It's later than I should be up for a worknight, but I'm excited to show off what I've been working on for the past two days: Tags! This is just the first iteration of it. More to come.
Last week I made a meal of mashed potatoes, garlic chicken bites, and brussels sprouts, except I spread out cooking the different components on different days so it didn't all come together until I made the brussels sprouts.
For the mashed potatoes, I used this slow cooker mashed potatoes recipe from Budget Bytes. I had that huge bag of potatoes, and I rarely make mashed potatoes so I figured I'd give this a try. It was alright. Needed some herbs. And more butter. And salt. And garlic. And maybe some cheese. I don't have a picture of the mashed potatoes because that's kind of boring on its own.
The garlic mushroom and chicken bites was a recipe I had saved for a while. I unfortunately didn't have chicken thigh, so I had to settle for chicken breast. Would this have tasted better with chicken thigh? Absolutely. But it was still good. I followed the recipe pretty closely except I also added half a cup of chicken broth because I thought it needed to be a little more sauce-y.
I didn't use a recipe for the brussels sprouts. I just cut them in half, tossed them in salt, lemon pepper, and olive oil, threw them in the oven at 425°F for about 10 minutes, and then finished them off in the broiler for another minute. Delicious. I could eat the whole pound of brussels sprouts all in one sitting, but I made sure to save some for two more future meals.
Oh! I also made gravy. The recipe told me to keep whisking until all the lumps were gone. I didn't do a very good job of that. Just don't look too closely at the photo.
Day 52 (Saturday): It's the weekend! Which means no work! Which means I actually had time to cook!
Yeah, that's right. I did the cooking. I really wanted to make some shrimp bowls. Of course, it ended up taking me forever, and it really felt like I made four different things: shrimp, rice, pineapple salsa, and black beans.
But whatever. It was worth it. Absolutely delicious.
Day 53 (Sunday): My sister was feeling lazy (and I've been feeling lazy for the past three weeks), so we just ate leftovers. We had too many leftovers sitting in the fridge anyway.
Day 54 (Monday): We bought this big thing of pork butt in our last grocery shopping trip and I think it may have been sitting in the fridge for just a little too long. So we decided to cook it.
I really wanted to try another pork loin recipe (but using a pork butt), and this honey garlic pork loin sounded really good. Using pork butt for this was definitely a good idea. We also needed a veg and some starch, so we roasted some brussels sprouts and potatoes as well. Overall, it was a good meal.
Day 55 (Tuesday): My sister made 韭菜粿 and I think it's worthy of its own post. So you'll see it in the next one.
Day 56 (Wednesday): When we went grocery shopping earlier this week, we stopped in the Italian grocery store, and decided to look all the different fancy pastas they had. Both my sister and I really like wide noodles, and I normally find fettuccine not wide enough.
But the Italian grocery store had some really nice fettuccine. The one we bought was completely in Italian! It was also a whole $2! I think paying that extra dollar was worth it though. The recipe we used was a bit weird, but it still tasted good.
Day 42 (Wednesday): During this whole quarantine, I've made sure to have chicken breast stocked at all times. I know chicken breast is kind of boring, but my sister has gotten really good at cooking it well.
Seriously, it was really good chicken. We also had some scalloped potatoes and asparagus to round out the meal.
What a nice fancy, American meal.
Day 43 (Thursday): After eating that chicken and that shepherd's pie, I was starting to feel really sluggish, so I wanted to have something a little bit lighter. I stared at my whiteboard for a while until deciding on making some Greek chicken wraps.
Except I had pita bread, so it wasn't actually wrapped. My sister also made me some french fries since I told her I really wanted some (: We had to be a little creative for the hummus, since I realized in the moment that we didn't have any lemons. We replaced that with some vinegar and orange, which was a really strange combination. Not my favorite hummus, but it was still edible.
The sandwiches all put together were really good though! Once again, my sister did a great job cooking the chicken.
Day 44 (Friday): We ordered takeout. Yup, we finally supported a local business and got some fried chicken. It was alright. The cornbread was dry. I don't take pictures of food I eat at a restaurant, so I don't have a picture of the fried chicken we ordered.
Day 45 (Saturday): Rounding out the American-ish meals, we decided to make meatloaf!
We put the dry cornbread in this, which I think was a good use of it. I think it turned out great.
I know meatloaf isn't very visually appealing, but it had really good flavor. My sister loved it.
Sunday we're hitting up the Asian store and the Mexican store, so that'll spice up our meals for next week.
I've been so busy at work that it's consumed my brain, and I haven't had a lot of mental capacity left over for really giving my cooking as much thought as I'd like. Which means I end up forgetting to take pictures of things. But, I looked at my phone, and it turns out I have enough pictures to write a post on some random things that I made over the past two weeks.
