Friday, November 29, 2013


Ahhh, to be sitting on my clean, fully upholstered sofa at home with my feet up on a fancy glass coffee table, eating breakfast cereal out of a clean bowl that is not plastic or paper but ceramic!!! Was I just released from prison, you ask? No, but just about. Being home from college is one of those amazing things that changes wildly from freshman year to senior year. See also: the difference between senior year and freshman year. I remember as a freshman there would be near-tearful goodbyes with my freshman year people I didn't talk to after first semester BFF's as we left for the six day Thanksgiving break, wondering what would change while we were gone. Please. Senior year, the week before Thanksgiving break, going home was all my friends and I could talk about. In the gym, in the library, on the way to class..."AREN'T YOU GUYS SO EXCITED TO GO HOME?!?! FOOD, PARENTS, LAUNDRY, MY BEDDDD????" it makes seniors giddy. For me, being able to relax and dine at home is one of the most amazing things about leaving school, in addition to surprisingly fun high school get togethers and group sleepovers reminiscent of sophomore year of high school. While the real world is looming not so far ahead, getting to be a kid isn't over until the last college break occurs. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Here are some wonderful scenes of home that I have enjoyed and will be missing next week when I'm back in the land of cafeteria food.

1. Iced coffee done right, homemade with a newspaper. I conveniently wake up about 3 hours after my parents (being a morning person goes out the window when I'm home) and the lukewarm leftovers of their coffee make the perfect base for iced coffee. I fill a glass with ice, pour the coffee over, and let it sit for a minute or two before adding milk and sugar.

2. Thanksgiving table! Grandma looking on. This was pre-everyone digging in, of course, but it looked so pristine and un-splashed with gravy that I couldn't resist.

3. The big man himself. Totally unglam just out of the oven, thermometer and all. SO tasty. Already had a leftover sandwich...last night. Best part of November!
4. Welcome home dinner: trying to keep it light before Thanksgiving, we had gorgeous New England mussels in broth with baguette and butter on the side. To dieeee. You can also prepare these a little spiced up, which I want to try next time.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Caprese Egg Sandwich.

While studying in Italy, my friends and I noticed that eggs were rarely on the menu. Other than spaghetti carbonara, which I can't exactly condone as breakfast food in the interest of health, we rarely encountered egg dishes. This, of course, was a big problem for our American hungover selves, who all should have been gifted one of these Kate Spade bags as we walked around Bologna on weekend mornings:
We finally found an adorable restaurant, Ca'Pelletti, that served eggs in all their glorious forms, from omlettes to hard-boiled to poached and beyond. Annoyingly, we didn't realize there was an English menu until the fourth month of our stay, so many a headache was worsened by our desperate attempts to translate words on our phones as we sat in front of an impatient waitress who was probably confused as to why we didn't just order pasta and get on with our days.
Since being back in America, I have whined and griped about missing all things Italian except the lack of breakfast eggs. Even in that department, though, I have missed Italian flavors. Thus, I decided to experiment with the classic BEC (bacon egg and cheese) that Americans are so obsessed with, and even add some healthy twists. Say buongiorno to the Caprese Egg Sandwich!

This bad boy is easy and delicious, and a welcome break from the boring BEC's so common in college life. The spicy red pepper jam adds a depth of flavor, while the cool tomatoes and salty pesto get nice and cozy with a blankie of melted provolone. As chewy and delicious as everything bagels are, the bread can drown out the other flavors and make the sandwich bland. A toasted, whole wheat English muffin has the perfect amount of crunch without making you too full or taking away from the taste-bud extravaganza taking place between the muff. Additionally, swapping a half of a grapefruit in as a side instead of fries or chips lightens the calorie load and leaves you feeling refreshed instead of entering into a sodium-and-grease coma which becomes a food hangover in its own right.
-1 Egg, over easy (a little runny yolk never hurt nobody)
-1 Whole Wheat English Muffin, toasted and halved.
-1 Slice Provolone Cheese
-1/2 Grapefruit
-1 tbsp. Red Pepper Jelly (I used this)
-1 tbsp. Pesto
-2 Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
-Fry an egg over easy on a small frying pan.
-While the egg fries, halve your cherry tomatoes and the grapefruit, and toast the English Muffin.
-Once the egg looks about ready, place the cheese on top for a little under a minute.
-While the cheese melts, spread the red pepper jelly on the bottom half of the English Muffin.
-Remove the egg and cheese from the pan carefully with a spatula, and place on the bottom half of the English Muffin.
-Place the pesto in the middle of the egg, and arrange your tomatoes around it.
-Add some salt and pepper to taste!

What other non-traditional egg sandwiches have you come across??

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Back on the Bandwagon and I'm Bringing Barbecued Chicken Pizza

I'm back on the bandwagon, and I've got yummy stuff to share. While senior year is slowly but surely eating me alive teaching me valuable skills in anger/stress management and forcing me to revert to 5-year old tantrums when presented with stressful situations i.e. the real world and my English thesis, it is also a lot of fun. My seven girlfriends and I are lucky enough to live in a house off-campus, which is fantastic for theme parties but not so much for cooking. Our kitchen, even when clean, is home to roughly 67,000 solo cups and a sad, kind of broken faucet. However, where there is a will, there is a way. And the beauty of having other friends with nicer kitchens around campus is that I am always welcome as long as I can cook!
To be honest, I'm not the hugest fan of barbecued...anything. I know that sounds terrible but I'm a New England girl and I've just never caught the BBQ bug. I always find myself wishing that BBQ sauce would just decide whether it wanted to be sweet or sour or spicy or salty. However, when cooking for males, BBQ is almost foolproof. I even found myself surprised by how tasty this was, and the flavors couldn't be better together. Pizza is easy and fun to make, and generally a crowd pleaser. However, I find it pretty difficult to find anything tasty in the store-bought tomato sauce department, which led me to the idea of making this bad boy.
Ingredients (serves 2, especially if 1 is really hungry, with leftovers)
  • 1 Boboli pre-made pizza crust
  • 3 Chicken breasts
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheese (I used Mexican for a little extra spice to complement the tomatoes and cilantro)
  • 1 cup Cilantro
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups Jack Daniels Honey Smokehouse BBQ sauce (you can use any kind for this
  • Lay the crust out on a counter or other surface, preheat oven to 450
  • Heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil at medium high on a frying pan. Add chicken breasts after 2 min, allow 2 min on each side.
  • While oven is heating and chicken is cooking, dice red onion and halve the cherry tomatoes.
  • Place .5 cup of the BBQ sauce into a tupperware container. Remove the chicken from the stove, shred it with a knife and fork, and place the shredded chicken into the tupperware. Cover the tupperware and shake for ~15 seconds so that chicken is fully covered in sauce.
  • Spread a generous layer of BBQ sauce on the crust, and sprinkle the cheese over it.
  • Add the shredded chicken and red onions to the crust, sprinkle a bit more cheese on top, and bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove the crust and add tomatoes and cilantro. Finish with a last dash of BBQ sauce.
What's your favorite non-tomato sauce based pizza? Dying to try other alternatives to the jar-sauce boredom. Also- I didn't add avocado to this but I bet it would've been delicious.