It’s gettin’ hot in here

And don’t worry, I will attempt to refrain from taking off all my clothes.

Since it’s hot as the dickens outside, and therefore hot as the dickens x 10 inside my apartment, I am attempting to find oven (and preferably even stove) free recipes. Or hell, even recipes that do not require being hot to eat. Because just the thought of standing in my tiny kitchen in front of a heat producing unit has my sweat glands screaming for mercy.

So what’s on the chopping block for this week?

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Salade de legumes au fromage de chevre

asparagus

Asparagus vichyssoise with mint

red-potato

Potato Salad with Haricots Verts, Roquefort, and Walnuts (yes, I know it says roasted potatoes…but it just sounds so delectable)

As for when I will start my way through The French Market, that remains to be seen. When I moved, I left my cookbooks at my parents house and they are slowly being shipped down to me.

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Rerun

It is about 1000 degrees in my apartment. I am sitting here sweating more than I think should be possible when I am sitting still, on my couch, watching the Food Network. The heat, combined with the fact that I just realized how much money I am going to have to spend on textbooks, has me feeling slightly anxious and irritated.

I mean, what kind of professor would ask me to get two copies of the same book (one is a new edition of course, but still! I am not made of money, here)

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What this all means, of course, is that dinner was a rerun tonight. I cannot possibly say that I felt like hopping on my bike and riding to the store to buy ingredients to cook would be a good idea in 95 degree weather. And I was in the mood for some soul-filling, mouth-stuffing, summer eats; my bruschetta concoction from last night filled that description and, wow, I had some leftover heirloom tomatoes that were staring up at me from my pantry shelf shouting, “eat me! eat me!”.

So at my ritual dinner time of 6:00 (honestly, I’m hungry at 5:00 but I know that if I eat that early I’ll be starving by 6:00 so I just wait), I peeled my sweaty body off the couch and made my way into the kitchen. I had no idea that chopping tomatoes could be so therapeutic, but I’m sure my counter would disagree; it sure got a beating.

As did my toast. I live in an efficiency apartment so two tiny burned pieces created a strange wafting of smoke throughout my apartment until I frantically rushed to the fan switch, hoping that I wouldn’t set my fire alarm off.

Burned toast aside, the results were delicious. I added a smidge of olive oil to the tomato and onion mixture which, when spooned onto the bread, made for a party in my mouth. Adding the olive oil to the vegetables rather than the bread was a great decision on my part.

The frustration fueled shoveling of bread and tomatoes into my mouth wasn’t half bad either.

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Drama, drama, drama

 In this day and age, it seems impossible to escape drama. We are all enamored, whether we admit it or not, with the lives of celebrities and movie stars. But drama over a book turned movie?

I’d say that’s a slight bit absurd.

It’s no stretch of the imagination to say that I am a fan of Julie & Julia. What is not to love about it? The message of the book, and subsequently the movie, is strong and independent. Julia Child nor Julie Powell had an easy road to publication. Neither woman had a stress-free, worry-free life. Both women had a desire to improve their lives. And let’s be honest here, what woman does not want to better their life by cooking delicious food? I know I sure do.

Basically, in my view, it comes down to one thing: if you don’t like Julie Powell or anything to do with Julie & Julia, just avoid it. Avoid it like a finicky two-year-old avoids eating their spinach or broccoli. Yes, there has been a huge craze over the movie, but goodness gracious…whatever happened to the old adage of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all?”

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I do declare, this is delicious

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Again, influenced by my recent viewing of Julie & Julia, I decided that I wanted to make myself a bruschetta/crostini concoction for dinner this evening. And honestly, I’m not sure why the heck I have never made this before. Eaten it, sure. But for some reason I had it in my head that there was much more than mixing tomatoes, onions, mozzarella, salt, and pepper together.

Granted, I’m sure there are “fancier” bruschetta/crostini recipes out there, but it’s amazing how delicious an heirloom tomato can be…even just chopped up and thrown into a bowl with a few other ingredients and then thrown onto a piece of toasted bread. I’m a college student, I practically live off of throw-together-and-eat meals. So I again asked myself, why the heck have I never attempted this before?!

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[insert craving for more here]

The “recipe” (served one comfortably):

  • 1 large heirloom tomato
  • Red onion to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 small balls of mozzarella
  • 4 slices of crusty bread, grilled (easily done with a frying pan and a stove)

Directions: Dice the vegetables and mozzarella, mix together in a bowl, and spoon onto the grilled bread.

Easy as pie, really.

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Except the next time, I will definitely be adding more olive oil to the toasty bread…there is nothing more satisfying than warm, crusty bread with a splash of olive oil.

And since I am still (relatively) new to the south, I would like to proudly introduce my very first sun tea:

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I have yet to taste it as caffeine after the hour of 2:00 does not do good things for me, but considering I used my ever-loved Red Rose brand of black tea to brew this, I am thirstily looking forward to my first sip.

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Julie & Julia

france-map

I will be the first to admit that my life is stuck in a rut; mediocre grades, a brainless job, a non-existant love life, feeling a very overwhelming sense of uncertaintly concerning my future. It has become blatantly obvious that I am just going through the motions of my life and, in the midst of drama, I seem to have lost sight of who I am and what I want.

Enter Julie & Julia.

I realize it is more than cliche to say that a movie-based-on-a-book-based-on-a-blog “changed your life”, but I left last night’s 7:40 showing feeling as if I had just been allowed to take a deep breath of fresh air. I realized that I wanted to be Julia Child-esque — fearless and independent. And then I realized that I need to do something about how glum and miserable I have been feeling (insert ‘my name is Eyeore’ joke here).

It’s time for me to take control.

My goals:

1. To run “around” France. Unfortunately, I am stuck in an air-conditionless apartment in Tennessee. And the heat outside makes mid-day runs less than desirable yet prying myself out of bed at 6:30 am is not something I find myself enjoying. So I am going to take a virtual running trip around my favorite country in the entire  world.

Total mileage? 1545.

2. To make (at least) 3 new recipes a week. Cooking relaxes me, gives me something to look forward to, (usually) produces delicious results. I will be cooking myself through The French Market as well as sprinkling in other recipes that have been sitting in my favorites folder, collecting dust.

3. In general, do lots of things that scare the #$%@ out of me.

So here goes nothing.

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