Tag Archives: Food

Homemade Tortilla Chips

1 Aug

As I was literally dumping the crumbs from the bottom of the bag of Tostitos in attempts to eat some yummy salsa con queso dip, I realized that those crumbs just weren’t cutting it.  It’s way too hot to run to the store, so I figured I’d make use of the semi-stale flour tortillas left in my fridge to make some of my own chips!

I doused the tortillas with butter (well.. technically vegetable oil spread, but whatever) and salt & popped them into the oven on some aluminum foil at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.  Then I rotated them a quarter turn and let them to finish crisping up.

And yum! in less than 15 minutes I had my own bowl of healthy homemade tortilla chips.  They would probably fare better brushed with olive oil instead of butter and could use a little more seasoning, but hey. Ya make due with what ya’ve got and I can finally eat my queso dip!  They’d be great with some flavored hummus too!

WE ARE…

White Cheddar Baked Mac ‘n Cheese

18 Jan

There is just nothing like the ooey-gooey goodness that is baked macaroni and cheese.  It is the comfort food of comfort foods, and one of my very personal favorite foods in general. Every holiday, I insist upon a dish of baked mac n cheese being present.  Fortunately, my Grandma knows this and of course never lets me down.

There are so many variations of baked mac and cheese, but one of my favorites is a White Cheddar cheese recipe that was part of a cooking class required for my major.  When I tasted that delicious cheesiness, I was in love.  And so was my roommate, Megan.  We’ve gotten ambitious enough on some of the days we’ve craved mac n cheese to make this recipe at home (honestly, the only recipe I’ve ever made at home from that cooking class).   Yesterday was one of those days. 🙂 This recipe is perfect for serving as a side dish for a family or, if you’re like Megan and I, eating the whole pan between yourselves!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 lb elbow macaroni (about 1/2 of a box)
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 lb sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (One 8 oz block)
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (~ 2 small handfuls)
  • 1 9X13 baking/casserole dish
  • 2 cups medium white sauce  (as follows)
    – 4 tbsp butter
    – 4 tbsp flour
    – 2 cups warmed milk
    – 1/4 tsp salt
    – 1/8 tsp pepper

When we make this at our apartment, Megan starts off grating the cheese while I get water boiling for the noodles and start the white sauce.  This is also a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  To start the white sauce, melt your butter in a sauce pan, once it is melted, quickly whisk in the flour by the tablespoonful.  I had Megan adding in the flour while I whisked to avoid making a giant mess (Yeah, it didn’t work…).  Then whisk in the warmed milk, and continue whisking until thick and add the salt/pepper & 1/4 tsp dry mustard.  Don’t forget to keep an eye on your boiling water! Once it starts boiling, add in the noodles.

While waiting for the noodles to finish, turn the heat to low on the white sauce, and whisk occasionally.  When the noodles are finish, drain them and place them in a large bowl.  Mix in the grated/shredded cheese with the warm noodles.  Then, slowly mix in the white sauce.  Put the noodles & cheese sauce mixture into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray and coat the surface with breadcrumbs.  Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes and enjoy!!!!

Yum! Baked cheesy goodness!

WE ARE… awesome mac n cheese chefs!!!

Mark Your Calenders!

17 Jan

Everyone mark your calenders and plan to make a trip to State College!
Monday, March 21st & Monday, April 18th will be the official meal dates of my HRIM 430: Cafe Laura theme dinner! We need at least 100 people to attend each dinner and would love it if you could stop by!
We’re planning a lot of great dishes and can’t wait to see you all there!

And don’t worry, even though I’m going to be pretty busy this semester, LION BITES has an update or two in the works! Get ready for Hawaiian Punch Cupcakes & Cheddar Mac n Cheese!

Please, check back for details about our theme dinner and keep your eyes open for a Facebook Event & flyers around campus! We would genuinely appreciate all of your support!

http://www.cafelaura.psu.edu

WE ARE… in shock that we’ve made it to this class already! Time’s running short here at PSU.

A Peppers & Onions Potluck: Hot Sausage Spaghetti

3 Jan

This recipe was introduced to me when a guy from my THON committee brought it to our spaghetti potluck. My last minute, store-bought meatballs paled in comparison.  I love this combination of spaghetti sauce, sautéed peppers & onions and sweet spicy sausage.  Thursday, I decided to cook this for my family & thought it would be a great recipe to share with you all on LION BITES.  Enjoy! And don’t thank me, thank the guy on my THON committee!!

What You’ll Need:

  • appx 1 lb sausage (use hot, italian style, mild, smoked, whichever you prefer!)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce (24-26 oz — I used Delgrosso’s)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/2 box spaghetti
  • Italian Blend or Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • seasonings: garlic or garlic powder, salt & pepper, cayenne pepper
  • a Crock Pot!!

 

Start off by boiling water & cooking the sausage according to the directions on the package. While the water is boiling, begin by seeding and cutting the bell peppers in to long thin strips (julienning) and slice/chop 1/2 of a small onion.  Sauté these in a pan with the olive oil (and garlic if you so choose).

Start to heat up your crock pot on high with the spaghetti sauce in it. When the onions & peppers are ready, add them to the crock pot as well.  After boiling your sausage, allow it to cool for a minute and slice into 1/2 inch chunks.  Sauté them in the pan that you took the vegetables out of, just allowing them to get a nice brown color, and then add them to the crock pot as well.

Simmer in the crock pot for a few hours...

