Here we are with another Kornberg guest post! Not only did she pet sit while we were out of town, she’s providing useful advice! I’m definitely keeping her.
Kornberg’s guide to not spending obscene amounts of money on college textbooks:
I usually make a nice breakfast on weekends, even if it occurs at 2 in the afternoon. This last weekend I wanted to try something a little different. I decided to make a sort of crust-less quiche. I started by chopping up a small head of fresh broccoli.
I diced up a small amount of onion.
I sauteed the two together in olive oil with a dash of garlic salt.
While that was cooking, I shredded a little over a quarter cup of parmesan cheese.
I cracked open and scrambled 4 eggs. I threw in a dash of pepper, and about half the cheese.
I then threw the eggs into the pan on top of the veggies. I stirred it around, and made sure all the egg was thoroughly cooked.
I used the rest of the cheese to top the eggs. It was AMAZING. I started stealing off Hubby’s plate, it was so good. I may make it for dinner tonight. I think the key was making sure the broccoli was well-seasoned before the eggs were ever introduced. Plus, this type of cheese is very flavorful, and I want more right this second.
First off, I have to tell you all that something very serious has happened. I’m almost out of coffee. There’s enough for right now, but after that I have to go to the store!! I’ll try to be strong and plow ahead, because that’s how much I love you little minions. Enough to inflict my barely-awake, nonsensical ramblings on you. You’re welcome.
Friday night, I had a fantastic night. Me and Samantha went dancing at our favorite place, Barbarella, and it was everything girls’ night should be: dancing, drinking, gabbing, and pretending to be a lesbian couple so the people hitting on us would go away.
Saturday morning (and by “morning” I mean 2 pm) I paid the price. Not only were my legs sore from jumping around, I was dehydrated and *un-caffeinated*. I know, I don’t know how I survived either. I usually function based on a large number of caffeine injections throughout the day, starting at 9am, so I was well below my daily quota by the time I woke up. I am honestly surprised I even regained consciousness.
After scrabbling around in the kitchen blindly, coffee was created, and I gradually fought off my zombie-like state. I then realized food was the other cure for what ailed me, but again, I need to go to the store. I decided finding pants (other than my Mr. Bubble pajama pants) was a ridiculously monumental task, akin to getting the ring back to Mount Doom, so simple food would have to do. This is a recipe I’ve made before, and I really like it. You will need 2 eggs, 1 cup (uncooked) rice, 1/4 cup onion (or more depending on your preference), and this stuff:
The teriyaki sauce totally makes this dish. It’s similar to soy sauce, but with a more complex, savory flavor. I use instant rice, so I start it in the microwave first thing. Then dice up the onion; I like rather large chunks. Start the onion sauteeing in a frying pan in some olive oil or butter. Once they start to get a teeny bit cooked, throw in some of the teriyaki sauce, and stir.
Let the onions cook to your preference. I like mine a little golden, but still crispy. When the onions make you happy, crack the two eggs into the pan, and stir them around. As the eggs are cooking, throw in another tablespoon or two of teriyaki. Let’s all keep in mind that when I took the pictures I had not had any caffeine for about 15 hours, so the pictures are a bit blurry. You should all just be amazed at the fact I had the presence of mind to take pictures at all in my handicapped state.
Put half the rice in a bowl, and throw a dash of teriyaki on it, then put half the egg mixture on top. This recipe makes enough for two servings, so you can either share, or eat half, pass out, and reheat the rest when you regain your mental faculties.
I know it sounds weird, but this is really good, simple food, and I’ve made it many times when I was not hungover in the slightest. It is easy enough to make when brain no workee, which makes it great hangover food.
I love making quesadillas. They are hot, cheesy, melty, and easy to make. You can put almost anything in there and they are delicious. Once, Dr. Stacey and I made some with brisket in there, and yup, amazing. Today I used cooked, cubed, fajita chicken, onions, and cheese.
Just lay the bottom tortillas on a cookie sheet, and place the fillings on top. Try to keep everything on the tortillas so the clean up is easy.
Sprinkle cheese on top, add top tortillas, and put them in the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Once the cheese is melty and the edges are crisp they are ready to come out.
Gorgeous and tasty!
Other filling ideas: beans, peppers, jalapenos, spinach, mushrooms, pretty much any kind of meat. These are a great way to use up leftovers, or tiny bits of things, like when you have just half a chicken breast, and don’t know what to do with it. There are tons of combinations that would be great, so have fun with it.
We have had a ton of chicken in the house lately, and Hubby is starting to get tired of it. Being the Clever Chick that I am, I plan on tricking him into eating as much of it as I can. I cubed up some baked chicken to make into chicken salad. Hubby loves spicy stuff, so I threw in some Sriracha, or Rooster sauce, to liven it up. You will need:
Dill, garlic salt, Sriracha, ranch dressing, mayo, chicken, celery, and peas.
I microwave the frozen peas in water, then drain it.
