Monday, December 7, 2009

Magic Cookie Bars

Magic Cookie Bars

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of crushed graham cracker
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 can swetened condensed milk

1. Preheat to 350.
2. Melt the stick of butter in a 13x9 pan, making sure it's evenly distributed.
3. Add the graham crackers, making a traditional crust.
4. Add the following ingredients in a layer on top of the crust; walnuts, chocolate chips, coconut.
5. drizzle the condensed milk on top.
6. bake for 20-30 minutes.

Overall: These might have been my favorite cookies of the night. They were made by alli's roommate and when we walked into the apartment, these were in to oven baking. They are so good =) I asked for the recipe so I could try and replicate. Super awesome.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Cookies!

Let me explain:

Hope that was good enough... ONTO COOKIES

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 (14oz) can condensed milk
  • 6 tablespoons crushed peppermint candies
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or peppermint)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1. preheat oven to 300 degrees
2. Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips, over a double boiler or carefully in the microwave.
3. Combine the melted chocolate chips with 1 can condensed milk. Mix thoroughly.
4. Add the egg, vanilla, melted butter, and about half the crushed peppermint. Stir to combine.
5. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa.
6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
7. Once combined, add the remining chocolate chips.
8. Cook for 7-10 minutes. Remove and sprinkle some peppermint on each cookie. Finish cooking for about 2 minutes.

Overall: So since the semester is almost over, the regular girls night crew, plus some new awesome faces, decided to go out with a bang. Cookie style. These cookie's were found by Alli. These were awesome. Love! Be warned, they are very very chocolaty, so make sure you have a cup of milk handy with each cookie.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey day

Happy Turkey day to everyone celebrating.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

This is Halloween

So my eyeballs were a hit last night. They were gone within 15 minutes of me being there and they weren't even on the main display table!

Scary Eyeballs-
1 box doughnut holes
2 bags white chocolate
1 bag lifesaver gummies
1 bag mini m&ms

1. Melt chocolate over a double boiler, add about 1 tbsp of whole milk and mix together. It should be a bit runnier than normal melted chocolate.
2. Remove from heat. Dip doughnut holes in white chocolate
3. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once all doughnuts dipped, refrigerate for about 30 minutes...
4. Take them out, assemble eyes as shown...


Oh boy the fiasco of dealing with melted chocolate. I ruined 2 batches of white chocolate because I didn't know I was suppose to add milk for dipping. Once I added the milk we had, which was NOT whole milk and was a bit runnier than I would have liked. See how the chocolate looks more like a glaze? But anyways, That worked well and my roommate mentioned we could also use Oil instead of work. So thinking that I might as well see which one is better, we do the oil for the last batch... and it turns out horrible. It did not coat as evenly as the chocolate with the milk did. But everyone liked them... For added effect I got raspberry jelly doughnut holes. Yeah it's not accurate but it's awesome!

Monday, October 26, 2009


It's interesting being a science major. After semester of calculating velocities and memorizing mechanisms in organic chemistry, I've stumbled across a class that actually has some practical applications... you know if you aren't going to graduate school for physics or chemistry... which I'm not.

Biochemistry. Yes it sounds intimidating, but I assure you there are hidden interesting nuggets to be found. After our second exam memorizing tons of pathways (can I get a Kreb's Cycle Woot Woot!) our professor lectured on something I found to be extremely interesting.


Yes, remember those things that your mother made you take every morning? Maybe that was just mine... But here are some that I though would be applicable to the college student... or anyone for that matter:

Vitamin B1 (the one I found most important...)

According to our professor, almost 60% of the population has a vitamin B1 deficiency. Vitamin B1 (or Thiamine) is critical in energy pathways of the body. Mild cases of vitamin B1 deficiency present as fatigue and depression. Ringing any bells among college students? Not even kidding, I've been taking a regular old multivitamin and I've been less tired since I've started taking them... Thank you biochemistry! Here's some more tidbits you might like to know!

For the record, Most daily vitamin pills contain a Vitamin B complex, which contains a whole slew of vitamin B's for your body's pleasure. See:

B vitamins are found in all whole, unprocessed foods. Processing, as with sugar and white flour, tends to significantly reduce B vitamin content. B vitamins are particularly concentrated in meat, and other good sources are potatoes, bananas, lentils, chile peppers, tempeh, beans, liver oil, liver, turkey, tuna, nutritional yeast, brewer's yeast, and molasses.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

300-calorie dinners

Almond-Crusted Pork with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)—Sliced almonds add a delectable, almost-like-fried-chicken crunch to the breading for these tender pieces of pork. We slice the pork thinly to keep the cooking time quick. The resulting pork “fingers” are great dipped in this surprisingly simple, delicious honey, soy and mustard sauce.

Catfish & Potato Hash—Hash isn’t just for corned beef. It’s also great made with catfish—or other flaky white fish. Any ham adds flavor to the hash, but we think a higher-quality smoked ham will give you the biggest flavor-bang for your buck. Serve with a poached egg on top and a green salad.

Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque—This satisfying vegetarian sweet potato soup is inspired by the flavors of West African peanut soup. We like the added zip of hot green chiles, but they can sometimes be very spicy. It’s best to take a small bite first and add them to taste. Try chopped peanuts and scallions for a different garnish. Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette.

Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry—Spiked with lots of zesty lemon, this delectable chicken stir-fry has a colorful mix of snow peas, carrots and scallions. But feel free to substitute other thinly sliced vegetables, such as bell peppers or zucchini. Serve with: Rice noodles or brown rice.

Almond-Crusted Pork with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce

1 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Note)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 large egg white, beaten
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.
2. Place breadcrumbs, almonds, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse until the almonds are coarsely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish.
3. Place egg white in another shallow dish. Dip both sides of each pork slice in egg white, then evenly coat with the almond mixture. (Discard any remaining egg white and almond mixture.) Place the pork on the prepared rack and coat on both sides with cooking spray.
4. Bake the pork until golden brown and no longer pink in the center, 16 to 18 minutes.
5. Meanwhile/, whisk honey, soy sauce and mustard in a small bowl. Serve the pork with the honey-mustard sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 299 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 4 g mono); 74 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrate; 29 g protein; 3 g fiber; 561 mg sodium; 562 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Potassium & Zinc (16% daily value).

