Food Love, Humor

Similar to the 20 reasons why Pizza is Better than Sex, my love letter to mac and cheese is an open admittance that I am addicted and it feels oh so good.

Dear Mac,

This has been a long time coming. You should have expected this.

You know how beautiful you are in your cheesy, pasta-y glory. You don’t need very many ingredients, but when you do bring friends to the party it’s truly a wonderful event. Even at your worst (in a cardboard cup with Velveeta cheese) you are still quite delicious.

I’m not sure who thought pasta and cheese would be a good combo, but I applaud them. Just kidding, of course I know your birth father. He’s one of our founding fathers (and apparently my Founding Father soul mate, according to Buzzfeed). The glorious Thomas Jefferson. You have such a fantastic father, Mac. I wish I were around during your younger years because I would have been instrumental in your upbringing.

I want you to know that you have been there for me through a lot. During my childhood, your Spongebob Squarepants and Scooby Doo shaped pasta ruled my world. During high school I ate you during many a sports banquet and team sleepover. College involved a lot of your instant and boxed variety (except those special occasions I baked you under a layer of breadcrumbs). Now, well, I’m just maintaining our relationship. I hope you’re cool with that.

I love you. That is all.

Yours truly,

Allie

mac

 

 

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An Open Love Letter to Mac and Cheese

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Food

Eggplant Parm

Sorry I’ve been slacking on my recipe posting! Last night I made an awesome eggplant Parmesan for my boyfriend who had never eaten eggplant before (how crazy is that!).

Here’s what food stuffs ya need:

  • 1 eggplant
  • Milk
  • Breadcrumbs (I used panko breadcrumbs with some Italian seasoning mixed in)
  • Olive oil
  • Marinara
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Mozzarella cheese, grated

Here’s what supplies ya need:

  • Baking sheet
  • Bowl
  • Plate
  • Casserole dish (Pyrex) – preferbly a large 9 x 13 inch one
  • Small saucepan if you want to make pink sauce instead of using marinara

I preheated my oven to 375 degrees. I then started out with a HUGE eggplant. I cut it into slices about 1/3 – 1/4 inch thick. Then I put some olive oil on a baking sheet. I dunked each slice in milk and then coated the slices in the panko/Italian seasoning mixture. I put these bad boys on the oiled baking sheet and baked for 25 minutes.

Once the eggplants are nice and tender, it’s time to make the sauce. I like pink sauce better so in a saucepan I threw some half and half and a bit of Parmesan into my marinara sauce.

Increase the oven temp to 400.

Then I coated the bottom of my baking sheet with sauce. Then layer eggplant, sauce, and cheeses. Keep going until the pan’s all full. Then I topped it with some breadcrumbs and fresh parsley from my itty bitty porch planter! Ahh city living…

Bake this on 400 for about 40 minutes or until the breadcrumbs begin to brown and the sauce is bubbling nicely.

ENJOY!

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xx

Always,

Allie

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Food, Recipe

Yummy breakfast!

Breakfast

I made this delightful breakfast the other morning because breakfast is easily my favorite meal of the day. And snack time…

Here’s how:

2 slices of toast, toasted to a perfect medium brown

2 slices of bacon (usually I do turkey bacon, but I haven’t had real bacon in so long that I just had to…)

2 eggs fried over easy

A little bit of chopped scallion on top of the eggs

A slice of white American cheese (or whatever you prefer) on top of each egg

Put a top over the eggs for the last minute of frying so that the cheese melts

A handful of fresh raspberries on the side

A nice big glass of fresh orange juice

Let me know what you think!

xx

Always,

Allie

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Food, Recipe

Zucchini quesadilla

I forgot to post this when I made it last week!!

This quesadilla was delicious. I swear I will make this again and I especially can’t wait to make it for the boyfriend. My recipe is for one, but double it as needed for two or more.

