slubs in the city

Slub (adj): Maverick; unorthodox; independent in behavior or thought.


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cooking, slub style

As you may have gathered, the slubs love to eat. There are few things better than good meals shared with great friends. We firmly believe this.

I also love to cook. I cannot speak for all the slubs here, but I almost like to cook more than I like to eat.

Why I love to cook:

  1. Cooking and baking are great ways to show someone you care.
  2. Cooking is a great stress reliever.
  3. Cooking is a creative process.
  4. Finishing a meal or baking project means I have at least completed one project that day. Some days, I need that empowerment.

But, let’s be real. I am not the world’s best cook. I have had my fair share of horrible meals. Luckily, my housemates are kind enough to not say anything. (Side note: I have never had a batch of baking powder biscuits rise. Ever. I have never had yeast bread fail. My cakes always rise to perfection. But baking powder biscuits? The fail proof recipe for delicious homestyle goodness? I can’t do it. Anybody willing to show me what I am doing wrong, I would greatly appreciate it). Hence, it is always nice to have recipes on hand that you know that everyone loves and that are hard to ruin.

Today, I wanted to share with you some of the wonderful, nearly fail-proof, recipes that the slubs love. That we make all the time. Most importantly, all of these can be made on a budget, from stock pantry ingredients, and often from leftovers. Oh yes. The slubs know how to deliciously stretch a buck.

Quesadillas, Enchiladas, Breakfast Burritos

slub food

Okay, maybe not all of you have the following ingredients on hand all the time. The slubs do. Our go-to dinners tend to be Tex-Mex themed. We always have salsa, tortillas, and cheese. And when I say always, I mean when we actually remember to grocery shop. We also usually have green bell peppers and onions on hand. Bam! Dinner.

For Quesadillas, heat up a large nonstick skillet. You don’t even have to grease it, which means no added fat. You’ll get enough of that if you use the proper amount of cheese. Put a large tortilla in pan. It may have first been smothered in refried beans. If it was from the slubs, it definitely was. Place this side facing up.

Cover in lots of cheese: cheddar,Monterey jack, queso fresco, cotija, Chihuahua, mozzarella, feta, or a combination thereof. Slub commandment: Love all cheese. For example, after a night out dancing we put fresh chevre into a quesadilla and served it with pesto. YUM. Lesson: don’t discriminate against your cheese.

Add your favorite ingredients like diced green peppers, onions, scallions, tomatoes, summer squash, black beans, corn, cooked ground beef, and/or jalapenos. Sprinkle with just a tad more cheese. Add another tortilla. When the bottom browns, flip the quesadilla. Let the second tortilla brown. Flip onto large dinner plate. Cut. Enjoy with salsa.

Enchiladas. Put all or some of these above ingredients in a large tortilla. Fold tortilla around ingredients so it forms a snuggly pocket for the delectable ingredients. Put in a baking dish. Smother in enchilada sauce. Bake in 350 degree (400 if you are impatient, which I often am) oven until sauce starts to bubble. Serve with rice and beans. Slubs often make two enchiladas each. Usually because we think we can each eat two. We can’t. Enchiladas make excellent lunches.

Breakfast burritos. Wrap up favorite ingredients plus freshly scrambled eggs in a tortilla. You may even add leftover rice and beans from the enchiladas earlier on in the week. You would be right to do this. Enjoy on a Saturday morning or a lazy weeknight.

Homemade Pizza

our pizza always looks this good

Ordering pizza can be expensive. Especially when one of our favorite pizza joints is Galactic Pizza. Heavenly. Definitely not cheap. So we often make homemade pizza. This is great because it allows everyone to specialize their own individual pizza and use ingredients we already have in the house.

Because we usually make last minute plans, this is the best dough recipe I have found. 30 minutes and you have pizza crust:

Dissolve 1T of yeast, 1 tsp of sugar, and 1 tsp of salt into 1C of warm water. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Frothiness ensues. Add 2T of oil and 2 ½ C of flour. Slubs usually make this crust with whole-wheat flour. If using all wheat flour, replace the sugar with honey. Trust me. Combine and knead for about 5 minutes. Let rest for about 5 minutes. Roll out into individual pizzas (this makes about 4-5 decent sized individual pizzas). Bake at 450 for about 5 minutes or until the dough is no longer outwardly dough-y. I know. It was like I was born to write recipes.

Add sauce. You can use homemade or store-bought pesto or red sauce. We often used left over spaghetti sauce. An easy red sauce can be made by sautéing onions, garlic, and carrots in olive oil. Add a can of plain tomato sauce or diced tomatoes. Simmer. A little bit of sugar, butter, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano finish this sauce off.

Sprinkle with your favorite toppings and cheese. We like artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, spinach, feta/goat cheese, green peppers, onions, summer squash, pepperoni, tomatoes, olives, etc.

Bake until cheese is melty and starting to brown. If you’re feeling flush that month, enjoy with a spinach salad topped with pears, cranberries, sugared walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette. If not, enjoy with a spinach salad minus the fussy parts.

Garbage Soup

I love soup! It warms you up on a winter day, and is perfect to take to work the next day for a delicious lunch. I love the flexibility of soup as well. It is such a great way to use up vegetables that are going bad or grains that have been sitting in your pantry forever. Just throw everything in a pot. Done.

Ingredients you must have: onion and vegetable broth.

