Friday, August 29, 2008

Cold Press Coffee

Cold Press Coffee
Originally uploaded by Zylo Lugosi
If you're of the financially minded variety, you're no stranger to drawing up budgets. If you're also a college student, you probably do it out of necessity. What's funny about this is that I purposely cut my food budget so that I can have an entire seperate section for coffee. That's right, kids. I devote around $30 a week to buying coffee. Why? I'm in college! I'm tired during the day and instead of taking a nap, I get a caffeine fix. I also have a bad habit of not being able to study at home. In order to do homework or learn anything, I have to leave the house. So off to Starbuck's or the school coffee joint I go. It's a small price to pay for good grades, methinks.

However, I'm starting to fret as my birthday draws close. I'm going to have to start paying for my own health insurance. Coffee is the most frivolous part of my otherwise very smart budget which means that it should go first. But... but... I can't. I just can't. I can cut back a bit. I can buy tea or regular coffee instead of mixed drinks, but it can't go altogether. I'm convinced I'll fail out of college. So what's a girl to do?

Well, if you're like me you're probably just trying to ignore it and schlepping around the internet. Like yesterday. I haven't checked my favorite foods blogs in a while, so off I went. Of course, near the top of my list is Smitten Kitchen, and did she have something in store for me! I'd never really heard of cold-press coffee before, but if her addiction is as strong as mine (like she claims) she must know what she's talking about. Enter old-as-dirt coffee and my dusty coffee press. By just letting the coffee grounds soak in water overnight, it's actually "brewing". It infuses the water with all its coffee goodness, and apparently more caffeine and less acidity. I'm not really a good judge of either, but I was kinda jittery and it had less of that funky bite to it.

I'm low on essentials, so I had to make due with what I had. Half-and-half, water, too few ice cubes, a splash of vanilla extract, and some honey. It looked like it wouldn't make it, but one sip and I was hooked. This is the best coffee drink I've ever made at home. It tasted exactly like a slightly-sweetened, lukewarm latte from Starbucks. Only better and a hell of a lot cheaper. Plus, this is right up my alley. No work. Cheap. Can be kept in the frige. I think I know how to save for my deductible now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Aside from canned sauce and parmesan cheese, I have managed to get creative. Butter garlic pasta with the baked yellow squash from the night before. And even kinda healthy, right?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I thought it tasted funny

So. My cooking is a comedy of errors at the best of times and last night was no different. I got up off my scrawny ass and cooked. I collected a few examples of creamy chicken and rice and went off to wing it. Well, the chicken I bought for just such a recipe had gone bad sitting in my refrigerator for a few days. No big deal, I've got more in the freezer. I like lots of black pepper in mine. I forgot that I'd run out months ago and keep forgetting to buy more, so only a few dashes there. A little of this, a little of that later and I've got food!

Only it tastes funny. No matter what magic I work with the spices, I can't get it to lose that funky edge. So after a small bowl, I make room in the refrigerator by taking out my expired milk and leaving it on the counter for tomorrow when I change the trash bag. It isn't until the next day that I realize I had let what was left of my good milk go sour on the counter. Which means that I used my very, very expired milk to make the chicken and rice.

I don't know why I bother sometimes. So today I made spaghetti, with sauce from a can. Easy, idiot proof, good. We have a winner.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


And quesadillas! A recap of some of the good eating I've been doing.

I think I'm going to have to make a ton of cookies this weekend. I've got a lot of overdue thank you's.

Also, Lipton Green Tea with Citrus is crack in a cup. This stuff is so good.

Also, also, does anyone have a typepad account? I'm thinking of switching and combining the food blog with my craft blog. Any opinions or suggestions?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cream Cheese Corn and Sandwiches

I had half a block of cream cheese left over from the chicken recipe a few days ago and went looking for a vegetable dish to use it. There were a dozen or so dishes that made a creamy corn deal and I figured, hey, why not? Result? I should have listened to the Texans and added some spice. Otherwise, it was interesting.

