I've made plenty of cakes in a mug before, but a few weeks ago I saw a video for a chocolate chip cookie in a mug. I love desserts in mugs! And I love chocolate chip cookies! I had to try it. And then I had to try it again. And again. And again.
Hey, I really like making meals for one. I can just keep iterating!
Attempt 1: The first one that I made actually didn't turn out so well. I used one of those Corelle mugs, and I found that it was a little too narrow. After cooking it in the microwave for a minute, it still seemed undercooked. So I cooked it a little longer. It still seemed undercooked, but when I started to eat it, I realized that the middle was way overcooked.
It was also way too sweet. I bought a milk chocolate bar and just crushed that into little pieces, but I definitely should have just gotten a bag of the classic semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Okay, so not great, but I could make adjustments. The video said to use a shorter, wider mug, and I just happened to have this cute little mug as free swag from work.
Attempt 2: Apart from the switch in mug, I also used less sugar. I bought a bag of dark chocolate chips, and I cut the brown sugar down to just a tablespoon.
Just coming out of the microwave, this looked much better. The top wasn't too goopy, and it settled into a nice cookie texture after I let it cool for a few minutes. But the middle was still really hard! I think 60 seconds was a little too long.
The sweetness level was good though, but I think it was a little too chocolate chip-y for me. I still didn't have the semi-sweet chips, and I also think using mini sized chips would have been better. (But I wasn't going to buy another bag of chocolate chips)
Attempt 3: Alright, this time I only cooked it for 50 seconds, and that definitely helped! I also only mixed a single tablespoon of chocolate chips (as opposed to two in my earlier attempts), but I still added a few on top once I had mixed everything together. Much much better cookie to chocolate chip ratio this time. But man, I need a better strategy for not overcooking.
Attempt 4: This time I cooked it for 45 seconds (but I really should have done 40), and then once I let it cool for a couple of minutes, I pulled it out of the mug and put it on a plate. I figured that being in the warm mug just kept cooking it longer, so I wanted to prevent that. I think it helped! And it allowed me to take a slightly different looking picture, which is a plus.
My latest attempt was certainly my best attempt yet, but it was still overcooked in the middle! I think I'll have to try something completely different for my next attempt. Maybe I'll use a much bigger mug.
For now, I'm going to take a break though. This recipe called for an egg yolk, so every time I made it, I accumulated an egg white. By the end of the week, I decided to just cook all the egg white and eat it with rice and some soy sauce. Honestly? It was pretty good. I just really like eggs.
I wasn't going to make a blog post for this, because I made this during my workday, and I only took one picture, and it's not that great.
But before I made this, I went searching through my old blog posts to see if I had made this before, and I feel like I have, but I must have not blogged about it. And there's a decent chance I'll make this again some time in the next five years or so, and when I do, I know I'm going to look for it in my blog and wonder what I'd do differently. So...
This was pretty good, and it was a good way to use up a bunch of cilantro that I didn't want to waste.
I'm trying to eat healthier. I know that means something a little different for everyone, but for me that mostly means more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods.
One of my coworkers mentioned that they like the site Pick up Limes, which has lots of vegan recipes, and that's gotta be healthy, right? I saw a recipe for hummus pasta, and people had such good things to say about it, so I had to try it out.
This was really easy to make. It had very few ingredients, and even though I always make hummus from scratch, I decided I didn't want to make hummus and pasta, so I just bought some from Aldi. The recipe also includes vegan "parmesan" and I just bought real parmesan from the store.
When I was mixing up the hummus and the coconut milk, I was worried it would be a little bland, so I added some salt and pepper which I think was a good decision. In fact, I think I should have added even more salt and pepper.
It wasn't bad though! I think I'd want to try making this again. I didn't want to halve the recipe because I didn't want to have half a can of coconut milk left, but I think I could just make the same amount of sauce and halve the pasta. Also, I gotta stop buying penne from Aldi. I haven't had my pasta fall apart quite as bad as that one time, but it always ends up falling apart a little bit. And I should probably get better quality coconut milk too.
Oh, I also had to see how the leftovers would taste, and they weren't terrible, but they weren't good either. Very few pasta dishes make good leftovers though, so it's alright. I'll just make a smaller batch next time.
