flailing in my kitchen 2.1

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

August 7, 2022 2:59 PM

I had COVID a little over a month ago, and I was mostly confined to my aunt's guest room for five days. I ended up staying at my aunt's house for a week longer than I anticipated, so once I got back to Pittsburgh I was itching to cook again. I actually only had a week before having to go back to my aunt's house again, but now, NOW, I'm back in my apartment, and I am doing lots of cooking.

Pork enchiladas
Always serving my meals with a side of cilantro

I'm trying to remember why I decided to make enchiladas, because I'm not the biggest fan of them. I think I had tortillas in the fridge from a while ago. I also had some of that dry pulled pork that came from a pork loin. Yup, that's why. I wanted to use the rest of that.

I decided to try this vegan black bean and avocado enchilada recipe from Budget Bytes, but of course I substituted the corn for pork in it which made it very much not vegan anymore.

But who cares! I wasn't looking for a vegan recipe. I was looking for an enchilada recipe. And I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how this turned out. After I had prepared the filling, I took a bite and I thought "Wow, this is pretty good". The fact that I could munch on the filling before I baked it in the oven was great, because man, this recipe took a really long time to make and I was getting hungry.

I ended up having a lot of leftover enchilada sauce, so once I got back to my apartment the second time, I decided to make more enchiladas. But I didn't really want to make pulled pork again (and I guess I could have actually gone the vegan route, but uh...I didn't) so I tried a different type of Mexican meat and I made chicken tinga.

Chicken tinga with tacos
I like to throw so much cilantro on my tacos that you can barely see any other filling

Yeah, this was...okay. The recipe listed several methods of cooking the chicken, and I opted for just throwing some raw chicken into the tinga sauce and letting it cook on the pan and then shredding it. I think I should have slow cooked it for a few hours instead. I probably cooked the chicken for too long and it was kind of tough, so shredding it was a pain.

I also had to buy another can of chipotles in adobo sauce, and now I need to figure out what to do with the rest of the can again.

But I was still able to make tasty tacos! Even if the meat is not the best, I can just throw it on a corn tortilla with some onions and lime and cilantro and it's a beautiful meal.

Chicken enchiladas
I was all out of cilantro once I made this

Enchiladas ended up being easier the second time around since I didn't have to make the sauce from scratch. I mixed some of the chicken tinga sauce into my remaining enchilada sauce from before and I think I like that it made it a little lighter.

Overall, I'm happy with it! I actually still have leftover enchilada sauce, but I think I'm all enchilada'd out for a while now.


Chicken tikka masala

April 9, 2022 7:38 PM

I know, it's been over a month since I last posted. I'm still cooking. I cook a few times a week, and most of those times I'm really happy with what I cook, but when I'm done cooking my food, I just want to eat it and not have to take photos of it. I really don't like taking photos of food, and lately I haven't had anyone else taking the photos for me, so it's hard. When my sister was living with me it worked out really well because she would plate the food really nicely and take all the photos and she really liked doing that.

Anyway, I made Chicken Tikka Masala because I had half a cup of heavy cream, and I needed a break from pasta. I had no intention of taking a photo of it and posting it on the food blog. But today, in the midst of the incredibly rainy and cloudy past few weeks, a glimmer of sun came out. I was just finished cooking and I thought "ooh! I have natural light!" I usually cook after work when it's already dark, and the photos with the kitchen and living room lights on just aren't that great. So I had to take this opportunity.

Chicken tikka masala, rice, naan, and a side of cilantro
The side of cilantro is very important

I had intended to eat this with just a piece of naan, so I initially didn't cook any rice. But once I decided I was going to take a photo, I also decided that I needed rice for the aesthetic. (Don't worry, I still ate it)

And no, I didn't make the naan. I just bought it from Aldi. Normally I would say something about how dough scares me, but I've actually made naan before! And it was good! But I was not feeling up for making both tikka masala and naan bread on the same day.

So, after I start the rice cooker, I drag my table all the way across the living room so the light is hitting it juuuust right. Or at least better than how the lighting is where it normally is. And then I think, it's finally sunny out! I should take a walk after I finish eating!

Well, it's a good thing I managed to take the photo when I did. It started raining again once I finished eating, so unfortunately that means no walk ):

But the chicken tikka masala was very good. Very happy I made that, and also happy that I have two photos to show for it.

Closeup of the chicken tikka masala
Just two. I still don't like taking food photos.


I think it's time

December 30, 2021 4:34 PM

Earlier this year I took a break from my food blog, and I told myself that I wouldn't be back until I made a mobile app for myself. Well, I switched to an Android phone, and I learned some basic mobile app programming, and here I am again.

A meal of chicken, potatoes, and green beans
A classic American meal

I think it's time to get back to flailing in my kitchen.


Mashed potatoes, chicken bites, and brussels sprouts

March 2, 2021 11:03 PM

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.

Garlic Chicken

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.

Brussels Sprouts

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.

The finished meal

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.


Social Distancing: Days 12 - 14

April 6, 2020 8:00 AM

Day 12(Monday): We still have a decent amount of Thai basil leftover, and I figured it's due time for some stir fry. Plus I don't think it's going to last another day. I'm scrolling through recipes from The Woks of Life and I come across one that looks good. It also looks familiar. I made it last year! So I check my old posts, and it says to double the amount of basil. Well, that's not happening. Doesn't matter. This was still delicious.

Thai Chicken Stir-fry with Basil (recipe from The Woks of Life)
Thai Chicken Stir-fry with Basil (The Woks of Life)

We also realize that even though we bought a ridiculous amount of groceries the week before, that we were running out of fruit! So we go back to the grocery store an pick up more stuff. Hey, we lasted one extra day this time!


Day 13 (Tuesday): I have a friend of a friend that apparently works at a local restaurant, and they've got a ton of food (ingredients) that they're telling their employees to take home. So what does that mean for me? I get a surprise box of produce! It's like Misfits Markets again!

I mean, really all I specifically asked for was avocados, but she asked me if I was also willing to take limes, and so I said, I'll take anything! But these avocados are super ripe, so they need to be used today.

And what else can we do with avocado? Put them on some BBQ chicken pizza!

We half the dough recipe this time since we had super thick pizza two days ago. But this turns out super thin. Next time we'll go with 3/4 the amount of dough. And maybe one day I'll actually buy a circular pizza pan so we can have proper circular pizzas.


Day 14 (Wednesday): Yesterday we had chips and guac. Today we decide to have chips and queso!

But what about dinner? We have so much food. Why did we buy so much food? What do we have that looks like it's going bad? The green beans are looking a little sad. Let's make green bean casserole! I have this can of Cream of Chicken that has been sitting in my cabinet for who knows how long. It looks like it expired last year. But it's canned, so I assume it's fine.

In making the pizza and the cheesy bread a few nights ago, my sister learned that I have a large amount of cornmeal just sitting in my pantry, so this inspires her to make some cornbread.

Now all we need is some protein in this meal. I did buy a family pack of chicken breast from the store on Monday. So I look for some chicken breast recipes, and found this super basic one from Budget Bytes. Chicken breast is kind of boring, but as long as we absolutely do not overcook it, it will be delicious. The recipe says to cook for 20 minutes. I think we cooked it for less than 15. Perfectly cooked chicken breast.

Garlic Herb Baked Chicken Breast (recipe from Budget Bytes)

Garlic Herb Baked Chicken Breast (Budget Bytes)


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