flailing in my kitchen v3

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

Tikka masala and naan

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.

A stack of some naan on a plate

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.

Me rolling out some dough
This is after I already made a mess and cleaned it up

Me putting the piece of dough in a skillet
This looks dangerous O_O The pan was hot!

Me watching the naan as it cooks

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.

Tikka masala, rice, and naan in a bowl

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!

Tikka masala, naan, rice, and a tiny tupperware of cilantro
Had to get a natural light photo too!

Some American food

To round out the past week, I made some American dishes. I had some leftover broccoli and leftover shells from the hummus pasta, so I decided to make some mac n cheese. I've made this broccoli shells and cheese recipe before, so I knew it would taste good! (I also followed the recipe exactly)

A close up of the broccoli shells and cheese

I was having a really busy Wednesday. I went into the office that day, and then I also went for a quick run after work. By the time I had even started cooking, it was almost 9pm. But I really wanted some comfort food, so I was making that mac n cheese.

A bowl of the broccoli shells and cheese, taken from the side

And even though it was late, it was very chill, and I didn't flail at all! Just a good, comforting, late dinner of some macaroni shells and cheese.

I made more American food the next night. I've had this bottle of Worcestershire sauce (that's really hard to spell) that's been sitting in my fridge for probably way too long, so I wanted to use it up. I was browsing through recipes that use this (that also wouldn't require me to buy more sauces I didn't have), and I came across slow cooker steak tips and mushrooms. Honestly? The picture kind of reminded me of dog food >.>

But it uses sauces and vineger that I already have, and it still looks like it tastes good, so I put this on my list of things to make. I also figured this would pair well with my mac and cheese!

Well, since this required slow cooking, I prepared it Thursday night, so I could finish it off Friday morning. It was after 10pm when I started prepping, and man, was cutting up the beef super annoying. Not chill at all. I really, really, really should get a better knife. And maybe I should buy beef from somewhere other than Aldi. I was exhausted just from cutting the meat and I was regretting even deciding to make this in the first place. And then I remembered that I was supposed to brown the beef on the stovetop! (It didn't brown. Not at all. I should have just skipped that step)

But I did it. I got everything in the slow cooker.

Steak tips, broccoli, and rice

And the next morning, I had...something that kind of looked like beef stew, actually. It wasn't terrible. I also still had a head of broccoli, so I roasted that with some steak seasoning and chili powder, and I had a very dinner-like breakfast.

A side view of the steak tips, broccoli, and rice

Oh, yeah I actually did eat this with one serving of mac and cheese the next day, but I never took a picture. I think it paired better with rice anyway.

Filed under: mac n cheese broccoli beef

Garlic shrimp in coconut milk

When I was buying groceries for that hummus pasta, for some reason I bought two pints of grape tomatoes, even though I only needed one for the pasta. And since I only used up half of my can of coconut milk, and I also had two green onions sitting in my fridge, I figured this was a good opportunity to make garlic shrimp in coconut milk and tomatoes.

I've actually made this recipe several times in the past, and I've always really liked it, but I guess I haven't written a single blog post about it. Until now.

Garlic shrimp in coconut milk, served with rice and topped with lime, cilantro, and green onion for garnish
I moved my table all across the room just to take advantage of the natural lighting

So, this recipe calls for a can of diced tomatoes, not a pint of grape tomatoes, but I figured this was an okay enough substitution. It also calls for a whole can of coconut milk, not a half one, but the whole point of this is for me to just use up what I have. I really just needed to buy a single bell pepper and some shrimp. Oh and cilantro. I always need cilantro.

I was able to get the bell pepper from Giant Eagle, but when I walked over to the seafood section, I looked at the shrimp, and it was $13.99 a pound! That's insane! And the recipe calls for a pound and a half. I wasn't going to pay $21 for shrimp. Aldi sells shrimp. I'll just get it from there.

Unfortunately, Aldi ended up being out of raw shrimp, and they only had bags of cooked shrimp left. I'm pretty sure I have an old blog post about why I should never buy already cooked shrimp. But I didn't want to walk back to Giant Eagle just for the shrimp, and this bag was only like $7. So I bought it.

Terrible decision. Never never never buy already cooked shrimp. It was way too tough and didn't have enough flavor.

A different angle of the bowl of rice and shrimp. You can see the window in the background
It was actually kind of a cloudy day, but natural cloudy light is still way better than artificial living room light

So, I made way too many deviations from the original recipe, and this turned out...not as good as it normally does, but it wasn't terrible! I still ate all the leftovers.

Scallion noodles again

...and again and again and again. I think I made these noodles at least 7 times.

A plate of stir fried noodles with scallions on top
I only took two photos though

So the first time I made this, I referenced recipes from Binging with Babish and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, but as I was scrolling through food things (like I always do), I stumbled across another scallion oil noodle recipe, this time from i am a food blog. And it made me realize something. I can just make one serving of this at a time. And then if I wanted to tweak the recipe, I could just make it again the next day! (and the next day, and the next day, and the next day...)

This is what I've settled as my preferred way of preparing these noodles:

  • Start boiling a pot of water, and when that's ready, cook about 3 oz of dry noodles. (I was able to find packs in the store with individual sized portions!)
  • Meanwhile, cut four scallions into strips, about 2 inches long. Slice the white parts a few more times length-wise.
  • Pour enough veggie oil into a pan in order to cover it, and cook the scallions in the oil, until they start to brown and crisp up a little. I just use enough oil to cook them, not to have the scallions swimming in the oil.
  • Take the crispy scallions out of the pan and set aside.
  • Transfer the cooked noodles directly from the pot into the pan with oil. (No need to frain! I just use chopsticks or tongs for this)
  • Pour some sugar, a dash of light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and Chinese black vinegar into the noodles, and stir it all around. Taste and add more of whatever I feel like adding.
  • Serve the noodles with the crispy scallions on top.
Another plate of stir fried noodles with crispy scallions on top
This one has natural light!

Am I even making scallion oil noodles at this point? Or am I just making some noodles with crispy scallions on top? I don't know, but whatever it is, it's delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed every one of these meals I made. But I think now it's time to take a break from this, so I can make other foods.

Filed under: stir fry noodles

Hummus pasta again

The past two months have been really busy with either me traveling to visit someone, or someone else visiting the area. I haven't really cooked as much, which means I haven't done anything for the food blog.

But I did try making hummus pasta again, and it turned out really well!

Me holding a casserole dish of hummus pasta
If you look closely, you'll see a giant hole on the side of one of the oven mitts

This is what I did differently this time:

  • I only cooked half a pound of pasta. I actually used higher quality shell pasta this time! It was from Aldi, but it's so fancy that they label it Conchiglie instead of Shells
  • I only used half a can of the coconut milk (now what to do with the rest...)
  • I used the Taste of Thai brand of coconut milk, which is better than the grocery store brand, but they only had light coconut milk and organic coconut milk! I just wanted regular coconut milk. Maybe next time.

If I had more time in my day, I'd cook a lot more and I'd make the same dish three days in a row, just so I could keep making tweaks to make it better each time.

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