flailing in my kitchen 2.1

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

December 20, 2020 8:42 AM

I finally used up the rest of my cabbage, and I used it to make some delicious shrimp tacos.

Tacos

Even though I used already cooked shrimp and just reheated it in the pan with the spice mix, it still turned out really well. I'd make one adjustment for the future though. The recipe calls for 1 tsp of coarse salt for the spice mix, so I used 1/2 tsp of table salt, and I think I should have cut that down to 1/4 tsp instead.

On an unrelated note, that day I happened to accidentally shoot food into my eyes twice. First, I was squeezing limes for the garlic cilantro lime sauce, and I squirted lime into my eye. Later that day, I was peeling ginger, and somehow I flung a piece of ginger into my other eye!

It's alright. My eyes seem fine now. The tacos were not impacted in any way by this.

Tacos close up

I'm on my holiday vacation now, so I'll be taking a mini break from new blog posts. I'll be back some time in January!


Meal Plan: 12/12 - 12/18

December 18, 2020 7:54 PM

It's almost the end of 2020! And I'm going to be visiting family soon, so this week's meal planning was a little different. I had originally intended on making noodle soup, but when I looked at my whiteboard, I realized there were some foods that I really needed to use up before my vacation started.

Whiteboard

Look! I finally threw out my half and half! I was about to pour some more in my coffee and I smelled it, and I decided that it was time to get rid of it. Since I did that, I smelled my milk as well, and while it wasn't quite bad yet, I could tell it would get there soon, so I marked that as something that I needed to use up. I also had a random assortment of vegetables that I didn't quite use up in the previous week's dishes. I checked Budget Bytes for recipes that use milk, and I saw Broccoli Cheddar Soup. I had pretty much everything it needed (broccoli, carrots, and onion) except cheddar.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I also had some Thai basil that was starting to look a little sad, and as you know, I made Pad kra pao with it. I went with that dish since I had ground pork in the freezer already. And I figured this was a good place to throw my last bell pepper.

Oh! And the cabbage! The cabbage that seems impossible for me to use up. I didn't have quite enough to make it the star of another dish, so where did my mind go? TACOS. I checked Pinch of Yum for some taco recipes and I saw a recipe for some Spicy Shrimp Tacos. Perfect. I actually have cooked shrimp in the freezer, which isn't really ideal, but I'm gonna use what I have. It'll also let me make use of the cilantro, scallions, limes, and even the peach yogurt since this calls for yogurt or sour cream. If I go and buy a new container of sour cream or plan greek yogurt, it'll be way too large of a container. The snack size is actually perfect.

And that's everything that I marked, and then some. I'll have to hold off on the noodle soup til next year. Everything I need for that is frozen or dried so it works out.

Groceries

Really quick grocery trip this time. I had to restock on salt of course. Apparently I also had to restock on flour. Somehow I have spelt flour, whole wheat flour, self rising flour, but no all purpose. I don't want to waste this extra flour, but I have no idea how to use it, and I wish my sister were here to be able to do something fun with it.

Also I bought an avocado because they were on sale. Plus I used it in my tacos.

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Saturday Sticky Rice Broccoli Cheddar Soup Singapore Noodles
Sunday Chicken Curry Pad Kra Pao Gumbo @ my friend's
Monday Singapore Noodles Sticky Rice Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Tuesday Singapore Noodles Pad Kra Pao Shrimp Tacos
Wednesday Sticky Rice Broccoli Cheddar Soup Shrimp Tacos
Thursday Sticky Rice Pad Kra Pao Shrimp Tacos
Friday Broccoli Cheddar Soup Sticky Rice

Wow, I just realized I didn't eat breakfast today. That means I was stressed out. But I have a lot of food left over still. I went and threw my curry in the freezer. I might throw all my other leftovers in the freezer as well.

I'll talk a little about the broccoli cheddar soup I made. It was actually pretty good, and it tasted just like mac n cheese, except instead of mac, it's vegetables. It actually reminded me of Nacho Cheese Easy Mac which was amazing, but is unfortunately discontinued. Maybe I can recreate it now.

More broccoli cheddar


Meal Plan: 12/5 - 12/11

December 12, 2020 11:41 AM

Last week I showed you what was in the PERISHABLE section of my whiteboard. This week I'll expand that and also show you the PANTRY.

