I may have forgotten to mention this but after the school year ended, my roommates and I moved out of our dorm into an apartment just for the summer. We’re all staying here at school over the summer for research, jobs, volunteering, and classes. Even though our apartment is still technically a dorm since it’s owned by the university, it has an oven!!!
Having an oven is like a dream come true for me because it means I won’t have to struggle with finding creative ways to bake in a toaster oven. It was always a bit challenging playing with the toaster oven settings so that it wouldn’t over-bake whatever was inside. Ever since, my cooking/baking opportunities have expanded immensely. I’ve used the oven so often that I can’t go back; I definitely appreciate it after 2 years of being oven-less!
One of the many dinners I’ve cooked here with the oven are these turkey meatballs. It was actually my first time making meatballs and they were so simple I couldn’t believe I haven’t made them already. There are only four ingredients needed! While they were baking, I quickly made some pesto quinoa with celery. This was by far one of the best meals I’ve made and I definitely see more meatballs in the future
EASY TURKEY MEATBALLS
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
12 ounces (3/4 pound) ground turkey
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and mix until the mixture is evenly combined.
Roll the turkey mix into balls and space them out on the baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through (there should be no pink inside, and a thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F).
Orientation week has been crazy with moving in, helping freshmen move in, seeing everyone after an entire summer, and running around campus performing various errands. This year, I’m living in a 4-person suite with my 3 closest friends Margaret, Ting, and Jeana. We were soo excited to move into our awesome suite which has 4 single rooms, 2 bathrooms, a common room, and a kitchen! The kitchen is small but has a full refrigerator, 2 stoves, and our own microwave and toaster oven. Since we don’t have a conventional oven, our options for cooking and baking is a bit limited. Here is what our kitchen looks like!
For the past week, we’ve been eating out almost every meal at restaurants that we’ve missed over the summer. Today we went grocery shopping so that we could finally make a home-cooked meal. For dinner, I made chicken and spinach quesadillas, a combination I’ve never tried before. One problem though was that the only type of chicken I could find was sliced chicken prepared as cold cuts. I searched in 2 grocery stores, but nowhere was there to be found pre-made chunks of chicken! Taking a leap of faith, I used the cold cuts which actually turned out to be pretty good.
I realized that one of the hardest parts of cooking in college is getting all the ingredients. You start out with nothing and have to go shopping for so many items that it takes multiple trips to get enough ingredients. Quesadillas are on the easier side and are great for lunch and dinner considering there is little to no cutting involved and all the ingredients are pre-prepared. They are definitely a good meal for college students with limited resources or cooking ability to make. For healthier quesadillas, use whole wheat tortillas instead of flour tortillas!
Hooray for my first home-made college meal! 😀
CHICKEN AND SPINACH QUESADILLAS
1 whole wheat flour tortilla
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup spinach
2 slices of cold cut chicken (use chunks of chicken breast if possible)
Heat a frying pan to medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and spread it around with a spatula.
Place tortilla in frying pan and flip several times, with 15 seconds in between each flip. Once air pockets begin to form, flatten them with the spatula to let out the air. Sprinkle shredded cheese on one side of the tortilla.
Reduce the heat to low. Top cheese with spinach leaves. Break the cold cut chicken into small pieces and place on top of spinach.
Using the spatula, fold one side of the tortilla on top of the side with filling. Press down on the quesadilla with spatula to flatten and keep in place. Flip over the quesadilla. It should be ready when it is browned.
Cut in half and serve with guacamole (see Amazing Guacamole recipe).
Can you believe it is already the end of August? I feel like I just returned home and now I am already packing my suitcases again. Summer is quickly coming to an end and I still have so many recipes on my “To make” list!
I made this tart for a dinner at a family friend, Linda’s house last Friday. Since I had to work that day, I wasn’t sure if I would have enough time to make it. So the night before, I made the dough for the crust and chopped up the fruits.
The next day, I rushed back home after work and went straight for the refrigerator so I could get my dough. I rolled it out very thin and arranged the fruits in a pretty pattern.
The most challenging step (which really is not that challenging) was folding the crust onto the fruits without breaking it. Thankfully, my mom was there to assist with her expert dumpling folding skills! After that, I brushed the crust with egg and sprinkled sugar on it.
Just 30 minutes of oven-time later, I had a spectacular galette! Just in time for the dinner!
This beautiful fruit tart with a free-form crust is an iconic summer dessert. It is technically called a galette, which is a French dessert. It is literally overflowing with fresh nectarines, strawberries, and blueberries. The best part was how easy it was to make. The ingredients are simple and there are not many steps.
RUSTIC FRUIT TART (GALETTE)
2 nectarines, sliced
2 cups strawberries, sliced
3/4 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cubed
1/4 cup ice water
1 egg (for egg wash)
additional sugar for sprinkling
Filling: Mix fruits together in a medium bowl. Coat well with sugar and vanilla. Set aside and allow mixture to soak.
Crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add in the cubes of butter and mix until roughly blended.
Add ice water and stir with a fork until mixture becomes dough-like. Knead dough so it comes together. Shape into a ball and flatten. Wrap with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a thin 12-inch circle. Transfer to baking sheet.
Arrange fruits onto center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border on the outside. Fold the edges of the dough over the fruit carefully, making sure not to break it.
Brush crust with beaten egg and sprinkle additional sugar on it. Bake for 25-35 minutes (or until crust is golden brown).
Remove from oven and serve warm or at room temperature!
adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction