Cribs Edition: Faro, Portugal

When traveling, you are not always going to stay in five star resorts especially if you do not have five star money like this girl here. However, staying in random hotels, hostels, and whole in the walls is not always a bad thing…well maybe. You are bound to get some crazy use out of it, if not a cribs edition video which is what we did in our hotel room in Faro, Portugal. It may not seem much, but hey I didn’t see any bed bugs. Although there was a foundation that clearly did not birds anywhere on it to destroy its beauty

Faro Foundation

Faro Foundation

In the words of the kool aid man…oh yea! Anyways onto our crib in Faro presented by Lacey and Matty


Week 13: From Broke College Student to Chef


The family that cooks together…

Like many families, food is a centralized part of my family. We eat when we are happy, sad, because it is Tuesday; we love food. And this week is no different. My cousin Mike has been trying to make many of his mom’s recipes for the last couple of weeks including salsa, carne asada, and other fine recipes. For this week’s blog Mikey talks about cooking his mom’s chile verde in the video and pictures below. We don’t have a recipe because most of this was done through hear say like “a pinch of this” and you make this with your hand, but if you really want to make it, you can google your own.

Chile Verde

Chile Verde

Just so you know, I decided to end this portion of the blog. If I find recipes I like, I will still post them, but not every week. I will still keep up my blog, but not just with cooking. Thank you to those that followed and sent recipes. I really enjoyed learning to cook, and have found a new love for it. It has helped me during a crazy semester, and couple months.So thank you for reading, enjoying, and whatever else.

Week 10: From Broke College Student to Chef


When You Can’t Find Lamb…

Lamb Curry was suppose to be this week’s recipe, however doing shopping at the last minute will not always work for you especially if you can’t find a little thing called Lamb. I am not sure why, but I can’t find lamb shanks in all the city of Mesa. Okay so I didn’t look in many places, but let’s just say it is not that easy. I am not sure why or perhaps I never noticed, but I never realized how hard it was, therefore lamb curry is going to have to wait. So when you can’t find lamb, what to do? Steak Fajitas. I mean really, how can you go wrong? (this is not one of those where something does go wrong, just a question) It’s not like how my mom and aunts make it, but we were in a pinch. Still good and juicy. Found at

Steak Fajitas

Steak Fajitas


  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb of flank steak, skirt steak or carne asada (carne asada was used manly because it was easier to find)
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced with the grain, not against the grain as one would normally slice an onion. Slice first in half, and then slice off sections a half inch wide at widest point.
  • 2-3 bell peppers of various colors, stemmed, seeded, de-ribbed, sliced lengthwise into strips
  • Salt


  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 fresh Jalapeño pepper, seeded, ribs removed, finely chopped (just use it all)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, including stems


1 Mix all marinade ingredients. Coat the steak with the marinade and let it sit at room temperature for an hour, or longer in the fridge. Before you cook the meat, wipe off most of the marinade and sprinkle the steak with salt.(Or pour the whole thing in the pan. Put some pepper in this as well.)

2 Set a large cast iron pan or griddle over high heat and let this heat up for 1-2 minutes. Add the tablespoon of oil to the pan and let this heat up for 1 minute. Add the steak, frying on each side for 3 minutes, or to desired doneness. 3 minutes per side will yield approximately medium rare doneness for an average cut of flank steak. Carne asada and skirt steak will need less time. If the pan starts to smoke too much, reduce the heat to medium-high. You want the steak browned, not burned. Remove from pan and let sit, tented with foil, for 5 minutes.

3 Cook the vegetables while the meat is resting. Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary, then add the onions and bell peppers. Let these sear for 1 minute before stirring, then stir every 90 seconds or so as the veggies sear. Cook for 5-6 minutes total.

4 Slice the meat against the grain into thin slices. If you slice the meat at an angle, you will be able to get your slices pretty thin. These cuts of steak are flavorful but can be a little tough, so thin slices will really help make it easier to eat.

5 Serve immediately with shredded cheese, salsa shredded iceberg lettuce, sour cream(gross), and warm flour tortillas.

Pretty simple if you ask me. Yea does it take time to marinate, but it is quick after that. Below is a review from Jin, Karli, and Mike. Until next week…

Week 9: From Broke College Student to Chef


West Coast Girls Become a Little Southern

How I understand Fat Tuesday goes a little something like this: Day before Ash Wednesday, therefore you indulge is one of the seven deadly sins. Actually that is not the story, however it is a great set up for why we indulge in the sin of eating way too much and celebrating a Fat Tuesday with some of my girls

Now I know on the west coast we have our own dishes like Mexican Food. In fact I was prepared to cook some Mexican food this week because really where can you go wrong, when I saw a little story on the news about celebrating Fat Tuesday with some traditional New Orleans Cuisine. One of the dishes they were preparing was BBQ Shrimp(which is not actually made of BBQ thank you Man vs. Food). I decided that Mexican can be good anytime, and decided that some BBQ Shrimp, Cornbread, and Asparagus (you know to keep it healthier) screamed New Orleans at least to this west coast girl, no beads needed. All recipes can be found at And please beware of the butter content. We are not trying to be Ms. Childs here


