Icebox Corn and Pea Soup

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If there's an overarching rule that dictates what I cook in my humble Midwestern kitchen, it's a deeply instilled desire to waste less that ultimately sways my decisions. It's a trait I was born with, I'm pretty sure. I have one memory in which I must have been about six years old where I got rather upset that someone in the house was about to open a new box of cereal when there was one already open. (Or, it could have been that I really ...

Polenta Triangles in 2014

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I've come to love New Year's Day in a way I love no other holiday. Well yes, I do see the merits of adopting an "every day is the start of a New Year" philosophy, and I know I'd be much better off if I made resolutions more often than just in the fleeting moments of December, but there is something uniquely beautiful about January 1. I appreciate having a reason to look back on how much has passed and how I've changed over the ...

the tRuth About Kale and Butternut Squash Salad

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For me, kale is a tough cookie. Well, it's a tough green, but you know what I mean. It's a vegetable that took me a long time to warm up to, and one I'm still unsure of today. It's a texture thing for me. I do love my greens, but I don't particularly enjoy the sensation of nomming on green paper. In my book, kale is an ingredient, and not a straight-up food. It can either make a recipe a success or a disaster depending ...

Easy Brie-sy Sandwich

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Brie sandwiches are an easy, cheap, and tasty way to switch up your lunchtime routine without any extra hassle. Brie pairs well with so many foods -- it's an ideal mix-and-match sandwich staple. If you like a sweeter sandwich, you might try brie with a touch of raw honey and cranberry relish (think holiday bliss; pre-Thanksgiving euphoria). Brie, tomato, and turkey is a classic (move over, PB and J). Or, try my in-season favorite: brie with thinly sliced apples, arugula, and Dijon mustard (humble disguised ...

Battle: Ruthie vs. Oatmeal

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At the ripe age of 23, one would think I'd have learned how to cook a bowl of oatmeal by now. One would think. I mean, how hard can mixing oats, water, and maybe a dash of salt until it comes together in a goopy mass really be? For whatever reason, though, oats and I have never gotten along. My goopy mass unfailingly turns into a pot of too-dry clumps, or remains a soupy porridge that I'm sure would be appetizing to Goldilocks' bears, but not me. And when ...

Time Crunch: Grilled Veggie Sandwiches

If I had  TV show with a theme along the lines Rachael Ray's "30 Minute Meals," or any show involving simple ingredients that can be composed into something delicious in a minimal amount of time, this is what I would make for the first episode. All you need is a loaf of good bread, sliced. I used wheat sourdough. An assortment of veggies, chopped into bite-sized pieces. I used bell peppers, asparagus, onions, mushrooms and garlic. One or two types of cheese, grated or cut into thin slices. ...

Saucy Schedules

The first week of a new college semester is like reading a good spy novel. The minute details of what will become a daily and eventually weekly routine are unknown until the exact moment in which they first play out. Where will my new professors fall on the crazy/cool spectrum? What route will I take to my next class? Will I make friends with the random person I sit next to in class? I feel like a hero as I creep through my first week. The Mystery of What the Semester ...