Semi-Wordless Wednesdays 6•8•2011 (Quadruple King Fatburger Challenge)

The Quadruple King: 2 manly pounds of cooked beef with all the fixings between two buns.

6 minutes and 28 seconds later…

Instant food-induced coma.

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Stress-Relief (Pizza Semi-Bianco)

First thing is first: my apologies for taking a two-week hiatus from blogging. If you refer to my last post, that may explain things a bit further. On the flip side, that means that I’ve got to make up for those blog posts soon, so double blog post weeks are on their way! My goal is to do at least a blog per week this year.

It has definitely been a rough few weeks, but friends and I are gradually getting back into the swing of things. We all have our own ways of recovering. Mine would be eating tons of sugary and carb-loaded foods and working out in long stretches to compensate.

It’s called balance, people. Doesn’t mean the balance is necessarily right.

Bread and cheese balance with veggies and garlic; a totally right balance

Thankfully, I just put the need to do something physical and the need for good food together by combining them in my first attempt to make pizza. I needed something light, something that would make me feel good (as much for my brain as for my waist), but it had to scream, “I am pizza! HEAR ME SIZZLE AND CRUNCH!”. I immediately thought of a pizza bianco, a traditionally sauce-less pizza decked out with onions, cheese, garlic, and in my case, basil and spinach (hence the semi-bianco, or semi-white).

Not to knock psychiatrists and therapists, but cooking is probably the best therapist you will ever meet. Somewhere between the whirring of a mixer, the sizzling of a skillet, and the heat of an oven lies the key to a release so basic and so simple; knead some dough and try to tell me you don’t automatically feel better. Not to mention, you get some great food afterwards (unless it all goes down south, in which case…lesson learned! I’m speaking from experience, people.)

(Just don’t ask me about pretzels, that tale stays between me and the garbage disposal…)

(But I digress.)

So thank you, food, for being my punching bag. Nothing against you, actual punching bag in the gym that I’ve spent so much time with during the past few weeks; you’ll get some attention after I indulge myself on this incredible pizza.

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Comfort (Roasted Tomato Soup & Panko-Crusted Grilled Cheese)

Those precious, rare, free moments. Those few golden hours with nothing errands to run, no homework to do, no tests to study for, no college apps need to complete anymore (I just finished all of them!!! :)). Those pure, unadulterated stretches of time to relax, rejuvenate, and recover.

Life can become hectic, especially for my friends and I, along with any other teenager, in what is probably the most volatile time of his or her life. With all this seemingly unending chaos, some people seem to burn out. I may be a second semester senior, but I can’t burn out; my grades still matter, along with those upcoming college interviews (very important…I’ve actually got two tomorrow!) and my weekend job at the restaurant. When I can devote a few worry-free hours and a bit of love to cook some comfort food in the middle of all of this, though, I take that opportunity.

I’d hardly be sane otherwise.

It’s a Sandwich-Soup-Sandwich Sandwich! Get it? Since the sandwich slices are “sandwiching” the soup…oh, nevermind.

The ingredients and recipe are simple enough for these dishes. Go the extra mile for these, though. Take that extra few glances in the oven to check if your vegetables are at the peak of their caramelization; take the few moments to taste and spice the soup along the way. Take the time to spruce up your grilled cheese with some panko breading; take the few extra seconds needed to grate the cheese instead of slicing it.

I could definitely the care and love I put into this perfect comfort combo. After I finished, I sat back in my chair, dunked my grilled cheese, ate…and did absolutely nothing else.

Perfect.

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