flailing in my kitchen (v2!)

...and everywhere else in my life
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Pulled pork

March 17, 2021 11:03 PM

A few weeks ago, I was getting lunch with my friend from one of my favorite restaurants: Taco Town. This place is right next to the office that I work in, but because I've been working at home for the past year, I haven't been able to eat here. So we were very fortunate that we happened to order food here on the last day they were open before taking a two month break.

On the other hand, they were out of carnitas that day. How can they run out of carnitas?! It's the best thing on their menu! Taco Town used to be a solid 5/5 stars for me, but recently I've had to dock them a star.

But whatever. If I can't buy carnitas I'll just make them. Except carnitas are a little more work than I like sometimes, so instead I ended up making some chili rubbed pulled pork.

Pork

Pork in crockpot

Obviously these are pictures of the prep work, and I actually don't have pictures of the finished product. I invited a friend over for tacos that night, and sometimes you're just having too much fun to take pictures. I can assure you it was delicious though.

This was close to 4lbs of pork. I had lots left over, which meant I had lots of other meals with my pulled pork. Like this meal with garlic parmesan green beans and cilantro lime rice.

Pork, rice, and green beans

The green beans weren't bad, but I don't think I'd make that recipe again.

I also made some guac to eat with this pulled pork. Guacamole is one of the few things I can make without a recipe.

Guac

Typically when I make guac, it starts to brown after sitting in the fridge for a day. But this time was different. I had that guac in the fridge for 5 days, and it was still completely green! It was insane! Like I did some sort of magic on it!

I wanted to make the guac to put it in tacos or burrito bowls, but I knew I wouldn't need a whole avocado's worth of guac just for that. I went to the grocery store to buy some chips, and I came across guacamole-flavored tortilla chips, which made me feel kind of nostalgic. I used to hate guacamole, but when I was in high school, I loved guac-flavored chips. I guess that makes sense because guac-flavored chips taste absolutely nothing like guac. Eventually, well after graduating college, I started liking guac, but I still hated avocados. And just two years ago, my sister showed me just how delicious avocados are, and here I am now, loving all forms of avocado.

Tacos

Burrito Bowl

So many great uses for pulled pork. All were delicious.

(No, I haven't forgotten about carnitas. I'm absolutely going to make that at some point.)


Salmon and green beans

October 5, 2020 5:49 PM

The other day I saw salmon on sale for $5.99/lb. I didn't have salmon on my list of things to cook for the week, but I can't say no to cheap salmon. So I walked to the grocery store and bought two pounds of salmon. That's it. Just salmon.

Salmon and green beans recipe

My aunt makes this great salmon dish with lemon pepper and mayonnaise. I always look forward to eating it when I visit her. It seems so simple to make, but for some reason, every time I try to make it, it doesn't turn out right.

Salmon

And this time? It's no different. It wasn't great. I don't know, I think I need to watch her make it. I have all the ingredients written down, but how much of everything do I need?!

Also, do you see that salmon? I cooked it UPSIDE DOWN. How the heck did I do that? I didn't even notice it until I took it out of the oven. It was overcooked, but the breadcrumbs weren't browned, and it wasn't seasoned enough, but I think I put too much butter, but I didn't even use salted butter so it was weird...

It's alright. Next time, cook it for like 10 minutes and then broil for a few more minutes. Use more lemon pepper. Use more mayo. Use more chicken granules.

Green beans

At least my green beans and eggplant turned out well.

Salmon and green beans

Yeah, 5/5 for the veggies. 2/5 for the salmon, but I'll try the salmon again another time.

Salmon, green beans, and rice


Social Distancing: Days 24 - 26

April 25, 2020 5:57 AM

So I've been verybusy at work lately, which is why I haven't posted an update in a while. When I start working on a project at work my mind is just in this "I NEED TO FINISH THIS" mode and I can't work on other things. Anyway, I've found a stopping point, so it's time to catch up on blog posts.


Day 24 (Saturday): I have decided to take inventory of all my food. That's right. Everything in my kitchen.

I had already been doing this, but I finally took inventory of my herbs, spices, sauces, etc. Yes, this is what I stare at every day when I decide what to cook and what leftover to eat for breakfast or lunch.

Before I get to the dinner portion of this, check out this super aesthetic coffee my sister made.

So tonight's dinner was Nam Sod (Thai pork salad). I had about a pound of ground pork sitting in the freezer, but what I really needed to use up were some super sad looking limes.

Nam Sod (Budget Bytes)

We ate it both with rice and in lettuce wraps. I thought it was great, though my sister prefers something sweeter. Adding some Thai basil would have made this even better though!


Day 25 (Sunday): We decide to go grocery shopping. On a Sunday. But we didn't think about what Sunday it is. EASTER. That's right, all the stores are closed except Whole Foods. And Whole Foods has a line that wraps around the building. We decide to head back home. We'll survive.

Okonomiyaki (Just One Cookbook), Sichuan Dry Fried Green Beans (The Woks of Life) but we winged a lot of this since we were out of a bunch of ingredients

Since we have about half a head of cabbage in the fridge, we decide to make Okonomiyaki. It was delicious. We also had some green beans that seemed like they were going to go bad soon, so we fried those up as well. Of course at this point we're starting to struggle a little with what ingredients we had left. We used up the rest of our eggs for this meal!


Day 26 (Monday): We also wanted to go grocery shopping this day, but for some reason my stomach wasn't feeling so great, so we stayed home again. It's okay. We had some salmon in the freezer and some broccoli in the fridge so we made a quick meal out of that.

