Don’t Try The Caf’s Amphetameatloaf

“What the eye does not see, the stomach does not get upset over.”
-Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat

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_ _Nothing is less sexy than meatloaf. From the time I was old enough to understand how disgusting the term “meatloaf” was, I always groaned when I knew that’s what we’d be eating come dinner time. That’s not to say that I dislike the dish at all. In fact, I really like meatloaf… I’m a serious carnivore. So when I decided to make it for my boyfriend the other night, I thought I’d be witty and come up with a new name for the meal; I looked up both “meat” and “loaf” in my thesaurus (yes, I own a thesaurus, get over it) and came up with a new moniker… But when I told Nick that I was going to put the “beef brick” in the oven his response was: “you’re a beef brick!” Thanks honey. Ok, so that idea won’t be catching on any time soon, but you can kick up the simple meatloaf you usually make with the addition of bacon, this tangy sauce and a fun new name of your own—Flesh cube? Muscle bun? Good lord.

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Another Orange Soup…

“. . . the rich ate and drank freely, accepting gout and apoplexy as things that ran mysteriously in respectable families . . .”
George Eliot, Silas Marner

Butternut Squash Bisque

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_ _I’m not a brilliant person by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve never had my intelligence insulted more than when I was working through a temp agency my sophomore year of college. I was essentially hired to answer phones and file paperwork at a Section-8 apartment rental office, which I figured would be a breeze… until I met the woman I was going to be working with. She held loud, personal conversations on the phone while clients sat in the waiting room; she felt the need to explain to me how to alphabetize the applications; she insisted I rip up stacks and stacks of documents by hand (the office had a paper shredder)… but the highlight of my time there was the day she requested that I organize some papers in a binder and asked me if I was “OK”  to use a three-hole punch. I nearly had an aneurysm.

_ _When I hear the phrase “idiot proof” using a hole punch and making this soup now come to mind. Even if you CAN’T figure out a hole punch (no judgment… ok, a little judgment) you can still make this dish. It’s just about the easiest thing you can whip up and make your guests swoon.

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Not A Playa, I Just Crush A Lot… Valentine’s Dinner!

” . . . fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship; and pass the rosy wine.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop

Roasted Asparagus & Tomatoes with Eggplant Parm “Lasagna”

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_ _I’ve never really bought in to the craziness of Valentine’s Day… probably in part because until a couple of years ago I had never had a steady boyfriend to spend it with and I sounded like less of a bitter sadsack if I could act nonchalant about it all– tell people I just didn’t believe in lining the pockets of CEOs at Hallmark. I was taking a political and socially responsible stand!

_ _Well, February this year finds my boyfriend away training in Louisiana. As I sat thinking about how all weekend at work I’m going to have to serve food to annoying, glassy-eyed couples as they pet each other across the table, I decided that in order to have an excuse to make fancy food, drink (too much) wine, and eat my body weight in desserts, I would invite my friend Ana to visit me. I didn’t intend to make it a vegetarian meal; I honestly picked these particular dishes because I figured they would be light enough that I could clean my plate and still have room for approximately 2,000 cheesecake-stuffed chocolate strawberries. Finally, the perfect V-day celebration: a good meal, alcohol and slasher films… Ahh true romance.

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Ohhh Risotto…

“It’s the company, not the cooking, that makes a meal”
-Kirby Larson, Hattie Big Sky

Parmesan-Rosemary Risotto

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_ _Overall, I would consider myself to be a fairly rational person; I’m a recent college graduate (I see you sneering at my liberal arts degree… sssshut up) and I try to think through any major decisions. But I have what can only be described as cheese-related dementia. I have three true scenarios and a mini pop quiz for you:

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1. When I was 13 I developed a severe lactose intolerance. At my best friend’s weekly pizza-and-ice-cream movie night, did I a) resist temptation and stick to my toast and Lactaid milk; or b) insist on eating at least half a pie, a gallon of mint chip, and spend the rest of the evening  crying in the fetal position… every time?

2. Last week I came home and realized I literally only had bread, cheese and beer in the fridge (sorry mom). Did I a) walk the one block to the grocery store and buy loads of fresh, organic produce; or b) sigh, make an “aw shucks” hand gesture– to hide my glee, in case anyone was watching– and whip out the fondue pot?

3. During an overnight shift swiping cards at the dorms last semester, I called in an order for Domino’s “cheesy bread sticks.” When they were delivered, I discovered that although one side was cheesy, the other side had been covered in cinnamon-sugar. Did I a) grumble and toss it in the trash; or b) pause for half a second of contemplation before proceeding to devour the entire loaf?

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_ _If you know anything about what a disgusting human being I am, you answered B to all of the above. As I wrote that last bit I realized I should be far more embarrassed about it than I am… Basically this was my long way of explaining why I’m obsessed with this creamy, cheesy risotto. Granted, my anecdotes may have made you question my judgment in regards to… everything, but I don’t care. More risotto for me!

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Just Because I Love Orange Food…

“Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.”

-VoltaireSoup

Carrot-Ginger Soup

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_ _I went through a phase last winter during which time every dish I made turned out to be red or orange. They just felt so festive and in the desolate wasteland that is upstate New York in late February, you take what colors you can get. When you’ve dragged yourself home through the gray, slushy snow, and your commute has taken 30 minutes longer than necessary because Cornell students cross the streets en masse without even a glance to make sure that there isn’t a Mack truck barreling down on them… *deep, gasping breath after that run-on sentence* A hearty, spicy soup is the perfect antidote to the blues. Nom nom nom.

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