I used about 1 pound of frozen sweet corn, half a block of cream cheese, 2 T butter, plus some garlic, onion powder, chili powder, and smoked paprika. I think some hot sauce and black beans might be a good addition.

With school about to start again, I need quick meals that I can take with me if I get hungry. So the old sandwich it is. Actually, this isn't as bad as it sounds because I hardly ever get sandwiches. I never buy bread or lunch meat or sliced cheese. This also marks the first time in my life that I haven't had mustard in the house. But I was super excited today to have my first homemade sandwich in... probably close to a year? Maybe. My memory sucks. Sourdough, pastrami, wasabi mayo, lettuce, and a bit of shredded cheese. My stomach was so happy. I can't wait to experiment with bread-y goodness again.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Masoor Daal

Oh my god. This is amazing. I wanted a quick, simple dish that had what I hoped to be an authentic Indian flavor. I think that's exactly what I got. The ingredients list for this one isn't very scary either. I couldn't find cumin seed, but I found a list of substitutions here. I added a teaspoon of pepper corns and a dash of ground cumin instead of the seeds for mine and it turned out fine.

I think the secret here was the teaspoon or so of garam masala that I added. Garam masala is a popular Indian spice mix that can be found in most ethnic grocery stores and even some of the larger chain stores as well. There was a bit of worry since I had my bag of lentils for at least two years now, but they tasted fine. It finished it off anyways, so I can buy more knowing I'll actually use them. Next time, I'll half the cayenne because this was pretty spicy for my taste. Use extra rice to tone it down if you must, but try this recipe. So worth it.

Also, if you're in the Fort Collins, Colorado area and want Indian, try Taj Mahal in the downtown area. So good. I had the chicken tikka masala and he had the spicy chicken vindaloo. With a side of butter naan and a cardamom spiced iced tea, we made ourselves sick on it. Completely worth it, but ouch.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cheesy Chicken Biscuits

Kay. I do have a recipe and everything, but I want to start by warning everyone to STAY SAFE FROM EVIL BUGS. I was driving to the grocery store and felt something digging into my back. Okay, it must be the tag to my underwear. Not that I pull it up to the center of my back or anything, but you know what I mean. Anyway, I reach back to move it when I grab something. Wad of scratchy paper? No. Bug. Big, sharp, earthy-toned bug of doom. In my car. Sliding down the back of my jeans.

It tried to eat me.

Do you hear me? Eat. Beware.

I bet you're wondering what that has to do with food. Well, I was on my way to the grocery store. There. All connected now. Anyways, wanted something simple and quick, so off to the church cookbooks I ran. This is actually a recipe submitted my one of my cousins. Next time, I'll cut up all my pieces of chicken and cheese smaller. I also halfed the recipe, but I would keep the full amount of biscuits, especially if you bick up the butter and garlic cresent rolls because they're SO good.

Cheesy Chicken Biscuits

2 cans refrigerated biscuit or crescent rolls
1 8 oz block cream cheese
2 8oz blocks cheese, any kind (I used sharp cheddar)
1 pkg boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used thighs)

Cook chicken and cut into pieces. Set aside
Flatten one can of biscuits in a baking dish. Cut all cheese into 1 inch cubes and place over biscuits with chicken. Flatten the other can of biscuits on top. Bake in a 350F for 30-40 minutes or until top is brown. Remove from oven and top with butter. Cut and serve.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Well, vacation's over. All the unfun stuff is about to begin. The upside is that I missed my kitchen. Don't get me wrong. Eating out at least once a day for two weeks left us fat and very, very happy, but I was with bachelors. You know what that means: crap kitchen. Whereas mine is so organized and fully stocked. I've got lots of fun gadgets. I've also got the almighty dishwasher that is not cleverly disguised as a two dudes drinking beer. I might actually cook again. Imagine that! Will be checking in soon to let you know of progress and to brag about everything I ate and you didn't. Later.