Dumb Cake

Okay, I feel like Chicago has made its point. Yes, we get that you can get cold. Good job. Now can we go back to bearable temperatures? Pretty please?

Despite the cold, I managed to get out on Friday night to celebrate Tia’s birthday! We started out with a drink at Hub 51 before meeting Maya for dinner at Ramen-san.

Oh man. I know the photo doesn’t look appetizing, but those noodles are pretty darn good. I’m not super into the whole gourmet ramen thing (I’m pretty partial to the cheap instant noodles I can make at home, packed with MSG), but I can make an exception for birthdays and for this place’s kim chi and fried chicken ramen. Just the thing to warm me up.

Afterward, the gals and I stopped by my adult dormitory/apartment for a brief wine nightcap. It was definitely great to catch up in the middle of a lot of craziness for all of us (wedding planning, interviews, school, those little things).

Unfortunately (or not), that was the last time I was outside my building as the temperatures quickly dipped below what I consider acceptable for direct Christina exposure. So, to make up for my lack of fun things to write about, my unappealing food photo above, and because Chris and I have been fantasizing about dessert, here are some pics and the recipe for a dump cake I made over the holidays with my family:

Super easy to make! I remember reading about these on the Fitnessista’s blog, and Chris’s mom actually made one for my birthday during one of our recent visits to Michigan. I took it as a sign that I should give it a try, too, and I was not disappointed.

It’s literally just combining a can of cherry pie filling and a can of crushed pineapple in a baking dish, pouring a box of yellow cake mix on top, and drizzling a stick of melted butter on top of that. Bake it at 350F for about 50 minutes. When I told my dad what it was called, he thought I said it was a DUMB cake because it’s so easy that even the dumbest baker wouldn’t mess it up (hence, today’s blog title – Chris suggested “Taking a Dump”). Works either way, I suppose. My 4-year-old nephew was also a fan and wanted to sit in front of the oven until it finished baking so he wouldn’t miss getting a piece. Then I distracted him with Legos.

Anyway, hope that helped kick off your week in style! Mmm…now I want some cake.

Like I Would Skip a Meal

In today’s edition of: Yes, Mom, I am still eating regularly and (somewhat) healthfully…

Breakfast – Homemade breakfast sandwich with wheat toast, some deli turkey & cheese, a fried egg, and sriracha. Sorry about the messy plate; I like my yolks runny.

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Lunch – Stir-fried lo mein with pea pods, celery, broccoli, and shrimp.

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Dinner – Chicken fried rice and brussel sprouts.

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See? I know how to take care of myself.

That’s not to say that there hasn’t been a good amount of free greasy pizza lunches at school events.

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It ain’t pretty, but it’s free. And begrudgingly delicious.

Question of the Day: Do you have family members nagging you as well? Let’s commiserate.

Newsworthy

Lots of stuff going down tonight. Jon Stewart’s last Daily Show. The Republican presidential debate. This chicken dinner:

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Chicken breast marinated in ketchup and soy sauce, Brussel sprouts splashed with olive oil, everything seasoned with garlic salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Bake for 20 minutes at 450 degrees.

As for the debate, I’m really only watching to see what Trump does. The last time I liked him was when he hosted The Apprentice. The original version, not the silly celebrity version. Today’s Trump is cray.

Question of the Day: Which fictional president would do the best job in real life: Fitz from Scandal, Selina Meyer from Veep, or Frank Underwood from House of Cards? Or other? Fitz is clearly too distracted with his love life to run a country, so I vote Underwood all the way.

Weekend Eats

Ah, Sunday, we meet again. If only you could cram a few extra hours into your schedule so we could all keep Monday at bay. Alas, that is not possible. Because of how days work.

Anyway, hope everyone had a great weekend! In typical fashion, I ended up eating my way through mine. On Saturday, my former apartment building had a cookout on its sundeck where I stopped by to grab some lunch. There was a decent spread available, including burgers, brats, chicken, corn on the cob, pasta salad, chili, fruit, and gelato. Unfortunately, the servers were only allowing each person to get one type of meat – Boo…

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Okay, twist my arm, I will still eat any brat offered to me.

From my former apartment to my new one! That night, I also had a few good friends over for a semi-housewarming dinner. When I was trying to find something easy to make that would satisfy a group, I came across this recipe on Pinterest and decided it was happening. Doesn’t hurt that it comes from a website called Cooking and Beer which I’m going to have to continue checking out because those are two of my favorite things.

I would say the Lemon Chicken Pasta Bake was a success though!

IMG_3049Nom nom nom. (Please ignore the Michigan paper plates. A certain Wolverine I know was tasked with providing the disposable dishware for dinner and claimed these were the only option available. Wildcats > Wolverines!)

I also threw together a salad made with baby spinach, sliced green apple, chopped walnuts, and goat cheese.

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Served in a super classy mixing bowl, as you can see.

My friends rounded out the meal by bringing delicious wine, cookies, and their generally awesome company 🙂

Today felt like a good day to be fairly lazy, but only if I could top it off with another yummy meal.

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Baked italian sausage, green peppers, and onions, served over white rice. Super easy to make, and goes great with a side of free movie rental from Google Play. Chris and I watched Ex Machina which was a little creepy, but kept my attention the entire time. Worth checking out if you’re into semi-futuristic, technological thrillers.

Question of the Day: What are your Sundays like? I feel like I keep it pretty chill at the end of the weekend, although I sometimes keep it pretty low-key through the entire weekend. I can sometimes be old-lady-like in that I only have energy for one big activity per day. Going to have to step it up soon once I’m back in school mode!

A Minute to Talk About Pasta

Sometimes you just need some noodles in your life.

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(Made with whole wheat spaghetti, wilted spinach, sauteed onion and broccoli slaw, and spicy marinara sauce. Topped with seasoned Parmesan cheese.)

By the way, for the first time I tried salting the pasta water as it was boiling when I made this dinner last night and BAM. So much flava. 10/10. Would eat again.

Question of the Day: How do you like your noodles? Al dente, all the way. But really, I’ll eat any kind.

al dente