Lunch In Pictures: Intern Lunch

Hi there! It’s us, the interns. The interns who run the Instagram account. The interns who keep the plants alive in the office. The interns who constantly orbit each other. Basically, we’re a pretty big deal. And by we, we mean Megan and Audrey. During the year, we are full-time college students. Megan is majoring in business at K-State and is a wanna-be skateboarder. Audrey is studying journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia and thinks she’s funnier than she actually is (but don’t tell her we said that.)

 

When your boss went to culinary school and asks you to make him lunch, it’s easy to be met with immediate distress. We wanted to make something that Jeff had never had before; we wanted something creative. So, we decided take a non-traditional approach to the foods any 19-year-old knows how to prepare. Intern-proof foods.

 

The first intern-proof food that came to our minds was Kraft Mac & Cheese (naturally.) And from there, the rest of the meal fell into place. As we were milling about the aisles in Cosentino’s Market, the distress we previously felt turned into excitement. By the time we served the meal, we were already imagining our Food Network debut. Now, you think we might be exaggerating but you can see for yourself below.

Intern Lunch

 

 

 

 

CHARCUTERIE COURSE:

Our first appetizer was a ham and cheese lunchable turned charcuterie board. Audrey strategically layered the ham and cheese and topped the spread with grated cheese, arugula, and homemade bread crisps.

Intern Lunch

 

AVOCADO COURSE:

Megan’s claim to fame: the avocado rose. In just 30 minutes of preparation, Megan molded sliced avocados and topped the rose with another homemade bread crisp. Plated with Sriracha and dijon mustard, the rose was easily a favorite.

Intern Lunch

MAC ‘N CHEESE COURSE:

Nothing says gourmet like Kraft Star Wars shaped Mac & Cheese. In a collaborative effort, we shaped the macaroni and garnished it with fresh chives and arugula. May the force be with you.

Intern Lunch

DESSERT COURSE:

The dessert dish was easily our favorite to make and look at. With a base of chocolate pudding, we accessorized this nostalgic snack with the works: sour gummy worms, Milk Duds, crushed Oreos, mint leaves, raspberries, and edible gems.

Intern Lunch

Recipe: No-Churn Butter Bar Ice Cream

Something about warm weather happening in the expectedly coldest month of the year makes me want ice cream. It could be because ice cream and warm weather are the perfect pair, or it could be the threat of global warming that makes me panic in a way only ice cream can solve. Whatever the reason, I wanted ice cream and I really wanted to make it from scratch.

 

With no ice cream machine around, I tried no-churn ice cream, which I discovered through my regular scrolling through Pinterest. So with the necessary ingredients of just condensed milk and whipped cream, I set out to make a no-churn recipe and you know what, I love it.

 

I love the ease of it; it’s basically idiot-proof. After all, the freezer does most of the work. But I’m also relieved to find the flavor isn’t too different from machine-churned ice cream. The ice cream is sweet and creamy, and easily made with any kind of fillings you have.   

 

I chose to mix the ice cream with various ingredients we had around the studio. The winners were: butter bars, pecans and caramel sauce! The result is a crunchy, caramel-y concoction that is totally worth the 12 hour wait. I mean, isn’t sleep just what we do when we’re not eating ice cream?

 

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2-3 butter bars, chopped

Pecans, chopped

 

For topping:

Pecans, chopped

Caramel sauce

 

In a large bowl, mix together condensed milk and your chosen fillings, in this case, the butter bars and pecans. Set aside.

 

In a mixing bowl, pour whipping cream and whip until stiff peaks form.

 

Fold ½ of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture, then add remaining whipped cream.

 

Pour ice cream into freezer-safe tupperware and let freeze for up to 12 hours, or overnight.
Once frozen, scoop and enjoy.

Recipe: Oatmeal Whoopie Pies

Oatmeal cookies can be problematic. People (I say this generally, for any oatmeal-lovers) tend to dislike oatmeal cookies. Is it because they seem “healthy”? Is it because they’re not chocolate-y? Either way, they fall to the bottom of the cookie jar.

 

Fortunately, we have a way to elevate oatmeal cookies to legendary status. In this recipe, the cookies get a sprinkling of sea salt but otherwise, it’s a pretty basic cookie recipe. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. I’m talking smooth caramel and soft and sweet honey cream cheese frosting. Thanks to our client, Barkman Honey, we know exactly when to use honey in sweets. This honey cream cheese frosting is just the place. With just a half cup of honey this frosting is so light and so sweet.

 

The caramel sauce comes together easily; this was my second time making caramel and I have to say it went much better than the first. Drizzle it on these whoopie pies. Also good on ice cream, cake, maybe just in your mouth. And soon, everyone you know will be wanting oatmeal cookies for dessert.
OatmealWhoopiePie

 

For the cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups oatmeal

 

For the caramel sauce

2 sticks butter

2 cups brown sugar

⅔ cup heavy cream

 

For the honey cream cheese frosting

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

16 ounces unsalted butter, softened

½ cup honey (We recommend Organic Naked Wild Honey)

7 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 

To make the cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.

 

Cream butter and sugar together for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until combined.

 

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and combine. Add oats.

 

Drop cookie dough onto baking sheets and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top. Let cool for a few minutes before moving to cooling rack.

 

To make the caramel sauce

In a small pot, melt butter on medium heat. Add sugar and cream, whisking until sugar is dissolved.

 

Bring mixture to a boil for three minutes while stirring, then remove from heat and let cool.