I actually bought pita bread to eat with my store bought hummus, and I'm not sure why I did, because I basically used all of the hummus for the pasta. I needed to eat something with the pita, so I went and made my own hummus later! A while back I had tried this caramelized onion and balsamic hummus, and I thought it was really good, so I wanted to try making some of my own. And what do you know, Pick up Limes, has a recipe for this too.
It took a bit of time, and my eyes were dying from the onions, but it was very tasty! I'll definitely make it again.
Guys, I'm making such good progress on my quest to get rid of everything in my pantry, and I think I'll actually be able to get through everything by July! I've gotten through various ingredients with long shelf lives, and now I pretty much only have sauces and vinegars left.
And I have a lot of Asian sauces, so it's time to make some Asian food.
Last entry I mentioned that I have a bottle of Chinese black vinegar that's been expired for a while. I've been looking up recipes to use up that vinegar, and I came across these glass noodles with cabbage. I love glass noodles. I've made a different cabbage and glass noodle recipe from Woks of Life before, and that was delicious, so I figured this one would be too.
And it was! But it was also a little too spicy, and I really should have known better than to put four dried chiles in this because this is exactly what happened last time I made glass noodles.
I also figured that this Chinese black vinegar would go well with some dumplings, so I bought some frozen dumplings (I know I usually make them myself, but I was lazy). I mixed it into a dipping sauce along with golden mountain seasoning sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and some water, which tasted great with dumplings.
I had saved this hot and sour dumpling soup recipe from Woks of Life because it looked really good, and this was the perfect opportunity to make it.
My first attempt wasn't that great, and the soup looked really dark. I guess I didn't have the chili oil that I needed to give the soup a red color like in the recipe. But it was also too oily, too salty, and too sesame seed-y. The fact that I only have black sesame seeds didn't help the color balance either.
But I tried it again a few days later, and I adjusted the amounts of each sauce. I also fried the garlic for a little to bring out the flavor more. It was definitely better, but I think it could still use more tweaking. I'm all out of dumplings for now, though I might buy more because those dumplings were really good.
And just yesterday, I made some fried rice! I had leftover Chinese sausage from another meal, and this was a good way to use that up. Because I basically just use Woks of Life for finding Asian recipes, I also used their Chinese sausage fried rice recipe.
I realized this isn't shown in the picture, but I have a bottle of rice cooking wine that's been sitting in my pantry for who knows how long, so I used that instead of Shaoxing wine. I only used a dash of it, so I have no idea if it really made a difference in flavor. I also added waaay more soy sauce than the recipe called for. (The recipe calls for 1 teaspoon! That's nothing!) (Wait, I said this last time I made it)
This was really good! I still have two links of the sausage so I think I'll make some more this week. I need to get better at just pouring soy sauce and salt and sugar by feel instead of always measuring.
Finally, I made some beef and cabbage stir fry! I don't quite remember why I decided to make this, but I think it's because I knew my boyfriend was coming over, and he really likes this dish.
Look at those carrot slices! My sister bought a mandoline, and kept it at my place, and it's been sitting in a drawer for years, and I finally used it to slice up my carrot. Thanks sister!
This past week has been a busy week, but today is a lazy Saturday, so I was able to cook and take my time. Plus it was a very nice and sunny morning (as opposed to the wind and rain that's happening right now) and I had to take advantage of that natural lighting. I saw some youtube videos on scallion oil noodles, and they looked really good so I wanted to make some for myself.
I used both Binging with Babish and J. Kenji Lopez Alt for inspiration. I only had 5 scallions, so I cut most of them into these little strips, and also diced some little circles for garnish at the end. Cutting them like this takes way more time, but it's a lazy Saturday, so I don't care.
I wish I had more scallions though. I think this could have used three times as much.
See that last photo? That was perfect. I should have taken the pan off the heat before it got to that point, so the residual heat would actually cook it to that point, which is exactly what the youtube videos told me to do, but I didn't listen. So I may have overcooked my scallions a little, but that's okay. They were still tasty.
I tossed my noodles in the scallion oil as well as some sugar, light and dark soy sauce, and some Chinese black vinegar (which has been sitting in my pantry for waaay too long--that's gonna take a while to use up). The flavor was good!
The noodles themselves were a bit sticky, and that might have been because I bought the noodles from an American grocery store instead of an Asian one. I also used a little too much of the oil. But I've got more scallion oil and more noodles and waaay more sauce, so I'll be making this a few more times this week, and I'll keep tweaking it to my tastes.