Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cold Remedies

Being sick sucks. No matter where you are or what time of year it is, having a cold really bites, even if it's just a nagging sore throat and a runny nose kind of cold. When I was a kid, other than providing me with a steady supply of cough drops, my mom's go-to cold remedy was warm chicken broth with parsley. It was simple, but it served the dual purpose of providing some protein and soothing my sore throat.

As I got older, I came across new remedies from different people and different places. Sure, I still love my chicken broth and parsley, but my boyfriend prefers straight up chicken soup from the can. Similar, but just a bit different. That's the theme I noted with a few of the other remedies I've found.

This post is going to be a collection of simple recipes for simple remedies, so you can keep that robitussin on the shelf and hopefully lay off the cough drops for a bit.

**NOTE: None of these remedies are intended to cure or treat any severe illness. Always consult a doctor for any severe or persisting medical problem.**

Thursday, March 9, 2017

How to Clean Out Your Fridge and Freezer After a Power Outage

Image of local windstorm damage from the Democrat and Chronicle
Alright, everybody. This week's post is going to be a little bit different...

Depending on where you're from and what news sources you follow, you may or may not have heard that the Upstate New York area was hit hard by a windstorm that set some new records for this area. Hurricane-force winds (81 mph were recorded) battered the area, causing widespread damage to homes, trees, power lines, and countless properties. 150,000 homes were left without power, and now, 24 hours after the storm, many still don't have power.

My apartment complex is one of them, so here I am, writing from my parents' basement. It's a nice basement. They have heat and power here.

This week, since many people in my area are going to be sifting through their fridges and freezers, deciding what to keep and what to toss, I'm going to do my part to be helpful by making it a little easier to find out what's safe to keep and what needs to go based on how long the power has been out.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Veggie Chicken Noodle Soup

Earlier this week, my parents and I were rummaging through some old papers and photos when we came across this gem:

I was three or four when I wrote this, but even still, 20 years later, I was inspired by my budding culinary skill. How could I have possibly known that, when I was older and living in college, this would basically become one of my favorite comfort foods? Incredible, isn't it?

Maybe even kind of spooky....

At any rate, I never thought to post my dumb chicken soup recipe, because -- it's chicken soup. Who cares? Anyone can make it. Four-year-old me seems to be calling from the past, though, so who am I to say no? After all, I was just so darn cute back then...

So, it may be a simple recipe, but this one's for all the other budding chefs out there, no matter what your age. Mangia!

4 cups water
4 tsp Better than Boullion
1 cup macaroni (I used stellini because Nana used to use them for soup when I was little, so they fit the nostalgic spirit of the recipe)
3 carrots, cut into coins
4 celery ribs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil


This makes more of a noodle dish than an actual soup. Part of that is due to the fact that I had an odd amount of pasta left, so I just used all of it. If you want more soup and less noodle, either cut the macaroni to 1/2 cup or add more water.

In a saucepan, combine the water and Better than Boullion until you have a nice broth (you can also just use 32 oz of chicken broth), warming it on medium heat while you chop the vegetables and add them in. I suggest cutting the carrots first, since they're tougher than the celery.

Once all the veggies and spices have been added, turn the head up to high and bring the soup to a rolling boil. Add in the pasta, stir, and bring the heat down to medium high, keeping the soup boiling.

Cook for seven minutes (or however long your pasta suggests) before removing from heat and serving. Yum yum!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Bean Soup

Really, this recipe should be called "Bean Soup to Beat the Winter Blues," but then it would be a bear to find on Google. So, I followed my inner voice of SEO guidance and stuck to just "Bean Soup." While we're on the subject, if you ever want to find any of my recipes via Google, just type "Apartment Eats" followed by whatever you're looking for, and you should find it. For example, Googling "Apartment Eats Substitutes" brings up the Substitutes and Simple Scratches post, or searching "Apartment Eats blueberry muffins," at least for me, the first four hits are for different muffin recipes I've made that involve blueberries.

