Basics · comfort food · dinner · easy · mushrooms · pasta · quick · Vegetables · vegetarian

How to Fancy Up Your Buttered Noodles

You know when you are completely out of time, but you’re hungry (I call it starving to death, but I’m dramatic)? Or maybe there is a plethora of time, but you’re plumb out of patience? This happens to me most often. It gets to be dinner time, and I’ve run out of energy to make a single fucking thing. For those nights, I beg T to figure it out, or we order out. But sometimes I find the energy to make something easy. This time it had to be really easy, or I wasn’t going to do a fucking thing. In fact, I almost bailed on this meal simply because I was emotionally drained. But I had it in my head that this was the “easy” recipe I was going to write about this week. I thought for sure I’d be able to write up this post on Tuesday night. I thought maybe if I had all the pictures ready to go after cooking it for lunch, I’d be able to write after going out for dinner. But dinner was an emotional sinkhole, and I wasn’t able to do much afterwards. So this comes to you 2 days late, because I’m a human, and I didn’t plan accordingly. That’s kind of how things go sometimes. And that’s okay. Sometimes it’s too hard to cook. But if you have a tiny bit of energy, and maybe you need a cheap meal, then try making this fancy ass buttered noodles recipe. Make it a big batch, and you can skip cooking for a couple of nights in a row. Perfect for college students, broke early 20-somethings, and 33 year old grown ass women who don’t know when to stop running into the same fucking wall with the same fucking person.

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Buy fun pasta shapes regularly, so you’re not stuck with boring-ass penne again. Or be boring – what the fuck do I care?

I would like it noted that I wrote most of this post at the library, thinking it would be quiet and peaceful. I was literally being muttered to by the men sitting on both fucking sides of me. I’m sorry, what is it about my hunched forward body and scrunched up face that was signaling to you that I needed a man’s fucking attention? And after I tell you that I’m trying to concentrate, and you say you’ll give me some space, please do not fucking mumble about how you like my goddamn sweater. I will fucking freak the fuck out.

Sigh.

Go make buttered noodles, everyone. And once it’s time to serve ’em, add a little extra pat of butter on top. We’re here to live.

Fancy Ass Buttered Noodles

1/2 pound of pasta (your choice on shape – try not to be boring)

6 tablespoons butter, separated

A large handful of mushrooms, sliced

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

Salt and pepper

Optional: fresh basil, shredded parmesan, red pepper flakes, wilted spinach/kale

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add in 2 tablespoons of butter. Swirl around the pan until fully coated and add in the red bell pepper. Saute for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened. Then add in the mushrooms and onions. Allow to cook until the mushrooms are browned, and the onions are translucent. Once veggies are fully cooked, add in lots of salt and pepper. Especially pepper! Taste as you go. Turn the burner off, but keep the pan there. Add in the pasta and rest of the butter. Fold veggies into pasta, continuing to stir until the butter melts. Scoop into bowls. If you have some fresh basil lying around (which never happens to me, but I had some left after making pesto the other day), chop it up and throw it on top. Add in that extra pat of butter when serving if you know what’s good. Then lounge on the couch (or bed) and remind yourself that you’re awesome even if other people don’t always see it.

 

Basics · comfort food · dip · easy · Party food · quick · snacks · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Lazy Spinach Dip

The first time I ever tasted this dip was when I lived in New York. My former college roommate (and very dear friend), Pam, made it for me. At the time I was completely incapable of cooking for myself. I can’t fucking stress that enough… I was literally eating bologna sandwiches, instant ramen, and easy mac (not even the boxed stuff) on the regular. I WAS BUYING CABBAGE THAT I THOUGHT WAS LETTUCE. THIS WAS MY REALITY.

It was a dark time.

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But then Pam made me some spinach dip over drinks at her place one night, and I was floored by how easy it was to make. I remember being fucking hammered one night (she didn’t drink much, so her boo and I would drink for her), and having the last mouth full of spinach dip STILL IN MY MOUTH when I realized there was another batch and I shouted, “OH MY GOD, THERE’S MORE!” It was the truest expression of pure joy.

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Not long after that night, I decided to have another friend over to watch the Oscars (this was the one and only time I pretended to care about that shit). Trying my very best to be a real adult, I prepared snacks. This spinach dip was the star, but I would like to note that I also served cheese and crackers like a seasoned hostess. It was still BYOB though, because this bitch isn’t made of money.

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Lazy Spinach Dip (found here or on the back of all Lipton’s Vegetable Recipe Mix packaging)

10 oz frozen spinach

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

1 packet (1.4oz) Lipton’s vegetable recipe mix (previously known as Lipton’s Vegetable Soup Mix)

Fill a medium sauce pan with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add in frozen spinach and simmer for a few minutes. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Mix spinach with all other ingredients. Chill in fridge for 2ish hours. Or just eat that shit right away because you’re fucking starving and this shit is delicious.

