More Royal Bangers Please!

We are in Royal wedding madness people and if you’re not you better jump on board!  The Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate was this morning and it was amazing.  Before I go into too much details about my royal morning let me talk about dinner. I dedicated Thursday night’s dinner and my breakie today to the lovely English couple!

I first want to say how ironic the big hype is about this wedding.  I actually made plans to watch the wedding but did I even know when Chelsea Clinton or Jenna Bush got married? Uh no oops! I think the real hype over this wedding is because the media and people are looking at Kate as Diana, also the fact that she is a commoner marrying into royalty.  And lets just say it, she’s about to become a princess (okay Duchess if you want to get technical) and that just makes everyone so excited to witness this magical day.

Pre-wedding night, or last night, I made bangers and mash with my dear friend Becky.  Bangers and mash, which is sausage and mashed potatoes, is a typical English dinner.  It is a quick easy meal that can be thought of as pub grub.  I made Ina Garten’s recipe and it was delicious! The mashed potatoes had mustard in them and they were literally amazing.  Ina didn’t give include gravy and that is my only suggestion.  So put your English eating pants on, grab a cider beer and dig in!

Ingredients

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

4 tbs unsalted butter

½ cup whole milk (I used 2%)

4 ounces crème fraiche (if you can’t find this sour cream substitutes just fine)

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp whole grain mustard

1 tsp dry mustard- if you don’t want to buy this it is okay to leave out!

1 tsp pepper

8 chicken sausage

Directions

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with 1 tablespoon of salt and enough water to cover the potatoes.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender.  Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan.  Add the butter, milk, and crème fraiche and beat the potatoes in the pan with a mixer (or just mash with fork or potato masher) until very smooth and creamy.  Add a little extra milk if they’re too stiff.  Mix in the Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, and dry mustard, 1 tablespoon salt, and the pepper.

Grill the sausages on grill or in a pan on the stovetop on medium-high heat.  Cook for about 5 minuets on each side!

Serves 4-6

We’re Doing the Bunny Hop!

The Easter bunny has been hoping down the bunny trail and he stopped by East Lansing to ask me to do some serious experiments this Easter…perfecting the hard-boiled egg.  I have been annoyingly attempting to peel eggs for years now and normally lose half the egg from the shell being stuck to it!  I decided enough is enough and tried a strategy for hard-boiled eggs I saw on the Food Network, and Giada de Laurentiis assures you that this is the perfect way to hard-boil an egg.

I put three eggs in a pot and filled the water to about an inch higher than the eggs. Once the water began to boil I took the pot off the heat and covered it. Then left the eggs for 10 minutes, then placed them in cold water for 5 minutes.  I was so excited to peels these and yep, same old annoying thing!  I lost half the egg in the shell and eventually gave up and threw the egg away.  So, let round 2 begin ding, ding, ding.  I did some more research and read that you should leave about an inch of water in the pot and peel the egg in the water.  I did this and it worked a lot better but not perfect.  I thought to myself whatever this is good enough, then my mom brought it to my attention that I had grabbed the eggs from the fridge that were already hard boiled for dyeing eggs.  So, if there is one bit of advice I can give you for boiling eggs it is to use fresh eggs and not already hard-boiled ones!

I had to do one more test to find out if I had really figured out the trick.  I boiled 3 eggs again (BTW I was using large eggs) once the water began to boil I covered it and let sit for 12 minutes then placed the eggs in a cold-water bath for 5 minutes.  As I began to peel the eggs in the inch of water the shell basically fell off! Bingo! Easter bunny I didn’t fail you!

Not Your Average Spaghetti

It is beginning to feel like spring. Well, sort of but if we keep our fingers crossed it will finally feel like spring in Michigan next week!  Spring makes everyone excited to go outside and eat fresh food that is light and full of flavor.  As college students, we’re always looking for the quickest, easiest and cheapest meal for dinner.  What is cheaper than spaghetti?  Let me tell you- squash!  Well spaghetti squash that is! It is an oval shaped yellow squash that when cooked turns into strands resembling spaghetti.

This week my roommate and I decided to cook up spaghetti squash.  This recipe is an original recipe that I came up with and is perfect for this time of year.  When I think of spaghetti I think of cold nights and warm noodles that make me so full I’m in a food coma.  Well this is a lighter version and super figure friendly!  This meal is one you could make for anyone and really wow them with your cooking skills and knowledge!

Ingredients

½ onion cut into long strips- I used Spanish but you can use whatever looks best to you!

4 garlic cloves minced- Ann and I love garlic so we used a lot, but I would say 2-3 is fine.

8 oz of mushrooms chopped in bite size pieces

2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

12 basil leaves- cut into ribbons

½ cup good red wine

Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

Directions

  1. Cut squash in half length wise, remove seeds. In baking dish fill with water 1 ½ inches deep and place squash with the inside facing down.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 15 minutes.  Repeat with other half.
  1. In a large skillet put in 1 tbs of olive oil and onions and sauté till onions become soft and translucent about 10-15 minutes.  Then add mushrooms and sauté till brown and smaller in size. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
  1. Now add the cans of tomatoes, basil, and wine.  Bring to a boil then turn to simmer to the let the sauce reduce.  Add ½ tbs salt and ¼ tbs of pepper.

  1. Hold the squash with a towel and use a fork and begin to pull the strands of squash.  Scrape as much as you can off and into a bowl.

  1. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

How the Dog became Hot!

He swings and it’s, it’s, it’s…out of here! I’m glad to announce that opening day has arrived!  Even though the Tigers first game was up against the Yankees, and their terrible curse of winning the last 11 opening games (including Thursday) I think we are all excited for the season to start.  Of course, the best food to pair with baseball is a hot dog, well a beer is one to challenge that, but I thought it would be fun to look into the history of the hot dog.  Now at first, this does sound a little scary because of what is said to be actually inside those dogs but let’s focus on the history.

The hot dog made its premiere in the famous Greek tale Homer’s Odyssey, which dates back to ninth century B.C.  Caesar’s cook in the first century A.D., and Bible scholar in the seventh century were founded discussing “the sausage”, but it is said that the “frankfurter” was developed in Frankfurt, Germany in 1484.  In 1987 Frankfurt celebrated the 500th birthday of the “frank.”  The other name we like to give the hot dog, “weiner” came from Vienna, Austria where they claim to be the inventors of the hot dog.  However, it’s ironic because the man who made the “wienerwurst” received his early training in Germany.

The hot dog made its way to us in 1867 when a German butcher opened up the first Coney Island hot dog stand in Brooklyn, New York.  It is interesting though because the name hot dog was developed in America because it only becomes a hot dog when it is served on a bun. This is different from Austria and Germany where they focus more on the sausage alone, making different sizes and spices.  At the Coney Island stand the sausage was served with sauerkraut and milk rolls.  It is also said that the dog got the name hot at a baseball game when the vendors were yelling out “they’re red hot!”

So, the rest is history on how America fell in love with the great game of baseball and the dog!

Here are three places to get hot dogs in East Lansing:

Conrad’s College Town Grill

101 E. Grand River Ave

(517) 337-2723

What’s Up Dawg

317 M.A.C.

(517) 351- DAWG

FIVE GUYS BURGERS and FRIES

623 E. Grand River Ave

(517)332-3483