This is 2 or 3 chicken breasts, 3 celery stalks, and about 1/2 cup of peas. I like a high veggie to chicken ratio in mine.
I also like it moist, so let’s just say there’s probably an unhealthy amount of ranch and mayo in there. I added the Sriracha gradually, since it’s very spicy. I used maybe a teaspoon of garlic salt, and maybe two teaspoons of dill. I tend to cook by adding a little something, tasting, then adding more if I need to, which is why I’m terrible at giving real recipes.
Anyway, here’s what it looks like when complete. I usually just eat it with a fork, or on a salad, or wrapped up in a piece of lettuce. I have been obsessed with Sriracha, so expect more recipes with it in the future.
My friend Phuongie, of Mi Bella Rosa designs and blog, has probably eaten at every Asian restaurant in Austin, and knows where all the good ones are. Last time she graced our fair city with her presence, she took me to Coco’s Cafe on Highway 183 near Burnet. It’s in the same shopping center as Mister Tramp’s, and Sunflower Vietnamese Restaurant.
Coco’s is Taiwanese food, which I had never had before, that I can recall. I got a rice bowl with pork, and Hubby got a rice bowl with bar-b-qued eel. Both were fantastic, and cheap, at about $6 each. Phuongie got several kinds of appetizers (I forget which ones), but they were all very tastey as well. Each day Coco’s has a different kind of soup, and the day we were there it was some kind of melon soup. I had never had anything like it, and it was great as well. If you go there, there’s a huge pot with bowls next to it to the left of the counter by all the silverware, and it’s self-serve.
Coco’s also has a bazillion types of drinks. We got bubble teas, which are the beverages with large, round, tapioca balls, or “bubbles” in them. The bubbles are chewy, like gummy bears, and I enjoyed mine a lot. Coco’s has an amazing website also, beautiful, but functional, and it shows you the variety of drinks available. They don’t have any prices listed on the website, but everything was cheap or reasonably priced. They only take CASH, however, and have an ATM on-site, which just screams of “scam” to me, but whatever. Just take some cash out before you head over there.
On the Clever Chick Scale this place gets a “Super delicious, and great value. I can’t wait to go again, and I will recommend it to many friends”. My only criticism is the fact that they only take cash. That just seems ridiculous these days, but it’s not enough to keep me from going back. Loved it!
As you know from the last post, my sis Beans just had her wedding reception. For the reception favors, she wanted to hand out baby trees from the Arbor Day foundation. Two days before the reception, they still had not arrived, so she, of course, was flipping out a bit. Clever Chick to the rescue! (Yes, Again!) FYI: they did make it on time, so we just handed out both favors.
Since time was of the essence, I decided to make magnets out of oven baked clay. Some of the typical brands are sculpey, primo, and fimo, and they have tons of colors at Hobby Lobby, and other craft stores. I used a deep red for these.
This is a tiny rolling pin and cutting board I got specifically for craft projects, so I don’t have to worry about cross-contamination. They are from a child’s play set, so they are much easier to store than a normal sized set. I roll out small chunks of clay at a time, so it’s easier to keep it a uniform thickness.
I used a tiny heart cookie cutter, which I had on hand, but I got in the baking section of the craft store. These are usually used for bakers to cut decorations out of fondant, and they come in a variety of shapes. I think this one cost about $1. I got 11 hearts from each package of clay, so it worked out to about 15 cents each for that part of it.
I used a needle tool from my ceramics stuff to press their initials into the hearts. You could easily use a toothpick for the same result. You do want to press the letters in if you can, rather than trying to carve them in. It won’t come out as clean that way.
Here they are, ready to be baked according to the instructions on the package. I left them on top of the stove to cool overnight, and when I came down in the morning I thought there was a tray of cookies waiting for me. I was disappointed, but that’s the kind of thoughts I have before I get my coffee: “Cookies!! Are there elves, or…oh wait. Those are the reception favors. Dammit.”
Now you need magnets and strong glue. I had both of these on hand. You can see the magnets are $7 for 50, so about 14 cents each. Other than glue and the heart cookie cutter (both of which were fairly cheap), they cost about 30 cents each. If you wanted to get crazy you could buy stamps to stamp into the clay, or glue on rhinestones, fake flowers, whatever.
You don’t need a whole lot of glue for these. You don’t want it to squish out the sides everywhere. An amount about the size of a lentil should be enough. I let them dry for a few hours before packing them up.
This is mine holding up their invitation:
This is where I put it first, and I just thought that was funny! Yes, that’s Jimmy Carter dressed as a pimp. I have a whole set called “Our Pimpin’ Presidents” that entertain everyone who sees them.
So again, congratulations, Beans, the star of the blog!
When we had a party recently, I was at the store loading up on snack foods, and of course, box wine. When I mentally totalled up what was in my cart, I got a little gun-shy. I opted for chips and salsa, and left out the queso. I made homemade hummus, with veggies, and then I wanted a veggie dip as well. At $4 for 16 ounces, I was not happy. Then I remembered what my Sis-in-Law Lis always does:
Just mix it in the sour cream container, let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour, then stir and enjoy. Oh yeah, and that’s about $2. Half price? Not bad.
