Holiday Treats

Let’s all breathe a deep sigh of relief. Exams are over. Of course, this time next year I’ll be flying back to Vermont and using my vacation days from work (crazy to think), but for right now, I am very, very relaxed and happy that the semester is over.

I have, however, lost many of my foodie pics.

In the middle of a week where I submitted over 120 pages of academic writing, my new MacBook Pro decided to get its hardware all corrupted and put me in a position where I had to choose between my photos and spending another 4 hours in the Apple Store. I opted to save my GPA, and thus, all my documentation of platters of Ethiopian in Washington DC were lost. Alas.

But! All is not lost! It is the holiday season and good cheer must be baked. Here is what I’ve been up to in the last week. Don’t dismiss these recipes by their simplicity – the marshmallow pops, for instance, were the only holiday treats entirely devoured when present in my mom’s office.

1) Chocolate Marshmallow Pops

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag marshmallows
  • 35 lollipop sticks
  • 10 oz. dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp shortening (or a bit of butter)
  • 1/2 cup crushed candy canes
  • 1/2 cup crushed Heath or Skor bars (2 bars)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
Voila!

Voila!

Instructions:

  1. Insert lollipop sticks into marshmallows, taking care not to poke them through the other side.
  2. Place chocolate and shortening in a medium-sized microwave-proof bowl. Microwave on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.
  3. Dip marshmallow into the chocolate until three-quarters of the marshmallow is coated. Tap the stick while holding the marshmallow over the bowl to get rid of excess chocolate.
  4. Immediately sprinkle the chocolate coating with candy cane, Heath Bar, or shredded coconut (Oreos are also another delicious option).
  5. Poke the sticks into a piece of florist’s styrofoam. Let the chocolate dry. Then enjoy!

2) Chocolate Nutella Fudge with Sea Salt Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Butter, for greasing pan
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz. high-quality bittersweet (60% cacao) chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Nutella, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperatur, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
In my mind, the more sea salt, the better.

In my mind, the more sea salt, the better.

Instructions:

  1. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-by-8 inch baking pan with butter. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overlap on the sides.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate chips, Nutella, and butter.
  3. Form a double-boiler by setting the bowl on a medium pot of gently simmering water. The water level should be low enough that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Scape the mixture into the prepared pan, spread the top smooth with a spatula, and sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate until the fudge is firm, at least 2 hours.
  5. Cut the fudge into 3/4-inch squares. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil. Sprinkle again with more sea salt if desired.

3) Peppermint Meltaways: 

My mom makes these every year and they’re divine. Found these fun recipe cards from Savvy Eats and attached them to the Christmas cards I sent out.

Mmm mmm.

Mmm mmm.

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Grilled Cheese Deliciousness

There’s nothing like homemade grilled cheese on a crisp New England fall day. On Monday afternoon, I had a need-you-in-my-mouth-right-now kind of hankering for greasy comfort food, but was looking for something a bit more unique than some halfheartedly thrown slabs of American cheese on Wonder bread. Now, I want to preface this by saying I don’t do much shopping at Whole Foods, but in my intense tunnel vision for nom, my stomach made an overriding decision that good grilled cheese was something worth irrationally splurging on. [Side note: I now feel compelled to vent about Whole Foods. Um, have you seen their elaborate cheese counter? I was so curious by some of their options, until I realized one goddamn ounce of cheese would cost me $17.50. How does anyone justify that purchase?? Okay, had to get that out of my system…moving on.]

I picked up a loaf of rosemary olive oil bread (really flaky and left a mess on the counter later, but all in all delicious) with three types of cheese: brie, extra sharp cheddar, and gruyere.

Like I said a couple posts ago, I really am a sucker for anything salty and sweet at the same time, so I picked up some fig jam for sandwich spreading. Guacamole then caught my eye and anyone who knows me understands my inability to resist avocados in any shape or form.

Got home and voila! A really good lunch.

The perfect pair isn’t a PB&J, it’s GC&TS. You know what I’m talking about.

Quick, Healthy, Stir Fry

After days of traveling, which seemed like weeks, I needed a meal that would satisfy my taste buds and restore my body. I decided to whip up some stir-fry. First I made some brown rice, and let it sit on the back burner while I sautéed a myriad of veggies. After a light, relaxing run, it felt amazing to chop bright, ripe vegetables knowing that they would be doing my body good. Snow peas, red and yellow peppers, mushrooms, carrots and broccoli were all sautéed in my own special stir fry sauce that I’m willing to share exclusively on Goalie Spoon.

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Mackler Stir Fry Sauce: The ingredients must never be measured, only eyeballed. First, a thin layer of canola oil needs to cover your stir-fry surface. Then, add three-ish pinches of ground ginger, a little bit of onion powder, about a half a teaspoon of minced garlic, and a splash of soy sauce. Then add all of the vegetables your heart desires, and sauté to perfection.

Adding a few spoonfuls of soy sauce and a couple squeezes of lemon juice to your grilled chicken (while it’s still sizzling) will give it just the kick that it needs to keep up with the veggies. Brown rice is my favorite, but pour your steaming sliced grilled chicken and delectable vegetables over whatever type of rice you’d like, and enjoy this homemade Goalie Spoon specialty.

Wet Burritos

Tonight my freshmen year roommate (star volleyball player Kellie Catanach) and I made some Wet Burritos. Inspired by a recipe we found online, we decided to cook these suckers up.

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Wet Burritos

They were absolutely delicious and pretty easy to make! We fed four people generous portions for about $35 total and it only took about us about 10 minutes to shop for the supplies. Check out the recipe here. Basically, you cook up some ground beef, onions and refried beans to roll up in your heated tortillas. Then, you cook some bean-less chili, condensed tomato soup and enchilada sauce and pour it over your beloved burritos. Sprinkle some shredded mexican cheese on top and microwave for 1-1.5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Finish by sprinkling shredded lettuce, red and green onion and chopped tomatoes on top. To top off our mexican creations, we decided to gingerly drizzle some hot white queso across each burrito. We had a lot of fun cooking this authentic mexican meal together. Goalie Spoon recommends this recipe to any and all mexican food lovers.

Mr. Hommel’s Meatloaf

It’s not always mom who knows where the meatloaf is. Mr. Hommel, the father of one of the best attackers on the team, made this delicious meatloaf for us the other night. Mrs. Hommel made all of the side dishes including an incredible crumb cake! Nothin’ like a good home cooked meal.

Mr. Hommel's Meatloaf

Mrs. Hommel's Crumb Cake

Thank you Hommels! Love, Goalie Spoon.

You’ve been invited to a very informal dinner party…

First off, if you haven’t downloaded the iPhone app, Red Stamp, please stop reading this blog and do so immediately. Red Stamp, for lack of a better word, is awesome. And hilarious. In its most basic sense, Red Stamp is an online card app used for, say, sending your friends a more personal birthday message than a mere Facebook wall post. Trust me, when your download is complete, you’ll be gushing about it just as much as I am. Anyway, to tie this all in, last night I felt in the cooking mood and had several friends and neighbors stop by and have a bite to eat. It wasn’t anything fancy, just some good food and even better company, but Red Stamp’s cute little invitations somehow made the whole affair more memorable, as opposed to what it really was: people eating spaghetti.

Now, on to the nom. On the menu for last night was spaghetti topped with shrimp, goat cheese, and vodka sauce, with a baked sweet potato on the side. Obviously, you can easily find all these things at Kroger, but for those of you on the “financially-savvy, I’d-rather-use-food-points” side, Uncle Harry’s General Store on Central Campus has a surprisingly diverse inventory. I was able to pick up the pasta, goat cheese, sauce, and shrimp (P.S. Harry’s also stocks salmon, steak, and more…who knew?!) from there, and then went to the supermarket for the rest of my cooking needs.

Unfortunately, no matter how hard I try and remember…I will always forget to take cool Instagramable photos of the whole cooking process. All is not lost though, as I did snap one picture of the meal-in-the-making, so here you go:

Last, but not least, we had pumpkin cupcakes for dessert! The recipe was unbelievable, and I know I’ll most certainly be making them again. We finished the entire first batch in one sitting, but low and behold, there was some extra batter and frosting left over so I was able to whip six more cupcakes up this morning. They’re currently sitting in our locker room fridge, patiently waiting for someone with a sweet tooth to stumble upon them…

Everyone was a member of the Clean Plate Club last night.

This morning's batch. Who will reach them first?

I always have a good time trying out new recipes, and I’m exceptionally grateful last night’s cooking experiment didn’t result in a small grease fire. This actually happened the last time I used my Central Campus kitchen – that particular story ended with a fire explosion making the outside of my apartment look like the stunt set of a Mission Impossible movie. Luckily, I was okay (I still don’t quite know how), and learned firsthand to never throw water on burning oil (and by the way, why was that never covered in my 6th grade Home Ec. class?). Anyway though, last night the food turned out well…but that wasn’t the best part. In my mind, the real point of any good meal is sharing it with others. The dinner party last night consisted of a pretty random group of people – friends from high school, neighbors, and roommates – who didn’t all know each other before sitting down to eat at my tiny table. Food is sometimes the best way to meet another friendly face on campus, and it seems as if everyone seemed pretty happy and content after our carb-crazy feast.

Preseason Breakfast (Durham, NC)

Ah, nothin’ like an 11:40 class to ensure enough time to cook a proper breakfast, especially in preseason. With two 2.5 hour classes and a 3 hour practice on Tuesdays, I need to make sure I start the day off right.

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Turkey & Cheddar 1-egg 2-egg white Omelette, Grapes, Strawberry Yogurt

Although I don’t consider myself a cook [yet], I do take pride in my omelette making abilities. This morning I whipped up a 1-egg, 2-egg white omelette with a subtle sprinkling of freshly grated cheddar and one slice of turkey, split into bite-sized bits.

Why 1 egg and 2 egg whites? It’s my way of ensuring that I get the nutrients that I want from my omelette without a getting a nutrient overload (too much fat in my meal). I get the good cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids in the yolk that I’m after without eating 3 whole yolks. Supplemented by two egg whites, a sensible omelette that our team nutritionist would approve of is born. Made complete with a garnish of grapes and strawberry yogurt, this breakfast is fit for the fiercest of preseason days. I’m lucky to live in an apartment complex with most of my good friends and even luckier yet to have a fully functional kitchen, too. That’s all for this morning’s post, check back soon!

Cookies, Milk and Disney Movies (Durham, NC)

What better a snack for a Sunday night than milk and cookies?

My roommate Hannah and I have decided to try to watch every Disney movie before the end of the semester in an effort to try to preserve our youth after seeing a really terrifying commercial. It was a life insurance commercial that really spoke to us in a truly horrifying way. It went something like, “your desk: Where you spend most of your life… collecting money for your children.”

YIKES. We realized that as it seems, realistically, starting next year, that very description will be the epitome of our lives. Either way, Disney movies always make everything better.

Tonight’s feature films: The Sword and the Stone and Pocahontas. Classics.

Just for the record, Pocahontas is still the best romantic tragedy since Romeo and Juliet.

Go make some cookies and snuggle up with a Disney movie. You won’t regret it.