Note: We like Ian’s brand of coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs, labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets. To make your own breadcrumbs, trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry and crispy, about 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/3 cup dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs.

- from yahoo (Carolyn Malcoun)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tapa: Crema de Cabrales (sorta...)

  • ¼ pound blue cheese (the Spanish variety is cabrales, but gorgonzola or roquefort may be used)
  • 2 teaspoons raisins
  • 1 Tablespoon white grape juice or cider
  • 1 Tablespoon cream
  • 2 Tablespoons apple, finely chopped (about half a peeled apple)
  • 2 Tablespoons walnuts, finely chopped
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme


  1. Remove blue cheese from refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature (let it sit on the counter for an hour or more).
  2. Soak the raisins in the fruit juice for 20 minutes.
  3. Using a spoon, remove the raisins from the juice and set aside.
  4. When the cheese has reached room temperature, place it in a small mixing bowl.
  5. Add the cream and fruit juice.
  6. Using a fork or wooden spoon, combine ingredients until smooth.
  7. Stir in raisins, apple, walnuts, and thyme.
  8. Serve with crackers.


Found this on the internet while searching for spanish foods. Okay, so the ONLY thing I did differently was use goat cheese instead of bleu cheese, mainly because a few of my friends don't like bleu cheese. But this came out wonderfully! It's a little rich with the goat cheese, but well worth every bite.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Girls Night:: Spanish/Latin food

Another great night getting together with my favorite girls. We tried to do a latin/spanish inspired dinner. We ended up with Quesadillas and Paella, both which were awesome. Sadly, the picture of the quesadillas came out poorly, so I omitted that. I'll also post the recipe for the paella once I get it :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Stop Overeating?

Interesting article on a new drug to stop over eating using real science?

yeah right....

Balsamic Chicken

Balsamic Chicken
[from Giada De Laurentiis]

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces (giblets, neck and backbone reserved for another use)
  • 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

Whisk the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend. Combine the vinaigrette and chicken pieces in a large resealable plastic bag; seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate, turning the chicken pieces occasionally, for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove chicken from the bag and arrange the chicken pieces on a large greased baking dish. Roast until the chicken is just cooked through, about 1 hour. If your chicken browns too quickly, cover it with foil for the remaining cooking time. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Place the baking dish on a burner over medium-low heat. Whisk the chicken broth into the pan drippings, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the baking sheet with a wooden spoon and mixing them into the broth and pan drippings. Drizzle the pan drippings over the chicken. Sprinkle the lemon zest and parsley over the chicken, and serve.


So I've had this bookmarked for a while and I FINALLY had the time to make this recipe. The ONLY modification I used was using chicken breast instead of a whole chicken. And honestly, the flavors were very good, brought me back to working at Big Tomato and enjoying their own balsamic chicken. The only problem I had was the stupid chicken texture was horrible. I'm not buying perdue anymore... I think I've stated that fact before... it's terrible...

Article: Dangerous Foods?

Leafy greens -- including lettuce and spinach -- top the list of the 10 riskiest foods, according to a study from a nutrition advocacy group released Tuesday.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest listed the following foods, in descending order, as the most risky in terms of outbreaks: leafy greens, eggs, tuna, oysters, potatoes, cheese, ice cream, tomatoes, sprouts and berries.

The scientists rated these foods, all of them regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, by the number of outbreaks associated with them since 1990, and also provided the number of recorded illnesses.

The severity of the illnesses ranged from minor stomach aches to death, the center said. With leafy greens such as lettuce, the top cause of illness were pathogens like E. coli, Norovirus and Salmonella in foods that were not properly washed.

Over the past 20 years, leafy greens caused 363 outbreaks, resulting in 13,568 reported illnesses, the center said. That's compared to berries, No. 10 on the list, which were associated with 25 outbreaks totaling 3,397 reported illnesses.

"Leafy greens are a healthy home run, but unfortunately they're associated with food-borne illness," said Sarah Klein, a staff lawyer with the center who helped prepared the study.

In all, the Top 10 resulted in more than 1,500 outbreaks, totaling nearly 50,000 reported illnesses, according to the center, which added that most food-related illnesses don't get treated or reported, so the real total is likely much larger.

"Millions of consumers are being made ill, hundreds of thousands hospitalized and thousands are dying each year from preventable foodborne illnesses," the study said. "Unfortunately, the FDA is saddled with outdated laws, and lacks the authority, tools and resources to fight unsafe food."

Food producers, including the Western Growers Association, released statements criticizing the report.

"Farmers are consumers, too," the association said, in a release from spokesman Paul Simonds. "They eat the fresh produce they grow as do the members of their families, and have invested millions of dollars enhancing food safety practices in the last few years. Scaring people away from eating some of the healthiest foods on the planet, like fresh produce, does not serve consumers."

Salmonella was also a chief culprit in egg, cheese and tomato-related illnesses, the study said, in cases when eggs are undercooked and when cheese is not processed properly.

Salmonella can be difficult to remove from raw tomatoes without cooking, according to the study.

The study also associated Salmonella and E. coli with potatoes. Klein said this generally happens when cold-prepared potato items, such as potato salad, are mixed with other contaminated ingredients.

Unrefrigerated fresh tuna deteriorates quickly, the study said, releasing harmful toxins, and canned tuna gets dragged into the picture because of mixed-in ingredients such as mayonnaise. Improperly washed oysters are at risk of Norovirus.

Rich Ruais, executive director of the Blue Water Fisherman Association and the American Blue Fin Tuna Association in Salem, N.H., disagreed with the study's "bad rap" on tuna.

"Tuna? I beg to differ," he said. "Tuna is one of the healthiest foods on the Earth. It's life sustaining; it's life prolonging."

Ruais said the tuna-based diet of Japanese citizens plays a big part in their high average longevity. He also said the FDA strictly mandates that tuna is gutted and stuffed with ice immediately after it's caught by commercial fisherman, and submerged in slush once it gets to shore, to prevent risk of pathogens.

More surprisingly, bacteria can also survive in ice cream, primarily from the Salmonella contamination of eggs, an important ingredient that is sometimes undercooked, the study said. Much of the study's blame goes to a 1994 outbreak that sickened thousands of ice cream lovers in 41 states.

The National Milk Producers Federation released a statement criticizing the report as "based on outdated information."

"Cheese and ice cream products are among the safest, most stringently regulated foods in this country," said the federation, in its release. "The cheese examples in this report mostly concern consumption of raw milk products, which neither [the] FDA nor the dairy industry recommends. The ice cream example is 15 years old and was an isolated incident."

-By Aaron Smith, staff writer On 2:07 pm EDT, Tuesday October 6, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chicken Egg Roll Wraps

As I was perusing the new "organic" publix that opened up here in Gainesville, I came across egg roll wrappers. I'm not sure if the regular publix carried these (they probably do...) but I was so excited to finally find some. I've seen a lot of recipes using egg roll wraps or wonton wraps that I've been dying to try. And here's my first attempt...

Chicken Egg Roll Wraps
  • 1/2 pound already cooked chicken
  • 1 bag coleslaw mix
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • 1 package egg roll wraps.
  • 1 egg (or water)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Shred the cooked chicken and toss in a little bit of teriyaki sauce.
3. Combine in a bowl with about half a bag of coleslaw mix
4. To make the egg roll: "Take the bottom point of your wrap and fold it over top of the filling. Fold the sides in towards the middle and roll the filling towards the top point of the wrapper." - Thank you wiki how for putting it in words!. Also The Hungry Housewife has some lovely pictures explaining, not to mention a kick ass south western recipe..
5. Add a LITTLE bit of the filling to the center of the roll and fold as described above.
6. To seal the egg roll, brush the edges with a little bit of egg or water (this acts as a glue)
7. Once all the rolls are assembled, brush the tops with the egg (optional... makes it look prettier..)
8. bake at 350 for 7 minutes, flipping over, then 7 minutes.

OVERALL: Yeah, so this was a fun dinner. Making the egg rolls was the longest part. Perhaps the saddest thing was that I had to bake them instead of fry them... simply because we don't have a deep fryer or a thermometer to safely heat oil... maybe one day. These didn't turn out too bad though. Just like with the Buffalo Chicken Empanadas I overstuff too much, which you can see in some of the egg rolls. Again, I would modify this recipe a bit before I served it too friends...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chicken Salad Revistited...

A while ago I posted about a chicken salad recipe I made, mentioning that I heard variations of chicken salad using yogurt instead of mayo. I now must say:

Best. Idea. Ever.

The yogurt based chicken salad is a bit sweeter but that's pretty much the only difference. I added walnuts and celery. It was awesome.

Just thought I'd share

Buffalo Chicken Empanadas

Buffalo Chicken Empanadas

  • 1 cooked chicken breast cut finely (leftovers are awesome I found out)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • 2 tbsp finely diced celery
  • 2 tbsp finely diced onion
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  1. Mix cream cheese, chicken, celery, and onions in a bowl.
  2. roll out the thawed pie crust. Cut into 3 by 3 inch squares.
  3. add a SMALL amount of the mixture on the pie crust. Seriously, overstuffing is bad...
  4. before folding, dip your finger in water and trace along the edges, this acts as a glue for the pie crust
  5. fold over and seal edges with a fork.
  6. bake for 8 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
OVERALL: This recipe was inspired by One of Paula Deen's and an early afternoon due to a canceled biochemistry class (canceled meaning there was a review Q&A session...). So I got home, having leftover chicken and half a pie crust left to use. Since the original recipe had some ingredients that my fridge lacked, I changed the idea around, playing with my favorite flavors.

It was very good. The only off putting thing was the pie crust was a little heavy. Maybe using wonton wrappers or egg roll wrappers would be better, but the whole ratio of filling to bread was off... Also, I made this mean for just me, it was very simply to make, the most time consuming thing being assembling the empanadas. Also, I forgot to add cheese... i might do that next time=)

Look at that overflowing filling.... Need to be more conservative!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Berry Muffins =)

Mixed Berry Muffin
  • 1 box muffin mix (I used blueberry since the blueberries come separate)
  • 1/2 cup thawed frozen berries
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jelly
  • 1/3 cup milk

1. Combine muffin mix, milk and jelly... don't worry it's not going to look smooth because of the jelly.

2. Slowly fold in the berries.

3. Bake in a 425 oven for 16 minutes.

Overall: These were really good. I was trying to substitute the vegetable oil for something else. Normally I resort to applesauce but since I was sans applesauce, I opted for trying Strawberry jelly. It worked nice, but as the muffins cooled they got a bit stickier. But I loved adding the frozen fruit instead of using the prepackaged blueberries that came with the muffin mix. It was awesome. That being said I'm going to stick with substituting applesauce for oil when I feel the need to be health(ier)...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Soups! (21-40)

21. Fish Chowder Make Potato Chowder (No. 16) with just 2 ounces bacon. Omit sage; swap the cream with half-and-half. Add 1 pound white fish chunks and 1/2 pound flaked smoked trout during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
22. Pistou Make Minestrone (No. 20); add 1 sliced zucchini and 1 cup diced butternut squash with the vegetables. Swirl in pesto.
23. Tortellini Make Minestrone (No. 20); substitute 1 cup tortellini for the ditalini.
24. Sweet Potato Sweat 2 chopped onions, 4 chopped garlic cloves, 3 peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, and 1 teaspoon coriander in olive oil. Simmer with 6 cups chicken broth until soft. Puree; top with salsa.
25. Curried Sweet Potato Make Sweet Potato Soup (No. 24); use butter instead of oil and add 1 tablespoon curry powder with the potatoes. Top with chutney.
26. Curried Red Lentil Cook 3 chopped garlic cloves, 1 each chopped onion and carrot, 1/2 tablespoon chopped ginger and a pinch of cayenne in oil. Add 6 cups water, 1 can coconut milk, 1 cup red lentils and 1/2 cup rice; simmer 20 minutes. Garnish with lime, cilantro and scallions.
27. Split Pea Simmer 1/2 pound split peas with 1 each chopped celery stalk, onion and carrot, a ham hock and a bundle of fresh herbs in 5 cups water until tender. Remove ham and bone; pull off the meat. Puree the soup; stir in ham.
28. Vegetarian Pea Make Split Pea Soup (No. 27); omit the ham hock. Puree just half of the soup and mix it back in; add 1 cup diced carrot. Top with croutons.
29. Cheddar-Horseradish Sweat 2 each diced carrots and leeks in butter. Add cayenne, salt, 3 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons dry mustard; cook 2 minutes. Add 1 bottle beer, 1/4 cup horseradish, 3 cups water and a dash of Worcestershire; simmer until thick. Whisk in 2 cups half-and-half and 1 1/2 cups cheddar.
30. French Onion Cook 4 sliced onions and 2 thyme sprigs in butter, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover; cook 1 hour, or until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add 6 cups beef broth; simmer 10 minutes. Add cognac, salt and pepper. Top with gruyère toasts.

31. Tomato Alphabet Boil 3 cups chicken broth, 2 cups tomato juice and a pinch of dried oregano. Add 1/2 cup alphabet pasta, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Stir in grated parmesan.
32. Tomato Orzo Make Tomato Alphabet Soup (No. 31) with orzo instead of alphabet pasta. Omit parmesan; top with feta and dill.
33. Carrot-Ginger Sweat 2 sliced shallots and 3 tablespoons minced ginger in butter; season with salt and pepper. Add 1 pound sliced carrots, 2 tablespoons rice, 2 cups chicken broth and 3 cups water. Simmer until the rice is tender, then puree.
34. Carrot-Dill Make Carrot-Ginger Soup (No. 33); omit the ginger and add chopped dill. Garnish with sour cream.
35. Pappa al Pomodoro Sauté 1 chopped onion in oil until tender; add 3 chopped garlic cloves, some red pepper flakes, 1 large can chopped tomatoes, 1 cup water and a basil sprig. Add 2 cups stale bread cubes; simmer 20 minutes.
36. Thai Coconut Sauté 3 sliced garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons grated ginger, 1/4 cup chopped lemongrass, 1 teaspoon each cumin and coriander, and a Thai chile in oil. Add 1 sliced raw chicken breast and 1 sliced onion; cook 5 minutes. Add shredded bok choy, 4 cups water, 1 can coconut milk, cilantro and 2 tablespoons fish sauce; simmer 8 minutes.
37. Black Bean Soak 1/2 pound dried black beans overnight; drain. Sauté 1 each chopped celery stalk, onion and carrot and 2 smashed garlic cloves in oil. Add beans, thyme, a bay leaf, a ham hock and 5 cups water; simmer 40 minutes. Remove ham and bone; pull off the meat. Puree the soup; stir in the ham.
38. Mexican Bean Make Black Bean Soup (No. 37); omit thyme and add 1 teaspoon each chipotle chili powder and cumin. Puree just half of the soup and mix it back in. Mix in the juice of 1 lime; top with sour cream, cilantro and salsa.
39. Curried Cauliflower Cook 4 sliced leeks with 1 tablespoon curry powder in butter. Add 1 head chopped cauliflower and 1 garlic clove; cook 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 5 cups chicken broth; boil until soft, then puree. Simmer with 1 cup cream.
40. Thai Shrimp Make Thai Coconut Soup (No. 36); omit the chicken and add 1/2 pound peeled small shrimp during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Also from Food Network

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Soups! (1-20)

1. Basic Chicken Chop 1 onion, 1 celery stalk, 2 carrots and 1 tablespoon thyme; sauté in butter until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add 6 cups chicken broth; simmer 20 minutes. Add 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, 1/3 cup mixed chopped dill and parsley, and some lemon juice.
2. Chicken Rice Make Basic Chicken Soup (No. 1); omit dill and add chives, chervil and tarragon. Stir in 1/3 cup cooked basmati rice.
3. Italian Wedding Make Basic Chicken Soup (No. 1) with a rind of parmesan in the broth. Add 1 pound mini meatballs, 1 cup orzo and 3 cups torn escarole; simmer until the orzo is tender.
4. Chicken Dumpling Mix 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1 beaten egg, 1/2 cup farina cereal and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drop half-teaspoonfuls into simmering chicken broth; cook for 3 minutes after the dumplings float.
5. Escarole and White Bean Cook 3 chopped garlic cloves and some red pepper flakes in olive oil. Add 3 cups chicken broth, 1 head chopped escarole and a parmesan rind; simmer 15 minutes. Add 1 can white beans, parmesan and salt.
6. Butternut Squash Sauté 1/2 sliced onion with a pinch of thyme in butter until soft. Add salt, pepper, 2 pounds diced butternut squash and 5 cups chicken broth. Simmer until tender, then puree.
7. Squash and Sage Make Butternut Squash Soup (No. 6) using 2 shallots instead of onion. Fry sage leaves in the butter. Replace 1 1/2 cups of the broth with apple cider; add nutmeg. Top with crème fraîche and the fried sage.
8. Parsnip-Bacon Make Butternut Squash Soup (No. 6); substitute 2 pounds parsnips for the squash. Top with crumbled bacon and crème fraîche.
9. Asian Chicken Puree 2 garlic cloves with a 2-inch piece peeled ginger; fry in oil with 1 bunch sliced scallions. Add 3 cups each chicken broth and water, 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and sherry, and a pinch of sugar; boil. Add shredded cooked chicken, sliced carrots and snow peas; drizzle with sesame oil.
10. Spicy Dumpling Make Asian Chicken Soup (No. 9); add frozen dumplings instead of chicken. Top with Asian chili sauce.
11. Spicy Tortilla Puree 2 seeded, soaked ancho chiles, 1 onion, 2 tomatoes and 2 garlic cloves; fry in oil. Add 6 cups chicken broth, 4 torn corn tortillas, some shredded cooked chicken and 1/2 cup cilantro; simmer until thick. Add salt; garnish with crisp tortilla strips, Mexican cheese, avocado, cilantro and lime juice. (I sorta made this?)

12. Stracciatella Beat 2 eggs with 1/3 cup grated parmesan. Drizzle into 6 cups simmering chicken broth; cook 2 minutes.
13. Egg Drop Cook 1 tablespoon chopped ginger and 3 chopped scallions in sesame oil. Add 6 cups chicken broth and 2 tablespoons each soy sauce and sherry; bring to a simmer. Slowly pour in 2 beaten eggs and cook 2 minutes.
14. Sausage-Bean Make Escarole and White Bean Soup (No. 5); sauté 4 chopped sweet Italian sausages with the garlic.
15. Egg-Lemon Cook 1/2 cup pastina in 6 cups simmering chicken broth with 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Beat 2 eggs, 2 yolks and 3 tablespoons lemon juice; whisk in a little hot broth, then stir the mixture into the soup. Cook over low heat until thick.
16. Potato Chowder Sauté 4 ounces chopped bacon; add 2 tablespoons butter, 2 sliced leeks and 2 teaspoons each sage and thyme. Add 4 cups chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups cream, a bay leaf and 3 chopped potatoes. Simmer until tender; top with chives.
17. Potato Cheese Make Potato Chowder (No. 16); stir in 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar.
18. Clam Chowder Make Potato Chowder (No. 16); omit sage and use 2 cups each clam juice and water in place of broth. Season with cayenne. Add 2 cups clams during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
19. Corn Chowder Make Potato Chowder (No. 16); omit sage. Stir in 2 cups corn during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Garnish with diced roasted red peppers.
20. Minestrone Chop 3 garlic cloves, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 celery stalk and 1/4 head cabbage; sauté in oil. Add 1 can each white beans and diced tomatoes, 4 cups chicken broth and a parmesan rind; simmer 20 minutes. Add 1 cup ditalini pasta and simmer until tender. Add salt and pepper.

Courtesy of Food Network

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Girls Night Part 2

I mentioned in another post the awesome-ness that is Girls night. Every so often a group of my girlfriends and I decide on a theme and do dinner and a movie/TV show. Over summer it was True Blood...but now since that's over we must come up with either new show addictions or new ideas for dinner. For the record, it's a great way to de-stress from exams and homework and catch up with friends you might not see that often. I can't tell you how many friends I've lost to the library come mid-october (I may or may not be including myself)

This most recent night was favorite kids foods & movie. We had awesome mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, and a killer veggie cassorole covered in cheese and goodness. We also watched the Little Mermaid, one of the classics of our childhood...

So I was wondering if any of the readers I may have (I know you are out there somewhere!) Have ideas for themed dinners aside from Mexican & Italian....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Cream Cheese

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese (rm temp)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  1. whisk cream cheese and maple syrup together until blended
  2. heat pumpkin on a small sauce pan, about 5 minutes
  3. combine all dry ingredients into large bowl
  4. in a seperate bowl, combine milk and eggs
  5. stir the pumpkin and butter to wet ingredients
  6. Brush waffle iron lightly with oil and heat.
  7. Stir wet ingredients into dry. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form
  8. fold egg whites into batter. ]
  9. ladle into waffle iron. enjoy =)
Overall: So for the record, these were made by my roommate and his awesome vegetarian cookbook/dictionary... Came home from shopping to this being made. Super awesome flavors and just a great treat. So good, they barely made it to a plate....

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Hope they make your day better =)

Best Ice Cream Sandwich

From Here
Best Overall

Epi Top Pick: Turkey Hill Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Sandwich ($3.99 for a box of six)

Pros: The creamy ice cream with real vanilla flavor and the moist, spongy cakelike cookie won raves from the testers. "The ice cream is so fluffy and smooth!" said one editor. "The vanilla specks are not just for show, the ice cream tastes like it's made with a real vanilla pod; very natural," said another.

Cons: Thin in comparison to other competitors.

First Runner-Up: Nestle Super Sandwich ($2.50 per bar)

Pros: All editors agreed that this ice cream sandwich's 2:1 ice cream–to-cookie ratio was just right. Tasters also loved the incredibly creamy, milky ice cream and the coffee bean color and cocoa flavor of the cookie. "A masterpiece," commented one editor.

Cons: Cookie is a bit dry, according to several judges.

Best Nondairy: Organic So-Delicious Nondairy Frozen Dessert ($ 5.49 for a box of six)

Pros: This nondairy option was far more engaging than the other soy-based competitors. In addition to having a firm and dense filling, it actually tasted milky. The bars are also marketed as low-fat. "This one is my new go-to, even though I can eat dairy!" said one taster.

Cons: It's the most expensive of the winner's circle entries, and the filling has a slight eggnoglike taste.

The Other Contenders: The Bottom Three

Two out of the three nondairy varieties were voted the least favorite of all the sandwiches we tested. Soy Dream Lil' Dreamers had a grainy texture and tasted like edamame (soy beans). Tofutti Cuties' filling appeared foamy and had an off-putting orange tint.

Among the classic sandwiches, Dolly Madison's fared the worst: The ice cream was foamy and tasted artificial. The cookie was unimpressive—it tasted minty and like fake chocolate.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kit Kat Ice Cream

  • 4 kit-kat bars
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract.

1. Cut kit kats into 1/2 inch pieces.
2. Combine sugar and egg until creamy
3. Slowly heat milk on stove.
4. Add the milk to the egg/sugar mixture SLOWLY and whisk while adding. (This prevents scrambled eggs...)
5. Return the egg/milk/sugar mixture to stove top and cook on low heat until heavy cream like consistency (coats the back of spoon)
6. In a separate bowl whip heavy cream until soft peaks form.
7. Add the vanilla and fold in.
8. In the ice cream mixer combine the egg/sugar/milk mixture and the heavy cream into the ice mixture.
9. spin for 30 minutes. (add kit-kats about 5 minutes before ice cream is done.)

