Monday, December 5, 2011

Falling in love with Fall

I promise I did not forget about this quaint, little blog. 
Seriously! I promise. 
I wanted to write in here, I really did...

But I was too busy being consumed in FALL.

Last year I was so disappointed with fall in the city.
This year it has swept me off my feet. 
Okay, it wasn't all cute & romantic. I was also knocked on my ass by midterms and life {in general}. 

In fact, I had a food studies exam today.
Well, hopefully...

But really, go ahead and ask me what the difference is between baking soda or baking powder. Or maybe you want to know what two proteins make up gluten. Perhaps you're just curious as to why we add salt to every single thing we bake.
I know these things now.

Ingredients to an A+? Interest in what you're learning &...

Pumpkin Oatmeal!

Ingredients time:
makes 4 servings
(...or 2 if you've convinced yourself you need the extra carbs for your exam)
2 cups of oats
15 oz can of pureed pumpkin
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/3 cup of brown sugar
golden raisins (optional)
sliced toasted almonds (optional)
milk (optional)

Recipe time:

1) Pour 3 1/2 cups of water into a medium pot & bring to a boil.
2) Add oats, cinnamon, and salt lower the heat to medium-low & let the oats simmer & absorb (while stirring occasionally for about 4-5 mins).
3) Add 3/4 of a 15 oz. can of pumpkin (or however pumpkin-y you want it!). Stir for 1 minute.
4) Add brown sugar, raisins, and almonds. Mix to incorporate.
5) Pour into bowls, add a little brown sugar & raisins to the top. Pour some milk in to cool.
6) Enjoy.

So grab your leftover canned pumpkin from Thanksgiving & revamp your oatmeal. Or if you don't have some, run, run, run to the store. But hurry! Winter is coming!
(Game of Thrones reference anyone?)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Epiphanizin' All Over New York

New York is different from Kansas.

But really? I'm still having epiphany after epiphany about this fact.

I now work @ Broadway Panhandler

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about or have never been... catch up & go.
It's heaven. 
Everything cooking related EVER is there. Pie birds? Done.

PLUS— I've learned my stuff. Hard core. (& sometimes) Hard way.

Like... Here's my epiphany #1:

Inner dialogue: No, lady. I'm not trying to rip you off. Let's work together to pick the best pan for you! ...not feeling positive today? Come on, was that really called for? 


Epiphany #2 (much cooler):

I have come to the conclusion that everyone in New York is doing something spectacular one way or another... 

Sittin' in class, doin' an exercise, chattin' with this lovely lady Alex. Guess what?

She and her friend started this amazingly awesome company that is based on an amazingly awesome idea!

What is this you may ask? 
"Each month, you’ll receive a Samplrs Tote containing 4-5 full-sized products from the finest up-and-coming local food artisans."

It has to be one of the greatest foodie gifts of all New York times.
(See what I did there?)

I cannot wait for my subscription to arrive. Previous products? Mango chutney, chocolate, jerky...
Count me in!

Epiphany #3 (last one):
Don't leave your wallet in your backpack. 
We won't even go there...

So. Moral of the story— subscribe. both to Samplrs & me!

PS- You might have wondered if I forgot about this quaint little blog. Nay. Embarrassingly enough my iPhone was broken and therefore my camera was broken and therefore my life was broken. But guess what!!! I'm back in action with an iPhone 4S! Get ready. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bake Sale Bliss

So. I need a kitty in my life.
I'm not entering the whole dog/cat which is the better pet argument.
I love my puppy.
Here's my puppy, Ollie.
Come on. He's so freakin cute. 
But picking up his shit on the sidewalks of New York @ 7 AM? Not so cute...
I'll continue to send love to him in Kansas.

SO I might start tweeting/status-ing/blogging/complaining about needing a kitty like...obsessively.
Instead of getting annoyed with this, why don't you help me come up with a name!
I want him to be grey. I want his name to connote food. ...because I love food...

Here's my ideas thus far:

So maybe leave a comment with a name? I don't even have to know you. Just close your eyes and imagine calling the cutest little kitty ever, then type down whatever you called him in your awesome 5 second imagination time andddd submit. HELP ME. please.

This day, last week I was doing something semi-admirable. I baked for a bake sale & all the proceeds went to the System Fibrosis Foundation. 
Yeah. Pat on the back for Morgan.
Double pat actually. 
You know why?
Because BAM! These sold out in the first 45 minutes! What?