Whiteboard

You see how some of the items aren't underneath a date? That means they're so old, I've forgotten when I actually bought them. And that can of bamboo shoots? I think it's been expired for a while. My go-to recipe for using up bamboo is curry, so I decided to put green chicken curry on my list of dishes for the week.

Obviously, that means I need to go to the Asian store to buy green curry paste. And since I've got that on my list, why not just make it a full week of Asian food? Sweet rice (sticky rice) is at the top of my PANTRY section, and the reason I bought that in the first place was to make Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage. But, the last time I made it, I didn't feel like actually opening that new bag of rice, so I just used my normal Jasmine rice. And that bag of sweet rice has been sitting in a cabinet, unopened, ever since.

For my third dish, I looked up noodle soup recipes on The Woks of Life since it's cold out now, and noodle soup sounds really good. I settled on Udon Noodle Soup with Chicken and Mushrooms since I've made it before and it uses dashi, which I currently have, and shiitake mushrooms, which I'm going to buy anyway for the sticky rice meal.

And that would have settled it, except I looked back at my whiteboard and realized I STILL NEED TO USE UP THE CABBAGE. I was trying to think of other Asian dishes that use cabbage, and my mind went to Singapore noodles. I don't know why my mind associates that with cabbage, but it works since I also have vermicelli noodles.

So, my original shopping plan was to just hit up the Asian store. But then I put together my list and realized I needed to buy chicken, and I just do not think buying chicken from the Asian store is a good idea. I don't even know if the local Asian stores here sell chicken.

Groceries - Aldi

So, I made a trip to Aldi. And look at all that produce! I'm definitely getting my greens this week. And yeah, Aldi sells ginger now. Crazy.

Groceries - Asian store

Aldi also sells coconut milk, but I just decided I'd get it at the Asian store instead. I'm not actually sure which option would have been cheaper. The Chinese sausage and dried shrimp are also kinda pricey. In total, I spent $48.37 on my groceries, which is way more than I should spent on food in one week. But, I did have a very light grocery haul last week, and next week will probably also be light. If we're averaging, I'm still under $30/week.

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Saturday Mushroom pasta Takeout: Chicken sandwich Fried mac n cheese
Sunday Fried mac n cheese Singapore noodles Okonomiyaki
Monday Fried mac n cheese Pulled pork tacos Chicken curry
Tuesday Fried mac n cheese Okonomiyaki Singapore noodles
Wednesday Okonomiyaki Singapore noodles
Thursday Singapore noodles Sticky rice
Friday Singapore noodles Chicken curry McDonald's

So, it's Saturday now, and I'm sitting here and I cannot remember well enough what I actually ate on Wednesday. Usually I try to write this down the day of, but I just happened to forget to do that on Wednesday. Did I actually skip a meal? Why in the world would I have skipped breakfast? Maybe I snacked on something. Maybe I had beef jerky in the morning.

I did sort of skip lunch on Thursday. I mean I ate food. I was grazing all day. I definitely had a yogurt and some beef jerky and probably something else as well. You'll also notice that I had McDonald's on Friday. I just really wanted those french fries. Unfortunately, there wasn't anything else on the menu I really wanted. But I got a few other things and it was still satisfying enough for a lazy Friday evening.

Ending with an obligatory photo of the pulled pork tacos:

Tacos


Singapore noodles

December 6, 2020 9:39 PM

In my quest to finish using up all of my cabbage, I decided to make some Singapore noodles. (Apparently I associate cabbage with Singapore noodles) I've made this a few times using a recipe on Budget Bytes, but I don't love the way she says to prep the noodles, so I decided to check out The Woks of Life. I settled on their Vegetarian Singapore Noodles recipe, since I've been lacking vegetables in my diet lately.

Prep

And there were a lot of veggies in this! So many veggies that I think it took me about 45 minutes to prep for this dish. I realized that I don't know how to julienne carrots. I was slicing them with a knife in probably the most inefficient way possible. I gotta watch a youtube video on this for next time.

I also realized that I had way more cabbage than I thought I did! And I already thought I had a lot of cabbage. The recipe calls for 6 oz, and I definitely had more than that. I also don't think I know the right strategy for cutting up Taiwanese cabbage either. Cabbage was flying everywhere as I was cutting it. As I was dumping all the veggies in my pan, I decided to only put half the cabbage in, so now I still have more cabbage that I need to use up.