I left the crock pot set on high until the sauce began to bubble (checking regularly) and then I added a dash of garlic powder & a dash of cayenne pepper and mixed it all in.  I let it continue to cook on high for about 20 minutes and then reduced the heat to low for about 2 1/2 hours.  After 2 hours, I switched the crock pot to warm, just to keep it hot.

When you are about ready to eat, boil a large pot of water on the stove and cook your spaghetti to preference.  Drain & serve spaghetti topped with sausage & peppers “sauce” from the crock pot.  Top with cheese if desired and enjoy!!!

WE ARE…

Pump up Your Grilled Cheese: Garlic-Parm style!

22 Dec

Grilled cheese is a childhood favorite of nearly everyone.  Who can resist  ooey-gooey melty cheese?  I know I can’t.  Ever.  I haven’t met a cheese I didn’t like, and I love grilled cheese sandwiches.  This LION BITE revs up a classic American grilled cheese with a little extra flavor!

Lots of butter = Delicious Grilled Cheese

What You’ll Need: 2 slices of your favorite bread, 2 slices of American Cheese (Kraft Singles!), garlic salt, parmesan cheese (for spaghetti) and ~1.t tbsp butter

I know you all know how to make grilled cheese (if you don’t, shame on you!) but we’ll do a quick run through. Get that pan screaming hot and drop in 1 tbsp (or more!) of butter into the pan to melt.  The more butter, the more delicious the grilled cheese.  While the butter in the pan melts, butter both pieces of bread on one side, sprinkle on some garlic salt and parmesan cheese (making sure to spread out the cheese across the bread) .

Build your sandwich in the pan allowing to toast for 3 minutes on each side and bam! Quick, ooey-gooey, cheesey, garlic goodness!

Cheese on the inside...cheese on the outside...what more could you ask for?

WE ARE…

Southwest (Tex-Mex) Soup

16 Nov

Hey everyone!! Sorry for the late update! I know I’ve been bad at getting this out on Sundays lately but I have been super super busy.  My entire weekend I didn’t even have an hour that I didn’t have something specific to do! It was crazy!

So the weather has been getting colder, and that always puts me in the mood for soup.  ESPECIALLY soups like chili.  The LION BITE for this week is a chili-like mexican inspired soup that my mom got the recipe for last year. When she made it I loved it immediately.  I have made it multiple times since she acquired the recipe, making little variations each

time.  It’s so easy to personalize this soup to your liking.  The best part is that the only effort required is to brown the meat & give it an occasional stir! This truly is a dump and stir recipe.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey (Both work excellently. I usually use whatever is cheaper…broke college student :-/)
  • 1 can black beans (drained)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used fired roasted this time for some extra spice)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes & green chiles
  • 1 can of water (can just be from the tap)
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning or chili seasoning
    If desired: 1 tbsp garlic powder,
    diced onion, diced peppers, etc

To start off the recipe, I brown my ground beef/turkey in a skillet with garlic powder and    salt & pepper (chopping into small chunks the whole time as though you are making    tacos). Although I didn’t this particular time, I would add the onion in with the browned  beef if I were using it.   While the meat is browning, start a large pot over high heat with  both cans of diced tomatoes, drained black beans & water and allow that to start to  simmer.

Once the beef/turkey is cooked entirely through, I would then drain off the excess grease   from the meat & add this to my sauce pot.  After this simmers awhile, I stir in about half a  packet of either taco seasoning or chili seasoning (save the other half for next time!), and  turn the heat down to medium-low.  Cover and allow this to simmer for about an hour,  stirring occasionally and enjoy!!! This recipe makes enough for multiple people or enough  for you to have the next day for lunch AND dinner if you want!  That’s one reason I really  like it.  It’s simple, quick and delicious.

I like to top my soup with shredded cheese & tortilla chips!

 

My Tips:

  • If you don’t like spicy things, stick with the mild chiles & diced tomatoes, but they have a “hot” version for all you heat lovers out there!
  • This is a great way to use up leftover taco meat by just adding it to the soup & skipping adding the seasoning packet later.  You can also use up any leftover onions & peppers you have in your fridge.
  • Don’t forget to check on it occasionally! You might need to adjust the heat on your stove. You don’t want it to boil over!
  • Serve topped with shredded cheese & crunched tortilla chips!

WE ARE…. having a potluck dinner tonight so check back soon for another update!!!

Hamburger Gravy

31 Oct

So, it’s  been a little crazy lately,  and I apologize for not posting as regularly, but I promise you’ll all love this simple comfort food recipe today!  This hamburger & gravy recipe is something my Grandma always made for me growing up and it is one of my favorites on a cold day! And the way this weather has turned around lately, you’ll definitely want something delicious to warm you up!

What You’ll Need: 1 lb ground beef, appx. 1/8 cup all-purpose flour, milk, salt & pepper and a loaf of your favorite bread for toast

Start off by browning your ground beef seasoned with salt & pepper in a large skillet, continually chopping/crumbling as if you were browning it for tacos.

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet w/salt & pepper.

Remove the beef from the heat & sprinkle with flour, continually stirring until beef is evenly coated.  Place the skillet back over medium heat & stir in 1/4 cup milk, then allow to thicken.  Add more milk until you get the texture/consistency you want.  I prefer a thick gravy. Season with salt & pepper.   Serve layered between and over toast & enjoy this leaning tower of awesomeness!

Leaning Tower of Awesomeness 🙂

Or you could skip all this and cheat using a packet of black pepper gravy mix (country gravy mix) from the store.  All it takes is about 60 cents and some water and it tastes just as delicious! Shhh! Don’t tell my Grandma!

WE ARE… still enjoying that win over Michigan! LET’S GO STATE!