Lazy Sunday cooking is one of my favorite things. Lazy Sunday cooking doesn't mean it's a quick meal, just an easy one. I don't have anywhere to be, so I want to take my time and go slow. I don't have work during the day, so I can take as long as I need to make my lunch, and then when I take photos I have plenty of natural light!
So this week's Sunday meal was lettuce wraps. This is one of the first things I wrote about in this blog way back in 2019. I decided on lettuce wraps when I concluded that the green leaf lettuce was just not going to work in a salad. This also allowed me to use up more of my hoisin sauce, which, hmm, is that expired?
FEB 19, 2023
Okay, so it's only a little expired. Honestly, it's probably still good for another year. I also got to use up more of my rice cooking wine which has probably been sitting in my pantry for much longer...
Best Before: 04012019
😬 Uhhh, I think it's still fine.
The recipe only calls for half a pound of meat, but I doubled it (except for the dipping sauce--there's more than plenty of that). I really like the ground meat mixture, and I know in my old post I said that I can use whatever mushrooms I have available, but I did use shiitake in this, and I thought shiitake was great in it.
The whole process of actually putting the meat in some lettuce, and then attempting to wrap that up? Yeah, that's still completely impractical. It just breaks and food falls out and your hands are a mess. I don't care what kind of lettuce you use. Lettuce is not a good wrap.
Next time, I'm chopping up the lettuce into bite size pieces and just making it a bowl meal.
In spite of the mess, this was delicious, and perfect for a lazy Sunday. I'd definitely make it again.
I'm cooking a lot. Sometimes my aunt will call me and ask me if I've gone grocery shopping that day, and my answer is always yes. I think I go to the grocery store an average of at least once a day. I mean, it's so convenient. I have at least 5 stores within walking distance.
So, here are just a few more things that I've cooked this week.
I bought a whole head of green leaf lettuce when I made the guac burgers, and I only ended up using two leaves total! That's half a leaf per burger! So, I figured I could make some salad with the rest of it. I keep buying caesar salad bag mixes from Aldi, and I could save so much money by just buying the ingredients separately.
But man, having to wash and dry lettuce is such a pain. I don't mind chopping things, but drying things is the worst. I still don't know how people do it. You never see people drying veggies in recipe videos. Green leaf lettuce is also not a great choice for caesar salad. It was just way too leafy and soft. I needed some extra crunch.
I still have some green leaf lettuce left, but I decided to buy a bag of some romaine and...some type of red crunchy leaf for the next batch of salad. And it was pre-washed so I didn't have to wash it! (But I still ended up cutting it into smaller pieces because the pieces are too large)
The other thing you can see in the photo is some mashed potatoes. I made slow cooker mashed potatoes to use up half a block of cream cheese (and some of my milk). It wasn't bad, but I really should have cooked it for an extra hour. I don't have a potato masher, so I was using other various cooking utensils to mash the potatoes: a wooden spoon, a slotted spatula, a ladle, a fork. I really should have just used a hand mixer like it said to do in the recipe, because I actually have one of those!
Oh, I've made these mashed potatoes before, and I said it needed more, well, everything. I still agree with that. Maybe future me will actually remember next time.
To use up the other half of the cream cheese, I made this tortellini pasta. I figured it would be good because I really like the creamy tomato spinach pasta from Budget Bytes. She said this would be even easier (and it was!) but I think I prefer the other pasta. I don't think this one had enough sauce for how much pasta was in it.
This recipe called for 19 oz of pasta, and I should have known that that would be WAY too much pasta, especially given the fact that the tortellini package was labeled "Family pack". You know how I feel about leftover pasta. I also dislike leftover spinach. But it's okay, my boyfriend told me he will eat the rest 😁
Remember my cookie in a mug post that I made a couple of months ago? Well, I still had some milk left over from another recipe, and even though this cookie requires no milk, it's pretty tasty to eat it with a glass of milk.