I had gone home to visit family for a week, in which I accompanied my mom in grocery shopping. She bought a ridiculous amount of vegetables that she wasn't going to be able to finish, so she gave me a whole bunch of stuff to take back to my place. Part of that was a lot of onions and bell peppers, so naturally, I had to make some fajitas. I've made these fajitas so many times, and they're always delicious.
Speaking of things wrapped in tortillas, I also made these pulled pork tacos. I don't have a picture of the initial batch of pulled pork, but I actually made it in non-taco form for my mom and her friend when they visited me. I also made cilantro lime rice (which you can kind of see in the tacos) and brussels sprouts and broccoli. Yes, there was a lot of flailing that day as I kept going back and forth between working and cooking.
I see cilantro and lime together, and I'm like "YES. I WANT THAT." So what happens is I buy those things for tacos, and then I just end up making more Mexican food because Mexican food uses a lot of cilantro and lime. (At least the kind I like does) These chicken thighs were really good, though I think using the cast iron pan was more trouble than it was worth for this. Next time, I'll just stick to one of my normal pans.
Oh, and obviously, I need to have some sides too, so I cooked some sweet potatoes and veggies. I didn't really use a recipe for them. I just cut them up, drizzled olive oil, and sprinkled various spices on them.
Yeah! Even more stuff that I wrapped in a tortilla! I just really like tortillas, okay? But, the heading for this is totally a lie, because when I went to the store they were completely out of chorizo, so I had to settle for just "sausage" instead. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of enchiladas, but I had sweet potatoes, and I had been just roasting them so I wanted to do something different. This was good, but I think I just need to take a break from the Mexican food now.
Yeah I know, this is totally random and why this post is only mostly Mexican. Hey, I had some pizza dough and pizza sauce in the freezer, so why not. I had cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan, so that's why it's three-cheese. This wasn't bad, but I'm going to have to improve on my pizza-making game. I definitely put too much sauce compared to cheese.
I don't have anything exciting to say in my opening sentence of this post, but hey, look at my fancy breakfast I made last Sunday! My arugula salad was really good.
I went to a diner for lunch that day, and I ate pancakes, so I really had breakfast twice in one day, which is way too much breakfast for one day.
So I had some cream cheese that was sitting in the fridge for who knows how long, and when I went to use it, I saw a piece of mold! But there was still a lot of cream cheese in that block, and I really didn't want to throw it all away (plus I was going to eat a bagel), so I did some googling to see if I could salvage the cream cheese, and I got...mostly bad news. But this one random person said it would be fine if I just cut off the chunk around the mold, so that's what I did! And that was two weeks ago, so I think it was fine.
Anyway, I bring that up because I felt like I really needed to use up all my cream cheese quickly after that. And this pasta optionally takes cream cheese. Turns out I used almost all the cream cheese on my bagels, so I barely had any left for this pasta. But that's okay, it still turned out really well. I cut the recipe in half (except for the diced tomatoes, because half a can of diced tomatoes is kind of useless), and it made enough for five meals. I usually hate leftover pasta, but this time the leftovers actually tasted decent.
I had the most random things in my fridge: canned pineapple, bacon, arugula, jarred red peppers, shredded cheese, green onions. After thinking about what else I can do with my much too large supply of arugula, I figured pizza would be good. All I needed to buy was pizza dough!
But wait, that pizza doesn't have arugula. Yeah, so I was looking up pizza recipes mostly because I wanted some inspiration, and I saw this recipe for bacon and pineapple pizza. And I had bacon and pineapple, so I thought this was perfect. It tasted really good, but I need to get better at dealing with pizza dough. I don't think I quite understand how to form it in that nice circle shape.
Oh, don't worry, I used the arugula in my own Tomato, Red Pepper, and Arugula White Pizza.
I don't have a link to this recipe since I got it from a cookbook. The recipe was actually for broccolini, but brussels sprouts were on sale at Aldi. I really like the taste of the sauce that was used, which consisted of some tamari, rice vinegar, srirachi, garlic, and sugar. I accidentally overcooked it a bit though, by leaving it in the oven for 20 minutes. I might use the sauce in a stir-fry later.
I was down to my last two bags of emergency dumplings, so I wanted to make some more. I normally just throw whatever I feel like in my dumplings, but I figured I'd try a recipe this time. This was a pretty typical dumpling recipe, but I really didn't want to buy zucchini or carrot, so I only used cabbage and green onion. Tasted decent enough, but I don't think I'll use it again. I thought the texture was a little weird.
But hey, I have ten freezer dumpling meals now!