Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Starving College Student

Yes, behold, the poor post. I knew this post would come. I am a very starving college student, and it doesn't help that I obsess over food. For the past few weeks, I feel like I have been doing well maintaining my food budget. As Dave Ramsey likes to call it, "Living on a rice and beans." Which I have had rice with almost all my meals. The other day I made one of my favorite poor meals. You buy chicken breast, Picante salsa, pepper jack cheese, rice, limes, and cilantro. Super cheap and you can omit the cilantro and lime juice if you want. You place the chicken in a casserole dish squeeze one whole lime on top and dump a whole jar of salsa evenly on the chicken. Bake at 425 for about 25 minutes. With the rice add 2 limes and a handful of cilantro. With the last five minutes of the chicken place sliced cheese on top of each breast. Put the rice down first on the plate then on top add the chicken and salsa juicy goodness. I spent about $20 and made enough for six people. This was for Easter dinner this Sunday. All of us poor kids sitting on the couch, watching stand up, eating Mexican food on Easter. That's a memory right there.
So there's a little poor recipe right there. And if you make enough rice You can poor salsa on top and cheese. There was a sale at Safeway 2 jars for $5 so of course I got two! So I think I might have that for dinner tonight. Well, just as long as TJ's room mates don't eat my cheese, salsa, or rice, I should be good. Ok vent session: Someone ate my Pumpkin chocolate chip bread over there, and I found out that his roommate ate the pizza I bought on Saturday. There was a whole pizza!!! Ugh I was so mad! Why can't people respect other people's belongings and property. Room mates are the worst! Well, not all room mates. I love my room mate, Shannon. But I just can't stand people who don't respect my property. I spent money and that, not TJ, so it's my things. I'm not leaving my stuff over there anymore. End scene. I feel better.

So anyway, the life of a poor college student. Times have been hard with the lack of money. And I hate getting paid sometimes, which I know is weird, but when I do I want to spend it all. Celebrate, reward myself. Then after two days, half my paycheck is gone. UGHHHH!! It's fine though. I have one more week before my next paycheck and I have to make $50 work with gas and food. Ha wish me luck. I told TJ last night that this week it's going to be a lot of "rice and beans." Thank goodness he understands. So here's to lots of frozen meals, microwave dinners, and Ramen. Oh and speaking of Ramen, here's another good recipe! Cook the Ramen (Preferably chicken) and add one egg. Let the egg white cook. Don't break the yolk, yet! Add lots of hot sauce, I like Smoked Tabasco. Pour into a bowl. Break the yolk and stir! There you have it, Egg drop hot soup. Probably one of my favorite poor people's foods. Too bad I can't afford eggs. Ugh.
Well, time to enjoy the rest of my day off. It's rainy and cold outside, so maybe I'll take a shower and read. That sounds nice. Thanks for reading my post about being a poor college student. I know my mistakes with money, but how else am I ever going to learn? Leave a comment if you have any cheap recipe ideas!!! I'm always open to making yummy food for a cheap buck.

"Poor is a state of mind. Broke is, 'I'm just passing through."
-Dave Ramsey

Monday, April 25, 2011

Viva La Italia!!!

Ciao everyone! It's 7:30 AM and I am so tired, but I can't sleep. So of course, gotta meet me blog deadline. I feeling a little in touch with my Italian roots today, thanks Mom for that by the way. I love telling people my heritage, especially since I'm half Italian or a quarter or something like that, and I love cooking the foods from my heritage. I miss Sunday night dinners with my family because it was always pasta and red sauce! Yum! My mother has had Italian food every Christmas Eve has since she was born. True Italiano! However this past Christmas, my mother threw her hands in the air and said, "This year, we are breaking tradition!!" HHHHHHUUUHHHHHHHHH? Um I'm sorry, what? Every Christmas it's been lasagna, meatballs, homemade sauce, antipasto salad. My mother was ready for a change, something new and fun! So I jumped on the committee to help Christmas Eve dinner. We finally decided on T-Bones, Crab legs, Artichokes, and Baked Potatoes. Oh my it was finger licking good, literally! I was worried at first about this change in tradition and breaking it. I mean don't your ancestors come in while you are sleeping and yell at you telling you that you dishonor them? Ummm I guess not. Doesn't mean I didn't sleep with one eye opened that night.
I love things to have a specific place in life with a little spontaneous moments. However, my mother is one to keep tradition. I looked at her in a way. What we eat every year on Christmas Eve doesn't matter! It's the fact that we are with each other, loving one another, laughing. And good food, no matter it's traditional or not. Thanks for that lesson, Mom. Good food, good people, what else do you really need?

