Sweet and Spicy Scrambled Eggs

Sweet and Spicy Scrambled Eggs

Confession: I never owned nor understood sriracha until a month ago. I still have never even bought the stuff; my roommate bought the bottle (sorry I’m using it all, Meredith). Now I can’t stop putting it on top of every dish I make, and I’m constantly looking up others I could use it in. This sweet/salty/spicy combo with sriracha, brown sugar, and soy sauce has been my one and only craving lately. Top it off with fresh cilantro and the crisp bite from green onions, and it’s absolute perfection.

I got home from the gym dying for protein today, and I made Beth from Budget Bytes’ Dragon Noodles. They were delicious, but I needed more food afterwards. I wanted to eat the same thing, but had no more noodles! So I got a little creative and put my own spin on it by using the same flavors to make sweet and spicy scrambled eggs. This dish would make a great breakfast, lunch, or late night snack. And it can be easily doubled, tripled, quadrupled… heck, make it for a crowd! Oh, and it takes less than 5 minutes. You’re welcome.
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Mushrooms Roasted with Pine Nuts

Mushrooms Roasted with Pine Nuts

I’ve been taking a few minutes at the end of the day to write down one “transcendent” moment I had. Like how it felt to go out of my way for someone, or how the pouring rain wasn’t so awful when I looked at it falling in a street light. Writing down one good thing each day that goes beyond the obvious. I hope that filling up a notebook with these wonderful feelings and reflections will, in turn, bring a deeper sense of spirituality and admiration for the world that my life has been missing.

I think that food could be almost every entry in my notebook. Food has changed my life. It has brought me new skills, appreciation for nature and nutrition, and helped bring me closer to my friends and family. I love the creativity of a recipe where an ingredient is stuffed with another version of itself. Like stuffed zucchini and these mushrooms. The caps are filled with a sauteed mixture of the stems and garlic, bread crumbs, and pine nuts, taking the mushroom to a whole different level and then bringing it right back to its origins. Does that make sense?

I normally don’t make side dishes for my meals. I make the main course, and that’s all. I usually have a decent amount of vegetables in my main dish already, but I’m trying to incorporate more creative ideas on the side. It’s nice to be able to eat a little bit of one dish, and then nibble on another.

For this meal, I paired the mushrooms roasted with pine nuts alongside a polenta gnocchi with roasted red pepper sauce. The two dishes complimented each other, and the winter season, wonderfully. Plus, the mushrooms can be cooked with the polenta gnocchi and come out of the oven right at the same time! It’s like they’re meant to be together.

Mushrooms Roasted with Pine Nuts
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For the Week (2.3.13)

Two weeks ago I signed up for Pocket, an app that let’s you save articles and webpages to read later. So far, I love it. It’s changing how I read and archive content. I scroll through my Twitter feed and mark interesting things to read later, and only when I’m done do I head over to read them. It’s also a great way to kill time on a bus if you have a couple interesting links right in front of you. Pocket integrates with Twitter, Google Reader, and your browser so you can quickly save pieces. And the web and mobile apps make reading articles a pleasure – no pesky ads or annoying layouts. It just looks good. Plus, you can favorite and search for articles.

That’s just my own little plug for an app I thought was great! This week’s link roundup features a wider variety of articles than in the past, mostly because I pulled them from my favorites on Pocket over the last two weeks.

Polenta Gnocchi with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Polenta Gnocchi with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I got a little manic about cooking yesterday. Maybe I’m always a little manic in the kitchen. I started browsing the Sundays at Moosewood chapter on Italy and ran across a yummy-sounding recipe for roasted mushrooms. Then the cookbook suggested I pair them with polenta. With a red pepper sauce on top. And suddenly I was making three dishes at once in my tiny kitchen with only an hour and a half to cook and eat before I had to be out the door (note: rushed photos so I could eat and run).

It can be done, my friends. If the polenta is cooked and cooled ahead of time, you can whip together a spectacular Italian meal for that someone special (in my case, it’s my roommate Meredith) in an hour. You might go a little crazy and smell like a red pepper for the rest of the night, but you can do it! Or you could relax in the kitchen with a glass of red wine and cook leisurely, if you have the time.

Polenta Gnocchi with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
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Midterms Mac n’ Cheese

Mac n' Cheese

Five months later and I finally post a recipe for my blog’s namesake. And it comes at a time when I’m trading tea towels for textbooks, and hot plates for highlighters. Midterm season. At Northwestern, midterm season lasts from about week 4 until… week 10. From here on out, I’ve got a major exam or paper deadline every week.

What’s one thing that can comfort us while we battle constant examination and dreary weather? Mac n’ cheese. Cheap, cheesy, and oh-so-good.

This recipe cost me about $2.00 for 3 to 4 servings (about $0.50 a serving!). It was $0.50 for half a box of pasta ($1.00 for the pound), $1.00 for a quarter pound of cheese ($4.00 for the pound), and about $0.50 for milk. That is a MUCH BETTER DEAL than any boxed macaroni and cheese at the store, and it’s free of all the weird things they must be putting in powdered, non-perishable cheese. I don’t mean to hate on Kraft, because I do love my Spongebob and Scooby Doo macaronis. But when it comes down to it, this recipe is cheaper and better for you. It doesn’t take much longer to cook, either.

This recipe was my excuse to not study for a little bit. I think you should use this recipe as an excuse not to study, too. But now it’s time to hit the books with a full and happy stomach! Good luck on those exams, people.

Mac n' Cheese
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