Overall: I made this with my new roomie and his ice cream maker. This was very creamy ice cream. We were using the good old Ben & Jerrys recipe book... from the 1980s. It said to use raw egg, so we modified the recipe and tempered the egg... (not even sure if I spelt that right). The recipe book called for 1/2 inch kit-kat bits but I would have cut them smaller. Also, roommate suggested that the ice cream was 'eggy' but in the same moment, other roommate didn't realize that egg was in the mixture but I would try to modify that because I did taste it. Not to mention there was a weird coating on the roof of your mouth when you ate this. Not sure what, but I would restructure this recipe before making again....

Monday, September 7, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chocolate, Coffee, and... Peanut butter milkshake?

Yes, so this was an entry sitting in my "drafts" for a while simply because I made this way back in may with my sister and haven't even looked at posting this... but I should.
  • 3 scoops Vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee
  • handful of chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter

You should know my measurements are never exact and I think playing with what is available is always fun. We happened to have a smidgen of vanilla ice cream left and used the rest of the ingredients because they were almost empty and taking up space in the fridge. Always fun. But this is a very nice, smooth, and a tab rich for a milkshake. Not healthy by any means =)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Girls Night: True Blood

So over the summer, while I was ignoring this poor blog, I got into the habit of going to the gym with a group of wonderful women. We were awesome. We went 4x a week and actually worked out... until the second half of summer came with all the freshmen came and filled up the gym. Instead of waiting in lines that only frusterated us, we made a girls night. A night dedicated to catching up, eating great food, and watching some sort of TV show/movie. Sadly I haven't written about the wonderful chicken parm that was made or the phenomanal enchiladas... but we're going to start now.

Tonight was dedicated to True Blood (as probably the next girls night, seeing as the Season finale is in 2 weeks). For those NOT on the band wagon, true blood is an HBO show about vampires coming out of the coffin and integrating into socitey. It's pretty much a guilty pleasure with bad dialouge, crazy storylines, and hot vampire sex.

So onto the food part. I was the main entree (I made Buffalo chicken and the bleu cheese dressing that goes along with it. What we do is one person normally makes the dinner, one side, and dessert. Tonight was great.

Above: My entry

Above: All our food with my horrible camera!
Please note french fries were not present in this picture.

This is probably the highlight of my week with getting together, getting to cook. It's wonderful and I suggest to every college student if you can do something like this it's wonderful!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Eat this...

Interesting article found on Yahoo! which gives some helpful tidbits on food substitutions:

Substitute Yogurt for Mayo

“When making tuna salad, use 2-percent Greek yogurt, about 75 calories for half a cup, instead of mayonnaise, about 450 calories for half a cup. Greek yogurt has the same texture and creaminess as mayonnaise but far less fat and calories. I use the tangy Greek yogurt as a lower-cal replacement anywhere I’d regularly use sour cream or mayo.”
— Leah Sipher-Mann,

Skip the Cheese

“Build a healthier sandwich: Hold the cheese because two slices can add up to well over 200 calories. Load your sammie with low-calorie veggies or go gourmet with slices of apple and pear.”
—Susi May, FitSugar

Make Over Your Milkshake

“I love milk shakes, but at 420 calories for a small strawberry fast-food shake, they can be a real diet breaker. So when I’m in the mood for one, I blend a cup of 1-percent milk with a cup of unthawed, unsweetened frozen strawberries and a teaspoon of agave nectar for a delicious and satisfying cold treat. It’s only about 170 calories, which is a savings of 240 calories.”
—Diana Swallow, Scale Junkie

Save Your Salad with Salsa

“When ordering salad out, ask for salsa or pico de gallo instead of dressing. Many restaurant-size servings of dressing have around 300 to 500 calories. Using salsa, even half a cup of it, will likely save you hundreds of calories and dozens of fat grams—half a cup has 35 calories and almost no fat. And salsa rocks on salads.”
—Lisa Lillien, HungryGirl

Beware the evil salad! Don't make these salad mistake!

Beat the Office Munchies

“Every afternoon at work, I tend to want a snack. With small chocolates in my coworker’s nearby office—five mini chocolate bars are 210 calories!—and a vending machine down the hall that’s calling my name, I avoid the temptation by chewing a piece of fruit-flavored sugar-free gum. Sugar-free gum comes in all kinds of fun, tropical flavors these days like sangria and pina colada, so I feel like I’m indulging even though I’m not.”
—Jenn, Fit Bottomed Girls

Embrace Water

“Many people forget that calories you drink count too, so I try to be aware of what I consume in liquid form and drink as much zero-calorie water as possible. Simply cutting out a 20-ounce bottle of regular soda saves more than 200 calories. Plus, when I’m hydrated, I can more accurately tell whether I’m actually hungry.”
—Erin, Fit Bottomed Girls

Pop Your Own Corn

“Next time you go to the movies, bring your own popcorn. Microwave kernels in a brown paper bag and use a little nonstick spray. Season them to suit your mood: savory with garlic powder and sea salt, sweet with cinnamon and a few dark chocolate chips, or ‘cheesy’ with sea salt, chili powder and nutritional yeast. It’s delicious and tastes just like cheese with fewer calories!”
—Gina Harney, Fitnessista

Here's exactly what to eat at the movies!

A Breakfast of Champions

“Instead of the average 450-calorie cream-cheese bagel, I have a Thomas’ English muffin with two tablespoons of fat-free cream cheese for a similar taste that saves about 300 calories.”
—Karolina Starczak, NeverSayDiet

Invest in a Steamer

“Food steamers save calories and your time. Before I got my steamer, which has multiple layers, so you can cook your entire meal at once, I would usually pan-fry salmon in oil or butter or cover it in sugary teriyaki sauce and bake it. Both of those methods add so many unnecessary calories. Now when I get home from work, I throw veggies, brown rice and salmon with a lemon slice and some fresh parsley in the steamer. It absorbs all the flavor, and it tastes so fresh that way. It takes 15 minutes, so I avoid fatty takeout.”
—Lara Baldwin, Thinspired

Slim Down Your Strawberry Shortcake

“In the summer, I particularly love strawberry shortcake at a barbecue. I bake my own angel-food cake, slice it thin and throw it on the grill for a few minutes instead of using a biscuit—that cuts about 100 calories right there. Then I use a balsamic reduction—cook the vinegar down slowly until it’s about half the volume it was originally—and drizzle it over the strawberries and cake. The flavors are so elegant, and no one misses the whipped cream, which would usually tack another 100 calories onto the dessert.”
—Katherine Tweed, That’s Fit

Check out these summer dessert dos and don’ts!