Lately, I’ve been trying to rethink all kinds of habitual purchases, and see if there’s a cheaper way to accomplish the same thing, with very little effort on my part. For example, I used to buy those sausage and biscuit breakfast sandwiches which cost $0.75 to $1 each. One a day adds up quickly. Now I started buying the pop-can biscuits which are $0.87 for ten, and the fully-cooked, frozen sausage patties which are $5 for 30. That works out to about $0.25 for breakfast instead of $1. I’m now wondering about bisquik, or something similar to make my own biscuits, but I’m also looking for a high-protein, cheap, lazy alternative. Possibly something with eggs. I’ll let you know if I find anything worthwhile.
When the weather is this freakin’ cold, I want baked goods. Lots of them. Not only are they warm, delicious, and sweet, the oven heats up the whole kitchen, and I have a brief time when I can feel my toes again. Unfortunately, I do most of my baking from box mixes, but this apple crisp is so easy, even I can make it. It helps that I had purchased a bunch of apples that were disappointingly un-crunchy. I sure wasn’t going to eat them, but I hate being wasteful.
There’s all the stuff you need. Apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, white sugar, oatmeal, “butter” spread, and I used vanilla extract, but that’s optional. I used a tablespoon or so of cognac also, to try and use it up. I peeled and chopped the apples, and spread them in a 13×9 baking dish. I sprinkled cinnamon, sugar, vanilla and cognac on them, and tossed it all around a bit.
The topping is made of oatmeal, brown sugar, white sugar, and “butter” spread. I start with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the “butter”, and add a cup of oatmeal, then add sugar a little at a time until I get the consistencey of cookie dough, with enough to cover the top of the apples. You don’t need a thick coating. The way I did it here came out fine. The apples will cook down some, and you want to end up with a good balance of apples to topping when it’s done.
I baked it at 350 for about an hour. The topping gets all golden and carmelized and DELICIOUS!! Typing about my awesome recipes is really rough on me. I don’t have it sitting here in front of me to enjoy, and I can feel my tummy rumbling for some. I hope you all appreciate the lengths I go to to keep you happy!
You can kind of see that the whole thing is bubbly, and the sugar has carmelized.
I think I used jonagold apples for this, but granny smith, or a mixture would be good also. This is a great way to use up apples when they start to get to the point where you don’t just want to straight up eat them, or if, like me, you accidentally buy some that are crunchiness-challenged.
Look at my precious little baby dog! Would I ever let him sleep in a cold, bare crate, especially with the way the weather has been? Banish the thought! I am not dumb enough to spend $80 on a pillow for my dog to lay on, so I decided to make my own, crafty chick that I am.
He’s already laying on some of my homemade pillows, so I’m sure he’ll love any bed I make him.
These are old mattress covers that have been in my garage. We used them for padding things while we moved, and for covering plants when it frezzes (before all my plants died because I’m terrible with them). So these were laying around, useless. They are all lightly padded, so I could fold them into the shape I needed, but it would still be cushiony for my sweet precious baby, Flapjack.
You can see the dismal blankie he’s been stuck with up until now. I measured the width and depth of the crate so I could make the bed fit. I left a few extra inches at the front for his food bowl.
I folded the matress pads as evenly as possible into the right size. I tried to make sure the bed was an even thickness all the way around. I used 2 full size mattress pads, because that’s what I have on hand. My sis, Beans, used an old sleeping bag once, and her dog loved it. My mother’s dogs stole her yoga matt, so she just let them have it.
I used a big huge needle, like the kind for crocheting, and I used crocheting yarn, and I ended up needing pliers to pull the needle through. I would stab the needle through as far as possible, and use the pliers to pull it all the way out. I used the really simple tie method to attach all this stuff to itself. You can do this in lazy quilting also. You just sew down, then up, very close together, then tie a knot. Leave the ends dangling, an inch or so, then move onto the next spot. I made sure all the dangling ends are on the bottom, so Flapjack doesn’t try to eat them or anything. Somehow this whole process made me forget to take pictures.
Once the bed was done, it fit snuggly into the crate, and I have to actually wedge his food bowl between the crate and the bed. This is actually a good thing, because it prevents him from flinging his food all over the place, which is what he has been doing. So far it’s working great. I wrapped him blankie around it, so I won’t have to wash the whole bed, just the blankie.
You can use whatever stuff you have laying around the house for this. For small dogs you can even just stuff a pillow case, sew it shut, and throw it on the floor. You can also get great stuff for this at thrift stores. If you plan on having the bed on a floor, rather than in a crate, you can use an old rug for the bottom to keep it from sliding around, and to make it more durable. You could sew a ton of old towels together. The possibilities for recycling are endless!