Archive for January, 2011

Tuna Noodle Casserole

January 28, 2011

There’s something about comfort food that’s just so… comfortable.  We all have favorites.  My  mom’s comfort food is brown rice.  I have a friend who eats hot-cocoa mix dry from the pouch, and another who practically lives on muffins (I’ll give you one guess who :P).  Now, I’ve got my fair share of comfort foods – as you might have guessed anything pumpkin or pumpkin are both way up there on the list.

For a savory comfort food however, there are few foods that beat my family’s tuna noodle casserole.  Seriously.  This stuff just about ran through my veins my first year of medical school.  Try it and enjoy :)

1 box pasta – cooked according to directions

1 bag peas – cooked according to directions

8-10 slices white american cheese

4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

1 Tbsp butter

a splash of milk

2 regular sized cans or 1 family sized can tuna in water

salt and pepper to taste

To make everything come out perfectly:

1)  Put water on for pasta

2) Cook peas according to directions in large, microwave safe bowl (big enough for the final product).

3) When water is boiling, start pasta and cook according to directions.

4) When peas are done, strain into colander and set aside.

5)  In same bowl, place cheeses, butter and milk.  Microwave  in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until cheese sauce is smooth and creamy.

6) Add peas and tuna(drained).

7) Drain pasta in same colander as peas.

8) Mix all ingredients together and season to taste.

**Note – for the dorm room version:

1) Prepare easy-mac according to microwave directions, adding a handful of peas before microwaving, and stir in tuna when done. :)

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Legal Super Power Pancakes

January 19, 2011

Most of last semester’s grades are in, and I am feeling pretty good.   For the next few weekends, I am free to dance around in pjs until noon, singing “Ooh La La,” and “Dog Days are Over.”  It doesn’t matter how ridiculous this looks because I officially conquered Constitutional Law and my transcript says so.  Since this law school thing seems to be working out, I will comment on my desired Legal Super Power.  My mentor, Alison, shared that if she had a legal super power, she would want the power of specific performance.  That is, whenever she had a client deserving of a certain court-ordered act, she would have the power to make it happen. ( e.g. *Boom* here’s your boat back.  Have a nice life.)  As for me, I would want the power of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure number 11– sanctions for harassing or frivolous litigation.  How great would it be to be able to lay down an instant smackdown on all the frivolous lawsuits? How many problems in the justice system could be solved by eliminating ridiculous civil suits in the federal system?  It’s a happy thought deserving of a really incredible brunch.  And what does every legal superheroine need?  Pancakes—lots and lots of pancakes.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 ½ cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 ¼ cup milk
1 egg
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ cup chocolate chips

1)      Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

2)      Add the butter, milk, egg, and vanilla.  Mix until just combined without large lumps.

3)      Heat a flat non-stick griddle to 350 degrees, or heat a large frying pan to medium.  (If using a frying pan, use a little extra butter to prevent sticking.) Scoop a scant ¼ cup batter for each pancake.  Sprinkle over with chocolate chips.

4)      Flip pancakes to cook each side evenly, until golden brown.

5)      Serve hot.  I like maple syrup.

 

Pumpkin French Toast

January 10, 2011

My cousin Thomas and I have something in common (more than our last name and dads with terrible senses of humor…)  We love breakfast – pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, waffles… it’s all oh so delicious.  Over Christmas break, Thomas was home from college, and managed to open my eyes to yet another facet of that wonderful, and oh so important first meal of the day – french toast!

In my past experiences, french toast had always been a soggy, chewy thing, only redeemable if stuffed with something delicious.  Thomas, however has made me see the light… light and airy, fluffy and delicious… I think it may be my new favorite breakfast food.

Now, you all know me… I can’t help but try to improve on other peoples’ recipes, or make things my own variation on a theme (exhibit A: eggs in bread bowls).  Now, in the last entry I shared with you a good recipe for pumpkin bread, but it yields two whole loafs…. which is a lot of pumpkin bread.

Pumpkin bread…. french toast…. pumpkin bread… french toast…. LIGHT BULB!

Enjoy :)

2 eggs

a few tablespoons (or a healthy splash) milk/half and half (I’ve never measured, but according to Thomas, this should be enough to lighten the color of the mixture from that of scrambled eggs, but by no means should the mixture be white

a splash of vanilla to taste

1)  Mix egg, milk, and vanilla in a shallow bowl

2)  Heat skillet with a Tbsp. of butter over medium heat until the butter starts to sizzle.

3)  Quickly douse both sides of a slice of pumpkin bread in the egg mixture without dilly dallying ( If you let it soak too long, you’ll have to cook it longer and it will be icky.  That’s right.  Icky.)

4)  Cook doused pumpkin bread 2-4 minutes on each side just until browned.

5)  Enjoy as is – no syrup needed (although some powdered sugar would probably make it pretty for guests)

Smiling New Years Pumpkin Bread

January 2, 2011

Over the past few months I have had the pleasure of sharing so many good recipes with you.  I love talking and thinking about food.  And I love sharing that love with others.  But I have a secret you see… on this blog you only see my successes, the things I cook that make me go “yummmm” and antsy to share the recipe with others.  Like anyone who’s spent a decent amount of time experimenting in the kitchen however, I’ve had my fair share of failures.  I’ve burnt things.  I’ve had recipes end in disaster, and ultimately – I’m sad to say – in the garbage.

This loaf of pumpkin bread was nearly one of those disasters.  Bake 30-40 minutes the recipe said.  Long story short, after 40 minutes I took the loaf out, confident that it should be done, only to cut into a bread shell, filled with batter…  Back into the oven for fifteen minutes they went… still not done.  I think it cooked for about an hour total, but to be completely honest, I couldn’t tell you.

If you look carefully at the bread, you’ll see a smiling artifact – welcoming you to the New Year.  Despite the lack of clarity in terms of cook time, this pumpkin bread came out beautifully :)

 

Pumpkin Bread

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly bean
  • 16 ounces canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 2/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour 2 9 by 5 loaf pans.

Stir together sugar and oil. Stir in eggs and pumpkin.

Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.

Blend dry ingredients and water into wet mixture, alternating.

Divide batter between two loaf pans.

Bake for well… probably about 50 minutes, but until the cake tester comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool.