A College Girl's Guide to a Happy, Healthy Lifestyle!

Tag: summer

A Brief Photo Diary of Missed Recipes!

Well hello there viewers! Welcome back to my blog. Today I’m just writing a very brief post that I promised to write. Though I continued on my journey with the cook-through challenge, I began to post less and less. These following pictures are of recipes […]

The Hottest Day of Vacation So Far | Spanish Style Gazpacho | One Cook, Two Books

Well my friends… This is it. Thursday, August 17th was the hottest day of the Summer so far. Or at least, that’s how it felt.   I’m guessing it’s because we have had guests over for the past week and we’ve been spending the majority […]

Dinner Party: Vegetarian Style! | Roasted Cauliflower and Cauliflower Leaves with Spices | Grated Beet, Carrot, Radish, And Avocado Salad with Tahini Dressing | Roasted Feta, Peppers, and Tomatoes | One Cook, Two Books

Another day, another successful dinner party.

 

My mom’s best friend is in town this week with her husband, so I thought I might as well break out the goods and cook them a feast! I wanted to try out some all vegetarian meals that all had different flavours just so show a bit of variety.

 

I have to say… Everything really worked out.

 

Roasted Cauliflower and Cauliflower Leaves with Spices

I started with the Roasted Cauliflower and Cauliflower Leaves with Spices. I was really excited for this one because we have had cauliflower sitting in our refrigerator for days, so this gave me the opportunity to use it up! Mina explained to either cut into slices, or try and create cauliflower steaks. I tried for the steaks, something I really love, but found that the head of cauliflower itself was not shaped in a way that made steaks successful.

 

Either way, I was a bit nervous about the spices. Last time I had fennel seed — which was when I was like… fifteen years old — I didn’t like it much because it tasted like licorice. I was also nervous about the amount of hot pepper flakes it called for. Either way, I bit the bullet and followed the recipe.

I could not be more happy that I did because, honestly, this was the best roasted cauliflower I’ve ever made. It was crispy and flavorful, and had just the right kick from the pepper flakes.

It was a success.

 

Grated Beet, Carrot, Radish, And Avocado Salad with Tahini Dressing

Next came the Grated Beet, Carrot, Radish, And Avocado Salad. This was a fun one for me because not only have I not cooked with beets in about a year, but I’ve never cooked with daikon radishes either. 20 minutes, and about 7 cups of shredded vegetables later, I had the salad ready. But what about the dressing?

 

I did the Tahini Dressing. I love “finishing things up,” and ended up finishing up our huge jar of tahini to make this recipe. I did not get the full amount of tahini needed so only made about 75% of the dressing, but it still tasted very good with the salad. I see how the entire recipe would have worked great, though.

 

The recipe called for mixing the avocado in with the salad, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I just placed the avocado on top because it looked. So. Pretty.

And then after my pictures I put a plate of more avocado besides the salad so anyone who wanted some could add it to their salad. Very simple.

 

It was a good salad. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just not usually one for everything being shredded up and raw. I’m more of a leafy salad person. But hey, this still worked great, and the dressing paired wonderfully with the salad itself.

 

Roasted Feta, Peppers, and Tomatoes

Last, but certainly not least…

 

The Roasted Feta, Peppers, and Tomatoes.

 

I was really scared for this one because I had to buy Anaheim peppers. I was so scared, in fact, that I only made half the recipe. It was when I got home, and found out that Anaheim peppers are not spicy peppers, that I internally cursed myself.

 

But I made do with what I had.

 

I used a delicious heirloom tomato for the tomatoes, and some high quality feta from the local Greek market. Doused the babies in a ton of oil, then threw them into the oven.

 

They turned out spectacular.

Seriously. I think I had three of the six I made. My dad, the Greek one, did not even get a chance to try these peppers because they were devoured so fast. We loved it so much that we are already planning on making them again next week!

All in all, today’s recipes turned out to be a lovely success. Everyone loved everything. The only leftovers we had was the salad, and I already know that we plan on eating that tomorrow with our lunch.

Everything worked out perfectly.

I Think My Taste Buds are Changing | Spicy Chickpea Stew | One Cook, Two Books

One of two things is going one. One: Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, one ingredient that I use very sparingly, is not as spicy as it used to be. Two: Crushed Red Pepper Flakes are no longer as spicy because I am more accustomed to spicy […]

RECIPE | S’Mores Bites | Happy National S’Mores Day!

Ah, S’mores. Along with watermelon, ice cream, and BBQ, S’mores is (are?) a summer staple. What better day to make them then on National S’mores Day? Who even comes up with these holidays?   If you haven’t heard of s’mores, then I am very sorry. […]

Dinner Party Round Two | One Cook, Two Books

After yesterday’s meal prep, I was quite terrified to dive into tonight’s cooking. Though the family explained it was okay for us to eat out, I was determined to cook them yet another delicious dinner. I knew that nothing would match up to how laborious the meal prep was yesterday, so I was quite confident in my skills that I would be able to make them two simple dishes: Makaronia Me Kima, and Early Spring Salad with a Tangy Sour Cream Dressing.

 

I actually planned out the production of this meal in an incredibly _____ way. It was so well planned, in fact, that I was essentially done by the time my family came back from being out!

 

Let us begin, shall we?

 

Part 1 – The Meat Sauce

Makaronia Me Kima is also known as Cinnamon and Clove Meat Ragu. The recipe was incredibly self explanatory. I also had a little helper read it to me (thank you, little brother Jake) while I stayed by the stove to ensure that everything went as fast as possible.

Easiness: 4/5. The onions literally killed my eyes as I sliced them, and it took quite a while for me to slice the onions. Those are my only complaints though!

Taste: Absolutely phenomenal. I ended up reading the intro of the book again before cooking. Mina Stone is described at one point as eating very slowly, almost in a trance as she ate her food. I decided to try out this “slow eating” taste test and it actually worked very well! I was able to catch the subtle flavours of the meat that I don’t taste when devouring it super fast. Pretty. Dang. Delicious.

 

Part 2 – The Salad Dressing

So as the meat cooked, I decided to work on the salad next since I knew how fast the pasta would cook. I was too nervous to set up the entire salad all at once, so I thought that I would start out by just making the dressing and letting it sit there. I originally intended on making a Green Goddess Spinoff dressing, but instead stuck with the original Tangy Sour Cream Dressing recipe in the book because, well, Master Mina says that’s what is best! It was super easy to make. I did not have sour cream, so I used the remnants of my buttermilk and some plain yogurt instead.

Easiness: 5/5. Mix three ingredients together then add salt and pepper? The only way this could have been difficult is if… wait… oh yeah. There is no way.

 

Taste: Really good! It was a very simple lemon yogurt dressing. I almost convinced myself to add poppyseeds and make it a lemon poppyseed dressing but didn’t want to alter the recipe too much. Maybe I’ll make another salad tomorrow and just add some poppy seeds to that dressing…

 

Part 3 – The Salad

Meat still cooking, dressing done. All that was left was to prep the salad and cook the pasta. Still knowing how fast the pasta was going to be, I decided I would set up the salad. I decided on the Early Spring Salad because, well frankly, the picture looked absolutely beautiful. It was rather easy to make, and took up the perfect amount of time to prep all of the vegetables. It was all very simple and very therapeutic. Plus, this recipe gave me a chance (like with the olives) to try something new! I got to try all different sorts of delicious vegetables in a salad, something I don’t normally do since I do not normally eat salads.

Easiness: 4/5. It was a little time consuming to cut all of the vegetables, but even so it all worked out since I spent just the right amount of time with this dish.

Taste: This was an absolutely delicious salad. Especially with the dressing. After a while of eating it I even threw some blueberries in because I thought it needed something a little sweet to offset the tang from the dressing. Best. Decision. Ever.

 

Seriously.

 

Part 4 – The Pasta. Easy Peasy. No Description Needed.

But I’ll give a description anyway. Boiled some water. Cooked some pasta. Put it in some pretty bowls. Bam.

Easiness: 5/5

 

Oh! Speaking of which, I did another really fun layout for the dinner. Besides dividing the pasta into two beautiful bowls, I also laid out a whole bunch of sides: pesto, snap peas, radishes, blueberries, cauliflower salad, and my dad’s famous garlic bread. It was all absolutely delicious.

 

Mina, you did it again. Your recipes created one heck of a dinner party! I thank you.

Celebrating Midsummer as a Busy, Broke College Student

Celebrating Litha, the Pagan Summer Solstice: My Adventures in Finding My Spirituality as a College Student.   Hey guys! Before I start, I want to share with you a playlist I made for celebrating Litha and the summer season. It’s a unique playlist that I’ve […]