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!!!

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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!!

End-of-the-Summer Pasta

These first two weeks of school have been SUPER hectic! From buying books, setting up the dorm room and adjusting to a new class schedule –  I barely had any time to just sit down and make a delicious meal! 

Finally, this weekend I was able to go to Whole Foods and buy some groceries. While I was there, I have to admit I was having some trouble deciding what types of ingredients I should get (they have way too many options).

But after walking by all of the aisles, I finally decided to buy the following ingredients to make the perfect end-of-the-summer pasta…image-4

As you can see, I bought some whole wheat rotini pasta, frozen shrimp, basil pesto, grape tomatoes, olive oil, pine nuts and salt & pepper. Most of the ingredients are Whole Food’s 356 Everyday Value products which are really cheap and delicious! Overall, this purchase was inexpensive and the best part is that most of the ingredients can be re-used for other meals!

Okay, so now to the step-by-step process:

The first thing I had to do was thaw the frozen shrimp … yeahh how do I do that?

I literally had no idea – at first I got a pot and filled it with water and put the bag inside … and that clearly was not the right thing to do. My roommates called me out and were like “Paula, you have to take the shrimp OUT of the bag and place them in the water” which obviously made a lot more sense. So I did that and after 10 minutes of waiting the shrimp was completely thawed. Once that was done I placed them in a strainer until I had to use them again.

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Next, I put some water to boil so I can cook the pasta…It took like 5-7 minutes for the water to boil and 10 minutes for the pasta to be perfectly cooked. Make sure you taste the pasta so you know it is fully cooked!

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In the meantime, I had my roommates cut up some tomatoes and set up the table.image-9

The next step was to get a pan drizzle some olive oil on it, turn up the heat and start cooking the shrimp (which is seasoned with salt & pepper).image-1

And add the tomatoes and the pine nuts

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Once the shrimp is fully cooked, you go back to the pasta, strain it and then add a tablespoon of olive oil, extra tomatoes, two tablespoons of basil pesto and the shrimp/pine nuts/tomato combo to it.

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The final step is *drumroll, please*:  ENJOY THE FOOD!

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Overall Prep/Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes

Overall Cost: ~ $25 for all of the ingredients (keep in mind that half of them can be re-used)

Let me know if this post was helpful, and if you had the chance to make this dish tell me about your experience!

Happy Cooking!