Ingredients that would be great to have: garlic, carrots, celery, bell peppers, grain/legume of some sort (I love farro, but you could use brown rice, lentils, quinoa, etc.), beans, kale (you can use spinach or another green, but we have found that kale holds up the best through reheating…also, it is delicious)

Ingredients that you don’t necessarily need, but make the soup awesome: diced tomatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, zucchini, squash, corn, parmesan rind, parmesan cheese (splurge for the real stuff for soup…it melts so well), for meat eaters add turkey meatballs

Sautee things. Add broth. Add grains, beans, tomatoes, and any frozen ingredients. Add parmesan rind for extra flavor. Season with things like basil, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and peppers. Simmer. Serve with grated cheese and homemade bread, preferably fresh out of the oven.

Splurge recipes. Once in awhile the slubs like to make amazing meals when we have extra money. Here are some favorite splurge recipes:

Risotto

Here is the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for risotto. It is wonderful because it uses goat cheese instead of mascarpone. Heavenly. Ree suggests about adding wine if anything goes wrong. This is very true. If you were to happen to add half a bottle of wine, or more, while cooking, you wouldn’t be alone. We’ve done it, too. And it was spectacular.

Cupcakes

We love cupcakes. Check out Laura’s post about cupcakes on her blog. Laura is the best cupcake maker ever. Although her cupcakes usually look too good to eat, we eat them anyway. Here is one of the slubs’ favorite cupcakes from this year:

yes. they taste as good as they look.

It is like a high-class camping trip in your mouth.

Finally, always enjoy your home-cooked meals with friends, a glass of wine, and laughter. Once in a while, eat until you are uncomfortably full and roll into the living room. Turn on 30 Rock, New Girl, Downton Abbey, or Lord of the Rings. Complain about how you are too full to move ever again. Get way too into the program you are watching. And then eat a cupcake.

slub love,

Kat

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slub of the week: Cannon River Winery

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Our slub love for a good bottle of wine knows no bounds.

My personal appreciation of wine has taken a little while to mature. It’s an acquired taste for some and certainly was for me. The first time I tasted a red wine, I was sure something had gone terribly, terribly wrong for someone to have wanted to do that to a grape. The first time I had a heaping plate of pasta and a nice, cool glass of Pinot Grigio, though, was an entirely different story. This is why wine has been around for roughly 10,000 years (according to my bestie Wikipedia, wine is estimated to have been first produced around 8,000 BC): a good glass of wine is incredibly appealing to experience.

A slub fav.

Yesterday, the slub house – which is now complete because NORA MOVED IN – and friends, aka Maddie Hansen and Kirsten Petersen, shared their immense appreciation for all things vino by volunteering to harvest grapes at the Cannon River Winery vineyard in Cannon Falls, MN. We had a wonderful, slubby time. The sun was out, blocked occasionally by the few wispy clouds that floated across the blue sky. It was a warm day, in the mid-80s, but a light breeze helped cool us down as we wandered through the rows of vines and harvested bunches of green and red grapes. The conversation amongst the volunteers was amiable. The grapes were ripe and sweet, and we sampled as we picked (which was definitely allowed). The clusters were easy to cut, although some grew around the wire that supported the vines in impossible ways.

Obviously this is not us. These people are beautiful and fashionable. In reality, the slubs looked very slubby whilst grape picking

We harvested three types of grapes – Prairie Star, Somerset (a table grape), and a new, experimental grape that has yet to be tested as a wine: Shannon. I kid you not. The grape was called Shannon, and I am going to fervently lobby for the wine to be called Shannon as well. The vineyard owner referred to Shannon as a “unique, special, flavorful grape”. I can only assume he meant to compliment me personally.

Having my own grape is reason enough to honor Cannon River Winery with the Slub of the Week award, but of course, there’s the little matter of the wine itself.

After grape harvesting we went to the Winery to purchase a couple bottles of wine for ourselves. Fortunately, the slubs have already had the distinct pleasure of tasting Cannon River Winery’s selection: in May, before graduation, we spent a day during Senior Week at the Winery tasting, learning, and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. We were given a rundown of the history of the Winery and allowed to smell a barrel of wine that was in production. The vintner himself (who is adorable and named one of the wines after his mother) explained to us the process of creating a new wine, including adding a certain amount of sugar to taste. He let us try a Riesling that was absolutely perfect, and when he mentioned that he might sweeten it a bit we all unanimously protested against it. After having ranked my wines from most to least enjoyable, and thoroughly cataloging my description of each wine on the provided menu, I purchased one bottle that day (the Graciela, which comes highly recommended by the slubs). Yesterday I made off with a Sogn Blanc and a Sogn Blush, both of which were a big hit at the tasting. Rest assured: the next few weeks of dinner at the slub house will be thoroughly palatable and classy events.

Inside the Winery

Outside the Cannon Rivery Winery, almost too cute to handle

So here’s to you, Cannon River Winery, for being the most enjoyable slub hub of the week. Your vineyard is idyllic and makes me proud to be Minnesotan. Your wine is beautiful – you’ve even converted me to your Mill Street Red, a feat which clearly deserves some sort of trophy of accomplishment. Always know that you have a very dear and special place in the slubs’ hearts.

For important information on visiting this honorary slub location yourself, go to: http://cannonriverwinery.com/

con amor,

shan