You're right, I didn't come up with this recipe either.
This is turning into a blog where I just try out other peoples recipes...
Joy the Baker is the best friend I never had. & this recipe is decadent heaven.

Real Talk.
I'm here to talk to you about this recipe.
Not as aesthetically appealing...but what is?
I didn't make it home with any of these heavenly blondes from the bake sale... So I made another batch for just me and my boy that evening. 
True life: I like being in the company of butter, flour, & sugar.

It's a Martha Stewart recipe. I only tweaked it a little bit.
But I'm going to step-by-step you through it anyway!

Ingredients: 8 tablespoons of soft butter, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup of granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 3/4 cup of chocolate chips, 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts...that's it! 
(you know you have all these ingredients in your pantry, begging to be combined & baked with love. just go with it.)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees...duh! Grab your 8x8 pan & grease it up realll good with butter. *tip-- I like to glob some super soft butter on the pan and smear it around with a paper towel* Then place a baking sheet on the bottom and 2 inches peaking up on each side. Butter this baking sheet up too.
2) Whisk together butter & sugars. This might be a task. But you'll get through it. When it's smooth, whisk in the egg & vanilla. Fold in the most of the chocolate chips & all the walnuts (save however many chips you like for the top).
3) Pour this mixture (which is ultra thick & scrumptious) into the pan and spread evenly. Then go crazy (or quite conservatively, like moi) with the choco. chips on the top!

4) Bake this for 25-30 minutes! Do not, DO NOT, follow Martha's advice. Martha, if you're reading, please change that. Merci beaucoup.

5) Pull out. Let cool. Dig in.

Try not to eat the whole thing. Or do. Whatevs. It'll make you happy.
Yeah I said it!! Stop denying it, baked goods make you happy.
Eeeespecially these blondies.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sunday, syrup, & love.

Sunday mornings...ahhh.
Seriously, "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5 made me love Maroon 5. 
It just may be one of the best songs ever written. 
& now Maroon 5 is pumping out shit like "Moves Like Jagger"?!? Come on!
okay maybe I secretly like that song...
Still! Not okay!

I honestly don't go out on Saturday nights just so I can enjoy Sunday mornings.
I like to sit in my PJs til noon with a cup of coffee & an awesome playlist (like this one).
Best part, I never feel guilty.

This Sunday morning was special.
It went a little something like this...
Boom. French toast. 
Jealous yet?
Just wait...
My boyfriend made it for me!
I'm sorry, too far. Bragging isn't cool. But tis true. 

& yes. I ate this on the floor.
Broke, no furniture style. 

But for reals-
This French toast was nooo orrdinnarrryyy French toast.
However it wasn't one of those 32,482,689 step, fancy French toasts.
Sure, I've made those French toasts that include orange zest & all that jazz.
But this French toast was the TASTIEST, EASIEST French toast.
How many times can I say French toast?

 Did I mention my boyfriend is Hawaiian?
Sorry again.

Yes, this my friends was made with Punalu'u sweet bread. 
Or Hawaiian sweet bread if you're not from Hawaii...
I'm guessing it isn't organic.... Shhhh.
Here's the deal:
1) Cut the rolls up like you would a loaf of bread.
*This bread was frozen, thawed, & still delicious*
2) Dip both sides of the bread into an egg mixture (about 3 eggs, 3 tbspns of milk, & a pinch..or dump..of cinnamon).
3) Place the bread in a pan w/ heated, melted butter.
4) Flip after 2-3 mins. Take off after 2-3 mins on other side.
5) Enjoy!

The main actor in this play is the sweet bread. Don't let nutmeg or honey steal the show.
Just let the sweet bread shine.
It's so amazing.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Unicorns & a Hidden Gem

Should I be studying? 
Or should I be eating chocolate and writing this blog?
Is there a right and a wrong? Is there a good and a bad?
Or is it all subjective?
...or am I sleep deprived?

So there's a reason for my craziness. I promise!
I just finished rushing for a sorority. 
Sorority? Morgan? What happened to you? 

No, inner-crazy-dialogue, these things are different @ NYU. People are actually super cool. And it's a penthouse instead of a house, so you know it's legit.
Oh okay, neat-o.

But anyways, through this process I learned about a very nifty place in New York City called 4th Street Co-op. 
Before I tell you all about it. Watch this video from their site. 
& if you don't think it's cool/funny/completely awesome.......well, I'll probably actually understand, but I still think it's all of those things and more.