Yummy zucchini quesadilla

Ingredients

  • 1 Chicken breast
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped onion
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini (or a handful of frozen zucchini, which is what I used)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 flour (or whole wheat!) tortilla
  • 2 cups grated pepper jack cheese (or the 4 cheese Mexican blend, which is what I used)
  • Salsa and sour cream to serve

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil and garlic over medium heat. Put chicken on one side of skillet, when you flip the chicken over, add onion and salt; cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add zucchini and frozen corn kernels to the other side of the skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is soft and corn is tender. Remove from heat.
  3. Put everything from the skillet into a bowl and add a bit of oil to the bottom of your skillet. Put tortilla on skillet and add cheese to the bottom. Then add chicken/zucchini/onion/corn mixture. Top with cilantro.
  4. Flip one half of tortilla over (so that it’s a half circle shape) and slide onto plate.
  5. I put salsa and sour cream on the side. Enjoy!

This would also be delicious with shrimp! I would recommend serving it with a coconut lime margarita on the rocks. Recipe for that to come soon 😉

xx

Always,

Allie

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Food, Recipe

Making veggies fun

Lately I’ve been trying to eat healthier because going to the gym isn’t easy when you live 20 mins away, are taking five classes, and are working 15 hours a week (spending about 6 hours a week on the train to and from work).

So I’ve been trying to cook vegetables that are not of the frozen variety. The other day I bought some organic carrots and a zucchini. I haven’t had zucchini in forever. But I saw this recipe on a fabulous veggie-lovin’ blog (via Pinterest) and I can’t wait to make it later:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2. Cut your veggies into 3-inch sticks, making sure they are even in thickness.

3. Line a baking tray with baking paper and a light layer of olive oil.

4. SEASON – go with the usual salt & pepper and branch out to one or two of the following (Choose Your Own Adventure-style): paprika, cumin, cayenne, crushed red peppers, thyme, rosemary, sage – really, whatever takes your fancy and suits your meal. Using premixed spice blends is a great option too – Italian, Mexican, Old Bay – you know, just not all at once.

I think I’m going to use paprika and crushed red peppers!

Lightly toss your vegetable batons with a tablespoon or so of olive oil (not too much) and the herbs and spices.

5. Spread your seasoned veg over your lined tray and roast, tossing halfway through, for about 20 minutes or until golden and slightly browned at the edges.

I mean, look at how good these look:

I can’t wait to tell y’all how they turn out!

xx

Always,

Allie

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Food, Lyon, Recipe

Lyon: Salade Lyonnaise

I wish I had more to say about today. On the plus side, we had Seb all day today. But other than that, I was pretty much in classes for about nine hours. I’m really starting to get sick of all these classes. Shouldn’t I just be enjoying my vacation in Europe? Why does this have to be school related?

I’m seriously loving the food here. I had the most fabulous Salade Lyonnaise at Gump’s Corner, this bar across the street. The ingredients are just wonderful.

Salade Lyonnaise

Ingredients:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Ham (which they consider bacon here)
  • Poached egg
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Endive
  • Garlic

The dressing is also phenomenal. I’m usually not a huge fan of mustard, but I plan to alter the recipe if I ever make it for myself at home.

  • Extra virgin olive oil (1 C)
  • Red wine vinegar (1/2 C)
  • Dijon mustard (2 Tbsp.)
  • White sugar (1 tsp.)
  • Herbs de Provence (2 Tbsp.)
  • Onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Actually, I’m definitely making this for Dez when I get home. We may have found a salad Dez might actually like! It has bacon, but no Frank’s Red Hot. Win some, lose some.

Au revoir (for now)

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Lyon, Travel

Lyon: Sickly and Sorry

I haven’t posted here in SO long! I definitely have just been too busy having way too much fun to blog!

I’m sick. I feel like Sheldon Cooper in the episode “The Pancake Batter Anomaly” of The Big Bang Theory. I would get sick in France.

But we had our debate in class today and Chelsea and I absolutely killed it. Naturally. Since not too much went on today, I’m just going to say how much I love the culture here. I mean, people sit out and enjoy their food and drinks for hours – without worrying about getting back to work within their allotted one hour lunch break.

I want to have a job and life like that. I feel like so many people in our country are super workaholics but that’s just not what I want. I would love to hit up casual farmer’s markets on Wednesday afternoons.

