Makeshift College Cooking Part 2

Now I am no expert in the kitchen but I think my creativity does help me out a lot to make people think otherwise. Sometimes you just have to the best you can with what ya get, in and out of the kitchen. Half the time when I makeshift these interesting meals is also because I don’t want food to go bad!

This brought me to my own version of fried rice. Although I wanted the real thing, I grossly underestimated how long it takes to make rice, yeah a whole 30 minutes, and I didn’t have that kind of time. But I did have a ton of quinoa left over from a mass quinoa production that I had had the week before, and also had eggs left from pre practice banana bread that I make each week. I always have spinach left from, just my life. (I love spinach and it goes with nearly anything!)

I also found an easy way to make scrambled eggs that involve far fewer dishes. All you have to do isFriedRice slightly oil/grease, I use Pam, the inside of a mug or some other microwave safe cup; then you crack your eggs inside and microwave on medium for 1:30. Sometimes you need a little more time or a little less but ti will usually puff up, and then I just take it out and fluff them and break down the big puff with a fork. After this, it is really just became a modge-podge dish. Heating up all your favorite things and throwing them in a bowl together. This particular time I had spinach, chicken (drained from the can), eggs, carrots, chickpeas and qunoia all together. Then I top it all off with olive oil, salt and pepper (my absolutely favorite ‘dressing’). Sometimes the best versions of dishes are the ones where you make them your own! One of my favorite things about mode-podge meals is that it helps motivate me to only keep healthy foods in the cupboards. The more healthy foods and options you have a the hand the less yo have to stress about tailoring what you are making! Happy cooking 🙂

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Food Frenzy Friday

One of the greatest parts of traveling anywhere, and really life in general, is food. And as I was scrolling through my camera roll, like any typical person, I have taken a ton of photos of my food and thought why not share the amazing experience that is food. It may sound a little strange but food really is an experience, especially when traveling! It is how one person can physically internalize a culture and a way of life. through this journey through even just a fraction of Europe, I have tried so many yummy new things, and none really restricted to jus the culture of England and France, but other ethnic foods that have crept their way into the places that I have traveled to. so join me on a walk down memory…of deliciousness
IMG_0010AND HOW ABOUT THAT AIRLINE FOOD….no really I have such low standards for food, as in I will eat nearly anything in front of me. Needless to say the flight over we were given dinner, and the highlight for me was the tomato and mozzarella as that stuff probably runs through my veins because it is my favorite. We also had chicken and rice, and desert as it is the greatest of nearly any meal was some chocolate cake. Now it all looked much better with the tops off, and I have to say that airline food has made strides in terms of taste, nutrition ehhh well you can’t control everything while your flying through the sky.
IMG_0022At the school I am staying at we are provided with breakfast and dinner. Breakfast usually consists of croissants and other pastries, yogurt, fruit, toast, roasted tomatoes, hash browns, eggs (poached, fried, and scrambled) sausage, and bacon (and their bacon is our ham). My usual consists of two poached eggs on wheat toast (which they call brown) with a yogurt, sometimes oatmeal (called porridge here), and a bowl of assorted fruit. My favorite is probably the fruit bowls I make for myself every morning, and of course I let the inner Pinterest-er inside me free a I always make it look pleasing to the eye.
One of the first days here, my new found friends and I explored around the town of Oxford to get the lay of the land.We
IMG_0014noticed a restaurant that had bathtubs for seats, and this became known as the ‘bath tub place’, and needless to say we had to give it a try. Upon arrival we discovered that it was a Thai restaurant (which is actually very popular in Oxford). My friend and I wanted to get a taste of a few different highs rather than just one big meal, which resulted in this fun sampler. It included chicken spring rolls, honey pork, salt and pepper squids, and fish cakes, with some awesome sauce (which I mean not only as a compliment but also for lack of the actual name of the sauce ;). Whenever I go somewhere new I always try to make a point o frying something new, and at this restaurant I definitely went outside my comfort zone and was rewarded!
IMG_0012Also in the little town of Oxford (and most likely in Europe in general) on the go themed foods usually come in terms of sandwiches, so needless to say I have had quite a few…and enjoyed every single one. One of the best however I have to say was one that is in a local market of Oxford, called the Covered Market, which is full of cute little shops that satisfy nearly anything you could be shopping for from flowers to food. At this coffee themed cafe I had a bacon (ham), avocado, and chicken mayo (chicken salad)  sandwich that was toasted to perfection. It also came with a side of rocket salad, which is simply lettuce, but for some reasons, an awesome one I’m sure, they call it rocket. (it just sounds cool and I love it)
Now that we are on the topic of the Covered Market, I must of course mention a near landmark of Oxford, which is MooMoo’s. I had the benefit that a friend of mine traveled to Oxford and gave me a list of the must go places, and this IMG_0013one was near the top, so I gave ti a try. Although it is small ti is mighty, mighty as in you can create your own milkshake with over 300 different add-in options. It is two window trailer looking place that makes possibly the best milkshakes I have ever had, which is a high standard considering I am the queen of sweets. I have so tried Snickers and banana, as well as Oreo. (Others on my list to try before I leave are marshmallow and apple pie…and I am also quite curious about skittles flavor, I will let you know how those go)
One of the last that I all cover in this post (worry not here is part two to come 🙂 is Hazzan’s. He is listed on Buzzfeed’s
IMG_0015must try, but of course I only knew this after I had tried it, so I did feel a bit trendy I suppose. Anywho it is a simple food truck that comes out in front of our campus from 6p.m. to 3a.m, which is prime for late night munchies. My personally favorite is the lamb kebab with garlic mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles, and the occasional side of onion rings. Either way it is an amazing guilty pleasure, and especially after a 11 mile day spent in London it was the perfect end as it served as the food component to a late night picnic dinner on the lovely college lawn.
All this talk of food has made me quite hungry, and ironically enough I am going to have some Hazzan’s right now, but I will be sure to share the rest of my camera roll with you all next week. I hope your Friday is full of FANTASTIC food and feel free to share ti below because I love to read and hear about food just as much as I love to eat it! 🙂

So Obsessed Saturday: Avocado Please

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Can you ever have enough avocado?! I mean really I have probably gone through 5 this week…so I guess you could say I am obsessed. There are tons of uses as well as tons of benefits!

