flailing in my kitchen v3

How can I be sad when I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

Cucumber guac shrimp bites

Continuing with my blast from the past, I decided to make avocado cucumber shrimp appetizers, which is something I made way back in 2019 when I first started the blog. I had half a cucumber left over from another meal, and I thought that it was time to revisit this and actually make it better this time.

A closeup shot of three cucumber avocado shrimp bites on a cutting board with some sliced cucumbers and cilantro in the background
And it really was better this time!

First I had to buy my ingredients, one of which was an avocado. Now I could have gone to Giant Eagle and spent $2.50 on a single probably-already-ripe avocado, but that seemed ridiculous when Aldi sells them for 99 cents. The only problem is that Aldi's avocados are pretty much never already-ripe, so I had to wait three days before I could make it. I even tried putting it in a paper bag, but that did not seem to really do much. I also bought shrimp the same day and immediately put it in the fridge to thaw, and that was a little dicey because I was worried my shrimp might go bad before my avocado was ready to eat.

But today my avocado was finally ready! And I mashed it into a nice guac-without-the-onions. I sliced up my cucumber, and I cooked my shrimp (which was totally fine). I've learned that the key to cooking shrimp on the stove is to just watch over it and not multitask and take each shrimp out right when it's opaque.

A closeup shot of a single cucumber avocado shrimp bite topped with cilantro
I forgot to put cilantro on the first few bites 😱

These turned out really well! I bought "jumbo" shrimp, which in my opinion is really just "large", but it also seemed just a tad too big for one bite for me. I ended up cutting up the shrimp into smaller pieces to get it to be bite-sized. But it was delicious, even if it was a bit cumbersome to eat.

Along with my cucumber avocado shrimp bites, I also made myself a single quesadilla. I had some leftover slices of velveeta cheese, and while I hate how pre-packaged, individually-wrapped sliced cheese tastes on a sandwich, maybe it would be okay in between some corn tortillas.

A spread of sliced cucumbers, a lime, cilantro, shrimp avocado cucumber bites, extra shrimp, cut up quesadilla and my crocheted chick in the background
Look at the little egg shell hat on my chick!

It was terrible. Never ever ever use sliced cheese in a quesadilla.

Filed under: avocado shrimp

Poultry seasoning

I have had a tiny little container of poultry seasoning sitting in my cabinet for the past...10 years maybe? It expired at least 7 years ago. I don't know why I have it. I'm sure some recipe called for it, but I couldn't tell you what it was. And it's been bugging me because I have no idea how to use this ingredient. But it's over. I finally used up all of the poultry seasoning, and I am never buying poultry seasoning again in my life.

Some roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy sitting on the stove

When you google "recipes with poultry seasoning" all you really end up with are recipes for how to make poultry seasoning. But there was one recipe for a baked chicken and even though I pretty much never cook bone-in chicken, it didn't look too hard to make.

Simply having baked chicken didn't sound like much of a meal, so I decided to make mashed potatoes to go with it. And that still didn't sound like a meal, but making three things is a little too much for me, so I bought bagged Caesar salad from Aldi.

Chicken, mashed potatoes, and caesar salad on a plate
Another crochet piece in progress!

It wasn't too bad. I don't think I'll make this chicken again though. It was very seasoned on top and barely seasoned elsewhere. But I was really happy with the gravy and I could eat the unseasoned bits of chicken with the gravy, so overall, I'd call this a success.

Seafood Blend: Part...3?

Way back in the early days of this blog, my sister and I made a seafood skillet dish. It was...okay. Guess that's why I was never compelled to make it again.

Until today! I was thinking that I wanted to use up a tiny amount of frozen peas, and I had read this old blog entry and saw that the dish had peas, but apparently I thought there were too many peas in it. Well, it's been over five years. Maybe I can make it better this time.

I had told myself that Trader Joe's seafood blend was terrible, so I bought a different seafood mix that I found at the Korean store. Honestly, when I saw it, I was skeptical. I wasn't sure if the mix of squid, octopus, shrimp, and mussels would go well here. But I got it anyway. I also told myself to double the amount of seafood, and since this was a 1 lb bag, I figured I would use up the whole thing. I did not end up cooking the seafood first though. (I probably should have though)

A pan of the seafood skillet that I made, held up in front of the window

This may have been worse than when I first made it. 🫠 At least the first time, I managed to make it look pretty. I knew this was going to be bad when I went to stir all the rice and seafood around and saw that the heat was not getting distributed evenly and that some of the food was overcooked and other parts were not getting cooked at all.

I turned up the heat a little and kept cooking it longer so I could hopefully get the seafood more cooked, but I think I just ended up overcooking the rice and it got all gummy. I also took some bites of seafood and it was...not great. I think I had way too much in the pan.