BBQ Shrimp

BBQ Shrimp


  • 5 pounds medium shrimp, with shells( If you are feeding four women, you only need a pound and a half of the extra large ones)
  • 2 pounds butter(maybe it is a Southern thing, but listen. We do not need anyone dying of a heart attack. A pound does the same work, and you will get less of a heart burn)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in as many baking dishes as you need. Set aside.
  2. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, parsley, Creole seasoning and rosemary. Cook and stir for a few minutes, until onion is tender. Add the rest of the butter and cook until melted over low heat. Stir in the pepper, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Pour this mixture over the shrimp so that the shrimp are completely submerged.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until shrimp are pink, 15 to 20 minutes.(for me it took about 16 minutes, and then I put them in a crock pot for more flavor)
Although good, this dish is muy muy greasy, but that didn’t stop us from this:
And this was just Karli's Dish

And this was just Karli's Dish

And now to the sides:




  1. Grill in a large pan with some butter. If you screw this up, give up on cooking
  2. No further instructions
Corn Bread

Corn Bread


  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups milk
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Combine the eggs and milk. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with egg mixture.
  2. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into squares; serve warm.

Let me end by saying this. If you are not use to greasy foods, have a sensitive tummy, or are not from the South, eat this meal with precaution. You may develop a slight stomach ache and/or a southern accent as demonstrated by Karli, Cristalle, and Aubrey below. Wear stretchy pants. Thanks for the recipes, and keep them coming!

Week 8:From Broke College Student to Chef


Not Paying Attention May Work in your Favor

A little (no so secret) about grad school; there is always work. Therefore if you want to go on vacation you have to spend the week before doing work, and possibly forgoing any fun things for those precious days. What I am trying to do is give my reason why I didn’t cook last week.

So onto this week….shocking yet true. I am not Italian. Although I have been to Italy, been mistaken for it, and have a thing for the Jersey Shore (especially Pauly D), I don’t believe I have any Italian in me. However I am a big, big fan of  Italian food manly because of the bread. I know they say carbs are the enemy, but I think I am in love. This is why this week I cooked Lasagna . Let me start by saying this was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I didn’t follow the exact layer order, didn’t use enough sauce, and spilled a little on my clothes. I was almost down for the count, but I covered mistakes and doubts with cheese, wine , and prayer, and it came out better than I thought. Winning… I got this week’s recipe from Although it doesn’t say, probably should boil the noodles a couple of minutes before cooking. I didn’t know, and it was a little crunchy at the ends.

Lasagna Top View

Lasagna Top View

Inside view of Lasagna

Inside view of Lasagna


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (28 ounce) jar sausage flavored spaghetti sauce(you are probably going to need 2)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce(read above)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced(I used 6 because I thought it would add more flavor)
  • 1 small onion, diced(or a medium if the grocery doesn’t have a small one)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 9 lasagna noodles(make sure they fit the container you are using or just double it up)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a skillet over medium heat season ground beef with garlic powder and oregano. Brown the meat and drain.
  3. In a large sauce pan add spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, and oregano; set aside. In a skillet heat olive oil. Saute garlic and onions for about 5 minutes. Mix sauteed onions and garlic with meat into the sauce and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. While doing all this, boil the noodles. May cut cooking time
  5. Combine mozzarella and provolone cheeses in a medium bowl. In a medium bowl mix ricotta cheese, eggs, milk, and oregano.
  6. Layer a 9×13 inch baking pan with just enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. (read all this before you continue)Lay three lasagna noodles in the pan. Cover with sauce, then with ricotta mixture then sprinkle with mozzarella/provolone mixture; repeat layering. Finish with a layer of noodles and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake covered in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes

Overall I think the taste was pretty good. Could have it been better? Sure as can anything. With time, I this will become better, and maybe add some more sauce and cheese. And dry clean my clothes. The video below is a review by Steve and I covering topics like food, my mother, and all shot by my bfffla Cristalle.

Week 7:From Broke College Student to Chef

There is always time and room for chocolate

A funny yet true story. When I was16, Cristalle and I made a cake for a friends birthday (I am not going to say who because we are both still friends with this person) It was one of those betty crocker cakes where you follow step by step, and unless you don’t pay atleast like 75 percent of your attention to you, you can’t screw up. Cristalle and I were focus probably on the latest high school drama, and before we knew it we had to leave for our friends party, with an under cook cake. We covered and smoothered that cake in frosting, and we were on our way. We waited while people tried the cake  before we had a piece. Everyone loved our under cooked cake, and no one found out until well now. I don’t even think we ate that cake.