Serve with veggies or chips. I recently started making this dip again, and T is addicted. We serve it every time anyone comes over, and also sometimes just for us. Fuck sharing.IMG_20190203_124333.jpg

 

Basics · healthy · Rice · travel · vacation · vegetarian · Yummy

How to Make Brown Rice + Costa Rican Adventures

Okay, so here’s the thing. I flew in from Costa Rica this morning at 1am. It was 2 flights, a 4 hour layover, a confused and lost Lyft driver, and a 90 degree temperature difference. By the time I corrected my Lyft driver, picked up my car, made a tampon run, dropped off my bag, showered, and collapsed into bed at T’s, it was 3am. So forgive me for not having pictures of this week’s recipe. It’s really because I wasn’t planning on posting about rice this week. I was originally going to do spinach dip, but that will have to wait. Who the fuck cares about spinach dip when I’ve spent the last week eating the most delicious Costa Rican food? So I thought I’d help everyone out with the constant fucking struggle that is rice. The photos can inspire ways to serve your rice, but I will have no photos of the process, or even of rice I’ve cooked myself. I think you’ll all live.

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My friend, Liz, and I went to Costa Rica together for a week. I always forget that she doesn’t like swimming, especially in the ocean, which is literally my favorite thing. So imagine my surprise when she leaps at the chance to jump off the roof of our catamaran tour boat. The guides gave us 15 minutes of swim time before bringing us all to the shore of a secluded white sand beach (I know, right?!). I didn’t honestly think she’d want to swim at all, much less dive in from the roof. She doesn’t even like heights! As much as I love swimming and the ocean, I wasn’t even 100% sure I wanted to jump from the roof. I thought I’d climb down the ladder like a fucking wuss, dipping one chubby leg in at a time. But I can’t be the one to discourage her wave of bravery. Who am I to rain on her fucking parade? We were doing this. As we climbed to the roof of the rocking boat, I immediately tripped on the rope that had literally just been pointed out to me. Off to a good start. Just great. We made our way to the edge of the roof, got some reassurance from those that jumped before us, held hands, and leaped into the dark green water below. I landed ass first, obviously. I must have panicked mid-air, and decided to put my largest bit first. Makes sense, I guess.

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Snacks from our catamaran tour

We also spent our time eating gallo pinto and casados con pollo. Gallo pinto is a traditional breakfast dish made up of rice and beans mixed together with some spices and hot sauce (and cilantro, which is NOT food). We had ours with eggs and a side of fruit every morning. Luckily, I was never able to taste the cilantro in the gallo pinto.

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Gallo pinto with eggs

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The “weird” casados with an egg, ranch dressing, tortillas, AND mashed potatoes?

 

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A more traditional casados

Casados is a traditional plate of food, usually consisting of rice, beans, salad with “ugly lemon” squeezed over the top, fried plantains, and your choice of meat or fish. I took off my vegetarian label to experience the local cuisine, and opted to try pork once and fish many times. Each restaurant had a different form of casados, some of them even adding an egg on top (Liz was baffled). Within 3 days, I realized that I had made the grave mistake of not properly preparing my body for a sudden influx of beans. That, combined with a serious lack of water intake, caused bloating like I’d never experienced. All night long my stomach was making the saddest sounding whale noises, while my lower abdomen stuck out far enough to be a mid-term pregnancy. You’re welcome for that visual (and audio).

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Casados con chicharrones (fatty pork bits)

Brown Rice

1 cup dry, long grain brown rice

6(+/-) cups water, divided

1 teaspoon salt

Olive oil

In a medium sauce pan, bring 3-4 cups water to a boil. Add in the rice and let boil for 17 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Drizzle ~2 tablespoons of oil into a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is relatively hot and has thoroughly coated the pan. Add in the rice and keep stirring as it sizzles. Allow it to fry slightly for 2-3 minutes as you continue to stir. Add in 3 cups of water and the salt. Stir everything well, making sure none of the rice is sticking to the bottom. Lower to a simmer and cover. Let simmer for 25 minutes. Make sure to stay close, though. You will likely need to add in some more water (probably about 1/2 cup). DO NOT STIR ONCE THE SIMMERING HAS STARTED. If you do, you’ll fuck it up. Don’t be a fuck up. Also, if you abandon your rice and start to smell it burning from another room – it’s too fucking late. That shit will be all fucked up. Trust me, I know. I’ve fucked up many a batches of rice.

Serve it with SO many things – tacos, burritos, meat/fish, eggs, roasted veggies.

Here are some of the critters we saw:

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