Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WIAW #40: Getting Old!

Work sucks, I know, she left me roses by the stairs, surprises let me know she cares....

Ah music from my youth.

Back to school this week and it is already kicking my butt. Assignments every night, some for 100 + pages for one class! Crazy!

So because of my time constraint and the fact that I atually want to make dinner tonight, the big milestone of WIAW #40 will have to be abbreviated.

To make up for it I do have a giveaway from GoPicnic though....( at the bottom)

First the last week of Summer Staples WIAW.

I've definitely created my own summer staple breakfast in the past few months:

Always a version of Blueberries, banana, granola or other, almond milk, chia seeds.... yum.

This time was regular fat-free milk. FYI.

Other meals:

Look at this! Chicken cutlet pizza from the Tomato Bistro in Manayunk, Philadelphia. OMWOW. sooooooo gooooood!

Homemade chicken broccoli fried rice packed with veggie goodness. My fave.

Dinner Omelete packed full of spinach, a little turkey sausage, parmesan, and red potato hash browns on the side.

A college cuisiner school lunch: Homemade caprese pasta and coffee to get through my upcoming afternoon classes. It's not my fault that my English professor has a story book reading voice that lulls my into a peaceful sleep at 1pm!

Made-to-order Sushi from the Ardmore Farmer's Market ("Split" with Aaron)

Pink lady apple, cheddar, garlic, and arugula Panini made with my mini George Forman Grill.


I better be careful as carbs make me very sleepy!

These ready-to-eat meals from GoPicnic! One Turkey Stick and Crunch meal and one Peanut Butter + Crackers Meal. So good, perfect for everyone on the go, especially kids and college students!

It's been a good week since I saw you last. Not only did I get my wedding dress last Thursday, but on Friday we found dresses for both my sister and my mother's weddings! Three dresses, two days. That must be a new record only to be outbeaten by our three weddings in one year. yep. CRAZY.

Unfortunately as there is a chance that all three men marrying us Hunt women may see this I cannot post any photos. I'm sorry.

But about that giveaway I promised you...

Make sure you IMMEDIATELY enter my giveaway (go to this post to enter) from GoPicnic Ready-to-eat meals! It's such a great giveaway and I don't want you to miss out!

One lucky reader will receive two boxes of ready-to-eat meals from GoPicnic.
The giveaway starts Tuesday, August 28th and ends Monday, September 3rd at 5:00pm! I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, September 4th!

If you have any dietary restrictions such as gluten-free or one of GoPicnic’s special dietary varieties let me know and we will make sure you only receive meals you can eat!

In addition, GoPicnic wants to give everyone the chance to try their products! All College Cuisiner readers get 10% off their online order at!!

Just enter the following discount code when you order online and you’ll receive 10% off your order!

Discount Code: CS10 



The College Cuisiner

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GoPicnic Ready-to-Eat Meals Review/Giveaway

Welcome back to school everyone!

If you are not “Back to School” yourself you probably know someone who is whether it is your child at their first week of the First Grade or the soon-to-be underfed college student in your life. Maybe you just are a busy professional who had a hard time finding and packing a lunch that is still healthy and cost effective.

Well do I have just the thing for you.

The lovely people from GoPicnic ready-to-eat meals sent me two of their great boxed-no refrigeration needed meals to try.

I was so excited to try these meals as I’ve heard a lot about them from different friends.

 To my surprise when I returned to my college campus this week I saw them neatly stacked awaiting me to purchase them in my school’s convenience store! It must be fate!

One of the best things about GoPicnic meals is not just that they are convenient, healthy, but they come in multiple varieties including Kosher, All-Natural, vegan, vegetarian, and most important, gluten-free! Finally there is an easy nutritious option for those suffering from Celiac disease and other gluten intolerances. As I have several close friends who are Gluten-Free I was very excited to work with GoPicnic.

Note: GoPicnic provides a variety of meals, which are not all gluten free. It is important for consumers (you) to review the product packaging and labels because there are several meals, which are not gluten free.

The first meal I tried was the “Turkey Stick and Crunch” which included the following gluten-free goodies:

1 Old Wisconsin Turkey Snack Stick
1 bag of Popchips Barbeque Potato chips
1 bag of Niagara Natural Simply Fruit Tropical Bites
1 bag of Sweet Perry Orchards Baja Blend Fruit & Nut Mix
1 Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Crunchy Cookie

I enjoyed/devoured this meal in a school setting if you couldn’t tell. GoPicnic ready-to-eat meals are perfect for kids school lunches as they are easy to pack and don’t need refrigerated. I love how conscious GoPicnic is about balanced meals. The calories, fiber, and protein are printed right on front so you know what you are eating.