I tell you this story to set up where I started to where I am now 8 years later. This week I made Chocolate Chip Yellow Cake. The reciepe started with just yellow cake I found online, but it seemed too simple. Plus I really wanted some chocolate chips. So I came up with Chocolate Chip Yellow Cake from scatch with a little help with some betty crocker frosting. I made sure to cook this one all the way. The yellow cake portion come from

Chocolate Chip Yellow Cake

Chocolate Chip Yellow Cake


Side view

Side View



  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour pan (cooking spray also does the job)
In bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt with a wire whisk. (a wood spoon works the same. My mother also suggested I buy a beater. She was shocked that I didn’t have one. I was shocked she think I would)

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix until completely combines. Slowly add flour alternately with milk. At end of addition batter should be smooth.

Bake Yellow Cake Recipe for 20 to 25 minutes. (I did about 30 minutes without buring it) Cool 5 minutes in pan, then invert onto a rack and cool completely before frosting.(this still melted the frosting still, but if you put it in the freezer then you might be alright)

You may not like cake, chocolate, or whatever, but with desert you can’t go wrong. Well actually can, but when done right, desert can always put a smile on your face and belly. I think my cake could have been more fluffy had I had the right equipment, maybe more milk, or make more chocolate. Thank you for those sending in recipes, and keep sending them. Below is my dad’s review of the cake.

Week 6:From Broke College Student to Chef


Family is all around, even across the country

If you have been around me for at least a day, you know I am a huge sports nut. You can probably blame that on my dad sitting my brother and I in front of the television during major holidays like Super Bowl Sunday, Start of March Madness, End of March Madness, when the Suns play the Lakers…you know the big ones, and being so passionate about the game. From his loud roars on a huge three pointer to yelling at the television (side note: my dad, to my knowledge, has never cursed. One time he yelled at my brother and I for saying suck in a non-sport related context. I am not sure where he went wrong with my sailor mouth), my dad’s love for sports laid the ground work for my love of sports.

Which brings us to this week’s recipe for the big game: Chicago Chili. No that the Bears were not in the Super Bowl this week, a hurtful fact my brother is still mad about, however can you really go wrong with anything Chicago food related? Hotdogs, pizza, and anything with that Chicago twist is amazing plus it is where some of my family is from. Ironically, actually not,  I got this recipe from my Chicago Native cousin Lindsey. While I was cooking this, other members of the family across the country were making their own Chili. It was kind of like a large family dinner we all ate together. You got to love it.

Chicago Chili

Chicago Chili

Writing Note: words that look like this are Lindsey’s commentary and words that look like this are mine

Chicago Chili (feeds 6-ish)

Large skillet
Large pot (6 quarts at least or 8 quarts if you can, otherwise things can get messy)
Cutting board
Large sturdy spoon

1 pound ground turkey or beef (if use beef go for lean (less fat))
1 can black beans (16oz)
1 can chili beans (16oz) *if you can’t find chili beans sub in kidney
1 can diced tomatoes (16oz)
1 packet chili seasoning *it’s like the packets for taco seasoning, but for chili
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon italian seasoning (if you don’t have use equal parts dry basil and oregano…its basically the same thing)(I can’t find seem to remember to buy Italian seasoning to save my life, but luckily I had basil and oregano)
2 tablespoons chili powder (maybe, depending how spicy you’re going for)(put in like 3 to give it some more flavor)
1 medium onion
1 medium tomato(another fun, well not really, fact about me is I hate tomatoes. Lindsey quickly sent me back and an email telling me it is alright for me to avoid this, and as you should too)
1 large green pepper
1/2 pound mushrooms
1 jalapeño
3 cloves fresh garlic
shredded cheese (optional topping)(cheese is always a must in my opinion)
diced onion (optional topping) (of you want, buy a large onion and use most for the chili but keep some for the topping)
sour cream (optional topping)
crackers/ sliced french bread (optional accompaniment)(I bought some, but didn’t end up using it)


  • In large skillet place turkey (or beef), sprinkle with garlic powder and italian seasoning, brown.
  • While meat is browning (though remember to check on it so as not to burn):

o   Chop onion and green pepper into large chunks

o   Mince garlic.

o   Heat oil on medium in bottom of large pot; add garlic. Let cook 2 min.

o   Add onion and green pepper

o   Chop tomatoes, and mushrooms into chunks

o   Slice jalapeño into thick pieces (so people can see them if they don’t want to eat them)

  • When meat is browned add 2 tablespoons of water and packet of chili seasoning, stir well.
(TIP: put contents of seasoning in a small bowl and add boiling water, mix until dissolved then add to meat. its easy to make sure that the seasoning is dissolved and completely mixed into the meat) ( I read this after the fact, but still tasted good)
  • Add meat to large pot, stir.
  • Add all beans and diced tomatoes, stir. Add jalapeño, mushrooms, and tomatoes, stir.
  • Let cook on medium heat for at least 30 minutes, and up to an hour.
  • Taste. If you would like it spicier add chili powder, add slowly and taste often. You can add more, but you can’t remove it.(Beyond the three I did, I added another three every ten minutes, and I didn’t think it was too spicy)

I still had some leftover, but still good after a day. And hey had a little taste of Chicago. The video review is a quick one from Drew and Little Biggie, well a sleeping Biggie.  Thank you, and keep sending recipes!