So that was a little bit of a tangent. I made one of my favorite things last week. Spaghetti and meat sauce with an egg on top! Yummy!!!! I made half a bag of spaghetti which was plenty! I bought a jar of fire roasted tomato sauce. For years I was always against jar sauce. Something about it freaks me out so I always made my own sauce. But I tried this one from Sunflower Market and it's amazing. Plus, I add red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to give it more of a kick. Then I brown some ground beef. Now here is the part that always throws people. I make an sunny side up or over easy egg to put on top of my pasta! Think I'm crazy? My mother said people do that in Italy all the time. True Italiano, again! And drink milk (or wine) with spaghetti and red sauce! The egg adds a wonderful creamy texture to the pasta. I love it so much!!! I suggest everyone tries at least once.

I mean really. How good does that look? I want some right now!!!

"Everything you see I owe to pasta."
-Sophie Loren

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Yummy 'Bomb'ay Pizza

Ugh hello there bloggity. We meet again. It's been a total love/hate relationship with you. Hopefully, from now on it can be love.
I love to write. About anything. English was my best subject and I aced the English placement test in college so I don't have to even take any English classes, but I probably will since I like it so much.
Life has been so hectic...I know what you are thinking, here come the excuses, but seriously, I work just about everyday and it's hard to make time to do this, and I'm hardly ever alone. Which is fine, but I can't blog when someone is hovering over me.
So blog, let's do this. I am challenging myself to try and post 3 entries this week. So this is number one. I have until Saturday for the other 2. And yes, it's the middle of the week so that should light a fire under my booty patooty.

Ok so last Sunday, I decided that I wanted to try and cook dinner every night of the week instead of going out. It was a total success except for Saturday I wanted to go out on a date with my man. So on Sunday I really wanted to make pizza, but I had the craziest craving for Indian food. So I made 'Bomb'ay Pizza. Cute name, right? Ha, all me right there. The only that wasn't homemade was the dough, but I didn't want to make a big mess and I don't have a dough mixer so I bought some at Whole Foods, $3 ain't bad. So we decided the first night to do 4 little individual pizzas. I made a spicy curry tomato sauce and we topped it with tomatoes, garlic, peppers, green onions, mushrooms, and mozzarella. After it was in the oven, we topped it with prosciutto di parma, which is Italian bacon, and it was amazing. Luckily, there was still some left to put on the pizza. What....we wanted an appetizer. When the pizzas came out I topped it with cilantro and mango chutney. Delicioso!!!! Best pizza I ever had.
So we had a ton of leftover toppings and sauce so we wanted to make it again the next night, except this time we made just one large pizza! I took plenty of pictures on my phone and made sure to remember the recipe for my blog, well and for myself, too!!!

Indian 'Bomb'ay Pizza

-1 lb of pizza dough
-1 80z can of tomato paste
-1 12oz can of tomato sauce
-1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
-2 tbsp of curry powder
-1 tbsp of paprika, cumin, onion powder
-1 tsp of salt and pepper
-A pinch of cayenne
-2 cups of mozzarella
-1 tomato, diced
-1 bell pepper, diced (bright colors for a prettier pizza)
-8 mushrooms, sliced
-A handful of chopped green onions
-2 cloves of garlic, sliced or diced
-4 thin slices of Prosciutto (optional, but worth it)
-A handful of roughly chopped cilantro
-A little jar of mango chutney

-Preheat the oven to 450.
-Start by prepping all of your veggies, and put each veggie into different bowls. It's makes for a fun dinner activity for the family, especially little kids. You can do individual pizzas, or just make one large one and everyone can throw stuff on it.
-Mix your cans of tomato sauce and paste, add all the spices and seasonings, and apple cider vinegar. If it needs to be thinned out add a little bit of water.
-Do not be scared of the dough. It is your friend, and tastes pretty good, too! Do not knead the dough. Start out by stretching the dough on a lightly floured surface and add a touch of flour to your hands. Make circular motions by stretching the dough. After doing that about ten times, hold it with your knuckles and just lightly stretch out the dough by moving it from one hand to the other, keep in mind by using your knuckles. If you are still confused here is a link for how to stretch pizza dough. And you don't have to get all fancy and toss it in the air. You want to eat pizza, not floor pizza. http://youtu.be/72oe_j-0gwE
-Now it is time to build the pizza! This is probably the best part besides actually eating the pizza.
-Start out by spreading the sauce all over leaving one inch around the outside, remember we want the crust!
-Place just a handful of cheese on the sauce and the tomatoes. It's better to have the tomatoes under the cheese because they burn easier.-Place more cheese on top then add the veggies, then add the rest of the cheese!

-Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, keeping your eye on it. If you want to, the last five minutes add the prosciutto to crisp it up or add it afterward. We did it both ways and each one is good!
-Add the cilantro, and/or prosciutto.

-Slice it up and drizzle some mango chutney on your big slice!!!

-I hope everyone enjoys this recipe, I know I did!

Welp it's time for work, see busy busy busy.

"Ideas are like pizza dough, made to be tossed around. "
-Anna Quindlen