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 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Treat

Every chance the weather is sunny and I am surrounded by friends I make this dessert.
I made it in Florida during spring break and I made it again in June this summer.

Frozen Key Lime Pie!

I won't bother showing you how to make it because I snagged the recipe from my idol, Ina Garten. Here it is-- delish!

However, I will let you know that making the pie as advanced as possible (perhaps even the night before) is key because it takes a little while for the pie to freeze.

I was happy to discover that I already had much of the organic ingredients around the house and therefore, it was a very inexpensive, yet organic, summer treat.

{ And yes, unlike puff pastry, organic sweetened condensed milk does exist. In fact, before making this recipe I wasn't quite sure what sweetened condensed milk consisted of... But it is only milk that is dehydrated and sweetened! Not as if that means it's necessarily good for you...}

So seriously. Go make this uber refreshing, delicious, simple dessert tonight and enjoy it tomorrow!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hello Hilo

I'm back.

I have just recently returned from the most amazing trip to Hilo, Hawaii!
While I was there, I was unable to stay faithful to an organic diet... However, I did not fail to notice (and was actually impressed by) the extensive existence of organic shops, restaurants, and opportunities.

But most what I found most fascinating--

This was by far the best farmers market I have ever been to. Not only was there a remarkable variety, but everything was so inexpensive!
My favorite find was apple bananas. These look like mini bananas and when you bite into them there is a wonderful synthesis of sweet and tart.

Plus, they were only $1 a pound!

This definitely inspired me to go explore more markets here in Wichita...
I can't wait to see what my hometown has to offer

Friday, May 27, 2011

Good Karma

Let me start by saying..

Now, I'll explain--

Yesterday, I went to Green Acres to to shop for the ingredients in my key lime pie (post coming soon). Since I brought my own reusable shopping bag, I was asked if I wanted to enter a contest for a full bag of groceries and a $10 gift certificate. Of course, I jumped on that as quick as lightning! I mean, I never thought I'd win...

But guess what...
I won!

This started to make me truly crucial is the usage of reusable bags? I enjoy using them because I love the variety of bags! It's easy to have fun with it.
But I never really understood the impact of single-use plastic bags until now!

Did you know?--
Every year, the U.S. goes through 100 billion single-use plastic bags a year!
Plastic bags are the second most common type of ocean refuse next to cigarette butts!
Plastic bags are not biodegradable, so they become a toxic threat to soil, waterways, and animals!
(All according to

Like with so many things, it is easy to constantly consume and toss bags, but it is not sustainable for the environment and planet. By simply keeping reusable bags in the car or next to the door, each of us can make an impact (and maybe even win a contest)!

Join the reusable revolution

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

There's No Place Like Home...

Hello Kansas!

Last weekend, I drove the 24 hour drive from Manhattan to Wichita.
Woohwee! What a trip! But boy oh boy am I glad to be home.

I suppose I just missed nature too much..

Nonetheless, I definitely do miss the perks of New York City.
Like living steps away from the Union Square Greenmarket where there are nearly 140 sellers of fish, breads, honeys, veggies, and fruits.

Today, I went to the Andover Central Park Farmers Market, which is located 5 minutes from my house by car. Though the quality of the market was excellent, the were three stands.

Toto, I don't think we're in Manhattan anymore...
New location, new challenges!

I won't give up hope.
There are many more farmers markets in Wichita that I plan to explore. And if local produce doesn't work out, there is also the locally owned healthy grocer Green Acres.
So, plan on a new organic cooking experience to be posted soon!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Whirlwind of a Week

With papers, quizzes, schedule planning, and approaching finals, perhaps this wasn't the best timing to start a blog...

Nonetheless! I still managed to whip up a delicious & nutritious organic meal this Wednesday. The meal was inspired by a staple dish that I had growing up:
Spaghetti squash.

The full menu included an arugula salad with apples, garlic butter bread, spaghetti squash, tomato sauce, and a brownie pie. But of course, the healthy highlight of the meal was surely the squash!

the layout

I started by preheating the oven to 375 degrees.
I cut the squash in half and proceeded to scrape out the seeds with a spoon.

I brushed the inside of the squash with olive oil, then sprinkling it with salt and pepper.

I placed the squash face down a baking sheet and baked it for approximately 45 minutes, until tender.

After I pulled the squash out of the oven, I let it cool for a bit. Then I scraped the inside with a fork and it easily gave way into spaghetti form.
And that's it! What a healthy alternative to pasta!

Final outcome?

A seriously scrumptious, healthy, cheap, & quick meal that I will be making often on weeknights!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Appetite

Happy Belated Easter!

So yesterday--

As all my roommates escaped New York City and journeyed home to enjoy home cooked meals laden with motherly love... I was alone. In the dorm. Contemplating whether I should attempt to make puff pastry from scratch for the first time. Or not..

Well, let me back up--

It's not as if I did not try to take the short cut. I scoured the freezer sections of both Whole Foods and Trader Joe's for frozen puff pastry. Nada.

I must admit, I did briefly think: Oh, the good old days when I was completely ignorant to everything organic and could fold out a sheet of perfect puff pastry from Pepperidge Farms.

But then I remembered that those sheets aren't even made with butter. Instead, they use Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening (Soybean and Cottonseed Oils Colored with Beta Carotene).... uh, no thanks.

Ultimately, I took one glance at my kitchen and vetoed the whole puff pastry experiment.
Note the counter space:

But I still wanted Easter treats followed with an Easter food baby and coma.
So, here we are! Easter Crostini & Salad.

1 Baguette
6 (2 for Bread, 2 for Onions, 2 for Salad) Tablespoons of Olive Oil
Ground Pepper
Fig Jam
1/4 cup of grated Gruyere Cheese
2 Yellow Onions, chopped
1 tablespoon of thyme leaves
4 oz of Goat Cheese

I started by preheating the oven to 375. While the oven was warming, I sliced the Baguette diagonally into 3/4-1 inch thick slices. Then, I brushed olive oil on the tops of each one and sprinkled salt. I placed them in the oven for about 10 minutes or until crusty, but not burnt!

I heated 2 more tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and added my chopped yellow onion. I allowed the onions to caramelize (yumyumyum) for about 15 minutes. I then added salt, ground pepper, and thyme and cooked them (stirring occasionally) for about 5 more minutes.

--Side note: I could honestly eat caramelized onions by themselves all day. So delicious.

After the sliced baguette was out of the oven & cooled and the onions were caramelized, I was ready to start assembling (yeehaw)! I spread fig jam liberally on every slice, sprinkled gruyere on the jam, and onions atop of both the jam and cheese.

Finally, I crumbed goat cheese atop the hot onions, letting them settle in and make themselves at home. Then, added half of a slice of prosciutto to each slice.

I made a quick salad with arugula, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon for a bit of freshness on the side.

The outcome? Delicious. The creaminess of the goat cheese, bit of the gruyere, saltiness of the prosciutto, the caramelized onions (which don't need a descriptive adjective because they are simply amazing), and the crunchiness and carbi-ness of the baguette...they were all gone in 10 minutes. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I am Morganic

Hi. Hello. & Howdy.

My name is Morgan and here is a boring spiel about myself:

I am business school student at Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University. I am also committed to the organic food counter-revolution against GMOs and the overall industrialization of food.
I am the synthesis of both number crunching and spoon lickin' goodness.
Therefore, (voila!) I am Morganic.

This blog is dedicated to the adventure into the world of cooking and living organically, seasonally, and locally.

Organic food!? What? How? Where? Why?
This, we will discover together.