Archive | Food Love RSS feed for this section

Top 5 Super Bowl Party Recipes — Recap

30 Jan

beercheesefinalSuper Bowl XLVIII is almost upon us. If you’re not a Seahawks or Broncos fan, that means you’re spending your time focusing on one thing — Super Bowl food. I’m not a huge football fan, but I am a huge food fan (if you haven’t already guessed). That means this Sunday gives me yet another reason to create and consume mounds of delectable goodies.

I was attempting to finalize this weekend’s menu when I found myself scrolling through some of my own Cooking On Empty recipes. To my surprise, I have a lot a dishes that would be perfect for an easy, cheap, and delicious Super Bowl party. To make it easier, I’ve complied them all in one place.

Here are the top five Cooking On Empty dishes for the perfect Super Bowl party.

5. Super Bowl Sunday White Sangria

Continue reading

A Foodie Christmas Story

25 Dec

MarketIn my family, food defines holidays. Butcher-made hot dogs reign on the Fourth of July. Red beat eggs take over Easter. And Thanksgiving’s solidified by Nana and Pop Pop’s home-made mashed potatoes. But no holiday compares to the food fest known as Christmas.

Christmas isn’t marked by a single food or even a traditional dish. Instead, it’s comprised of all of the favorites, no matter how strangely they pair together.

Christmas Eve breakfast — 9:00 a.m.

It all starts with Christmas Eve breakfast. Every Christmas Eve my family wakes up and heads down to Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. If you haven’t been there, it’s a mecca for food lovers, boasting everything from Amish shoofly pie to an oyster bar.

While the market houses to two diners and a hand-rolled doughnut shop, my family loves to start the morning right with a warm rotisserie chicken, washed down with fresh-squeezed orange juice. The combination has no right making sense, but it does.

Next, we divide and conquer, scouring the market for our yearly stands. I typically head up collecting gyros (pronounced YEE-rows for those non-Greeks) and an assortment of cheeses mostly consisting of Gouda.

Continue reading

Centre County Pennsylvania Farm Tour

18 Aug

Rabbit CacciatoreHappy belated farm week! In celebration, I spent the other weekend touring farms in Centre County Pennsylvania. I’m extremely interest in local agriculture.

My dad’s an avid gardener and supplies my family’s kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables all summer. Eating out of my backyard taught me the difference between store-bought flavors and local food. For that reason, I take an interest in where my food comes from.

During the day-long tour, I visited four local farms in the central, PA area. I received behind-the-scenes tours of two, Amish-run farms, an inside look at the life of a dairy farmer, and a tour of an organic animal farm. In those four stops, I learned a lot about the farming community, and better yet, bought a lot of delicious food.

After collecting fresh and local cheese, meat, and veggies from each of the farms, I made it my mission to cook a hearty, locally sourced meal. Here’s what I came up with.

Continue reading

Cooking in My Mother’s Kitchen

21 Jul
Mom's Kitchen

My Mom’s Kitchen

I recently graduated from college. Whoohoo! Right now, I have a job in my hometown and am saving some money by living with my parents (Thanks Mom and Dad).

Although living at home has numerous benefits, I do miss having my own kitchen. Krusty wasn’t an optimal cooking environment by any stretch, but it was mine. I knew where we stored the Cayenne pepper, which were the old eggs and the new eggs, and how many dishes I could pile into the sink before they toppled over.

My new kitchen space is more of an enigma. On the bright side, it’s clean, fully stocked, and the stove is level. I guess I can’t be too upset.

Continue reading

Olive Oil 101: Production and Purchasing Guide

24 Jun

CreteI just returned from an amazing two week trip to Greece with my family! My mom’s part Greek, so it was fun to visit the home of our ancestors.

We spent four days in Athens, but the bulk of the trip took place on the island of Crete.

Crete is the largest Greek island and a perfect combination of the beach and the country.

My favorite part about Crete was the food. Cretian food consists of seasonal vegetables, fresh cheeses, perfectly stewed meats and of course, olive oil.

My mom is an olive oil addict, which means I am too. It’s our go-to oil for cooking and eating. Due to this olive oil obsession, my family toured a traditional Cretian olive oil factory, named Biolea.

