450Pour the chocolate/peanut butter sauce over it and stir all together

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If you want, you can add other things to it – we added cheerios!

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Once it is all mixed together, place everything in a large Ziploc bag and add the confectioners sugar to it.

IMG_6462IMG_6467Seal the Ziploc bag and shake it – the goal is to get all of the pretzels covered in powdered sugar.

IMG_6468Once that is done, place it in the freezer for 20 min and then enjoy!!

IMG_6469image-1Simple as that!!

Overall Prep Time: 30 min

Overall Cost: $15-20

Let me know if you enjoyed these simple snacks – planning on making many more this semester!! Happy Cooking!

Under the Sea…Scallops

Hey everyone – so this week I made a delicious meal for my roommates. Remember how I mentioned in my previous posts that I am obsessed with seafood? Well, the obsession is still there…This week I made some seared scallops with spinach, feta and pine nut salad. Fancy, right? Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 6.30.18 PM

Everyone will be impressed with your cooking skills with this recipe. But, fair warning – the prep time is kind of long.

It all starts off with a bag of jumbo frozen sea scallops, which we are going to need to thaw. There are two options on how to thaw them:

1)   Thaw scallops in a covered pan in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours

2)   Leave scallops in original packaging and submerge in a pan of cold water. Do not thaw scallops at room temperature. Rinse scallops in cool water and drain in a colander before use.

Since the first option takes about an eternity, I’m going to use the second set of instructions.

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Once you are done thawing the scallops (which takes about 1-2 hours), you have to make sure that you pat the scallops with a dry paper towel. This is extremely important, because if you do not do this correctly, your scallops are going to taste kind of chewy.

You then season the scallops with salt & pepper (and any other spice you desire).

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In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil at a medium/high temperature.

Place scallops on the hot skillet and cook approximately 2-3 minutes per side or up until they turn opaque.

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*Turn only once, scallops cook quickly and are done when opaque

The spinach with feta & pine nuts salad is a recipe my mom sent me from one of her many Barefoot Contessa recipe books.

You will need the following ingredients:

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            2 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

            1-½ cups chopped onion

            1 lemon

            1 pound of fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and spun dry

            Salt and black pepper

            1-½ tablespoons of pine nuts

            ½ cup of diced feta

Heat the olive oil in large pan, add the onion and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes.

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Meanwhile, zest the lemon and set aside

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Squeeze the lemon and add 1-½ tablespoons of lemon juice to the pan

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Add the spinach in big handfuls, tossing constantly with tongs for a minute or two until all the leaves are wilted. Toss with 1-½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper and remove from the heat

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Add 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest, the pine nuts and feta and toss gently.

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Season to taste and serve hot with the seared scallops

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Voila! Your fancy meal is done! This recipe is kind of time consuming, but trust me it is definitely worth it!

Overall price: $25

Overall prep time: Thawing 1-2 hours

Overall cooking time: 20 minutes

Difficulty: 4/5

Let me know if you enjoyed this recipe, if it was too difficult, or anything like that! Happy Cooking!

Pica-whaaaat?

Hello everyone! So I’m happy to say that I have a great recipe for you guys! Like I promised on my last post, I made a dish that is a Puerto Rican delicacy…It’s called picadillo (pee-ka-di-yo). You guys are going to love this one! It’s so easy and it’s filled with so many flavors!

So here is the step by step process…. First you buy all of these ingredients: image-12

  • Ground Beef
  • Bell Peppers
  • White Onion
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Raisins
  • Olive Oil
  • Olives
  • Rice

You are going to grab your ground beef and season it with a little bit of salt, pepper and olive oil.

image-10Drizzle that olive oil on a pan and begin cooking the meat.

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In the meantime, start boiling some water for the rice…I had my friend Mark (a fellow Puerto Rican) come over and help me with that since I always find a way to mess rice up.

image-22While he was making the rice, I started to chop up all of the olives, bell peppers, onions and raisins.

                               image-15image-14 image-23 image-9And I added them to the ground beef

image-1Mix it all together and add your tomato paste & diced tomatoes

image-17Check on your rice and make sure that its fully cooked

image-5Serve it on your plate.

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And ENJOY 🙂

image-18See? Super easy and extremely delicious!

Don’t forget to play some music and complement your meal with a cold Corona (if you are 21+, obvi)

Overall Prep Time: 45 min

Overal Price : ~$25 (keep in mind, most of these ingredients can be reused)

Let me know if this meal has either inspired you to cook a Puerto Rican dish OR tempted you to book a trip the the beautiful island I get to call home!

Happy Cooking!

