[food + recipe] Easy recipes for year-round good eats

Ever since I've been working, it's been difficult to get home and cook myself a decent meal, but I also find it difficult to resort to microwaved frozen meals (Say it with me: ew). So here are my two favorite meals that are easy but still delicious - and looks kinda fancy shmancy (at least in my opinion).

Halloween was wayyy back in October (note: how is it almost 2014??) but when I met with some friends to carve these adorable pumpkins:

... I knew that no matter how adorable they were, that they could be better put to use after all the merriment in some delicious autumn meals. So I made my own pumpkin puree (which isn't readily available at most places in Korea).

So the puree was ridiculously easy. After slicing up the pumpkin into manageable pieces, I steamed the pumpkin and then took the peels off (if steamed all the way through the peels should pretty much fall apart in your hands). Then I put it all in my blender and pureed. If you have a small blender like mine, it might take you a few rounds, but the end product looks amazing.

Now what to do, what to do. My most difficult meal of the day is probably breakfast because a) I am not in the mental state to cook and b) I need to rush out the door most days. So I combined what I had at home to make (semi instant) pumpkin oatmeal! Perfect for cold mornings.

Here's my (ridculously easy) recipe:

1/2 cup of quick cooking oatmeal
2/3 cup of hot boiling water
1/2 cup (or more) of pumpkin puree
1 tsp of cinnamon
a handful of dried cranberries or raisins.

Follow the directions to make your oatmeal, but add in the pumpkin and cinnamon along with the water. After the oatmeal is done, garnish with cranberries or raisins. And done!

Another meal that I craved was Summer Rolls - summer rolls are basically spring rolls but made with rice paper and not deep fried. Much healthier, and a great way to get in some veggies.

All you need is rice paper - and the inside ingredients are up to you. I used cucumber, carrots, rice vermicelli, and crab meat. Take the rice paper and dip it in some hot water so it gets flexible, then put in your ingredients (not too much, or else you get a summer roll explosion) and fold. After it sets (for a few minutes), slice in half and admire the prettiness that unfolds!

I've found that it's absolutely amazing with Thai peanut sauce or with a simple soy-sauce/vinegar mixture. Low key, easy cooking. Impressive results. I'm all about fooling people with my non-existent cooking skills. HA, I fooled you all.

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