Monday, August 23, 2010

I'll Squash Ya' Pasta

As fall nears and I start to dream about crunchy leaves, hay rides, and pumpkins; I start craving one of my favorite cold weather comfort foods - pasta. Lately I've been trying to eat more vegetables and fruits, so using spaghetti squash in place of pasta is one of the best ways I can think of to do this. I'm apologizing in advance for the lack of pictures, I made this in the morning before work and was still half asleep. So here it is I'll Squash Ya' Pasta!

- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1 large vidalia onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 Links of Italian Turkey Sausage (I prefer hot, cause that's how I roll)
- Red Wine (Did you really think we would get through a recipe without alcohol?)
- 1 Large can crushed tomatoes
- Fresh Basil
- Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, oregano

1. Preheat oven to 375. Grab the biggest, baddest knife you have and take this opportunity to practice for your starring role in a slasher horror flick - mines called "Revenge of the Basement Zombie" - (Think staring at a computer all day sucks? Try doing it in a windowless basement.) Anyway, take your huge knife and stab that squash a few times so it doesn't explode in your oven.

2. Place stabbed squash in a pan and roast in the oven for 1 hour. Check it every now and then to make sure it doesn't get burnt. Go watch TV.

3. Once the squash is cooked and you're armed with oven mitts, cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and slimy guts, like you would a pumpkin. Take a fork a scrape it all along the sides of the squash to create spaghetti like strands. Once the squash looks like the inside of a skull attacked by a zombie ( are you sensing a theme here?), throw out the shell. You've got your pasta!

4. Now it's time to cook the sauce. Heat a pan on M heat with EVOO. Chop the onion into small chunks and add to hot oil. Cook until onions start to turn translucent.
           4a. Do some squats in your kitchen. It is 6am and you really should be at the gym!

5. Peel back the casing on the sausage links (much like a zombie would...) and crumble sausage in the pan with onions. Cook until sausage is no longer pink. Drain fat, or don't if you're gross.
          5a. Speaking of fat... Drop and give me 20

6. Add chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with some red wine. Normally at this point, I would tell you to also pour some wine in your mouth but since I made this at 6am... ok maybe just a little bit. Yum.
         6a. Go check facebook. I'm sure someone must be commenting on something on your profile!

7. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Lower heat to L and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
        7a. Do crunches until your tummy hurts

8. Go out to your balcony and pluck some fresh basil from your planter (or open up your grocery bag and pull it out, whatever). PS I do not have a green thumb, yet have somehow gotten this plant to survive!

9. Chop or tear basil into small pieces. Add to sauce. Top spaghetti squash with sauce and bam, you've got I"ll Squash Ya Pasta.

Snippy Spinach Salad

Are you ever just totally over it? Summer is here, I have no money, and I work in a windowless basement. All of these things combined have put me in a snippy mood, and I don't want to run home and make something really elaborate to eat. So, here is my go to food when I really don't feel like cooking and don't have the patience for delivery.

Snippy Spinach Salad

-1 lb Chicken Breast
- Spiedie Sauce Marinade
- Baby Spinach
- Strawberries
- Orange
- Feta Cheese
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Olive Oil
- Whatever seasonings you have around the house that sound mildly italian

1. Marinade Chicken in Spiedie Sauce for at least a few hours, I usually do it overnight, because Spiedie sauce is one of the most delicious things you will ever have in your whole life. If you don't believe me, buy it yourself here: YUMMY Then you will say, "Thank you Chelle for introducing me to the most delicious marinade on the planet! Here's a check for $100, because without you, I wouldn't have a friend to drunkenly cook food and blog about it!"

2. Cook Chicken in pan on M heat until no longer pink inside, because no one wants ecoli or salmonella... or worms. Dice chicken into bite size pieces and arrange over bed of spinach. Chop up oranges and strawberries and distribute over salad. Sprinkle with Feta Cheese.

3. "Salads taste yucky without dressing!" Why yes, they totally do. For this salad, I like to make a vinaigrette by combining balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and literally every spice in my cupboard. Combine all ingredients into something with a lid and shake the crap out of it.

4. Drink some Redbull and Vodka. Cooking is hard and tiring. Too bad I didn't grow wings so that I could fly to a vacation...

So that's it! The Snippy Spinach Salad. ( I also made some tortellini soup: chicken broth, crushed tomatoes with italian seasoning. Bring to boil, add tortellinis and cook until they float to the top. Super easy, super yummy.)

Bitchin' Chicken Cacciatore Soup

I basically live off of soups. They're delicious, easy to make, and most importantly they're cheap like the girls that frequent the bar across the street from my apartment. I call this recipe Bitchin' Chicken Cacciatore Soup for 3 reasons:

1. It's a recipe from Rachel Ray 30 minute meals and she named it Chicken Cacciatore Stoup (She uses words like "stoup" and "yummo" because she's totally annoying)
2. It tastes bitchin'.
3. There are so many things to chop up, that you will definitely be bitching.

Sidenote to Rachel Ray- when you say "30 minute meal" you have to factor in the time it takes me to chop vegetables because I certainly don't have your hyper-speed chopping skills. Also... if you put wine in a recipe, I'm gonna drink it and get sidetracked; so stop lying to me!

Bitchin' Chicken Cacciatore Soup

-1 lb chicken breast
- baby bella mushrooms (8-10)
- 2 white potatoes
- yellow onion
- red bell pepper
- garlic (buy pre-chopped, or else you will rip your hair out by the time you get to it)
- fresh rosemary (2-3 sprigs)
- celery (3 stalks)
- red wine
- 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- 6 cups chicken broth
- grill seasoning and red pepper flakes

1. Peel potatoes. Here, I've shown you what every good garbage can needs to show what a full and enriching life you lead: Empty bottle of wine, M&Ms, and coffee grounds!

2. Dice all fresh ingredients, or use my method which I call "chunking". Just wail into all of the vegetables with your dull TJ Maxx knife until they are in many pieces.

3. Cut chicken with kitchen scissors directly into soup pot on MH coated in Pam. Add grill seasoning to chicken and cook until all the e.coli is gone. Remove from pot and set aside (because having MORE dirty dishes to clean is what's really exciting about this recipe)

4. Add some Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the pan. Throw in potatoes and some red pepper flakes. Cook for about 4 minutes.

5. Add celery, mushrooms, and onion. Cook until mushrooms start to look really little and onion is soft.

6. Add peppers, garlic, and chopped rosemary to the pot, cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken back to the pot.

7. Pour some wine in the pot, pour some wine in your mouth.

8. Calm down hyperactive boyfriend

9. Add in chicken broth and diced tomatoes. I add in some water too because I like my soups really brothy. Simmer on M heat for 15 minutes.

That's it! Now sit back and enjoy your wine and a warm bowl of Bitchin' Chicken Cacciatore Soup. Hopefully the dishes will wash themselves.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sidetracked Ceviche

So last night I was supposed to be cooking Poop Soup, basically a delicious vegetable soup that guarantees happiness the next day:

...and Turkey Burgers covered in Pam and McCormick Hamburger Grill Seasoning:

but since my kitchen is so large and in charge and totally made for cooking multiple items at once (note the sarcasm) I got sidetracked.

I guess I should probably back track to where I originally got sidetracked, hence the Sidetracked Ceviche. I dropped by the fantastically crappy Lincoln Park Market on my way home from work to pick up some yogurt and lunch meat since my job no longer feeds me, when a bright yellow sale sign under the imitation crab meat caught my eye. If you know me, you know how I love when meat imitates another meat... so sexy.

So, I bought the fake crab meat. I got my yogurt too in case you were concerned. I decided to make a crab ceviche. A genius idea, or just the recipe on the back of the bag? You decide.

So here goes: How to Cook Like Chelle.

Sidetracked Ceviche


-1 bag o' fake crab
- lime juice (best if it comes out of a plastic bottle, to go with our fake theme)
- cilantro
- red onion
- avocado
- beer (because cooking just isn't fun unless you're drinking)

1. Remove gelatinous slab of fake crab meat from packaging. Even though it claims it's "Flake Style", it's not. Chop up into pieces with a dull knife you bought on clearance at T.J. Maxx. Place in mixing bowl, also from T.J. Maxx.

2. Chop red onion into tiny bits with same dull knife.

3. Cry.
4. Run around apartment swearing. Chug beer. Forget about Turkey burgers cooking on the stove, burn bottom, more swearing.

5.Add red onion to crab meat. Cut up avocado, smash into bowl with crab and red onion.

6. Remove impenatrable packaging from cilantro. Tear some up into tiny chunks, because that knife is a total piece of crap.

7. Add many many teaspoons of lime juice to mask fake crab flavor.

8. Enlist boyfriend to take care of soup that you completely forgot about. What a hottie!

9. Mix up all ingredients in bowl, and Bam, you've got ceviche!

So that's it... that's how you Cook Like Chelle!

Oh and the Poop Soup and Turkey Burgers were delicious too.

Pre-heating the pan

Welcome to my first post of "Cook like Chelle". I'm a gal on the go who can't stand to eat out everynight, but it seems like I never have the time to cook a real meal for myself. This blog is a list of my favorite recipes, most come from cookbooks, some come from my head (although most of those turn out to be disasters). My motto, "I like my food like I like my reality tv stars, fast & cheap".