All I Want to Do…

I have developed an excellent idea.

For my 21st birthday, I want…

1) To get each of my friends to take about $40 and exchange the bills for Sacagawea coins (they look like gold coins AND are legal tender)

2)Everyone takes a sack and puts their coins in it

3)We reserve a dinner place at a restaurant that serves decent meat/fish/alcohol under the party name “Riot”

4)We bring a roll of aluminum foil to the dinner

When we go to the restaurant, they will call “Riot, party of nine?” or whatever, and that will be our cue to walk normally to the table set up for us.  When they leave us to muse about our drink options, we pull out the aluminum foil and everyone crafts their own viking hat, preferably with horns.  When the staff comes back, we order alcoholic beverages for those it is legal for, including myself, and request that every drink comes in a glass mug.

Everyone orders meat, fish, or soup.  No salad pansies!  If you’re a vegetarian… umm… I hope the soup is vegetarian.  If you’re vegan, I doubt you go to restaurants.  A toast is made, and everyone clanks their mugs.  Eat with gusto, and have a good time.  Try to not totally annoy all of the other diners.

Pay for your meal in coins.  We leave the sacks in a pile in the middle of the table with gratuity and probably a little extra tip left in stacks around the sacks.  We do not wait for processing.  The point of the cash payment is so that we don’t wait for card processing.

We storm out happily with our tin foil hats!

We imagine the faces on the staff when they get to count out and fill their registers with golden coins!

Trader Joe’s Green Bean Casserole

The aim of this recipe is to recreate the classic green bean casserole with fresher ingredients and use them in a super tasty way.  I don’t always write down what recipes I make up, but this one was so good, I wanted to share it. Can be made with approximately 100 calories per serving with omission of cheese.

Trader Joe’s Green Bean Casserole

1 Package (I lb, 8 oz) TJ’s French Green Beans (frozen)
1 cup TJ’s white button mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp butter
1 Pack (11 oz.) TJ’s cream of Portabella Mushroom soup
1 cup TJ’s shredded cheese (your choice, firm cheeses such as cheddars work well)
1 cup TJ’s French Fried Onions
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper, or to taste
½ tsp garlic powder

Use a microwavable and oven-safe 1½ quart bowl (Pyrex works for this), or two bowls, each 1½ quarts and one that is microwave safe and the other oven safe.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Start with the microwave-safe bowl, and prepare the green beans according to the microwave directions on the bag.  While those are cooking, saute the mushrooms in a small pot.

When the green beans are done, either leave them in the microwave- and oven-safe dish, or transfer them to an oven-safe dish, as the next part will include baking.  Drop 2 tbsp of butter onto the green beans and let it melt, stir to coat. Pour the Cream of Portobella Mushroom on the green beans, pour ⅔ cup of french fried onions, and ½ cup shredded cheese.  Add salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Stir to mix.

Cook in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, stir once more.  Top with remaining cheese and then with remaining french fried onions.  Cook uncovered for another 10 minutes or casserole is hot through and the cheese melts.  Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes before serving.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves 10, approximately 140 calories per serving

I am not an employee of Trader Joe’s, I am a customer and fan, though.

My Blog Begins

As I sit here, my boyfriend is playing Skyrim (my turn is next), and I am full of Thanksgiving leftovers.  I have a modicum of homework to finish for Monday, and I am clearly procrastinating on that front.

I made a new recipe yesterday, and am pretty proud of it, as I didn’t make so nearly a tasty version of it the first time.  The second time was easier partly because I was using things that were prepackaged.  Another plus was that I understood the green beans.  Sounds weird, but I cannot cook things as well until I understand the parts that make it up and what they need.  Then I can put ingredients together any which way and it will end up cooked, at least, and tasty at best.

I also don’t normally write my recipes down, as they are often created out of whatever leftovers are available.  College cooking!