Pan sauteed beef tenderloin, twice-cooked broccoli with a balsamic reduction, roasted red pepper and sun-dried tomato soup

Yeesh. You can tell by the length of the title that this was a complicated meal. It’s probably the most complicated meal I’ve ever prepared, or at least the one with the most things simultaneously occurring. Abby and I had our three year anniversary on Tuesday, so we decided to whip up something special (and complicated) in honor of that.

This recipe is from The (Reluctant , Nervous, Lazy, Broke, Busy, Confused) College Student’s Cookbook. I don’t know what broke college student is buying filet mignon, but that’s just me. Anyway, we stopped by a new butcher today, Olympia Meats. That place is awesome. Not only did they cut the meat right in front of us, our purchase got rounded down to $20, a savings of a buck or two.

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Mug brownie #1

Although I still have most of my baking supplies, I purposefully removed most options for dessert from our apartment because otherwise I would be eating them almost constantly. But every once in a while (ok… pretty much every day), I get a craving for something chocolatey. Instead of making a batch of cookies or brownies, I’ve decided to go on a quest for the best mug brownie – the delightful, microwaveable, one-serving iteration of my favorite food group (obviously brownies). Let’s take a look at contender #1.

I found this recipe on babble’s family kitchen. The thing that really set it apart from other mug brownies is the lack of an egg. I was curious, so I decided to give it a try!

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Blue cheese burgers

I can probably count the number of times I used my grill last summer on two hands. That is a downright disgrace. In the intervening seasons we’ve discovered a couple of awesome butcher shops near our apartment (which I might post about later) so I will be taking much greater advantage of our little patio this year.

Instead of making a standard cheeseburger, I always prefer to mix some of the toppings in with the meat or to stuff the burgers. One of my all time favorites is the blue cheese burger, a burger mixed with blue cheese to infuse its deliciousness into every bite. I used to have a great recipe for this but I lost it somewhere along the way, so I modified this one from allrecipes to add a little more cheese and flavor.

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Fancy chicken tenders and french fries with homemade garlic aioli

I do not like meat with bones in it. I do love sauces. While this complicates things when it comes to eating buffalo wings, it makes chicken tenders one of my favorites foods – all that delicious chicken free to be dipped in an array of sauces without a single bone in sight. Tonight for dinner we decided to do a classy take on the old diner staple, chicken tenders and french fries.

For the chicken tenders, we used a modified version of this recipe from gimme some oven, replacing the garlic powder (we were out) with some onion powder and parmesan. The french fries utilize a cooking method found in The America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook, but the recipe was of our own design. The aioli is from one of my favorite cookbooks – Tasty. Since we wanted to bake both the fries and the chicken tenders, we made the fries first and used the time while they cooked to prepare everything else.

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Eat like a king in Savannah, GA

Soon after the jumbalaya, Abby and I set off on a journey to Charleston, NC to visit one of my college roommates. Due to intense procrastination, we hadn’t made any plans for three of the days. Abby had never been to Savannah and all I remembered was that there were a lot of parks, so we made the hour and a half trek down. Indeed, there were many parks.

Savannah is a shockingly beautiful place. I’ve never much liked the south because I hate weather above 80° with a passion, but were Savannah a little cooler I would move there in a second. It’s an incredibly walkable town with a rich history. The guidebook of choice seemed to be this one, which featured totally unbiased (yeah right) and hilarious asides about how awful some of the buildings look. We had a great time with it.

But enough about the town, let’s talk about the food!

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Chicken and sausage jambalaya

Last night it dawned on me that I had a fridge full of food and was about to leave for a vacation. “Egads!” I thought, surveying the damage. Luckily the only casualties-to-be were a chicken breast, a few brats, an onion, and a green pepper. Channeling my inner Emeril, it quickly became clear that the only logical answer was to cook it all up into one hell of a jambalaya.

After a quick search of the interwebs, I found a recipe called “Chicken Jambalaya I” on Allrecipes (my favorite general-use recipe site). My girlfriend and I had completely separate ingredients than what were listed, but we ended up using more or less the same spices, just more of them. We also used water in place of chicken stock to cut down on the sodium, which didn’t seem to hurt the flavor in the slightest.

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