I think I’ll start going to the Haymarket Farmer’s Market in Boston more often.

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Lyon, Travel

Lyon: Farmer’s Market, Part Deux

Sorry I’ve been so bad with posting every day!

The smells that surround you at a French farmer’s market are probably the best in the entire world. It’s like all craft food items from these people’s homes that they bring to the city of Lyon every Sunday morning and Wednesday afternoon.

Imagine a place where you have the finest cheeses, meats, fruits, vegetables, breads and much more together in one place. Then add in tents of flowers, clothing, shoes and anything you can really imagine all for sale in one place.

Today, I almost bought an American flag scarf for ten euro. I thought that I could find something for cheaper, but I didn’t. I may have to go back this week or next and snag that bad boy before I see some Frenchie rocking my flag around their neck and have to punch them to take it.

As I say this I am eating the most phenomenal pain au chocolat. It beats the living shit out of Au Bon Pain, but is anyone really surprised? I’m not.

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Lyon, Travel

Lyon: This is Sirius

Today was probably the most eventful day of my life. We had class in the morning with my main man Seb (sorry Dez) and that was a learning experience as usual.

Then we went on the most phenomenal walking tour of Vieux Lyon. It was amazing. It looks exactly like you would picture France to look. We would think we were walking into a building but then it would end up being another courtyard. It was really beautiful.

After our walking tour, we headed straight to a bus tour. But in the meantime we got ice cream. Can I just say that eating ice cream mid-day is totally OK here and I really like it. I got Salted Caramel ice cream and oh my gosh, it was amazing. Almost better than the Nutella ice cream I had the day of our scavenger hunt but not as good as the white chocolate ice cream I’ve also had on our trip. So much ice cream. I’m going to come home fat.

Intense church seen on the bus tour

Anyway, the bus tour was so relaxing since we didn’t have to walk (finally). But I started to drift off to sleep during part of it! I guess the wind in my hair, moving car and full stomach were slowly putting me to sleep! But other than that it was very enjoyable. We got to look around the outside of the city in all the hilly areas that are impossible to walk to.

Then the real madness happened. We all got dress to go to a bar/club called Sirius. It was a boat. Need I say more? OK I will. We got cheap pitchers of beer (which is still pretty expensive here) and danced and sand (screamed) the entire night away. By the time we looked at our watches it was 2:45 and still had a nice, long, blacked out walk home to conquer.

at Sirius (the club, not the Harry Potter character)

All in all, it was completely worth the painful feet and missing half of my Saturday for sleeping purposes.

Au revoir (for now)

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I didn’t end up getting a prepaid phone (yet). I accidentally napped. Oh well! Myself and seven other girls just went on a quite interesting adventure around Lyon. Finally!

One of my dialogue-mates, Lizzie, accidentally took her entire French oral exams in English. Completely. She thought they were just filling out her sheet and having a conversation. I don’t think I ever laughed so hard when I learned that. Oh wait, I laughed pretty hard when one of the Kristen’s told us that for her eighth birthday, all she wanted as a present was stock in Mattel. Just picture an eight year old saying, “No daddy, I don’t want a Barbie, I just want eight stocks of Mattel.”

It was hilarious to say the least. But the food we had at the restaurant we ended up going to was phenomenal. I got the Menu Mama, which was three courses of absolute deliciousness.

The appetizer (which, in French, they call the Entrée) had pepperoni in the name, but included no meat. It was quite confusing.

The main course for me was a spicy pasta with tomato sauce. I didn’t realize how spicy it was until I started sipping on our Rose wine and then all of a sudden I needed to eat some bread before my mouth was on fire! It was awesome. Then for dessert, I got a caramel crème. Oh my word. It was along the lines of French Flan. Super rich and caramel-y (that’s totally not a word, I know) and wonderful. I am still so full and it’s been like 3 hours since we ate!

I love how in France they don’t rush you to get the check, pay and leave. But I definitely am still getting used to the whole idea of eating between 8-9 p.m. They don’t even give you the check until you ask for it. So awesome. Definitely much better than being rushed out of a restaurant to open up tables!

Personal, Travel

Lyon: Mama’Caroni

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