Bagel Utopia

Okay I have to throw it out there, I am a sucker for a good bagel. Who cares if a bagel is equivalent to approximately half a loaf of bread, it’s worth it. Every now and then you have to give into your cravings right? Well I sure did, at Leo’s Bagels in the Financial District.
ImageLeo’s bagels are hand-rolled and incredibly delicious. Their bagels have the perfect dough-like consistency and come in a wide variety of flavors. While smoked salmon was on the menu (that’s my usual go-to option–I can’t get enough of it) I opted for a breakfast sandwich–an everything bagel with Canadian bacon, egg and cheddar cheese. Need I say more?
ImageThe Canadian bacon was cooked perfectly and the cheddar cheese melted on top of the bacon and egg was gooey and utterly divine. Throw in a doughy bagel and you’re good to go. My roommate and I devoured our bagels, mine the breakfast sandwich and hers an everything bagel with cream cheese, and wondered why we didn’t buy two each. Let’s be real, I probably could have had about ten of these bagels.
I most definitely plan on making this a weekend go-to, Bagel Sunday certainly has a nice ring to it. If you ever find yourself in the Financial District or just need a good excuse to get a good bagel, you must check this place out. But until next time, keep eating!

Mac and Cheese Grows Up

Macaroni and cheese is a part of childhood. I’m guestimating that every kid under the age of ten in the U.S. has experienced the joys of this deliciously cheesy pasta creation. But tonight, I made a version that was decidedly adult-like—chicken stock, garlic, and an elegant cheese sauce–making it a delectable dinner for anyone with a driver’s license. It’s Cooking Light’s Two-Cheese Mac and Cheese. Best of all, it was as easy to make as the stuff in the box, but certainly a million times better.

Image

You will need: 10 oz. of elbow pasta (or any pasta to your liking); 2 tbsp. canola oil; 3 garlic cloves, crushed; 2 ¼ c. unsalted chicken stock, divided; ½ c. 2% reduced-fat milk; 8 teaspoons all purpose-flour; 4 oz. 1/3-less-fat cream cheese; ½ teaspoon salt; ¼ teaspoon ground pepper; and 3 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded.

Cook the pasta according to the package, drain and set aside (my mom has always told me to put a little bit of olive oil on the pasta so it doesn’t stick to the colander).  Then, heat a dutch oven over medium heat; add oil and garlic, cook 3 minutes or until garlic is fragrant; stir in one cup chicken stock and bring to a boil, cook for one minute; combine remaining 1 ¼ c. stock, milk, and flour and stir until flour has dissolved.  Add milk mixture to garlic mixture and bring to a boil, cooking for 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Remove milk from heat; add cream cheese and combine until smooth; add salt, pepper, and cooked pasta. Pour pasta into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle cheddar over the top of the pasta and broil until cheese melts and begins to brown. Let stand five minutes and enjoy!

I was a HUGE lover of Kraft mac n’ cheese (I can easily eat an entire box by myself) and I have to say that this recipe puts me firmly into adulthood. The garlic and chicken stock give this dish a rich, wonderful flavor that is sophisticated, delectable and refined. Check this recipe out and let me know what you think! But until next time, keep eating!

What’s for Dinner? Homemade Pizza

If you’re ever looking for a quick, easy meal, homemade pizza is your savior. Most grocery stores sell pre-made dough (I would love to learn how to make dough but it’s not very practical in a college dorm), and then pick up some cheese and whatever toppings you’re in the mood for and you’re good to go!

My friend and I were craving veggie pizza, so we practically sprinted to Shaw’s to pick up the ingredients (since it was raining and incredibly windy outside). We bought eggplant, red peppers, shredded mozzarella, tomato, and shallots–but if veggies don’t appeal to you, you can add whatever you want (try some pepperoni if you’re a meat lover, or different kinds of cheeses if you simply can’t get enough cheese). Buy any type of sauce–if you want to be adventurous, try a spicy sauce or even a white sauce! One of  the best things about pre-made dough is that it only takes about 15 minutes to cook–which was perfect because we were starving (a video of our food-making process will be in my next post).

And, since the whole purpose of my blog is to ‘spice up my life’ through food, I naturally added a myriad of spices to my pizza. If I tell you all the spices I used, you’d look at me crazy–but it turned out to be delicious. I suggest adding some garlic salt and Italian seasoning for some flavor.

Cooking food is one of the best activities to do on a rainy day and it lets you be creative! So if you ever need a cheap, quick, easy meal, go for the homemade pizza–it’s a crowd pleaser. But until next time, keep eating!