Aaaaanyway, I'm sure you all know how to use the internet at this point, so I'll talk about the thing you really came here for: Soup!

The story behind this soup is a little unusual, like most things I do (it's what happens when you live by the mantra of "I guess I'll just wing it and see what happens"). I was rooting through my cupboard and found a bag of assorted dried beans I'd bought a while back. I figured, huh, I've never tried making bean soup before, but it can't be that different from making any other soup...

So, I went to the store, raided the produce section, and came home, ready to make the soup... and then I realized you had to soak dried beans before you could cook them. Sorry, boyfriend. I guess we're having salmon for dinner tonight instead. He was pretty happy with the tradeoff.

I conned him out of dinner again the next night because I got caught up with some work outside of the apartment, and I missed dinner. Oops.

Determined not to continue my streak of baiting and switching my boyfriend out of a promised dinner of bean soup, I made SURE that I was home the next night... and the internet was out. Like blocked out. The people who run the apartment complex decided to do a purge of any internet accounts that weren't owned by people's real names (ie. anyone with a username other than their actual name got blocked, because who would do that in a college apartment complex...). I went to the office and the bookkeeper was out until the next day. So, without any recipe to guide me, I really had to wing it.

After about an hour of some trial-and-error-but-mostly-corrected-error cooking, I finally managed to produce a soup that was not only passable, but actually pretty good -- the beans were even cooked all the way through!

So, to save you the pain of having to dither around with temperatures and cooking times, I'll tell you 1) that bean soup is NOT "just like making any other soup" (it's a little more intensive), and 2) how to make the soup, step by step. It's really not so bad.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Spicy Teriyaki Salmon

As you may have noticed, I've developed a recent interest in marinades. They're a neat way to flavor your meat of choice while often adding an element of moisture and tenderness you otherwise wouldn't get. Salmon is especially awesome to marinate, since it's already an exceptionally flavorful canvas (kind of like a good steak).

Another neat thing about salmon, likening it to steak again, is that you can cook it anywhere from rare to well. The less cooked any meat is, of course, the more "risky" it is to eat, but that's generally a risk I'm happy to take (especially since it's a pretty negligible one).

For this recipe, you're going to need stuff you probably already have in your kitchen and some cuts of salmon (which, unless you're me, you probably don't have just sitting in your freezer). Ready to cook? Let's look!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Easy Sweet Tea

Hoo boy, has it been a busy week! I apologize for the delay! Monday was a day of job searching and voice acting. I injured one of my fingers on Tuesday, so it's been hard to type, and then family errands have kept me busy through Wednesday... So, here's Thursday and here I am!

Due to the busyness of this week, I never got to make the crock pot dinner I wanted to make, but I did finally figure out how to make a fantastic sweet tea. It's super easy, and since it's sweetened with honey, it's better for you than most sweet teas you could buy at the store.

The trick with black teas is brewing them just right so that you don't end up with bitter tea. It has to do with how hot the water is, how long it steeps, how much the bags are stirred -- lots of little factors. I've been trying for YEEEEEEEEARS to get this right, and I finally have, so please, enjoy this simple but not at all bitter sweet tea. I'm super proud of it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Juicing for Healthy Hair

Today, dear friends and readers, I would like to present to you a guest post, brought to you by the fabulous Rebekah Carter. She was kind enough to reach out to me earlier this week and ask if she could write a piece for Apartment Eats about juicing. Since I know you all are no strangers to smoothies and the likes, I said, “sure, why not!”
Rebekah is an active health and lifestyle blogger with plenty of experience in the world of fitness and dieting. Her juicing practices have helped her and her readers to lose weight, gain energy, and get more from their lives. After reading her post, I think I might give this juicing gig a try (and besides, I’ve been wondering what to do with these whole aloe leaves I’ve seen at the grocery store, since I’m pretty sure they’re not being sold for sword fighting purposes -- What! They’re, like, two feet long!).
Until I go grocery shopping for the week, here’s your Apartment Eats post for the first week of February: The Aesthetics of Juice: Juicing for Hair Growth, by Rebekah Carter.