Okay, so, if I decide to make this again, I now have a new set of notes to follow:

  • Buy a frozen seafood mix that has shrimp, calamari, and scallops. I don't think it matters if it's Trader Joes or some other brand, but I don't want any octopus.
  • Use 1 lb of seafood, and 1 cup of rice. Two cups of rice was way way way too much for my pan.
  • Only cook the rice for 10 minutes before adding the seafood. All of the water had basically evaporated by the time I added the seafood, which probably contributed to it not cooking well. (Or, cook the seafood separately like I said to do five years ago :P)

Cookin' and wooblin'

I picked up a new hobby: crocheting! But this is my food blog, so here are five meals that I made this past week, featuring some things that I crocheted. My sister had been staying for me for a few months, and she just went back to the west coast. So now I'm using up some of the leftover ingredients from her stay.

First, I had a little bit of heavy cream sitting in my fridge, and my go-to use for heavy cream is chicken tikka masala. Is that weird?

A crocheted chick wearing a bunny headband, standing behind a plate of chicken tikka masala
This headband did not fit very well on this chick

We also had some sweetened condensed milk because my sister used it to make her iced coffees. I honestly had only ever used it to make iced coffee in the past, but I remembered that she also used it to make a tasty sauce to put on some tacos. So I also made some tacos! (Shrimp tacos. I know it's hard to tell from the photos)

A crocheted chick with a finished bunny headband, standing next to a tinier crocheted chick. They are both standing behind a plate of shrimp tacos
The headband now has a little pink nose on it!

My sister is probably not the reason we had shredded mozzarella cheese and a tiny nub of parmesan. I pretty much always have some sort of cheese stocked. But I wanted to use up the rest of the can of tomato paste that I bought for the tikka masala, and I thought these cheeses would be a great addition to it.

The tiny crocheted chick standing next to a plate of salad and chicken nuggets, with tomato pull-apart bread in front
At this point I got too lazy to take photos in the day time in front of the window

And just to pile on with even more dairy, I had about half a quart of milk that was getting very close to its expiration date. I think I may have made mac n cheese just a couple of weeks ago, but that was stovetop mac n cheese, so I went with a baked mac n cheese this week. And I also had some breadcrumbs, which was perfect for topping. This was the first time I had ever made a white cheese sauce, and I think it turned out pretty well!

Some baked mac n cheese with a little white crocheted ball next to it
It's a little egg!

Finally, I made some dessert! I had a few carrots in a bag, which my sister had bought an excess of because she told me "you wanted to make some carrot cake!". Yeah, I did tell her that I wanted to make some. Unfortunately I didn't get the time to do so until she had already left :/

An unfinished crocheted bunny next to four carrot cake muffins
Whoa, the egg grew some ears!

What will happen next? Is v4 of the blog going to be crochet+food?!

Eating more veggies

I tried to eat a little bit healthier during my second week of meal prepping. That meant less meat and more veggies. First, I decided to make Mediterranean hummus bowls. I already had feta and olives from a meal last week. I also had a bunch of cilantro, and I thought that would go well in the hummus. Cilantro jalapeno hummus is one of my favorites (: And I also made pickled onions! I didn't realize how easy it was to make pickled onions. I should have been doing this years ago. I heard celery seed goes well in pickled things, so it was a good way to use up more of that.

Various food items that went into the hummus bowls

We really like how healthy and fresh it is, and it's become one of my go-to meals to make.

A hummus bowl with some ingredients in the background

I only used a small amount of ground beef in the hummus bowls, and I used the rest of it to make a couple of stir fry dishes. I bought a pound of green beans and I added just a little bit of the ground beef to make some stir fry.

Stir fried green beans in the pan

Stir fried green beans and rice

I really like ordering green beans from Szechuan restaurants, but it costs like $15, and I can easily make this myself. Pretty sure it's healthier this way too.

An overhead shot of my stir fry lunch that I took to work, some stir fried ground beef and onions, and some cut up cilantro

With the last half-ish pound of ground beef, I did another stir fry. One of my co-workers said she likes to stir fry beef with coriander and some other spices, and I have a really old container of coriander, so I tried it out. It was alright. I'm really not good at just throwing things together without a recipe.

Some loaded chipotle sweet potatoes in a plate bowl
See that messy looking sweet potato in the back? I dropped that one and it all fell apart D:

The next meal I made was loaded chipotle sweet potatoes. I had a little bit of sour cream leftover from last week, and also a little bit of chipotle powder that I wanted to use up. It didn't look very pretty, but it still tasted pretty good!

Close up shot of some udon noodles in a plate
You can still see the steam coming out of this!

Finally, I'm ending on these udon noodles again. I made a little bit more sauce this time, and it was even better than the last time.

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