Five Days of Easy, Delicious Recipes

By- Maddie Borst

I have been talking about doing a cooking article in the Shofar since the very beginning of the year. I love to cook; this is a skill that my ridiculously talented father passed onto me. However, with senior year in full swing, cooking for myself has become a rare thing, and my bank account is running low with all the fast food between school and work. I decided I needed to stay home and do some cooking on my own, in order to save my bank account and my sanity. So I began a journey, I found five appealing and easy recipes that I can make on my own. And then I made them. To say the least, this was quite the food adventure.

Day 1:

So I was craving a good Panini, but I wasn’t willing to drive and pay $6-10 for a good sandwich from Panera Bread. Instead I searched Panini’s online and I found this recipe from foodnetwork.com:

Taleggio Panini

Directions

Spread pasta sauce between 2 slices of crusty bread and top with taleggio cheese; cook in a buttered skillet or Panini press.

Then I looked in my pantry, and I didn’t have, nor have I ever heard of, Taleggio cheese. So I used slices of mozzarella cheese instead and created a pizza Panini. I made a revised recipe and it goes something like this:

Pizza Panini

Directions:

Pizza Panini!

Spread pasta sauce between two slices of buttered sourdough bread slices and top with 2 slices of mozzarella cheese and pepperoni slices (optional). Then cook in a skillet or Panini press.

Day 2:

Today I was craving Mexican food, but again sitting in La Parilla or Agua Linda and coming out smelling like Mexican food was not the most appealing idea. I have used this recipe before, something my mom found years ago. It is absolutely delicious. It does; however, take the most time out of any recipes I found, but it is worth the time it takes. I got this recipe from about.com.

Ingredients:

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 28oz can of red enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups (16 oz) mozzarella or queso blanco, (queso blanco is better J)
  • 1 1/2 cups meat (optional) shredded beef or chicken
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil

Directions:

Coat each tortilla with oil using your hands or a brush. Spread out on a cookie sheet or baking dish and bake in a 500 degree oven for about 7 minutes. Take out to cool until they are warm to the touch.

The cheese can be shredded, or just cut into slices 3-4 inches long, and 1/4 inch thick. (Or thicker if you like them really cheesy.)

Pour just enough sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 glass-baking dish to cover it. Pour the rest of the sauce in a large bowl. Dip tortillas, one at a time, in the bowl to coat with sauce.

Lay the tortilla in baking dish and if you’re using the meat, put in about 2-3 tablespoons. Place the cheese on top of the meat. Fold one edge over the cheese, then the other one, then turn the whole thing over, folded side down, in baking dish. Repeat for each tortilla. Sprinkle any leftover sauce and/or cheese on top of enchiladas.

Place in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Day 3-

My mom makes spaghetti at least once a every 14 days, and it gets old. But I love spaghetti, so I found this recipe a few years ago that I could make myself from foodnetwork.com. There are several little things in this recipe that make the spaghetti different from the usual spaghetti your mom makes all the time.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 jar Pasta Sauce, (26 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, (or half as much table salt)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 pound Angel hair pasta, broken into thirds
  • 2 cups baby spinach or chopped kale
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, sauté the beef until it is browning in places and no longer pink —3 or 4 minutes.
  2. Add the sauce and cook, stirring, for a minute or two, and then stir in the salt, sugar, olive oil, water, pasta, and greens.
  3. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and simmer gently — stirring frequently so that the bottom doesn’t scorch —for 10 or so minutes, until the pasta is tender.

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Day 4-

I wasn’t ridiculously hungry, but I still wanted to make a quick delicious appetizer/snack. About 5 years ago, I was introduced to one of my favorite appetizer dishes of all time: Red Pepper Dip. It’s easy to make and really delicious.

Ingredients

-1 jar of Roasted Red Peppers (roasted is the key word)

-1 tablespoon of mayonnaise (not the low-fat kind)

-1 clove of garlic

-Extra Virgin Olive Oil

-Pita Chips/Tortilla Chips/ Toasted Bread (to dip)

Directions:

1. Drain the Roasted Red Peppers from the jar and set aside

2. Place the clove of garlic in a food processor or blender and process until clove is broken up

3. Place the red peppers in the food processor/blender

4. Put tablespoon of mayonnaise in the food processor/ blender

5. Sprinkle some extra virgin olive oil into the blender and blend for about 20-30 seconds or until well blended

6. Sit down and enjoy your simple, delicious side dish

Day 5-

I was craving tacos and I had found this recipe from disneyfamily.com a long time ago, it has probably spent a few months on the bookmarks tab of my computer.  These didn’t turn out as pretty as they seemed to be in the pictures, but they were still absolutely delicious.

Ingredients

  • 8 tostada shells
2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
1 cup refried beans
1 medium green pepper – thinly sliced
1 medium onion – thinly sliced
1 packet (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup water
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese Shredded lettuce, diced tomato, salsa, sour cream and guacamole for garnish — optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine taco seasoning, water and limejuice and stir well.
  3. Pour half of the taco seasoning mixture over the shredded chicken and the other half over the pepper and onion.
  4. Cook chicken in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the sauce starts to thicken slightly — 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken and keep warm. Add peppers and onions and cook until the sauce starts to thicken and veggies start to wilt — about 3-4 minutes. Remove and keep warm.
  5. Lay tostada shells on an ungreased baking sheet.
  6. Top each shell with 2 tablespoons refried beans, 1/4 cup shredded chicken, peppers and onions and cheddar cheese to taste.

Bake until the cheese just starts to melt — about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with optional garnishes.

Tostadas!

I learned a few new things about cooking on my five-day adventure and my bank account sure thanked me for it.  I hope I spread some cooking knowledge as well, if I can do it, so can y’all! Enjoy!

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