I loved the turkey stick which reminded me off the less-healthy beef-jerky snacks I had as a kid so it was the best of both worlds! The turkey stick was smoky, salty, tangy and a treat for those who don’t eat beef! As I haven’t eaten beef or pork for 11+ years now, GoPicnic was nice enough to only send varieties I could actually eat. And boy did I like this one!

My favorite product was the Sweet Perry Orchards Baja Blend Fruit & Nut Mix. Their mix was sweet, salty, and slightly spicy and added the perfect “crunch” to the meal. As they are needed to be small to fit, I felt myself wanting more than 5 or so bites of the Fruit & Nut mix. I’m greedy like that!

The Niagara Natural Simply Fruit Tropical Bites were such a treat. Chewy and satisfying, they had just enough sweet and a big fruity flavor to match along with a full serving of real fruit! The Barbeque Popchips were a familiar product to me but I’ve never tried them before. The popped potato chips gave a great barbeque flavor and a satisfying crunch that made me feel guilty being in the library!

I love the idea of the Enjoy Life Double Chocolate Crunchy Cookie. It is the only product in the box which is specifically made for gluten free eaters but its crunchiness and very chocolately flavor is great for anyone! It left a bit of graininess in your mouth behind but that is to be expected from a Gluten-free cookie.

The next box I tried was the all-natural Peanut Butter + Crackers meal. This meal included:

1 bag of Partners Get Movin’ Honey Wheat Crackers
1 package of Peanut butter & Co. Smooth Operator Peanut butter
1 Sweet Perry Orchards Unsweetened applesauce
1 bag of Annie’s Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies
1 bag of Professor Zim Zam’s Extraordinary Sweets

This super-kid friendly box includes some of the best peanut butter I’ve ever had on Honey sweet crackers. This box was definitely much sweeter than the turkey stick box and has a few more calories. If you or your loved ones have a peanut allergy, GoPicnic has a Sunbutter (Sunflower) variety as well! I enjoyed the Peanut Butter + Crackers meal outside like a real picnic.

So scenic don't you agree?

I really liked the Peanut Butter meal but after awhile I found myself craving savory other than the Cheddar Bunnies Crackers. If you have kids, I recommend this box as it has healthy all-natural foods along with the things they love like cheddar crackers, gummies, applesauce, and of course peanut butter and crackers! If you are a kid-at heart you’ll love this box!

Review: Overall I love GoPicnic ready-to-eat meals. I couldn’t get over that the box not only locked to store the goodies you haven’t eaten yet, but there is a Sudoku puzzle printed inside the box!

Talk about the full package! Along with the fun facts printed within GoPicnic is very proud that the products they include have no trans fat, no high fructose corn syrup and no added msg. As a busy college student with classes all day I know how difficult it can be to pack a lunch I still feel good about. Leftovers are great but they more often than not need refrigeration. GoPicnic is pretty affordable (around $5 each) and are easy to store, carry around, and eat!

Personally, after eating a full box I felt a bit hungry soon after but that’s because I have a crazy metabolism. For the average person and more importantly, a student, GoPicnic boxes provide a great variety of food to eat all in one sitting or throughout the day. Their ready-to-eat meals provide a full meal for anyone just add a water bottle and maybe an extra piece of fruit (though there are plenty of fruit servings included in each box.) If you are looking for something easy for you or your kids, GoPicnic boxes are the way to go. They are so many varieties to choose from based on diet or just flavor! I can’t wait to try the hummus, salmon spread, and turkey pepperoni varieties!

Whether it is in your local store or online, give GoPicnic a try and you won’t be sorry!

More info about GoPicnic:

As there are many different products in each box, GoPicnic works are the perfect place to bring these items together. Found one item you like and want it separately? GoPicnic Grocery allows you to buy bulk of the items you love the most from GoPicnic in small and large packs! Meals and Care Packages with many at great sale prices!

Want some of your own?

GoPicnic is giving away TWO (2) boxes of their ready-to-eat meals to one (1) lucky reader of the College Cuisiner for Back-to-School with GoPicnic!!

What do you have to do?