Give Mashed Potatoes a Healthy Twist

“For me, mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. To make your potatoes healthier, try using equal amounts of potato and another mashable vegetable, like cauliflower or turnips. Not only is this reducing the calorie content, but you’re also adding extra nutrients to your plate. To add even more flavor, replace butter and whole milk with a small amount of tahini and some fat-free yogurt.”
—Melanie Thomassian, Dietriffic

Create Your Own Chips

“Instead of snacking on tortilla chips and salsa, I make my own pita chips in the toaster oven. I cut a whole-wheat pita into small triangles, spray them with no-calorie cooking spray, sprinkle with salt and toast for about two minutes. They taste just as good as regular tortilla chips but without the added calories and fat. You can even add garlic salt, cinnamon or paprika to jazz them up.”
—Tina Haupert, Carrots ‘N’ Cake

Coffee, Hold the Milk

“Instead of a latte, order your coffee drink Americano style, which is espresso with water instead of milk. A 12-ouce Americano is 10 calories versus the same-size latte made with whole milk, which comes in at 180 calories. Nix the sugar—two packets are 30 calories—and you’ve saved yourself 200 calories.”
—Stephanie Quilao, Noshtopia

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Asian Salad


1 bag coleslaw
1 cucumber
toasted pine nuts
Cooked chicken

2/3 rice vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp oil
2 tsp soy sauce

This was a really easy salad to put together. The longest part was cooking the chicken. It was good. I didn't like the dressing too much, I would have prefered a ginger dressing or something with a little more umph. But overall I very much enjoyed the coleslaw salad.

P.S. Pardon the picture it's from my cell phone.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

More Ice Cream!?!

Interesting tibit I found on TV


Basically you can make ANY flavor you want of ice cream. The show I saw mentioned Avacado ice cream, green tea ice cream, and many more. Just thought it's be worth sharing =)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Oreo Ice Cream

Cookies N Cream
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
Smashed up favorite cookies.

1. Combine eggs & sugar, whisking until combines.
2. Heat milk and vanilla in a sauce pan til just before boiling.
3. Add to egg mixture SLOWLY! and continuously whisking (this prevents scrambled eggs)
4. Heat milk/egg mixture until thick & custard-y
5. While milk/egg is thickening whip the heavy cream until light and fluffy
6. pour custard into whipping cream and fold gently
7. pour into ice cream makerfor 30 minutes. About 20 minutes in add your favorite crushed cookies

Overall: So this is most certainly NOT how my sister and I made it. The book we were reading from had an akward layout in the directions for the ice cream so we completely missed the whipping cream step, instead assuming the "milk" meant cream + milk mixture. Because of this the custard was not very thick and our ice cream was more of an Iced milk. Also, we added the oreos (our cookie of choice) before the putting the mixture in the ice cream maker. The only down side to that step was turning the ice cream an ugly unappetizing gray color.

That all being said, it tasted fine. I would more or less start with a vanilla base and add cookies at the end next time. Also, the whole cooking eggs is different from the last ice cream we made. I won't really try this recipe again...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Kitchen First! Fish Dinner

So walking through the grocery store I noticed that Tilapia was on sale, and it looked pretty good. I figured it was time for me to break outta my comfort zone and try something new. I've had tilapia before & I enjoy it. But my dad always made the best fish and I'm hesitant to try others...

But I decided on a nice tilapia franchese dinner since my uncle had given me a recipe that Dad use to make. On my way home, I decide that I'm just going for a cajiun style fish and deal with the franchese later. So I start cooking....


1 Filet of fish (I, of course, had tilapia)
Some Cajiun seasonings (I used a combination of paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, red pepper flakes, S&P)

1. Rub the fish with the dry rub.
2. In a heated sautee pan, cook the fish (presentation side down) for about 3 minutes.
3. Flip fish and let it cook about 2 minute
4. Set the oven to "broil" and drop the pan in for about 1~2 minutes depending on the strength of the broiler.
5. Take out & enjoy

Mmm... So I totally overcooked the fish. It was alright, but I didn't enjoy eating it. Not to mention the rub I used was full of fail. Next time I'll combine with flour and dredge with egg and that jazz. But It was my first attempt by myself without a recipe to go off of, so I'm not too heartbroken.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

One Year =)

I Am very upset that I missed my first Blogiversary (July 4th)... but better late than never. Here are some links to my favorite posts:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rice Pudding

I am alive, I know!

Quick explanation: Old apartment was a mess and I hated cooking because it meant that I not only had to clean my mess but I also had to clean up the mess my roommates left. I got tired. But I did recently make Rice pudding.


  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch glass baking dish.

In a large bowl, stir together first 7 ingredients. Spoon into prepared baking dish. Place baking dish in a large pan; pour water into the pan to a depth of 1-inch. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until lightly browned and set. Combine cinnamon and nutmeg; sift over top of pudding. Cool slightly and cut into squares to serve.

OVERALL:Hmm. So I've never had rice pudding and this was the first time I've made/tried it. Not a fan. The texture freaks me out a little. But the taste was wonderful. I would suggest mixing it up before you serve it though lol.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I am alive. I have been fueling my gaming addiction by not eating so much.

That's not really true. I have no inspriation to cook. The kitchen and apartment is ALWAYs a mess and i'm over being the once to clean up all the time. So I just don't cook anymore. Hopefully this will change in the new apartment...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

College Tip

A wonderful way to enjoy fresh Corn on the cobb- microwave the corn IN IT'S HUSK for 4-5 minutes depending on your microwave.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fried Noodles with Chicken

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup szechuan sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup cooked angel hair pasta
  • 1/2 cup corn


1. Slice the chicken into long strips, maybe about 1/2- 1 inch in thickness. Place in a plastic bag with about 2/3 of the szechuan sauce. Marinade for about an hour (Although I only did about 20 minutes and it was fine).