The last time I made this, I concluded that the wider the mug, the better. So I took out my huge Borgata mug, and I made the cookie in it. I cooked it for just 40 seconds, and then I even took it out and put it on a plate so it wouldn't keep cooking inside of the warm mug.
It was really good! I feel like this recipe is a winner! The bottom of the cookie was actually a tad undercooked, so I don't think I needed to take it out of the mug, but slightly undercooked cookies are pretty tasty in my opinion. I even made it two more times this past week!
When I went to make the cookie a second time this week, I realized that I had left my container of sugar at my boyfriend's place, so I ended up making this with brown sugar and powdered sugar. It wasn't bad, but I think white sugar is better here. I knew I could get by without the white sugar, but you know what, it's okay to have extra sugar. I know I'll use up the sugar eventually. It's not like it's expired chocolate syrup that's been sitting in my fridge for over 5 years.
So...I bought more sugar. And then I thought, let me switch things up and make a cake in a mug instead. Using the powdered sugar reminded me of the cinnamon swirl mug cake that I've made in the past, and I had a tiny bit of milk left, which is perfect for a little mug cake.
I just bought one of those bags of sugar from Aldi, which seemed perfectly fine, but later that day I noticed that there were grains of...something on my living room floor, and when I went to inspect it I realized it was the sugar. Huh. I went to pour the sugar from the paper bag into my sugar container and then I saw it. There was a hole in the bottom. 😱
It's fine though, I just had a bunch of sweeping to do, and I should probably do another sweep later.
Also, I started making the mug cake, and I realized it doesn't even call for white sugar! 🙃 It's just brown sugar and powdered sugar. Why did I buy extra sugar?!
...to make the cookie a third time. That's why. I'll never get tired of desserts in mugs.
I just had a small amount of Worcestershire left, and because Worcestershire apparently goes well on ground meat things, I decided that burgers would be a good way to use the rest of it.
But I had one problem. I was all out of ketchup, and because I'm trying to get rid of my sauces, I wasn't going to buy a bottle of ketchup. What I did have was half a lime. I've seen recipes with guacamole on burgers before, and guac is at least kinda sauce-y.
I didn't use a recipe for any of this. Because most burger recipes I've seen just involve ground beef, salt, and pepper, I figured I could wing it. I used a pound of ground beef, and poured the rest of my Worcestershire sauce on it. I also mixed in some panko breadcrumbs and salt and pepper. And maybe some garlic powder and ground mustard? I don't know.
I also just threw things together for the guac. I mashed up an avocado with the lime, and added some onions, cilantro, and garlic. And salt and pepper of course. It was very lime-y and very tasty.
But I nearly wasted my avocado when I was scooping it out! The avocado just slipped out of my hand, and it almost fell to the ground, but I caught it with my white tank top that I was wearing, which now has a giant green stain on it. That might be the end of that tank top.
Overall, the burger was fine, but nothing amazing. I enjoyed the guac, but I was still missing ketchup. It was all pretty easy for me to make though! In the past, burgers seemed like so much work, but maybe I'm just getting better at this whole making food thing.
That's right! Naan! The last time I made naan has got to be more than 5 years ago, before I even liked cooking or knew how to cook at all. I remember trying to make different things that involved dough, and naan was the one dough-y thing that turned out well.
I had about 1/2 a cup of heavy cream left over from making mac n cheese, and chicken tikka masala is one of my go to's for using up a little bit of heavy cream. I've made this a few times in the past year, so I wanted to do something a little different. And then I decided. It was time to make naan again.
Honestly? I think I may have done a better job when I made this the first time 😅 I think I used a little too much flour. It's hard to know when I should stop adding flour and stop stirring and start kneading. When I first tried to pick up the ball of dough, my hands just got super sticky and I had dough all over them.
Really, it wasn't bad. It was just a little dry and not as fluffy as I'd like them to be. But I still thoroughly enjoyed eating it with the tikka masala! And the tikka masala was super easy to make. That always turns out well.
I actually ended up buying one of those huge containers of yogurt just for this (and I only used a tiny amount of it) so maybe I'll try to make naan again soon!