Here are the rules:

• First, sign up for the GoPicnic newsletter on and comment here on this post letting me know you did and what two ready-to-eat meals you would like to try.
• Leave a way for me to contact you: Google account, email, etc.
• Open to U.S. Residents Only


Extra Opportunities to Enter:
(please post a separate comment for each additional entry)

  •  Like GoPicnic on Facebook
  • Follow GoPicnic on Twitter
  • Visit GoPicnic's Facebook page and tell GoPicnic what is your favorite product (or the one you would like to try) and WHY
  • Like the College Cuisiner on Facebook
  • Like the College Cuisiner on Twitter
  • Post this giveaway to your twitter, facebook, or blog!

The giveaway starts Tuesday, August 28th and ends Monday, September 3rd at 5:00pm! I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, September 4th!
If you have any dietary restrictions such as gluten-free or one of GoPicnic’s special dietary varieties let me know and we will make sure you only receive meals you can eat!

In addition, GoPicnic wants to give everyone the chance to try their products! All College
Cuisiner readers can get 10% off their online order at!!

Just enter the following discount code when you order online and you’ll receive 10% off your order!

Discount Code: CS10


The College Cuisiner

Monday, August 27, 2012

GWA: Grilled Fish Tacos

This post is a little late as Aaron made these delicious grilled fish tacos awhile ago but that doesn’t mean they can’t be enjoyed today...or tomorrow…or the next day….

And since grilling season will have a dramatic finish over Labor Day weekend, we thought it would be now or never, and you don’t want to face never when dealing with these bad boys.

These are some serious fish tacos.

I learned a lot about Aaron’s cooking skills this summer as he continued to make me amazing meal after meal all grilled and delicious. This was definitely one of my favorite Grilling with Aaron meals so far.

This is also a great Sunday Lunch as it is something the whole family will enjoy!

Normally fish tacos are found breaded or floured but that means they are probably not grilled. That’s not how we do things though! While I wasn’t sure at first about the grilled fish you do not miss the breading at all.

Instead the fish is tender and the flavors blend perfectly together on a crispy tortilla. No matter what you will get a great flavor without the extra breading and will be left with a pretty healthy, low fat and low calorie dinner.

So enjoy this great summer recipe from Aaron, the master of grilling, and in my opinion everything Mexican!

Grilled Tilapia Tacos:
makes 5-6 tacos


4 filets of tilapia or white fish
6 small tortillas or 3 large tortillas cut in half
Garlic infused olive oil
1 cup shredded savoy cabbage
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup of chopped Cilantro
1 fresh mango, thinly sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped red onion
Homemade salsa or sour cream
Sea salt
Black pepper


Preheat outside grill to 400-450 degrees.

Aaron’s tip: Every grill is different so the most important part is not regulating the temperature but rather watching the fish as it cooks.

Season tilapia filets with salt, pepper, and a little garlic olive oil. When grill is heated place filets on the bottom rack. Cook for 5 minutes on each side, 10 minutes total, always watching. Fish will become firm.

Make sure there is enough oil as fish sticks easily. You can also place on foil if you would like but you will not get the desired grill marks.

Once fish is cooking, lightly oil tortillas with garlic olive oil and place on the top rack of the grill. Flip each tortilla after 2 minutes and take off once a nice golden crisp appears.

Once fish and tortillas are cooked, begin to assemble toppings. Lay half of a filet of fish on each tortilla, top with a good amount of each cabbage, a few slices of mango and avocado and a pinch of chopped onions. Add chopped cilantro if desired to each taco.

Top with homemade salsa or herbed sour cream. Though you don’t even need it!

Enjoy your last bites of summer!

P.S. Stop back tomorrow for my great giveaway and review from GoPicnic Ready-to-Eat Meals!


The College Cuisiner

Friday, August 24, 2012

Homemade Basil Pesto

I love pesto, it’s probably my favorite. And there’s so many things pesto is good for especially at the end of summer when the basil is growing like weeds in the garden.

For my birthday weekend my mother brought me a giant vase of fresh basil from her garden. Oh what an inconvenience! NOT!

I love pesto on pasta, pizza, in aioli, on a spoon and most of all with fresh bread. If you want to soak up the last days of summer food try fresh pesto on a caprese salad or just as a dressing on big ripe tomatoes and fresh arugula. Makes my mouth water just thinking of it.

Like this margarita Panini with homemade pesto.

You are probably seeing/seen a lot of pesto recipes out there. I hope you like this one, because I like my garlic!

Homemade Basil Pesto: 2 cups


4 cups of packed fresh basil
5 garlic cloves
½ cup of pine nuts
2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
2 tbsp. lemon juice to taste
½ tsp of lemon zest
Sea Salt
Black Pepper


In a blender or food processor grind pine nuts, garlic, basil and 1/3 cup of olive oil. Grind until smooth adding oil as needed to grind up all the basil.