Here are some avocado fun facts:

They contain more potassium than bananas!

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Avocado is a high fat food! WAIT WHAT Emily why would I want to eat something that is high in fat. This is a huge misconception because not all fats are the same! Avocado is high in fat but they are the good fats! Monounsaturated fatty acids and the main source is oleic acid which makes up 70% of olive oil, and is what gives olive oil its nutrient value.

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Avocados are very high in antioxidants and also help you absorb antioxidants from other plant foods! Antioxidants are very important to your body and keep a lot of it in check, avocado is high in certain ones that are great for your eye sight!

They are packed with fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which will help you stay full longer and in turn can help you lose weight if that’s your goal!

I have been using avocados a million ways this week, and I don’t think that that is much of an understatement as they are so versatile!

Salad: You can top your salad with chunks or slices. My favorite has been chicken, spinach, tomatoes, or whatever other veggies I have on hand mixed with avocado and some olive oil. The olive oil adds flavor and the avocado adds creaminess and removes the need for a really heavy dressing!

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Instead of Mayo: As mentioned before avocado is very creamy and can take the place of something else less healthy such as mayonnaise. You can mash up the avocado and spread it on bread for your sandwich, or I have even mixed it with chicken instead of mayonnaise to create a different type of chicken salad. (It may even be good with eggs for eggs salad…might have to try that one!)

avocadspreadGuacamole: This is quite the obvious one as avocado is the main ingredient in this very tasty dip. You can really get creative with guac because you can add really whatever you like. I like mine with lime, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, salt and pepper, not a fan of spicy. Guacamole is usually eaten with tortilla chips but you can also use veggies to dip instead for a slightly healthier option!

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Fun Food Friday

One of the greatest parts of being home is being able to make just about whatever I want. The trouble is at school it doesn’t make sense to invest in a dozen eggs when you only have a microwave shared by your own hall, needless to say I have been driving my family a little crazy with all the food I’ve been making!

So I don’t know if Fun Food Friday will be a regular thing, but hey we are all along for the ride. I found this super yummy Protein/energy Ball recipe that I love. I have messed around with a  few different ones and sometimes even tried to make my own, but I think this one has turned out the best! What I love about these kind of recipes is that besides the basics you can add just about anything without really messing it up. Another reason I love this recipe is because they are no bake which is a huge plus!

FullSizeRender 2recipe:

1 cup oats

2/3 cup coconut flakes

1/2 peanut butter (or almond butter if you prefer. freestyle it!)

1/2 cup ground flax seed (I only had whole ones so I used that!)

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/3 cup honey

1tbsp chia seeds

1tsp vanilla extract

Directions: combine all ingredients in a bowl and chill for one hour. once chilled roll into balls of desired size and store in a container in the fridge. they will last for about a week! (When I made mine i also added some hemp seeds and extra flaxseed, tinker witht eh recipe cause you cant really do any wrong!) Let me know how they turned out for you!

So Obsessed Saturday: Pancakes

Here in Olean, New York, there isn’t always much to do. However, like in any little city there are little gems throughout the town, and today I got to experience one of the best: Sprague’s Maple Farm. This place is just any breakfast lovers dream, because their breakfast is off the chain (and I don’t use that phrase loosely, so you know this is the real deal!)

What makes this even greater is that I love pancakes,as in the path to my heart is paved with pancakes.

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Any time you order pancakes you automatically get an unlimited amount with your meal, which is quite sly on their part because it sounds so great – but you never have room in your belly fore more! So today I made a deal with myself that I would beat the house at their own game, and get an extra order of pancakes.

And that is what I did – because I am not a quitter. MY first order was three pancakes the size of my head, 2 homemade sausage patties (omg so yum), a plate of hash browns (also my favorite), and 2 scrambled eggs. the first set of pancakes I got where buttermilk and then on my second round I got 2 apple cinnamon pancake. And ladies and gentlemen that brings my grand total up to 5 head sized pancakes. So to say that right now I have a food baby would be an understatement, because it is more like twins.

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I don’t regret my over indulgent decision because it is nice to treat yourself, and being a college kid a great ‘home made’ meal is something that can’t be compared to. Thats why I love pancakes os much because to me they are a little piece of home. Over the summer I went through a huge pancake phase, where I would come home from work and my mom would be supermom and make me pancakes at 9 at night. Therefore they are my go to comfort food. The best is when the center gets a little soggy from the butter because it is melted, and there is maple syrup dribbled on top ( I used to strictly be a chocolate chip girl, but now I’m ‘mature’ …hardly)

Also being away from home, it is always nice to go out with your closest friends and enjoy a good hearty meal. That, to me, is one of the simplest perks of life, a meal. To really enjoy not only the food but the company that you keep. Although it is not the same as being at home, comfort food anywhere brings you just that: comfort, and the people around you who care can bring you that too!

So there you have it, a little obsession and a little heart and soul on this saturday! Let me know what your comfort food is below!