What? Three pasta entries in a row? Is this all I eat now?
No. I swear I eat other things. I was totally going to make some fajitas tonight, but it's been three really busy days at work and I wanted some easy comfort food, so I switched things up last minute.
I mentioned two entries ago that I wanted to try the alfredo recipe from Sip and Taste. I tend to like white sauce more than red sauce for pasta, and I appreciate that the video uses my favorite type of pasta, pappardelle. I just really like wide noodles.
I know I complained about youtube recipes in general, but this video doesn't even have a text recipe in the description! I actually watched the video and furiously wrote down notes at the same time.
But my notes must have been good enough because this was really easy to make and I was very happy with it! The original recipe calls for chicken, but when I was at the grocery store last night I saw shrimp on sale for $5.99/lb and I had to get it.
Shrimp is probably my favorite seafood, but I find that if it's not cooked right it tastes really bad. So I kept this simple. I sprinkled a little bit of cajun seasoning on the shrimp and cooked it on the pan for a few minutes and it was perfect. High quality shrimp already has such good flavor that I like eating it even without anything added to it.
My cooking experiences aren't complete without some sort of flailing, and I may have dropped some pasta on the stove while I was taking it out of the boiling water and into the sauce. I liked not having to use a colander, but once I had gotten all the long noodles out, I knew there were still short pieces of pasta still left in the water and I was kind of struggling to fish it all out.
But other than that, it was smooth sailing. I think I'd make this again! Not anytime soon though. I think I should take a break from pasta.
So for the most part, my youtube feed has consisted of music performances, updates on celebrities that I've followed, clips of funny shows, and rhythm game videos. But one day, youtube decided to recommend me a cooking video. I watched it, and now half my feed is recipes.
That first recipe video I watched came from a channel called Sip and Feast which just has lots and lots of pasta recipes. They all look really good and the comments also rave about the pastas, so I had to try one of them. I settled on making spicy creamy mushroom pasta, or as it's titled on the youtube channel, "Quite Possibly The Best Cream Sauce Ever!" -_-
The annoying thing about recipes on youtube is that they always just put the actual recipe text in the description and there's no nice "printer friendly" version of the recipe that I can look at without being blasted by ads. So you know what I do? I write it down.
I kind of hate the taste of wine, but I felt like I needed it for this recipe, so I went to the local Fine Wine and Good Spirits and bought the tiniest, cheapest box of white wine I could find. It was $3. I also replaced Calibrian chili paste with chili garlic sauce because that's what I already had.
I think best ever was a bit of an exaggeration, but it was pretty good! I really liked the flavor of the sauce. And I know I have this weird aversion to leftover pasta, so I only boiled enough pasta for one meal, and I mixed in just enough sauce with that. It took about 40 minutes to make, which wasn't too bad for my first time. I think I'll try more pasta dishes from this channel. Maybe an alfredo next time.
If you've been paying attention to the blog, you'll notice that I almost always make savory food. I'm not really a huge fan of sweets (unless it's ice cream or a smoothie, then I'm a huge fan of sweets with no self control). My little sister was always the one that did the baking. I don't really know how to bake anything, so I never make dessert for myself.
Okay, there's one exception to that.
I absolutely love making this Cinnamon Nut Swirl Mug Cake (except I never put nuts in it). For a "cupcake" that you bake in the microwave it takes way more effort than it should, and uses up way too many measuring spoons, but it's so worth it. And it's the perfect size, so I'm not tempted to eat too much dessert.
So I've had carrots sitting in my fridge for a while. Carrots last a while, so it's not a big deal, but I really wanted to get rid of them. For some reason when I was trying to think of a way to use them up, my mind went to hummus.
I love hummus. I love anything with chickpeas. But I think store-bought hummus is pretty terrible so I always make it myself. Apparently authentic hummus is really creamy and smooth but I like mine to have more texture in it. One of my best friends also really likes hummus. She's the same one who occasionally makes gumbo and lets me have some. I had planned a hang-out with her on Saturday, and I wanted to do something nice.
Now I like to make different variations of hummus, and this time I went with jalapeño cilantro hummus. The last time I made this, my friend told me it wasn't jalapeño-y enough. Which really just means it wasn't spicy. I usually de-seed jalapeños when I use them, but for this batch, I used two jalapeños and I mostly kept the seeds in it.
The verdict? It was delicious. Seriously, this is like the best my hummus has ever tasted. I brought the hummus and some pita bread over to my friend's place and she finished it all the same day.
Oh, but I also used some in Mediterranean Hummus Bowls. This recipe has become one of my go-to's.
I know what you're thinking! What about those carrots? Well, don't worry, I didn't forget about them. I had to make more hummus anyway, so I cut up some carrots to dip in the hummus. And I considered taking a picture of it, but it's literally just hummus and carrots, and that's kind of boring. Delicious though.
Remember when I made spring rolls and basil chicken and bought so much mint that I didn't know what to do with it? Well, I looked up things to do with excess mint, and I came across mint pesto. The recipe actually calls for mint and parsley, but parsley is kinda gross, so I went all in on mint.
So, this mint pesto has been sitting in my freezer since Thanksgiving, and I finally have a use for it! My initial thought was to make some sort of pesto pasta, but since I had some leftover spinach and frozen shrimp available, I decided to make one of my go-to's, Shrimp Scampi Florentine.
If I have the time, you might have noticed that I like to write the recipe down in advance. If you're wondering, it's not a recipe book. It's just a journal. But since it's a lazy Saturday, I had even more time, so I went and reorganized my journal to make it easier to find the pages that have recipes. And by that I mean I numbered every page and made a table of contents at the end of the book.
And then I realized I already wrote this recipe down! And then I had another thought. Maybe I should just write down the recipes for all my go-to's. But on index cards because I have a lot of those and they work well for recipes. So I went and marked those recipes with a blue asterisk. There are more, but I'll get to those when I get to those.
I recently gave a lightning talk at work about my meal planning process, and now my coworkers are going to see this and think I'm even more insane than they already thought.
Anyway, I don't really love the mint pesto, but I still love this dish. Shrimp, tomatoes, spinach, pesto, and pasta. What a well balanced meal.