flailing in my kitchen v3

How can I be sad when I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
Showing posts filed under: dough kinda scares me

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!

Sweet things

If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know that I'm not really a baker, or even just a person who makes desserts. I don't even make simple things like chocolate chip cookies or box brownies. But in my quest to get rid of everything in my pantry, I've hit the point where I have to start going through all my baking ingredients.

So I think it's finally time to start conquering my fear of dough.

Uhh, not bread dough though. Let's start with cookie dough. Can you believe that I had never made chocolate chip cookies from scratch before?! My sister has her own special recipe that everyone in my family uses, and they make cookies all the time. So I never really felt the need to make my own cookies. But I had some leftover chocolate chips from the last time my sister visited me and I wanted to use them up.

Chocolate chip cookies on a plate
Pro tip: put extra chocolate chips on the cookie dough after you put it on the baking sheet. I did not follow this tip.

I looked into a few different chocolate chip cookie recipes, and I settled on the one from The Novice Chef. It seemed easy enough. I only really had about 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips, so I cut the recipe in half (except for the egg because I'm not about to just use half an egg). As I went to for the cookie dough balls on the baking sheet, it was kind of a mess. I have no idea how I was supposed to roll it up into a ball. It was all sticky so I just ended up plopping messy mounds of cookie dough onto the sheet. I was a little worried when I put them into the oven, but they turned out okay!

Just okay. Not amazing. I'll have to try a different recipe next time. Maybe my sister's?

So, I've made pancakes plenty of times before, but I usually stick to oven pancakes, because I find them so easy and convenient. I decided to try some more traditional pancakes though. I had some leftover ricotta from the various pasta dishes I've made recently, and I wanted to try ricotta pancakes, since the idea of them sounded so intriguing.

Some stacked pancakes sitting on a plate. The top one is kind of burnt.
WHY did I leave the burnt piece on top??

And man, it was a lot of work. And the pancakes turned out...also okay. I don't even think it quite makes sense for me to include them in a post about "sweet things" since they weren't that sweet and I didn't have any maple syrup, but whatever. I just sprinkled sugar on top of them as I was eating them. Close enough. I'll stick to the cinnamon swirl oven pancakes next time.

I'm realizing that I could have titled this post "things that involved a hand mixer" and I guess baking and hand mixers just go hand-in-hand! (thanks sister for being the reason I even own one in the first place!)

Homemade cookies and cream ice cream in a loaf pan

Anyway, I was browsing facebook when I saw a recipe for some really simple no-churn ice cream, and I thought it looked so good so I saved it. This Oreo ice cream only calls for three ingredients, and I already had some sweetened condensed milk!

This one actually turned out really well! It definitely has an extra creamy taste to it, which is different from most ice cream I get from the store, but I liked it a lot!

Me eating a scoop of ice cream
What a perfectly placed speech bubble magnet (though I would never correct someone's your[e]s)

Finally, the only dessert I (used to) know how to make. Delicious as always. And I will keep making it at least a few more times, just to get through my expired cocoa powder.

Chocolate mug cake with a tiny scoop of cookies and cream ice cream on top
That's store-bought ice cream

Meal Plan: 1/23 - 1/29

Normally I would start with a picture of my whiteboard, but there's a ridiculous amount of photoshopping MS Paint-ing involved to get the image to look the way I want. So, I actually went and re-organized the whiteboard to make it a little easier on me. But you'll have to wait for next week's meal plan post to see it.

I will show you my groceries, though! This week I made shrimp scampi florentine and BBQ chicken pizza, which you already know. I bought ingredients for those meals, and I also bought a few extra things for snacks, like getting chickpeas to make hummus. I spent a little over $30 on groceries.


Well, I impulse bought tilapia. (Frequent readers of this blog should not be surprised.) It was on sale for $6! It's normally $12 for the 2 lb bag! And that was from Giant Eagle, not Aldi. I know, it's always $6 at Aldi. But maybe this brand is better.

Also, Aldi was out of chickpeas! I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Aldi runs out of chickpeas a lot. I really didn't want to make another grocery store trip, so hummus will have to wait until next week. I really should just keep a constant supply of chickpeas like I do with eggs.

If you're wondering why I bought kimchi, it's so I could eat it with some meat that my grandparents prepared while I was visiting them.


My grandpa has the best recipe for both beef jerky and 腊肉. Deep frying things kind of scares me (but not as much as dough does) and I think I overcooked the 腊肉 a little, but it still tasted great.