2. Diced the onion. Add to an already heated saute pan. Once the onions have cooked (they will become almost translucent), add the garlic as well as the spices.

3. Add chicken to the pan. Add to the pan and wait for them to cook.

4. Once the chicken is cooked (about 6-7 minutes) add in noodles. add the remainder of the szechuan sauce. Let the noodles brown. Then add corn and mix together.

Overall: Yeah this was really good. In my picture I forgot to mix the corn in the pan, which is why it's not incorporated well, but I mixed as I ate. If I planned this meal out, I would have added some snow peas and maybe some carrots, but it was a spontaneous idea. I very much enjoy fried noodles.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Brain Food!

So found this article on yahoo!, here's the text:)


If you want to make the right decisions in confusing times—Time to refinance? Explore a different career? Root for the singing spinster or the 12-year-old?—you need to pay special attention to what you eat. That’s right: Your grocery list can help with your to-do list. That’s because the right foods are a kind of clean-burning fuel for your body’s biggest energy hog: Your brain. A study in the Journal of Physiology makes the point that, though your brain represents only 2 percent of your body weight, it makes 20 percent of the energy demands on your resting metabolism.

On our new Eat This, Not That! Web site, we rounded up the best foods to munch on when you need a mental boost—and found studies that show, in fact, that you can be up to 200 percent more productive if you make the right eating choices. Stock up on these items to halt mental decline, jog your memory, sharpen your senses, improve your performance, activate your feel-good hormones, and protect your quick-witted sharpness, whether you’re 15, 40—or not admitting to any age whatsoever!

Drink This!: COFFEE

Fresh-brewed joe is the ultimate brain fuel. Caffeine has been shown to retard the aging process and enhance short-term memory performance. In one study, British researchers found that just one cup of coffee helps improve attention and problem-solving skills.


Ever heard of the concept “too much of a good thing”? If you OD on caffeine—too many cups, a jolt of caf from the late afternoon onward, a Red Bull cocktail—it can mess with your shuteye schedule. Sleep is reboot time for your mental computer, and you don’t want to mess with it.


Antioxidants in blueberries help protect the brain from free-radical damage and cut your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. They can also improve cognitive processing (translation: thinking). Wild blueberries, if you can find them, have even more brain-boosting antioxidants than the cultivated variety, so book that vacation in Maine now. The berries will ripen in July.


Here’s a cool tip: if your favorite berries are out of season, buy them frozen. The freezer locks in peak flavor and nutrients, so the berries’ antioxidant capacity is maxed out. Those pale, tough, and expensive off-season berries usually ripen on a truck, rather than on the bush, so they’re nutritional imposters compared to the real thing.

For more smart shopping tips, point your grocery cart to THIS story and learn how to pick the most delicious and nutritious while controlling your waistline!


If the Internal Revenue Service picks you for some up-close-and-personal auditing, you’ll want to be on your toes when they vet your deductions list. So put salmon or mackerel on the grocery list. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fishes are a primary building block of brain tissue, so they’ll amp up your thinking power. Salmon is also rich in niacin, which can help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and slow the rate of cognitive decline.


Not all fats are created equal: Beware foods high in saturated fats, which can clog blood vessels and prevent the flow of nutrients and blood to the brain. Ice cream is not a brain-health food.


The oil in the dressing will help slow down digestion of protein and carbs in the salad, stabilizing blood-sugar levels and keeping energy levels high. Build your salad on a bed of romaine and spinach for an added boost in riboflavin, and add chicken and a hard-boiled egg for more energizing protein.

For other tips on how to build the perfect salad, check out the Eat This, Not That! ultimate salad selector.


MIT researchers analyzed blood samples from a group of people who had eaten either a high-protein or a high-carbohydrate breakfast. Two hours after eating, the carb eaters had tryptophan levels four times higher than those of the people who had eaten protein. The tryptophan in turkey is one of the reasons you crawl off for an afternoon nap after Thanksgiving dinner. So watch what you gobble.


Scientists in Slovakia gave people 3 grams each of two amino acids—lysine and arginine—or a placebo, and asked them to deliver a speech. Blood measurements of stress hormones revealed that the amino acid-fortified guys were half as anxious during and after the speech as those who took the placebo. Yogurt is one of the best food sources of lysine; nuts pack loads of arginine.

Not That!: SODA

A study from the American Journal of Public Health found that people who drink 2½ cans of soda daily are three times more likely to be depressed and anxious, compared with those who drink fewer. So Mountain Dew is a Mental Don’t.


The scent of peppermint helps you focus and boosts performance, according to researchers. Need to reach Chicago before nightfall, and you’re stuck in traffic around Cleveland? One study found that peppermint makes drivers more alert and less anxious.

Not That!: CANDY

Sugary foods incite sudden surges of glucose that, in the long term, cause sugar highs and lows, leading to a fuzzy state of mind. So you’ll need to avoid all the attention-busting sugar bombs on this list of the 20 most sugar-packed foods in America.



Leafy greens—arugula, chard, spinach—are rich sources of B vitamins, which are key components on the assembly line that manufactures feel-good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, a lack of B6 can cause nervousness, irritability, and even depression.


White chocolate isn’t chocolate at all, since it contains no cocoa solids. So it won’t stimulate the euphoria-inducing mood boosters like serotonin, as real chocolate does. Grab the real thing, the darker the better. More cacao means more happy chemicals and less sugar, which will eventually pull you down.


Flax is the best source of alphalinoleic, or ALA—a healthy fat that improves the workings of the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain that processes sensory information, including that of pleasure. To meet your quota, sprinkle it on salads or mix it into a smoothie or shake.

Not That!: ALCOHOL

This one’s obvious, but worth mentioning anyway. A drink or two can increase arousal signals, but more than that will actually depress your nervous system. This makes you sloppy, not sharp.

Want more of all of the best and worst foods in America? Click here for the complete list of drinks, snacks, drive-thru foods, burgers, salads and everything else under the sun!

Finally, get your FREE Eat This, Not That! newsletter so you can have smart shopping and eating tips, tricks and tactics delivered straight to your inbox three times a week!