Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WTF--(is in my cupboard?)

Before I start today's topic, I have an awesome story to share:

Yesterday morning, I met Nicole Ducleroir! If you think she's awesome and entertaining and all-around amazing over the web, you should meet her in person! We had a great time, and ended up chatting for 2 and 1/2 hours. Yowza! Can't wait to do it again!

That's me on the left, looking all awkward in the photo as usual. And that's Nicole on the right, being all photogenic and wearing a beautiful sweater. And if you're wondering why 2 Georgia-living ladies are wearing sweaters in August--Starbucks is friggin' COLD! 

is in my cupboard? 

Ahhh, dinner. We all have to eat it. A lot of us have to make it. At some point or another, we all dread those six letters. 

Even though it's been a couple years since we were living the college dream, mine and E's cupboard/fridge doesn't always reflect that. I'm a lazy shopper at best, so I'm often stuck with the dinner panic and next to nothing in my cupboard. 

What to do? 

Make a random recipe of awesome, of course. 

Since this happens fairly often, I'm going to share these very random, quite basic experiments that turned out quite tasty. 

With photos. Because nothing says Julia Child like taking pictures of your dirty stove. 

Italian Sausage Goulash and Nacho Cheese (makes no sense together, right? WRONG!) 

1. This isn't actually goulash. I have no idea what to call it. 

So, here's what I had on hand:

1 Italian sausage (beef) 
A few cans of black beans
Tortilla chips 

So here's the dilly-yo:

Cut up that sausage and brown the meats. Careful--it spatters! (No cooking naked.) 

Since I'm cooking for 2, I only used one can of each. I drained the Rotel, but not the black beans. 
At this point, I also put in a hearty spoonful of minced garlic (can't have too much!) and diced a vidalia onion. 
Cook for a while--you know, till everything's nice and soft (aka, done). 

I cooked some brown rice to go with this, but we ended up not using it.

This part is easy. 

For whatever reason, I decided some homemade nacho cheese would be good with this, despite this's decidedly Italian feel. 

A lot of homemade NC is gross, but this recipe is the best I've made yet. I'll continue to experiment in the future:

1.5 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 c. milk
1 oz. cream cheese
1 c. cheddar cheese
1/8 c. monterey jack (I used colby jack, because that's what I had) 
1/2 tsp. chili powder (I used more)
1/4 tsp. paprika 

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, stir in cornstarch. 
Pour in milk, add cream cheese, and stir until smooth. 
While stirring, mix in shredded cheddar and jack cheese. Once smooth, add chili powder and paprika. Stir until well-blended (only about 5 minutes.) 

We ended up pouring the cheese on top of the fake-goulash, and it tasted awesome! 

So next time you're wondering WTF to have for dinner, maybe you should look a little harder at those random cans in your cabinet... 

PS: I never claimed this was fat-free, low-fat or in any way healthy. :) 


Christine Danek said...

Isn't it fun meeting fellow bloggers. That is awesome. Nicole is so sweet.
The recipe looks so good. Thanks for sharing it. I may try it sometime.

Matthew MacNish said...

OMG that's awesome! Nicole rules (you're pretty darn cool yourself too Summer). Also those sweaters look pretty appropriate for all the fog and gloom that's been the weather around here lately.

Great recipe too! Thanks for sharing.

Anne Gallagher said...

I am so jealous you guys met up with each other. There's quite a few of us that live down here, I wish we could all get together and have a giant sleepover.

I don't know how long it would take to get from NC to GA but if I could get my mother to watch Monster Baby for the weekend I'd do it in a heart beat.

Unknown said...

Wow what fun!!!! I plan on meeting my blog friend Meredith in September and I'm so excited!!! Pictures to come! You two are so cute!

Look at you having a knack for creativity in the kitchen!!! I need to be a bit more creative with my recipes, especially since I always have something in the house...

Hannah said...

Awww, I'm jealous of your chat!! But I guess, I get to chat with Teebore and Falen on a regular basis but we've known each other forever, it doesn't count!

Huh, I can't make random things for me and the Man because he's all gluten-free now. Sigh. Pasta was such an easy thing to make. Now I have to make tons of rice and meat dishes. It's an adjustment.

Unknown said...

I had such a great time yesterday, Summer! Can't wait to do it again :D

That meal looks mucho delicious. Wednesdays and Thursdays are my nights to pull out whatever's left in the pantry and "create" new dishes. Now I'm feeling inspired for tonight! Thanks!!

Crystal Cook said...

That's so cool that you got to meet Nicole! FUN! I keep waiting to run into somebody who blogs here in utah because it seems like there are a ton of writer bloggers from utah.

Anyway, that recipe looks yum. And I commend your bravery for trying such a combination of ethnicities :)

Jessica Bell said...

I love Nicole! Damn, I wish I lived in America sometimes ... I would have loved to join you both!

Are you a writer? Then you MUST enter this CONTEST!

Old Kitty said...

You and Nicole Ducleroir look lovely!! It's cold in the summer there? Oh dear! Mad weather - but glad you had a great time!

Dinner sounds and looks gorgeous!! Well done you - your creativeness extends to your dinner and what a result!!!

I love the pics!!

Take care

Lola Sharp said...

Y'all are so cute! I wish I could have coffee with you two, but I'm thrilled you two met up. You're so you have someone to attend Ga/ writers conferences with. :)

And...NOW I"M HUNGRY!!!!

Jean Michelle Miernik said...

Mmm... Inventing dinner on the fly with what's in your kitchen is SUCH a vital skill! I've "discovered" some of my favorite dishes that way. What writer has time to go shopping, anyway?

Melissa Hurst said...

Aw, you're so lucky to meet a blog friend for reals. I'm in Georgia, too, but none of my blog buddies live close to me (Seems like all the GA writers are in the northern part of the state).

That recipe looks wonderful! I'll have to try it sometime.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you got to meet Nicole - that's cool!

Saumya said...

That's so cool!!! And the food looks delicious. I really need to learn from you haha. Today, I'll be having a $5 footlong from Subway.

Anonymous said...

I've made the mistake of frying up bacon in my boxers. I mean, while wearing only boxer shorts. I'm hot and all, but I don't think I could fry bacon *in* my boxers. Er...yes. :D

Anyhow, yeah. Get dressed before frying up things that splatter. That's just good advice for everyone.

Also: don't try to fry bacon in your boxer shorts.

Also also: Awesome that you got to meet Nicole! Did she say she was sending me a Cotes du Rhone? I hope so. ;)

DL Hammons said...

Two of my favorite blogging ladies in the same spot...and I missed it. You need to schedule for this to happen again during Labor Day weekend when I'll be in Atlanta!!!

And OMG...I'm sooooo hungry right now!! :)

The Words Crafter said...

I'm glad you two had fun! You are so much braver than I am. I would never be able to look in my cabinets and figure all that out. Bravo!

Talli Roland said...

I'm so jealous you guys got to meet! Wouldn't it be fab if we could have a bloggy reunion. Sigh.

You've made my stomach grumble with these photos! I'm starving now.

DEZMOND said...

I believe this is called a fusion cooking, I do it every day myself - just fuse everything you have in the fridge and cupboards :)