Add a little salt and pepper at a time to taste and zest and lemon juice.

Add remaining oil and cheese. Blend for a few seconds.

Tip from the Food Network: If you want to freeze the pesto put in a freezer-safe container and pour remaining oil over top. Wait to add cheese until thawed.

Store in an air tight container for one week or freeze. Eat on just about anything and enjoy!


The College Cuisiner

Pesto Playlist:

Walnut Tree-Keane
Sunday Love- Etta James
Black Bird-The Beatles
Ask-The Smiths
Car Crash-Matt Nathanson
When Did We Stop Talking?- The Arcadian Kicks

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIAW #39: Lots of Eats, Birthday, and Giveaway Winner

I’ve had a busy week of eats since last Wednesday and I’ll do my best to share a “taste” of it with you.

*update* I was so tired last night when I posted this not only did I post the preview link to the lovely Jenn's site on accident, I also misspelled Birthday. To solve this issue I now vow never to clean my apartment again, the source of my exhaustion and confusion. Enjoy the updated version of this post!

As August is coming to an end what better Summer Staple than street fairs!

On Thursday, Aaron, my best friend Nichole and I went to the Philly Night Market in the neighborhood of Mt. Airy. We first went to the Night Market in May when it was close to my sister but missed the June one and there wasn’t one in July. I loved the varieties of vendors and the crowd. The Market goers were mostly families versus the last one we went to which was 95 percent hipster. Change of neighborhood, change of clientele.

Our first stop on the Night Market Drag was the Lil’ Pop Shop homemade popsicle cart! I was so excited to try these and I was definitely not disappointed. I had the “Drunken Plum,” fresh plums and German beer. Best popsicle of my life! Nichole had the Vietnamese Iced Coffee. We went back at the end of the night and I got the Earl Gray Black Pepper but the plum was absolutely my favorite.

I also got a bottomless cup from the New Hope Premium Fountain Soda- homemade all-natural/conscious soda making. Awesome. I had the Ginger and the Orange Mango.

We then all split some macaroons from Sweet Philly Truck. I had the Pecan Sandy and it was delicious.

I also had a lovely chicken sausage sandwich with buttermilk dressing, slaw and a spicy sauce. Really Good.

I love the Night Market!

On Saturday (my birthday) my mother came down and we spent the day at a few Bucks County wineries, had a wonderful tasting and did a little bit of shopping. Great day.

We had my birthday dinner at Chifa, a Joses Garces restaurant in Philadelphia based on the cuisine of Cantonese immigrants to Peru who created the “Chifa” cuisine. Very pricey but very good. We did the chef’s tasting menu and we all felt stuffed to death afterwards.

Here’s the only good picture of the food I got. Oysters.

On Sunday Aaron’s mom, Lisa took us out again for my birthday near here at the Four Dogs CafĂ©.

THIS PLACE HAS STICKEY TOFFEE PUDDING! And it is really good! I might have to go back just for that!

Here’s our eats from there:

See that? That's what stickey toffee pudding should look and taste like.

Not to mention some of the meals I had this week....

I'm experimenting with breakfast bowls and the extremely inexpensive bag of chia seeds I found at Trader Joe's.

Homemade Chicken Rice Stew: both products of the same chicken I've gotten four meals, gravy and a nice stock to make ice cubes out of too.
Same chicken in a pita wrap

Same chicken on a pizza

Tea Time! Including one of the amazing chocolates I'll be giving away soon! Well, not this one, this one is mine.

And a few of the incredibly thoughtful gifts from my family I was able to photograph:

Bone China tea set from my mother (we've got this baby and 6 cups for a steal in Peddler's Village, Bucks County, PA)

Wool Royal crown tea cozy from my sister! Yep, she made this! (Her own design, jealous?)

Fresh basil and flowers from the garden

My sister's homemade lavendar shortbread tea biscuits, so good!

A tea kettle from Jon (and Mackenzie.) Needed one!

And many other amazingly thoughtful gifts! Thank you family!

This week I will have to share with you my recipe for traditional Basil Pesto. One of my favorite summer staples!

Because of my busy week, crazy apartment cleaning, etc. I’m exhausted! What did you do this week?

But now to the winner of my giveaway:

Congratulations to Meredith M. who won my giveaway for the new Vegan Conscious Box! I will contact you to get your free box sent out! Thanks to everyone who entered!

Look out for my two amazing upcoming giveaways starting next Tuesday for “Back to School!”



The College Cuisiner