Maybe it’s because I’m about to start the next chapter of my life — that being anything and everything post−college, which is really scary to consider — but this semester has brought about a ton of changes.
Firstly, and I’m not out to make my column a shameless plug right now … well, maybe a little bit … I’m currently celebrating the fact that my cooking website has finally been launched for all the cyber world to see. Since November, I’ve been drafting and transcribing recipes to update the homepage; I set up a spices−and−terms glossary; and I’ve been busy blogging about what’s been happening in the worlds of food and nutrition. I can’t believe it’s finally done. QueenOfCibo.Wordpress.com. Check me out.
On that note, people have been frequently coming to me for cooking advice, which is a welcomed change. Friends have asked me how to make foods have less fat content or low in carbs — which I honestly don’t believe in, because what’s life without a little bit of pasta? Even my mom has been asking for my opinions on food, exchanging and reviewing recipes together. In other words, I’m really liking that some of my relationships have started to revolve around food.
Ah, relationships. By the way, I got myself a new man. His name’s Erik, and we met on New Year’s Eve — literally half an hour before the ball dropped. He’s into parrots, he works at a group home for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s and, in short, he’s pretty much the best … so great that — get jealous! — he gets a shout−out in my column.
OK, so what do all these things have in common?
On Sunday, I was in−and−out of a midday nap when Erik texted me from work, asking me, much to my content, for culinary advice. He said, “OK, I have leftover sauce with sausage … but one of my residents hates sausage so that can’t be the main component of the meal. I have this brick of beef (and yes, he included a picture of said brick) that got defrosted so I could use it today, and I have string beans. What do I make?”
He couldn’t have asked me a better question.
I told him to tackle the beef first, as it was a thick cut of meat. I suggested creating a dry−rub out of salt, pepper and a touch of garlic powder, drizzling the beef with oil and sitting it on a bed of onions, baking it for a couple of hours.
Then, I told him to cut up the sausage into tiny pieces to make a meat sauce, and that, combined with the string beans, would form a green−bean marinara. Now what is green−bean marinara, you ask? It’s only one of the easiest and best side dishes ever, especially for those picky eaters.
2 tbsp. olive oil
Half of a medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound of string beans
2 cups of tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
In a frying pan on medium−high heat, heat the oil. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is golden−brown — about five minutes.
Add the string beans and the sauce. Cover the pan, letting the beans simmer in the sauce until they are warmed and tender. Season as much as you feel necessary.
Erik responded, telling me I should become a celebrity chef, cooking delicious food and giving away free cars on my show.
Wait. Rachael Ray meets … Oprah? Not so fast. That’s too drastic of a change. I’m good with being the Queen of Cibo for now.
Niki Krieg is a senior who is majoring in
Italian studies and history. She can be
reached at Nicole.Krieg@tufts.edu.