Crete produces 30 percent of all of the olive oil produced in Greece and five percent of the worlds olive oil. There’s no place better in the world to learn about olive oil.

Biolea is an organic, family-run olive oil factory that is one of the few left in Crete that is making olive oil the traditional way. Most of the olive oil we eat comes from large industrial factories, whose main goal is quantity not quality.

Continue reading

How to Cut a Cantaloupe

1 May

There are certain kitchen activities that seem so simple, but when you go to do them yourself, you have no idea where to start. I had this exact problem after impulse buying a cantaloupe the other day.

I pulled it out of the fridge ready to chow down and realized I had no idea how to cut it. After some quick googling, I found my answer and easily broke it down into bite size pieces.

Since my lack of cantaloupe cutting knowledge was almost a catastrophe, I wanted to share the steps just in case you find yourself in a similar predicament.

Step 1: Cut cantaloupe in half from top to bottom.

Cantaloupe Halves

Continue reading

Podcast with Declan and Erica of Cooking in College

25 Apr

Since I’m a new college food blogger, I spend a lot of time stalking the sites of my comrades-in-arms. My favorite college food blog is Cooking in College.

In case you don’t know, Cooking in College was started by a University of Pittsburgh couple attempting to follow in the footsteps of their hero, Alton Brown. In the process, they created an easy, engaging and delicious food blog that any college cook would be lucky to stumble upon.

After one sweep of their blog, I immediately fell in love. After more reading and commenting, I decided to take a leap and ask for an interview. Luckily, Declan and Erica (who are two of the nicest people ever) graciously said yes. With that, I’ve developed my first Cooking On Empty podcast!

Continue reading

I Hate Cilantro

15 Apr

I love food. All types of food. Fresh food, cooked food, fermented food, I love it all. I’ve never been a picky eater and this is an attribute I am thankful for everyday. Food is too fun to restrict.

Even through I’m the furthest thing from picky, there is one food which I can’t stand – cilantro.

Cilantro, technically named coriander, is a leafy herb that looks similar to parsley. It’s used in many cuisines throughout the world, but I typically come across it when I’m eating Mexican food.

People describe its flavor as fresh and light, but I’ve never tasted these attributes. When I eat cilantro, I get a bitter soapy flavor and immediately spit it out.

I thought my visceral reaction to cilantro was a freak thing, until I started asking my family about it. Apparently, my brother, sister and dad all hate the stuff too. My mom stands as the lone cilantro proponent in our household.

Continue reading

The Secrets of Acorn Squash

20 Mar

Acorn SquashOn my most recent supermarket expedition, I decided to buy something I’ve never cooked before. After wondering around the produce section for 20 minutes, while my roommate shot me death glares of boredom, I stumbled across the simple, acorn squash.

They’re the funny shaped squash that look like a cross between an acorn, a small watermelon, and a ruffle potato chip. As a typical broke college student, I checked out the price and for under $2 a squash, I knew I found my ingredient.

Once I brought it back to my college house, the Googling began. I found some great acorn squash baking tips online, but couldn’t settle for one recipe. That’s why I’m giving you two acorn squash recipes for the price of one! Feel free to pick a favorite.

Brown Sugar Baked Acorn Squash Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • 1/2 acorn squash
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Parmesan and Thyme Crusted Acorn Squash Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • 1/2 acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Continue reading

The Health Benefits of Saint Patrick’s Day: Green Vegetables

16 Mar

Saint Patrick's Day Green SpinachSaint Patrick’s Day is synonymous with Ireland, beer and the color green. Since green is top-of-mind for many Saint Patrick’s Day fanatics, I figured no day is better to share the health benefits of green food!

There’s no such thing as a super-food, but if one existed, it would be a green vegetable. Dark, leafy greens are chocked full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients necessary for full body health. Many college students overlook green vegetables as a source of nutrition, but in lieu of Saint Patrick’s Day, why not embrace the greens! (Sorry, green beer doesn’t count)

Health Benefits of Green Vegetables

The USDA recommends eating 1 1/2 to 2 cups of dark green vegetables each week. Why you ask? Well, green vegetables are linked to colon and heart health. They are also rich in fiber, potassium, folate and vitamin A. But that’s not all, green veggies are cholesterol free and low in fat, sodium and calories!

Still want to know more? Lets get more specific.

Continue reading