Cajun Salmon (How Sweet Eats), Cilantro Lime Rice (Budget Bytes)

Unfortunately I didn't let the salmon thaw all the way before putting it under the broiler so that was a bit of a struggle to get it cooked completely. I'm still learning how to use that broiler properly. But the rub we added to the salmon was great, and the meal overall was delicious.

At this point, we were out of garlic, soy sauce, milk, fruit...we absolutely needed a grocery trip.


Social Distancing: Days 18 - 20

April 9, 2020 8:00 AM

Day 18 (Sunday): We decide to go on a trek to the Asian store. And it was stressful. The line for checking out was very, very long. I don't think I should ever come back on a Sunday. Because of how exhausting that was, we grab takeout for lunch.

And for dinner, we rolled some sushi!

My sister wrapped this one. Mine was not as nice.


Day 19 (Monday): I need to do something with the green beans since they're starting to look kind of sad. I bought a huge slab of salmon in a previous grocery trip, so I figured we'd do this simple salmon and green beans dish. My sister even de-scaled the salmon.

Sesame Glazed Salmon and Green Beans (Budget Bytes)

Slightly fancy and very delicious.


Day 20 (Tuesday): Somehow we're already at the point where we need to get creative again with our meals. We really do have a lot of ingredients, but I'm not quite sure how to put them all together. I look at the top of my white board. Corn Tortillas. I have no idea how long that pack of tortillas has been sitting in my fridge. At least several months. I must use them.

Chicken Enchiladas (Skinnytaste), Red Enchilada Sauce (Budget Bytes)

The first thing that comes to mind is enchiladas. (I know, you would think it's tacos, but I like to mix things up!) Looking through enchilada recipes, I can't quite find one that contains only ingredients I have. But this Skinnytaste recipe comes decently close. Except that I don't have the right ingredients for the sauce, so I consult Budget Bytes for that.

Yeah, we struggled to get the enchilada rolls out nicely.

We make it work with what we have. Half a can of diced tomatoes with chiles, shredded chicken, some onions, and a bunch of spices. It tastes great.


Still so busy

November 3, 2019 6:07 AM

My mind has been so distracted about work that I haven't been able to really give this blog much thought. I'm even eating out more, and my body is not happy with that. Anyway, I am still cooking regularly, so I feel like I should at least update this with pictures every so often.


One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta - Budget Bytes

Red pepper flakes are entirely unnecessary, but I think it makes the picture pop.

I really like getting bagels from Giant Eagle, which means I also end up buying cream cheese, but one block of cream cheese is just so much cream cheese that I end up with lots of leftover cream cheese. So then I look up recipes with cream cheese, and for some reason, it's always just a bunch of pasta. This was good though. I'd make it again, but I probably won't put it in my "go-to recipes".


Roasted Poblano Hummus - Budget Bytes

How do you even make hummus photogenic?

I also bought a bag of Poblano peppers from Giant Eagle because I needed one for that enchilada recipe I made a few weeks ago. What was annoying was that I only needed one pepper and I had to buy five because Giant Eagle only sells these in bags, and I did not want to take the extra ten minutes to trek to Whole Foods. So I looked up Poblano recipes and I came across hummus. I love hummus (as I love chickpeas), but store-bought hummus is usually so bad. The problem with making hummus though, is that I have to take out my food processor, which is a pain in the butt because it's annoying to wash, and it takes me forever to figure out how to put it back in the box. But hey, I have it, so I really should make use of it more often.

This hummus was delicious, but it really could have used a second Poblano pepper. I'll have to make hummus more often, as it's a great healthy snack that I can bring to work. Plus, what else am I gonna use my jar of tahini for?


Sichuan Dry Fried String Beans - The Woks of Life

#nofilter

Sometimes I eat so much pasta and tacos that it makes me really miss Asian food. I also feel like I need more vegetables in my system, and this is one of my favorite dishes to order at the local Chinese restaurant. We actually made this once when my sister was here! I figured I'd try this out on my own, and it turned out to be a super oil-splatter-y mess, but it did taste good! Next time I need to be better about really drying the green beans before throwing them into the pan. I also really should have used a larger pan. This is going to go into my "things I want to cook for my mom or dad when they visit" list.


Korean Beef Bulgogi - Damn Delicious

There's just something so aesthetic about green onions.

More Asian food! I was just browsing recipes and I stumbled across this, and the picture looked really good, so I wanted to make it myself. Of course, when I made it, it didn't look nearly as good as the original recipe's picture. The marinade was delicious, but I still haven't quite gotten the hang of using my cast iron skillet. I was supposed to let the beef really brown, but it wasn't quite doing that. There was also so much marinade, and I probably could have cut it in half. I also should have cut the pieces of beef much much thinner. I'll have to try this again sometime.


Shrimp Scampi Florentine - All Recipes

This was a very hastily taken photo.

Now this is one of my go-to recipes. Of course I still haven't taken a decent picture of it yet. What's nice about this dish is that I can pair it with whatever starch I want. Rice, pasta, or bread all work really well. And I just happened to have a whole take-and-bake baguette sitting in my freezer.


Pizza...again!

I don't have a pizza cutter.

With Aldi now stocking pizza dough for less than $1, making pizza is really convenient. Especially because whenever I buy shredded cheese, it comes in these giant bags and I never know what to do with all of it, so I snack on it. I'd definitely rather be cooking with the cheese instead. Tomatoes are also one of my favorite pizza toppings (tomatoes, not tomato sauce). I should have put more green onions on this, but I totally forgot about them until the last minute so I awkwardly placed them in-between tomatoes at the end.

I should really buy a round pizza dish so I can actually make it circular next time. Oh, and maybe a pizza cutter.


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