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I’ve had more time than usual this week to enjoy things like cooking and baking 🙂 Though admittedly this recipe didn’t take very much of my time at all. I found a French onion soup recipe here (through Pinterest, naturally) and modified it just a little for my vegetarian needs. Also, I scaled it back a little because I didn’t need quite as much soup as it would have made. I somehow always thought that it would be too difficult to make French onion soup so I never tried. I was missing out! Basically the only effort I actually put into this was slicing the onions, the rest was just sitting and waiting.

My French onion soup consisted of:

2 sweet onions, sliced
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1 32-oz carton of vegetable stock
French baguette, sliced on the bias
Asiago cheese
I melted the butter in my slow cooker on high for a few minutes. In the meantime I sliced my onions and added them to the butter to caramelize them, which took about an hour (my house smelled so great at that point!). Then I mixed the flour, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and pepper in a separate bowl, adding them to the crock pot with the vegetable stock. Then it was smooth sailing, as I let it sit for 8 hours on low as I went about my day.

When it came time for dinner, I toasted the sliced French baguette and melted the cheese on top. I put the bread in the soup, sprinkled a little more cheese on top, and voilà! French onion soup!

Also, it is imperative that you listen to this and this while you prepare and devour this meal!

Kale chips

I have been reading rave reviews all over the internet for kale chips. I have tried kale before, in salads, and I truly don’t mind it. I like it only because it is so good for you, but it’s definitely not something I crave. Now I can officially say that I crave kale chips! They’re such a great flavor and a great replacement for potato chips (I like them even better!) and other salty, not-so-nutritious things. I may even try them crushed as a topping for popcorn, because I apparently love to do that (click here to share in my popcorn crazy).

Probably one of the most simple snacks to make, kale chips are just bits of kale torn into bite-sized pieces, sprinkled with olive oil and salt, and baked for 5-10 minutes at 300 degrees. You want them to be crispy but not brown. So easy!

Sweet potato cupcakes

I have a new favorite recipe for fall/winter sweets! Actually, this is pretty much tied with my recipe for apple pie cookies, but it definitely wins for cupcakes.

I roughly followed the recipe found here, but this is what actually went into these cupcakes:

1 cup brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup pureed sweet potato
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon

I combined all the ingredients (not in any particular order) then baked them for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. I topped them with my roommate’s cream cheese frosting recipe:

8 oz plain cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

These ingredients were blended until evenly combined, and spread on the cupcakes. I sprinkled a little more cinnamon on top and then, finally, enjoyed my cupcakes!


Udon noodles

I eat way too much pasta. It’s cheap, quick to prepare, and goes with so many things. Despite trying not to buy any during my last shopping trip, I did indulge a little and picked up some udon noodles. I have never worked with them before so I found a few different options to decide which I liked best. Here are the ones I enjoyed most.

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This one I made with my go-to sauce. It’s equal parts soy sauce and sugar, and garlic added to taste. It’s great for Asian food.

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This is a lighter, brighter option. I found this recipe here. It is noodles, tofu (which I substituted for the chicken because I’m a vegetarian), spinach, soy sauce, and lemon juice. I didn’t measure anything I added but I really liked what I came up with!

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This was me completely winging it, but it was delicious! I added equal parts soy sauce, terriyaki sauce, and sweet and sour sauce. I also put a little four in one Chinese hot mustard to spice it up. Yum yum!

Spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash on the menu tonight!

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Super easy to make! I cut the spaghetti squash in half, scooped out the seeds, placed both halves face down on a plate, and microwaved it for 10 minutes. I really love it with butter and brown sugar, but I’ve heard butter and salt is good too.
Mmmmm…

Arepas

Made arepas for breakfast, roughly the Hispanic equivalent of pancakes. Growing up in a half-Hispanic household, they were my favorite breakfasts. Now I can make them for myself whenever I want!

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Traditionally they are prepared in a more complicated way involving tools I don’t have, but this way that I learned from my mother is super easy.

Combine “Masarepa” (flour for arepas, found at Hispanic supermarkets) and water until it is possible to form little balls by hand. Flatten the balls into patties and cook on medium in a pan coated with butter. Cook both sides until slightly hardened (they won’t change color much), then remove and top with butter, salt, and the cheese of your choice. Enjoy!

Tofu recipe

As a vegetarian, I am always looking for great tofu recipes. I combined a few ideas and created this!

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Tofu (marinated in equal parts soy sauce and sugar, with garlic added to taste), white rice, and Craisins. Yum!