Monday, August 29, 2016

Simple Recipes for Surviving First Apartment

It's been a great summer here and although there's so much to love about the Fall, I feel a little sad to see the summer go. I'm so grateful all of my kids have been happy, healthy and home and I have thoroughly enjoyed having them here.
 Over the past week with the reality setting in that two of my three beloveds are going back to college, and I know denial won't stall this fact, I've been thinking of things I might do to help send them off and get them settled.
 My daughter Bella is starting her Junior year at Lesley University and has decided to rent an apartment in Boston with a few of her friends. It's such an exciting opportunity for her and yet it will be a big change because they won't have the luxury of going to the cafeteria for a quick meal before or after class!  As mom, I don't want her to starve or only eat ice cream and tortilla chips.
 So when she asked me recently if I might write out a few easy food recipes to help her get started I thought that was a great idea. She's a great help around the house, but she's simply not used to preparing her own meals.
 Then it got me thinking that would make a great cook book collection for young adults starting out-something like

"Simple Recipes so you won't Starve in Your First Apartment" .

For now, I will start with a small collection of hand written recipes I can send along with her. And maybe a bag of groceries or two.
The first three I thought of are Big Salads, Basmati Rice with Fruit and Cashews and Avocado Quesadilla's. Each are healthy, fresh, with minimal ingredients and easy to prepare.
Big Salads at our house are simply a combination of fresh chopped leafy greens, fruit, nuts and vegetables with a light home made dressing of balsamic vinegar, honey and garlic and maybe a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
The Avocado Quesadilla's are thin slices of avocado, sharp cheddar cheese grilled with two buttered tortilla's and browned on a skillet until the cheese melts. The Basmati Rice dish is something so simple that I've made for years especially in the fall when everyone seems to head in different directions and you need something ready made to grab and go.

Basmati Rice with Blueberries and Cashews

1) Cook the rice as directed. Basically it's one cup rice per one and a half cup of water and a dash of salt. Let the water boil then reduce to simmer for about 20 minutes. Basmati rice has a nice nutty flavor that is great for adding and blending in different fruits and nuts of choice.
2) Mix into the rice a cup of fresh blueberries and a cup of chopped cashews stir until blended.
3) Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, the blueberry juice from the fresh blueberries will melt into the rice a little and the combination is so simple and good.

We have also made this rice dish with fresh peaches, we often add the peach juice to give it a sweeter taste or we add pecans instead of the cashews. When winter arrives and there is less fresh fruit available we opt for mixing in frozen spinach with the cashews and rice instead then adding salt and pepper to taste and a Tbsp. or so of butter for a bit of creaminess.

And I hope she knows she can always come to visit and I will make her something to eat.