 

To make the frosting

In a mixing bowl (or with a hand mixer), combine all ingredients until soft and fluffy.

 

Assembling the whoopie pies

Pair up cookies that are similar in size. With either a spatula or a piping bag, frost a layer (about one-inch thick) onto a cookie. Drizzle cooled caramel sauce onto the frosting and cover with another cookie. Optional addition, sprinkle sea salt onto the frosting before you sandwich the cookies together.

Recipe: Brown Butter Sage Gnocchi

Gnocchi is not for the faint of heart. I don’t mean that in an action movie way; you won’t find any explosions or near-death experiences. However, you will find that your patience, appetite and back are all tested when making gnocchi from scratch.

 

Making gnocchi is fun, if you love to work with your hands and spend an afternoon in the kitchen. It’s also very rewarding, like honoring the Italian grandmother I never had (oh, my sweet non-existent Nona!). There’s something very cool in preparing an authentic dish from scratch, and if you’ve ever had homemade pasta, you know how much better it tastes.

Gnocchi1

 

Even though this gnocchi recipe takes some time and effort, it’s also very simple, so make sure you use high-quality, fresh ingredients. And bonus points if the sage comes from your garden. Double bonus points if the eggs come from your chickens.

 

Once you have freshly cooked gnocchi, you can dress it in just about any sauce, but one of our favorites is this simple sage brown butter sauce. It’s easy as hell and, and the simple, bold flavors (rich butter, fresh sage, oh my!) are the perfect combination to let the gnocchi shine.

Gnocchi2

Enjoy your new “holy shit, I can’t believe I made this” recipe. Feel free to brag.

 

4-6 medium potatoes

2 ½ cups flour (adjust based on how wet the dough feels)

½ teaspoon salt

1 egg

 

1 stick butter

½ cup fresh sage leaves

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

To make gnocchi

Cover potatoes with water in a large pot. Boil for 20 minutes. Drain and allow to cool in a colander.

 

Once cool enough to hold, peel potatoes. Grate onto a clean surface. Pat mixture into a circle.

 

Cover with flour and salt. Make a well in center and break egg into it. Beat egg with a fork until mixed into surrounding flour.

 

Knead dough to incorporate everything together. Shape dough into log. With a pastry cutter, slice dough into 8-10 pieces.

 

Roll out each piece to a rope about one-inch thick. Cut ropes into one-inch pieces. Dust with flour. Roll each piece on the tines of a fork.

 

Cook the gnocchi in salty boiling water for 2-4 minutes or until the gnocchi floats to the top of the water.

 

To make sauce

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Allow butter to simmer a few minutes, swirling occasionally, until it’s light brown in color. Drop in sage leaves and fry for one minute. Add cooked gnocchi and saute until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with freshly grated parmesan.

Recipe: Tomato Basil Soup

As I write this, I am wearing my winter coat in the office and it is freezing outside. It’s exactly the kind of weather we expect and (somewhat) enjoy in January, but damn, it’s cold

 

I am wishing that we still had some of this soup that I’m about to tell you about. It went fast, which is saying a lot for our little office, but it was so perfect for cold weather that we ate it like it was the only thing to eat. That’s partly true because we don’t keep a lot of food in the studio, but we’ll just pretend like it bested all the other tupperware containers for best lunch of the day.

 

Homemade tomato soup is a fairly foreign concept to me. I grew up in a household of chicken noodle soup-lovers. My mom would make it from scratch with fresh, crisp veggies and tender, roasted chicken. Tomato soup for me, at the time, was a strong smelling mixture that came from a soup can, and I didn’t want anything to do with it. I (literally) eat my words now because homemade tomato soup is nothing like what you find on the shelves.

TomatoBasilSoup1

This all started when Jeff and I were chatting about tomato soup, and he swore that his recipe was the best (THE BEST) and that he would make it for the office sometime. Of course, this means that I’m going to make it. So I jotted down Jeff’s recipe, making extra notes for the grilled cheese sandwiches that would go with the soup. Because you can’t have one without the other. I mean, you can, but you’re not going to have a good time while doing it.

TomatoBasilSoup2

The creaminess of the tomato basil soup comes from the olive oil that is drizzled in during the blending stage. Use the good stuff. If you want a grilled cheese sandwich that will rock your mouth, coat it in butter and salt for a crisp, golden outside. The combination of creamy tomato basil soup and the crispy, generously gooey grilled cheese sandwiches is so awesome that we made a video about it.

 

So I’ll stop babbling and let you watch the video, because it deserves your full attention.

 

Tomato Basil Soup

 

1 cup shredded carrots

1 sweet yellow onion, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 package of fresh basil

1 cup olive oil

Salt & pepper, to taste

 

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, makes 3

 

6 slices of sourdough bread

8 tablespoons butter, slightly softened

5 ounces fontina cheese, sliced

Salt

 

Saute onion and carrots in olive oil with salt & pepper until translucent.

Adjust heat to medium and add garlic, cooking for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaves.

Simmer on medium low heat for 45 minutes. Once done, let cool for a few minutes.

In two batches, blend ½ of the soup on high with ½ a package of basil and ½ cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Put soup back in pot and let simmer while you make the grilled cheese sandwiches.

Thoroughly butter both sides of two slices of sourdough bread.

Layer a few slices of fontina cheese between the bread, I used 5 slices per sandwich.

Place in a heated skillet and sprinkle with salt. Let cook until golden brown, flip and sprinkle other side with salt. Remove from skillet when both sides are browned.

Repeat with other sandwiches. Serve with warm tomato soup and enjoy.

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