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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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!! 

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!!