This is probably an inconvenient time to be writing about this since the Co-op is closed this week...
But after the 8th, you & I must check out the 4th St Co-op. 
How do I describe this magical place?
My Communications class taught me to be direct today... So here I go:

Health food store.
Better than Whole Foods.
Very local.
Run by non-paid Members.

The 4th St Co-op also does not sell any organic product that is produced by a major corporation.
This includes Tom's toothpaste, Stonyfield Farms Yogurt, etc...

At first my inner-hippie was cheering for this stance. Yay! Supporting the little guy!
But then... I thought about it.

The organic industry is the little guy. It's an effort to replenish our bodies with real, natural, nutritious foods. Is it so bad that large corporations are backing this effort? Don't we want these products to be available to everyone? Not just those who happen to live in more liberal states?

Coming from Wichita, KS, I am so happy to see organic products in Wal-Mart.
I am happy to see Kellogg's buy and spread the Kashi culture.

But that's just plain ol' me and my plain ol' thoughts.
What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

La Vie Sans Cuisine

Now I know how Harry Potter felt when his aunt and uncle trapped him in a room under the stairs. Well...almost.
I'm still trapped in this teeny tiny apartment with...wait for it... no kitchen! 
dun dun dun.

But I'm still coping with life without preparing, measuring, chopping, sautéing somehow. I have been finding ulterior outlets for my crazy craving for cooking... 

First of all, I made my boyfriend watch Food Inc. with me-- his first time, my bazillionth. 

& if (for some bizarre reason) you haven't seen it,

It's Instant on Netflix. And if you don't have Netflix yet... then you haven't started living.

The film does an amazing job at portraying the underlying corporate structure behind everything we eat! Not to mention the various bills and subsidies that further enforce this convoluted mess...
In fact, this documentary is the original source from which my devotion to the cause derives.
So you better watch it.

Secondly, I had my first official cooking class this Tuesday (yippee)! 

The first class was on the different ways of preparing meats and vegetables...
I, having cooked for 5-6 years, thought it'd be a bore.
Boy was I wrong!! 
Learning the exact, correct way of doing everything is so empowering! I feel as though I can just start jotting recipes of my own down. 

Plus, I learned how to poach an egg! Something I've never done before. 
& if you've never poached an egg before, you're in luck--

Start by bring water in a medium pot to a simmer. Add a seriously small amount of vinegar (my instructor used the flat cap of the vinegar bottle). Crack the egg into a ramekin (or small bowl). Whisk the water around and create a vortex. Then, pour the egg in. Use a slotted spoon to guide the egg. Walk away for 1-2 minutes. Using the slotted spoon, pull the egg out. Season. 
AND VOILA! A yummy-in-my-tummy poached egg!

As soon as I move into my kitchen equipped apartment...poached eggs all around!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chicken Two Ways

Hello, I'm back!
...back to New York City, back to Morganic, and back to reality.

I have several perfectly good excuses for being so spotty when it comes to sharing my {M}organic experiences... One of which is that I've been stuck in an apartment that my landlord kindly informed me is the size of his bathroom... but only temporarily ! Thank goodness.

However, I have chosen to share with you my favorite discovery of the summer:

This cookbook is perfect for those teaching themselves how to cook {as I certainly am}.
& ..cheesy alert.. There's always more to learn! 

Each recipe is accompanied with a series of pictures showing exactly how to do every single step. It's a book meets blog experience! Completely awesome.

I've made so many fabulous dishes from this book, but my two favs were a convenient duo of chicken breast quick dinners--

Soooo. As the story goes, I bought 4 chicken breasts since there were currently 4 familia member living in the household. But, of course, my bro and pops were busy.... Mom & daughter double nighter!

First night (mom's favorite)-- Cajun Chicken with Pineapple Salsa.

Second night (my favorite)-- Stuffed Chicken Breast wrapped in Bacon

Both were totally affordable, totally delicious, yet totally different!

The first, extremely flavorful and fresh. The second, rich and hearty (plus, made me obsessed with rosemary).
If you're cooking for two and like a scrumptious food--try this duo!!

As for me... I am now officially taking a Food Studies class-- so my relationship with food will continue to evolve... & guess what! It'll all be recorded right here. 
So stick around. I might even be able to relay some of the tricks of the trade I learn