Mio

Hi everyone!!!

So I’m sad to say that I don’t have a recipe for you guys. My parents are in town this week for my birthday and I have had no time to cook. I’m trying to take advantage of the fact that they are here to go to really nice restaurants (MUAHAHA).

But anyways, this week’s blog post is dedicated to my family. The main reason I decided to write a blog about cooking is because of them.

I have a huge Puerto Rican family, so I bet you can imagine how crazy it gets during the holidays. All of my aunts cook something delicious and then we just all get together to eat and gossip.

Ever since I got to college, my family has tried everything to teach me how to make simple Puerto Rican dishes. It hasn’t been that successful…it just doesn’t taste the same!

Luckily, I found out that there is a Puerto Rican restaurant here in DC where I can go if I am feeling homesick! It’s called Mio (which means “mine” in Spanish) and it is absolutely amazing! I took my parents this week and they were amazed by how good it was!  If you like rice and beans, fried food, and plantains – you will definitely like this restaurant!

Next week, expect a Puerto Rican recipe. I know I’m gonna feel a little homesick once my parents leave so I’m going to want to make some comfort food.

Once again, sorry for not having a recipe today! I promise my next post will make up for it!

Happy Cooking!

Salmon Teriyaki … NOMZ

I think I have a problem … I am literally obsessed with seafood – the last time I cooked for you guys I made the  End-of-the-Summer Shrimp Pasta and today I made some Salmon Teriyaki with some broccoli & rice pilaf! 

What I love most about this recipe is how simple it is…it is the perfect “go to” meal for any college student since it is cheap and it only takes 30 min to prepare! PLUS it’s healthy and it fills you up! Ahhh so many great things about this recipe!

Let’s get started!

So I went to Whole Foods today and bought two salmon steaks that were already marinated with teriyaki sauce (which you can easily make yourself with this recipe)…Once I got back to my dorm, I preheated the oven to 350°F…In the meantime, I got a pan and covered it with aluminum foil, drizzled a little bit of olive oil and placed the two salmon steaks in the middle of the pan.image-4image-6

Once that was ready, and the oven hit 350 °F, I placed the salmon inside and set the timer for 30 minutes. image-14 image-12

While that was cooking I then started to prepare the rice pilaf and the broccoli…image-10

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These are two things that every college student should buy…super convenient to have and they go with everything! Plus both are really easy to prepare.

For the broccoli, all you have to do is get a pan and add a cup of water to it…You let the water boil and then you place the frozen broccoli inside and cover it so the broccoli heats up with the steam.

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The rice pilaf is a little trickier…

Last year was the first time I ever tried rice pilaf. Back home my mom would always make rice the old fashion Puerto Rican way …. so rice pilaf is a completely different scenario. I clearly remember last year, I decided to prepare dinner for my roommates on our first week back to school. I decided to make them some grilled chicken with some rice pilaf. Everything was going really well until I started to make the rice… I had no idea that you needed to add a specific amount of water, so I added like three cups of water (when it was supposed to be 1 3/4 cups *oops*)…. After 15-20 minutes I realized the water was not evaporating and the rice just looked like some gooey soup, (keep in mind this is my first time making rice pilaf so I had no idea what it was supposed to look like)… I decided to serve the pasty/gooey rice and when I handed over the plates to my roommates they  were so confused. My roommate looked at the plate, and then looked at me and said “I thought you were making rice pilaf” and I answered “Umm… yeah, I made rice pilaf – it’s right in front of you” and they literally started to die laughing and told me what I had done wrong… After that day, I realized that I need to start reading the instructions for everything if I want to cook it correctly. ALWAYS READ THE INSTRUCTIONS !

Today, I can proudly say that I have perfected the art of making rice pilaf – and it is the easiest thing ever!

You grab a pan and add 1 3/4 cups of water to it, you make the water boil and then add the rice. You stir the rice for a little bit and then lower the heat so the rice cooks while the water evaporates – you know the rice is done when it looks like it is nice and fluffy and there is no water left in the pan (this usually takes up to 20 minutes)

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As soon as the broccoli and the rice pilaf are done cooking, the thirty minutes have gone by and the salmon is ready!

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Simple as that. You get everything out and serve it on to a plate and there you have a very yummy, simple, and healthy dinner!

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Extra tip: add some lemon juice, salt and pepper to the broccoli! It really brings in all of the flavors!

Overall Prep/Cooking Time: ~ 30-35 minutes

Overall Cost: ~$20

Hope you guys get the chance to make this really easy meal! And please don’t make the mistake I made when cooking the rice pilaf!

Happy Cooking!!