I also asked several members of my family what 腊肉 (lat bhat) actually translates to. I know 肉 (bhat) means meat but what is 腊 (lat)?! No one was able to tell me! As I was looking things up in a Teochew app, I realized that 腊 is the same 腊 as in 腊肠 (lat chiang) Chinese Sausage. And then I looked this up in the Wiktionary and I learned 腊 basically means dry or dried meat. Now I know.

Okay, Chinese lesson aside, I only cooked two meals this week because I was still going through the leftovers in my freezer. It was my full intention to actually keep track of what I ate this week, but I realized I haven't written down anything since Monday. It was just bagels every morning, while rotating between the scampi, pizza, and leftovers during lunch and dinner.


And I did add pineapples on my leftover slices of pizza. I love leftover pizza. It's the best leftover.


Another thing that has been sitting in my freezer is marinara sauce. I made a large batch when I made fried mac n cheese, and since I couldn't finish it all, I figured I'd use it to make pizza later. In the meantime, I've been seeing so many pizza commercials on TV. Even Panera has pizza now! I was almost half tempted to buy some! But I didn't. Panera is expensive and you get tiny portions and I spent way way way too much money there when I was in college.

I was trying to think of some good pizza toppings. I feel like pizza should have mozzarella on it, but all I had was a leftover block of cheddar cheese and I did not feel like buying more cheese. And then after thinking about this for five minutes I thought "Forget this. I'm making BBQ chicken pizza." Cheddar and BBQ? That's a great combination.


Now, I'm not much of a baker. Dough kind of scares me. And since my sister isn't here, I of course bought pre-made pizza dough. You'd think this would be easy. Just flatten it out on a pizza pan and put toppings on. But I was struggling. It was so lumpy. I don't know how people make pizzas into such perfect circles. Maybe it's the tossing thing. I'm not gonna toss my pizza dough. That sounds even scarier.

When I took out the block of cheddar, I actually noticed a little bit of mold on it. I contemplated my options. I was wearing sleep clothes already. I did not want to go out and buy more cheese. I went and cut the moldy part off. I ate the pizza with the cheese. I felt fine. I guess it was okay.

Pizza slices

Really, it tasted pretty good. But after I ate it I realized something. I forgot pineapples! I bought a can of pineapple chunks solely for this pizza and I totally forgot to add that!

Well, now I have pineapple and marinara sauce that I need to use up.

Social Distancing: Days 10 - 11

Day 10 (Saturday): It's the weekend! My sister is losing track of the days as every day feels the same. But since I don't have work, I decide that it would be a good time to make dumplings since it takes me a while to make dumplings.

Of course I didn't think about the fact that my sister is an amazing and super fast dumpling wrapper. She probably wraps four dumplings in the time it takes me to wrap one.

She actually wasn't as happy with this batch as she usually is. I think we need a larger meat to veggies ratio. But I still thought it was delicious. So delicious, that we forgot to take a picture immediately and didn't remember to do so until we ate half of them.

Not only does my sister make the best dumplings, but she also makes the best dipping sauce!

Day 11 (Sunday): In keeping with the theme of making more elaborate meals on the weekend, we decided to make pizza. From scratch. That's right: homemade pizza dough and homemade pizza sauce. I used half a can of crushed tomatoes in our soupy pasta on Friday, so I turned the other half into pizza sauce. It was really easy!

My favorite pizza is BBQ chicken, but if I want a more traditional cheese and tomato sauce pizza, my favorite topping is tomato. I love tomatoes on pizza.

Not only that, we also made cheesy bread! I used to eat cheesy bread all the time when my work would order pizza from a place called Giovanni's which made the most amazing cheesy bread. Unfortunately, one time they were super late with their delivery so the admin team decided to never order from there again ):

Homemade Cheesy Garlic Bread (recipe from Budget Bytes)
Homemade Cheesy Garlic Bread (Budget Bytes)

But, who cares! I can make my own cheesy bread! Well. My sister can. Dough still kind of scares me.

Thick and Rich Pizza Sauce (recipe from Budget Bytes)
Thick and Rich Pizza Sauce (Budget Bytes)

It was kind of awkward making both since the pizza needed to cook at 425 and the cheesy bread needed to cook at 375 but we made it work. We actually have a decent amount of pizza sauce left! Maybe we'll make more cheesy bread later?

Showing posts filed under: dough kinda scares me