09 June 2011

On the Cheap

So either I'm paranoid or getting recognized or full of myself, because I think Bryn and I are getting looks. We definitely were the other day at The Cup when we were giggling about the article - it was kinda fun watching people put together the pieces as they read the paper. I hope they didn't think us too immature.

It may be obvious by now that I don't love paying more than $5 for a meal at any one time unless its super quality, which means I don't spend a lot of time eating out here. On days when I stay up here overnight though, that means packing like 3 or 4 meals, and carrying tuna around for 5 hours is kinda awkward.

So check it out: I know this is another oatmeal story, but you can do it with any dried grain.

Put all your ingredients in a bag - oatmeal and chocolate chips, ramen, or anything that comes in a package labeled instant.

Forgive me for advocating instant food. I'll work on this and get back to you with my results.

Anyway, pour your instant into a coffee cup and ask at the coffee shop, 7-Eleven (as my dad says regularly, they're popping up ALL OVER Denver), or the gas station for hot water. Add some half and half or creamer if that's what you're into.

Done. You're fed pretty decent (soluble fiber found in pasta and grain keeps you full) for less than a dollar. Oats or grain are easy to pick up at your market of choice (uhmmm bulk section at Alfalfa's) if you're trying to save room in your backpack.

What's that? You still got time to kill in Boulder? The library has photoshop, computers, and books. After you do your homework and post things to your blog, you can go run or play games outside, and, as long as you're taking a class, you can shower so as to be "odor neutral" for work at the Rec Center. They even have towels, so you don't have to worry about that hitchhiker towel carrying trick.

Don't forget to put your salad in the fridge at work - this is another good one.

All the minced veggies go in the bottom of a thermos or wide water bottle. Maybe put in some dressing too. Add the leaves on top. Flip it upside down when you're ready for dinner. Cool! Space efficient and better than any other salad that comes in a plastic container! If you don't have dressing, snag some salt and pepper from the coffee shop you've been inconspicuously occupying for two hours.

Marcus taught me a thing or two about Fettucini the other night and it was the best lesson ever, complete with vocab, demo, and student involvement. Isn't that the ideal lesson plan?
I'm not sure if I'm allowed to give it all away, but here's the gist.

Always start with your garlic and shallots (or green onions). Once the aromatics get going, you can add your veggies. They'll absorb the fond that sticks to the bottom of the pan and your oil, so you should add a little more. Then you do some butter because that makes everything better. If you're using dry herbs, I think this is the time to do it. Add the pasta and some white wine. Taste for heat, salinity, mouth feel (fancy term for fat content), and add the fresh herbs on top. The noodles get twirled up and plated, while everything else (veggies/sauce) is poured on top since they don't do the twist.

It was so cool. Then some old lady called Alana a 'strumpet' for no reason, a derogatory term for women that sounds like crumpet, so we joked around about creamy pastries. Inappropriate.

I'll leave it at that with a recommendation to try Continental Beer Brats from Marczyk's in Denver and to pick up some Peanut Butter M&Ms. They're my favorite, along with Granite Tower, 6th Street, The Black Keys/The Knux, Jamie Hewlett, and the 60s.

Soapy Rail Stomp

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