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The Ultimate Cheater’s Truffle Fries

I have a slight culinary obsession with truffle fries, something I share with my friend Lauren. It’s gotten to the point where we actually text pictures of truffle fries from various restaurants to each other.

To me, they’re the perfect marriage of bourgeois and everyman. Truffle (or, rather, truffle oil) seems to be the perfect excuse for restaurants to upcharge a side that can be found at both the most upscale of steakhouses AND McDonald’s. So, to satisfy my craving without draining my wallet, I conjured up the perfect cheater’s truffle fries:

1 large order of fast food fries (Jack in the Box’s work great)

Barely 3/4 tsp of truffle oil (a little goes a long way)

Grated store-bought parmesan cheese to taste

Mix together, plate, enjoy with ketchup and smug satisfaction at your homemade gourmet side.

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I’m a sworn omni/carnivore but that doesn’t mean I don’t whip up the occasional “vegan gruel” now and again. In this everything-but-the-animal-byproduct kitchen sink is fresh kale, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, homemade lentil patties, chopped celeries/carrots/onions (use the Mirepoix mix from Trader Joe’s), leftover marinated tempeh, rice vinegar, olive oil. Toss in a heated non-stick pan, serve. Healthy, reasonably satisfying. View high resolution

I’m a sworn omni/carnivore but that doesn’t mean I don’t whip up the occasional “vegan gruel” now and again. In this everything-but-the-animal-byproduct kitchen sink is fresh kale, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, homemade lentil patties, chopped celeries/carrots/onions (use the Mirepoix mix from Trader Joe’s), leftover marinated tempeh, rice vinegar, olive oil. Toss in a heated non-stick pan, serve. Healthy, reasonably satisfying.

Mac and Cheese Cups? Sign Me Up

When I lived in San Francisco, I had a birthday dinner party once in my apartment in the lower Pacific Heights district. One of my friends asked me what I was requesting for the menu and I had two must-haves: The garlicky, 4-cheese mac and cheese from The Grove up the street and a chocolate cake with berries. Thinking back on it, it was probably totally terrible of me to inflict a garlic-cheese-fest on my dinner guests for an entire night than have them top it off with decadent cake - it’s like a lactose-induced nightmare. But, oh boy, did it taste AMAZING.

Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere recently posted her latest culinary endeavor, mac and cheese cups, complete with several droolworthy photos. Pictures like this one trigger a Pavlovian response in me: I’m a fan of carbs and curdled cow juice, making macaroni and cheese a perfect marriage in my mouth.

Geekista Eats: Pumpkin Pie Coffee

I refuse to believe that just because it’s not October anymore that pumpkin is now passe’. But since we seem to be skipping over Thanksgiving this year (seriously, where are all the Thanksgiving ads? You know things are bad when we go straight to Chrismukkah), the discontinuation of pumpkin-flavored caffeinated beverages seems especially aggressive - and jarring. Here’s the recipe I’ve been using to keep pumpkin persisting in my mornings (and sometimes late afternoons):

Pumpkin Pie Coffee

You need:

Vanilla-flavored coffee (I prefer Dunkin’ Donuts seasonal Vanilla Nut flavor)

Pumpkin pie spice

Soy Milk Creamer (Silk has one; Trader Joe’s does too)

Add soy milk creamer to taste but before stirring, add one half teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Be careful to not OD on the PPS because it will sink to the bottom and taste like nutmeg/cinnamon shingles by the time you finish the cup. Stir well; enjoy. Viva la pumpkin!

Geekista Eats: Breakfast Nachos

At my house, I have what I dub a Condiment Drawer. Mixed in with plastic measuring cups, clean dish towels, a cheese grater and other random kitchen knick-knacks is an entire collection of condiment packets gathered from store-bought sushi packs, Popeye’s and Vietnamese take out (where else would you get Sriracha To Go packets, a.k.a. the best thing ever invented!?). The Condiment Drawer can be a maddening reminder of the nights you ate terribly, but also deliciously. And, of course, there is hot sauce. Hot sauce is basically a condiment staple for any Californian because Mexican food is our unofficial state cuisine. The only problem with amassing a hot sauce packet collection is that it only seems to get larger with every bag of tacos al carbon you bring home.

And this is how Breakfast Nachos became my Sunday morning go-to meal. Breakfast Nachos were basically born out of a half-hearted attempt at making chilaquiles from scratch until I realized I didn’t have exactly all of the right ingredients to do so. They’re a great way to use up hot sauce packets and tortilla chips, especially if you have stale ones or are nearing the dreaded bottom of the bag and mostly working with crumbles. And as we all know, crumbs are pretty much useless.

What you need:

3-4 egg whites or 2 eggs with yolk

Light Mexican blend cheese

Chopped red onion (to taste)

Chopped green onion (to taste)

Your personal hot sauce packet collection (to taste)

Scramble about 4 egg whites with light Mexican blend cheese. Spread desired number of tortilla chips or tortilla chip crumbles on a plate and take out all the packets of hot sauce you have sitting in your Condiment Drawer. Open packets and squeeze contents across the chips, coating them to your preference. Sprinkle Mexican blend cheese across tortilla chip/hot sauce packet combo. Place scrambled egg whites on top of chips/hot sauce (they should already be cooked), top with more Mexican blend cheese, and chopped red and green onions to taste. Pop in microwave for about 1 minute 15 seconds. Serve hot with more hot sauce (!!), fresh cilantro, fresh avocado, sour cream, salsa… you get the idea.

Of course, you can turn this into a Breakfast Nachos lasagna-type thing, and continue to layer chips and scrambled eggs as you so desire. I find one layer to be pretty filling but do as you wish. Your Condiment Drawer will thank you. I know mine does.

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