Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Food for Stomachs, Instead of for Thought

Right now, my stomach is threatening to explode if I so much as move wrong, so all my energy is going toward digesting all this food in my stomach instead of feeding the creativity center of my brain. Therefore, since I'm not going to bow out of my daily posting goal this early, I'm going to put up a couple recipes (even though I'm sure everybody in the world already knows how to make spaghetti and garlic bread, but I only have a couple readers anyways, so deal :P)

Spaghetti (the approximate language is to show that it's not exactly "use a calibrated ruler" science)
First, find a pot and put it on a burner. Then collect:
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
Open cans, dump into a pot, stir until it's all an even consistency, and turn the burner on (about 6 and a half for electric stoves, I've forgotten how high the flame needs to be for a gas stove sorry). Then add about a tablespoon (really, as much as you like) of each spice:
  • Minced Garlic
  • Minced Onion
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Salt (can you tell I like garlic?)
  • Again, this is personal taste- feel free to run wild with whatever's in the spice cabinet (just don't come crying to me if you put cinnamon and nutmeg in it and then it tastes weird)
 Simmer. The longer the better, though after an hour it's okay (no seriously you need to simmer- aka keep the heat on just low enough that it doesn't boil- for at least an hour, or what you'll get is a slop that tastes like tomatoes unless you get lucky enough to find a clump of spice. Simmering is what makes the flavor of the spices actually permeate the sauce instead of just staying all locked up in the little bits of leaf or whatever).

And then you boil spaghetti noodles and put the sauce on top (you could even go with a sprig of parsley if you feel like being fancy). I don't have to tell you how to boil noodles, do I? But there, if you somehow don't know how to make spaghetti: Easy and simple recipe that you can ignore for most of the time.

And now for the garlic bread recipe. If you wanna make garlic bread with your spaghetti, then approximately half an hour before your sauce finishes simmering, prepare the bread and stick it in the oven. When it goes in to broil, start the noodles. The noodles and bread should be ready at around the same time, so they'll both be all warm and delicious.

Garlic Bread (again, approximate language- melt some butter, toss spices in, spread on bread, bake in a tinfoil-covered loaf, then set the pieces apart and broil. That's the tl;dr version if you wanna skip some reading)
  • 1 french loaf (use whatever bread you like, but if you use a french loaf you get a good crust/bread ratio in each slice)
  • 1.5 sticks of butter (approx, or use margarine, or possible even olive oil if you really feel like it)
  • 1 (or 2 or more) tablespoons of minced garlic (just dip a spoon in the jar and spoon up a heap)
  • 1 (or 2, probably not more than that) teaspoons of garlic powder (can you tell I like garlic? XD)
  • Same amount of onion powder (if you like onions)
  • 1 tablespoon (or really whatever you like, this is just a guideline) of oregano (or you could do half and half of basic and oregano if you feel like it)
  • (fairly large) Baking pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Parmesan cheese (um I don't know what the estimate amount would be, just needs to be enough to sprinkle over the bread)
  • Appetite and a willingness to get hands a tad sticky
  • Slice the french loaf into slices (yes, you'll have enough butter even if you do thin slices, so it's up to personal preference)
  • Melt the butter, put in spices, stir (you can let it cool and solidify if you really like, but it isn't necessary. If you do, there's nothing about sticking it into the fridge that will make it go all wrong or anything)
  • Spread butter on both sides of the bread slices (yes, your hands might get sticky at this point- it's okay, just wash them when you're done)
  • Reassemble into a loaf on a baking pan (it'll probably be easier if you do this slice by slice)
  • Surround loaf with tinfoil (yes, the bottom too)
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 min (yes, this is approximate too- don't worry, if it bakes at too high or too low a temp, or for too short or too long, it really will be fine!)
  • After the 30 min are up, take out of the oven, lay down all the pieces flat on the pan (it's okay if some of them stick out over the edge! 
  • Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese (don't get too crazy, just a little bit per slice is fine, though of course if you really want to you can add more)
  • Stick back in the oven, but this tie you set it on low broil for about 10 min (you'll probably want to watch over the bread to really make sure it doesn't burn)
  • Pull out of the oven, nom
Voila! Try not to stuff yourself too terribly. Don't ask me for nutritional info, and this makes approximately (yes, I know, I'm having a love affair with the word "approximately" and we're having long, tacky PDA sessions. Deal :P) 4 meals (either make for a group of friends, or yay leftovers!).

Oh, and as long as we're on the topic of easy recipes, I'll toss in a plug for Sorted Food, a youtube channel dedicated to just that! Go watch if you want to become an amateur foodie (or if you're just tired of eating ramen and peanut butter and whatnot).

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