Single Serving Puppy Chow

Last semester, I tweeted “Puppy chow and How I Met Your Mother on Netflix are the only things getting me through dead week right now. #Ihaveaproblem #somuchpuppychow.” My cousin from New Jersey read that tweet and thought I was legitimately eating food … Continue reading

Pasta Boat Bow Tie with Creamy Tomato Sauce

I have used my pasta boat six times since my last post about it. Five of the six times were within one week. Having pasta so readily available to me is probably not the most healthy thing. I had opened a jar of Alfredo sauce and just could not bring myself to throw it out. My mom has always been very strict about expiration dates–that sauce should stay in my fridge three to four days, tops. My dad on the other hand has used Miracle Whip months past the best if used by date because he just can’t eat a sandwich without it. I followed my dad’s example and ate it on the fifth day. Not quite as worrisome as months old mayonnaise, but my mom still would not approve. And I’m alive to tell the tale (while on that subject, nothing seems to have come from my possibly toxic bowl either).

Anyway, I thought I’d share how I eat my pasta in my dorm. My dad insisted that I didn’t need dry spices because 1. the jars of sauce are already seasoned and 2. I don’t have a stove, therefore they won’t have time to simmer. I said that I wanted them anyway because my palate is not sophisticated enough to notice the difference pre-simmer and post-simmer. I won.

The process is so simple that pictures really aren’t necessary. I just got a camera back though and I really wanted to take pictures. So here they are!

Pasta Boat Bow Tie with Creamy Tomato Sauce
(makes one generous serving)

What you need:
Pasta boat*
I cup farfalle (bow tie) pasta
1/3 cup red sauce (I use Ragu because it is smooth and what I ate growing up)
1/2 cup Alfredo sauce (I LOVE Classico Four Cheese Alfredo. You can use whatever brand you’d like though)
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic power
salt
pepper
handful of shredded mozzarella cheese (this was a last-minute decision and I forgot to take a picture of it)


My pasta boat!


The pasta was perfectly cooked after 18 minutes in the microwave. It was worth the wait.


Pour the sauces into the bowl. If you enjoy tomato sauce more than Alfredo,  you can switch it up so there is more tomato sauce than Alfredo.


Stir the sauces together until the color is uniform and add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, italian spices, and oregano.


Stir the seasonings in completely and then top with shredded mozzarella. Microwave on high for 45 seconds, stir the cheese into the pasta, and then microwave for another 45 seconds to 1 minute.


The finished product. Absolutely delicious.

*I realized recently (read: right now) that I could probably boil pasta without the boat, i would just have a harder time straining it. I haven’t tested this because my bowls are not microwave safe, but I am going to try to get new ones over break to see. It takes 18 minutes for 1 cup of bow tie pasta to cook in the pasta boat, so I would assume it would be the same in any other bowl with the proper amount of water.

A Lesson in Patience

I’m not the most patient person. If I get to lunch craving pasta and the line in front of the pasta station is too long, I just find something else to eat. When I’m waiting for friends to arrive, I pace back and forth and check the door every two minutes. And sometimes, when it comes to cooking, I try to take shortcuts. This sandwich needs homemade cranberry mustard? I’ll just buy it, and that will mean I get to eat my sandwich five minutes sooner!

When I found this pizza crackers recipe on pinterest, I thought it was perfect. I love every single ingredient involved. It looked as easy as could be. If you can follow directions, and are patient, your pizza crackers should come out looking like this:


(Photo courtesy of Picky Palate)

Instead, because I was impatient, mine came out looking like this:

I didn’t want to wait for my cream cheese to soften, so I stuck it in the microwave. What came out was closer to the consistency to sour cream than it was to cream cheese. When I added the shredded cheese to my warm cream cheese, the mozzarella melted.

I thought it wouldn’t make much of a difference, but it did. The cracker sandwiches still tasted good, but the consistency was off. And there was something strange about eating a warm cream cheese pizza sandwich.

Learn from my mistakes. Just let the sour cream soften by taking it out of the fridge ten or fifteen minutes before you start assembling your crackers.

Pepperoni “Pizza-wiches”

I didn’t want to make a whole batch, so I used half the amount of cream cheese and just guessed how much sauce, pepperoni, and cheese to put in. The official recipe from Picky Palate is as follows:

8 ounces softened cream cheese
20 pepperonis, quartered
20-30 whole pepperonis
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup pizza or pasta sauce
1 box Town House Crackers (Target only had Ritz when I went, so I used those instead and they worked well)


My cream cheese, post-microwave


Pour the pizza sauce into the cream cheese. This step made my mixture even runnier, but if you follow the recipe your mixture should look more solid.


Add in the pepperonis


And the cheese


Spread mixture onto a cracker, top with a pepperoni (and cheese, if you like cheese as much as me) and enjoy!

 

Easy Study Break Snack

I’ve been studying all week for the first two tests of my semester. They both fell on the same day and I spent my time alternating between reading about journalism ethics and environmental science. I don’t know what it is teachers like about this week, but all my friends have had tests too. I’ve been getting texts from my friends every few hours about how much they hate studying or trying to convince me to drop out of school and work on a cruise ship with them. It was almost tempting until we remembered how annoying we must have been to the workers on our ship when we went on a cruise for our senior spring break.

We all survived the week, of course. I credit my success partially to this study break snack I’ve been doing. It is not at all healthy. It is the complete opposite of healthy. You probably shouldn’t eat too many of these in a week. I’ve had far too many. Don’t follow my example.

It is unhealthy, but it is simple, quick, and completely delicious. Exactly what you need to get your mind off of studying.

S’mores Nachos 


All you need is graham crackers, chocolate, mini marshmallows, a microwave, and a plate.


Put down a layer of graham crackers, and then top with chocolate pieces and marshmallows. Put your plate in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds. Check if it is melted enough (mine wasn’t) and if it isn’t to your liking, put it in for another 15-20 seconds. It is that simple.

The result:

Absolutely delicious.


This camera has a funky lens on for this one, but I like it because you can see my little side table. I got it from Target at the beginning of the school year. I used to just keep my lamp on it, but it has become my makeshift counter during this process. Very useful.

There you have it. The snack that has kept me going this week. Maybe my next favorite study snack will be a little bit healthier. It probably won’t be though.