Noodles in the pan

All in all, it took me 1 hour, 20 minutes to make this, which is 20 more minutes than the actual recipe says. I blame at least ten of those minutes on the fact that this recipe calls for salt. That was weird. I never put straight salt in my Asian food. It's always some sort of sauce that gives it that saltiness. And as I was pouring my salt into a bowl, I realized that I was low on salt. So I look for the big container of salt, because of course I have more salt. I looked in every cabinet, and turns out, I'm COMPLETELY OUT OF SALT. How in the world did I run out of salt?!

(I'm having a deja vu moment. I'm pretty sure I suddenly ran out of salt when my sister was here earlier this year. How the heck do we use up so much salt? But I'm only out of normal salt. I still have garlic salt, seasoning salt, and that pink himalayan salt that everyone just happens to stock in their kitchen for some weird reason.)

Singapore noodles with notes

In the end, I'd say these noodles were alright. 3/5. They're not bad, but I really should have used soy sauce instead of salt. There was actually a comment in the original recipe that questioned why this didn't have soy sauce. I should have listened more to that commenter.


Meal Plan: 11/28 - 12/4

December 2, 2020 10:17 PM

I'm going to try something new, and show you more of my thought process in how I meal plan. This is inspired by the Weekly Recap posts that Beth used to make on Budget Bytes.

First of all, I cannot be spontaneous with food. If I'm cooking, I need to plan every meal, and I am constantly thinking about my next meal. So, as long as work hasn't totally exhausted me, I'll take some time every Friday night or Saturday morning to come up with the next few dishes to cook. And I start that by staring at my whiteboard.

Whiteboard

Yes, this is an actual snippet of what was on my whiteboard a week ago. There's actually A LOT more on the whiteboard, but I just cropped this. Each date lists what I bought that day. I know, you're seeing that I've had half and half for almost two months. The internet tells me I should only keep half and half a week after opening. But it still smells and tastes fine. /shrug

But you know what, it's a whole quart of half and half so I should really find another use for it besides going in my morning coffees. I searched for recipes that use half and half on Budget Bytes, and I see that she has a mushroom pasta recipe, which works well, since I also have mushrooms that I don't know what to do with. It's perfect! All I have to buy for this is pasta!

So I also have this huge head of cabbage that I bought for my dumplings. My dumplings only took like a quarter of this head, so I need something that uses a lot of cabbage. My go-to cabbage meals are stir fry or some sort of sausage skillet, but I figured I'd try something different and make okonomiyaki. And it also works because I can use up the rest of my green onions as well!

Finally, you see that Mac n Cheese in the Already Cooked section? Yeah, I needed to do something with that. I decided to try and make fried mac n cheese balls, except it's going to end up being fried mac n cheese rectangular prisms since that's easier to cut. I wanted to make some dipping sauce for this, and of course I looked on Budget Bytes for one.

And that's already plenty of food, especially when you consider all those Thanksgiving leftovers I had. So I barely had to buy anything from the store!

Groceries

...of course I ended up buying twice as many things as I had on my list. But I ended up spending a whopping $10.52, so I think it's okay. Random grocery store thoughts:

As I was checking out, I thought, "Huh. I don't have any veggies." I probably should have bought something green. I don't know why I didn't restock on cilantro. I mean, I had it on the whiteboard, but I was low on cilantro, and why would I ever be worried about having too much cilantro? Plus it's only like $0.75! That was a mistake. Definitely getting cilantro next time.

Anyway, here's every breakfast, lunch, and dinner that I ate. I also had a lot of snacks, but I'm not going to type those out, because that's just way too much to type.

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Saturday Rice w/ fried eggs Thanksgiving leftovers Pulled pork tacos
Sunday Mushroom pasta Gumbo @ my friend's
Monday Roll Thanksgiving leftovers Thanksgiving leftovers
Tuesday Musroom pasta Pulled pork tacos
Wednesday Rice w/ fried egg Pulled pork tacos Okonomiyaki
Thursday Crescent rolls Mushroom pasta Okonomiyaki
Friday Crescent rolls Mushroom pasta Dumplings

Stay tuned, and I'll actually show you how all the cooking went. In the meantime, here's some tacos using the last bit of cilantro I had.

Tacos


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