Monday, January 26, 2015

Cheesy Pasta!

Some days you get canceled on by a friend who was supposed to take you skiing. Some days you get canceled on by two friends who were supposed to take you skiing... on those days it is understandable if you wait four hours to take off your ski pants. Couches and disappointment go well with ski pants. Some days living in Utah is the best, and some days it's the worst. On all the days, it's a good idea to make cheesy pasta.

Cheesy pasta is always the best.

It starts, coincidentally, with the pasta sauce I made the other day. While the sauce is cooking, you chop some basil and mozzarella, cook some penne, and listen to Tracy Chapman. Wine drinking is optional, but highly recommended.

After that, it's layer time! Pasta, sauce, cheese, basil. Pasta, sauce, cheese, basil. Pasta, sauce, cheese, basil... you get the point. Also, I never really get more than three or four layers. It's not precision work. Just put it all in a baking dish, then bake it, then eat it. JUST EAT IT I SAY!

Cheesy pasta inspires passion.

I started making this one in college, the summer after my junior year, and haven't stopped since. It was probably the thing I made most that year, when my six housemates were sharing responsibility for cooking on $200.00 a week. There were never any leftovers. There still aren't.

Cheesy Pasta
Adapted slightly from Orangette

1 batch pasta sauce
8 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed very tinily
2 oz basil, chopped
1.5 lbs penne pasta
1/2 cup shredded parmesan

Cook penne according to package instructions. In the meantime, prepare a large baking dish (or several small freezable metal trays, if you're me and you live alone). When the pasta is drained, scoop approximately a quarter of it into the baking dish, then do the same with sauce and both cheeses and basil, scattering the mozzarella cubes and basil evenly around the pan. Repeat until you're out of ingredients :D

Note: I actually prefer to only put basil in the bottom couple layers (half in each of the first two layers) because it dries out if it's on top. That being said, I don't think it makes much of a difference.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

I started classes this week

So I'm going to talk about clothes. Which fashion mistake would you prefer to make?

sitting in an incredibly shiny business department building drinking coffee out of a mason jar


showing up to a class about avalanches (populated almost entirely by white boys wearing plaid) in a pencil skirt and polka dots?

Because this week I made both. To the new semester!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Perfect Pasta Sauce

Yesterday I unstrung the lights from my Christmas tree. When I came home from work 10 hours later, I discovered I had several pine needles underneath my bra. I am not joking.

Today, in an attempt to restore some class to my life, I'm making pasta sauce. Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce, to be specific. This sauce is a phenomenal ego boost. It feels like something that came out of an Italian grandmother's kitchen, not off my crappy electric stove, and yet it's one of the easiest recipes I know. I don't even have words for how incredible it makes my apartment smell. 

 In addition to being aromatic and classy, it totally fits the bill for my life right now; it's cheap and delicious,  and I can make it while sitting on my couch writing this post... or more accurately, watching Parks and Recreation. Done and done.

Perfect Pasta Sauce
adapted (slightly) from Marcella Hazan

2 28-oz cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
1 stick (8Tbs) butter
2-3 large garlic cloves, garlic
1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes*
salt to taste

Dump the tomatoes into a large pot, then break apart using your hands. The picture above is my pot of tomatoes about halfway through that process If you're less childish/more hygienic than I, you can use some sort of utensil. Add the onion, butter, garlic, red pepper and a couple pinches of salt. Turn heat to medium, then bring to a simmer. Adjusting the heat to keep it simmering, cook for ~45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove onion halves** and eat.

*today, I may have used the pepper flake packets  that come when you order Dominos. Don't judge me.
** these taste COMPLETELY like tomatoes. It's accidental molecular gastronomy!

Resolution: failed

Do I win? Do I win the award for fastest resolution failing?

I made some mayonnaise, and some potato wedges to dip the mayonnaise in. I made some rice and beans and kale with anchovy dressing, which was weird but delicious, and took it skiing. I also got dropped from my choir for not being good enough, and worked an unexpected 12 hour shift. It's been an interesting week.

I'm also working on making my apartment look like I actually live here, starting with photos of my friends. I'm broke, so I'm doing this the jenkety way.

Step 1: buy a bunch of gold and black frames from the Mormon consignment shop
Step 2: hang them, decide that the gold ones look terrible
Step 3: spray paint everything black

I got before photos from one batch of frames, and after photos from the second. Additionally, I wish I'd thought of the spray painting thing before I bought all the frames, because I would have bought only wooden frames. It's tough to get metal to hold spray paint.

Step 4 is to hang everything back up. Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Happy New Year!

Today I purchased ski poles and a truly irresponsible amount of pasta. I'm currently making more soup. Last night I went swing dancing with a friend who has even more social anxiety than I do, and it was a pretty great way to start the new year. Now I'm sitting on my couch, absentmindedly watching Parks and Recreation for the 85th time while avoiding both my dishes AND my laundry.

My new years resolution, which I'm typing here to hold myself accountable, is to post every day on this now twice abandoned blog. Here I go, 2015!

Much love,