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Freezing Herbs

How Digital Dirt is Changing Recruitment for Better or Worse

Crockpot Sausage and Peppers

What Would You Do If?

Burger King- Pay It Your Way

Seven Layer Bars {so unbelievably easy and delicious}

Most Adorable Teahouse

Real Food Tips: 10 Common Misconceptions

The Most Common Cooking Mistakes {incredibly valuable tips}

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homemade spice mixes + gift tags

Creating homemade spice mixes is a favorite pastime of mine- foodie nerd alert 🙂 It started with GW Bites’ Meals in a Jar and continued with affordable homemade birthday gifts. Most recently, this obsession grew because of a need to transport compact pre-mixed spices for vacation cooking.

I wanted to share several easy spice mixes, complete with recipe cards! Feel free to print these tags- just punch a hole and tie with a ribbon around a Mason jar or small plastic bag 🙂


{Spice mix: 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes; 1 teaspoon ground coriander; 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt}

{Spice mix: 2 teaspoons ground cumin; 2 teaspoons ground ginger; 3/4 ground red pepper; 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper; salt and pepper to taste}

I’m in the process of developing more easy Crockpot recipes, so I’ll be sure to post them as they come 🙂

recipe: eggplant moussaka in the crockpot

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that my first eggplant purchase was a mere 46 days ago. I’m now hooked, so I picked up another one at Trader Joe’s the other day. Originally, I planned to make this Indian Eggplant recipe, but I came across this recipe for Eggplant Moussaka instead.

Despite the less-than-raving reviews, I decided to give it a try- partially because I’m obsessed with my Crockpot. And I loved it (maybe because I don’t know what “real” moussaka tastes like?)!! To my surprise, I especially liked the unique little pop from the cinnamon.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste,
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces feta cheese with garlic and herbs

Directions

Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 1/2 day

  1. Place peeled and sliced eggplant on the bottom of the Crockpot
  2. Brown the ground meat in a large skillet until there is no pink remaining
  3. Add meat mixture to the crock pot on top of the eggplant
  4. Add the remaining ingredients- except the feta cheese- to the Crockpot
  5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours
  6. Sprinkle feta on each serving

tex-mex chicken & antsiness

Recipe

I was looking for a recipe to use up the chicken drumsticks that were in my fridge. My sister forwarded me a recipe from her friend’s blog, BlissfulMindWellness, so I decided to adapt it and make it in my slow-cooker.

Tex-Mex Chicken

  • 5 drumsticks- $1.80
  • 1 can of corn- $1.00
  • 1 can of black beans- $1.09
  • 1/2 onion- $.74
  • 1 orange pepper- $1.39
  • 1/2 yellow pepper- $.70
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup- $1.69
  • homemade fajita seasoning [minus cornstarch]- approx $1.00

Combine all ingredients in Crockpot and heat on low for 6-9 hours.

Total: $9.41

$9.41 would be about the cost of a to-go lunch at a local restaurant like Nando Peri Peri.

But this recipe yields about 5 servings, so each serving only costs $1.70! That’s $1.70 for a delicious meal full of vegetables, protein, & seasoning. Pour it over a tortilla or rice and you have an even better meal- for only about $.50 more.

Antsiness

I feel antsy this week/weekend for a few reasons. I’m still adapting to my new job. I’m exhausted at the end of the day and have been going to bed around 9pm. I feel like I’m getting sick. My friends are all out of town or busy. I have so many things I’ve been neglecting to do. I feel frustrated when I feel like I’m not living up senior year. I haven’t been able to work out because of my hurt tailbone.

So my plan to combat all this: Know I’ll be adapted to my new job soon- I’m only in the second week. Go to bed early if I need to. Drink less coffee [free coffee has been readily available to me- not good haha]. Appreciate my free time [recognize that I lament it when I don’t have any]. Reach out to other friends I don’t usually hang out with. Get slowly back into working out. Do fun things that I enjoy- browsing books at the library, plan a fun trip, read, watch a quality movie, etc. Slowly tackle my to do list.

Tip of the Week

Establish a fun tradition with friends. Freshman year my friends and I established two traditions, one which we still do as seniors. We call it “Destress Dinner.” We get together on Sunday night and either order in from Mei-Wah [Chinese] or throw together the contents of everyone’s fridge and make a stir fry. We then sit in a circle; first, everyone shares one thing they’re stressed about. Then, everyone shares something they are excited about for the week. We’ve found it helps us go into the week with a healthy outlook. And from experience, I recommend keeping the group small because having too many people takes away the intimate feeling.

Other ideas:

  • Form a “Sunday brunch club”
  • Rotate hosting a Friday night potluck
  • Coordinate a Saturday morning coffee date
  • Visit Eastern Market every Saturday or Sunday
  • Form A food co-op (a friend of mine does this. Every Friday, he and his friends meet to exchange food. Each person brings 4 or 5 containers of a recipe they’ve made and walks away with 1 dish from each friend]
  • Visit a different museum each week


Moroccan Chicken and Potato Stew

January 16: Moroccan Chicken and Potato Stew

Photo credit: simplypotatoes.com

Two girls and I got together for a small potluck dinner last night. It was the best meal: green beans with almonds, roasted pepper and white bean dip, spinach salad, basmati rice, and my contribution, slow-cooked Moroccan Chicken and Potato Stew, based off this recipe.

As usual, I made several changes, which are below:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts [despite the warning not to use them, they turned out great]
  • 1 potato, cut into big chunks
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into big chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups cut carrots [cheaper than baby carrots!]
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 ounces) stewed tomatoes, un-drained
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

1. In 10-inch skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic. Cook, turning chicken occasionally, until browned. Drain grease.

2. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery. Top with browned chicken and garlic. In small bowl stir cumin, ginger, ground red pepper and crushed red pepper until well blended. Sprinkle over chicken and vegetables. Add chicken broth. Cover; cook on LOW heat for 6 to 7 hours.

3. Stir in tomatoes. Increase heat to HIGH. Cover; cook for 15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice just before serving.

[Cross-posted to GW Bites]

back in the kitchen and happier than ever

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the day I get to be back in my apartment cooking- and that day is here! To celebrate, I decided to prepare an elaborate spread of recipes today. After several hours of cooking, I now have food for the week so I can focus on my last first week of classes instead of cooking. I’ll also have homemade lunch to take to my first day of work so my co-workers can see how frugal I am (more on that later!).

On the menu:

It was a day of firsts: first Crockpot recipe, first eggplant I’ve made, first purchase of sweet long red peppers

New favorite: salad with feta, walnuts, and vinaigrette. Thank you to my beautiful sister for introducing me to this combo!

Crockpot Recipes

I finally bought a Crockpot (for only $20!) and I’m so excited to begin using it. I found this helpful primer, which contains important information for getting the most out of your slow

Photo credit: Target.com

cooker. Have a few extra dollars to spend and love having a hard copy of recipes? Check out this highly rated cookbook, Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook.

I also found these great recipes, which I plan to make the minute I’m back in my apartment.

Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans
Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew
Malaysian Beef Curry
Dal (Indian Pea Soup)
Minestrone Soup
Roasted Vegetables
Lentil Stew with Butternut Squash (my friend told me that if I had a word cloud of my life, butternut squash would be in huge letters haha)

Do you have any slow cooker recipes you would recommend?