flailing in my kitchen 2.1

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

February 2, 2021 8:40 PM

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.

Hummus

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.

Hummus Bowls

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.


Social Distancing: Days 49 - 51

May 11, 2020 8:00 AM

Day 49 (Wednesday): I actually felt a little better today, but I still ended up working way way too much. So of course my sister took care of dinner.

We had some mango that was ready to eat, and so my mind immediately went to shrimp tacos.

I love tacos. Tacos are always a good choice.


Day 50 (Thursday): Holy crap, day 50 already?! Anyway, we had some chickpeas sitting in the fridge that I felt needed to be used, so I figured we could make some falafel.

This was a little bit of a struggle, as the falafel patties totally fell apart when we tried to fry them. It's alright though. My sister managed to salvage them, and at the end they came together nicely. We also had some roasted eggplant and leftover orzo pasta, since that seemed appropriate. Overall, a good meal even if we had to go through some mishaps.


Day 51 (Friday): The end of a stressful work week. I was very exhausted by now, so I was definitely not in the mood for cooking dinner. However, my sister is always up for cooking dinner. And she decided to go all out for dinner by making some hand-pulled noodles.

My sister told me that this was harder than she expected. But I think she did a fantastic job. The noodles were delicious.


Social Distancing: Days 39 - 41

May 4, 2020 8:00 AM

Day 39 (Sunday): So my sister really wanted to make Korean pizza. I don't even know what makes this pizza Korean except for the fact that we put some marinated beef on it.

But whatever. This was delicious. She even stuffed the crust with sweet potato!


Day 40 (Monday): The start of a busy workweek. So busy that I had my sister pretty much make all the dinners for the week. Starting with a Mediterranean-ish meal with some meat, roasted veggies, and a chickpea salad! I did prepare the dressing, so I contributed something! At first I was going to get some ground beef for this, but we decided to be way fancier.

Yup, look at how good that piece of lamb looks. It was a bit fatty but we like it that way.

Chimichurri Chickpea Salad (Budget Bytes)

Chimichurri Chickpea Salad (Budget Bytes)

Maybe not the most aesthetic dish when it's all put together, but it was delicious.


Day 41 (Tuesday): Before all of this coronavirus craziness, my sister, mom, and I were planning a trip to Ireland. Of course, that had to be cancelled. We were feeling a little sad about it, so we decided that we should make something Irish: Shepherd's Pie.

We probably should have taken a picture after taking a piece out.
We probably should have taken a picture after taking a piece out.

I didn't even know this was an Irish dish, but it's filled with meat and potatoes (and little bits of vegetables, even though I know you can't tell from the picture), so it makes sense. We may have had it under the broiler for a tad too long, but I think it tasted great.


Social Distancing: Days 36 - 38

May 3, 2020 11:53 AM

Remember how I said I was super busy at work, but I had some breathing room? Yeah, work got super busy again.

Day 36 (Thursday): I had this warm cauliflower salad on my to-make list for a while. And now I always have Tahini stocked so it felt like a good time to make it. I was a little concerned this wasn't going to be enough food for dinner, but we paired it with that pork loin we made the other day.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing (Budget Bytes)
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing (Budget Bytes)

Yeah, that really dry pork loin. You can even see how dry it is in the picture!

But the salad was delicious. Warm salads are great.


Day 37 (Friday): One of the things I've had sitting in my pantry for waaay too long are canned bamboo shoots. I don't really like bamboo, but my sister really likes it and I don't mind it so much in curry. I had some other veggies that would go well in curry (frozen green beans, carrots) so we decided to make some.

Green Curry Chicken (The Woks of Life)

Green Curry Chicken (The Woks of Life)

Unfortunately, Aldi was out of chicken thighs when we went, but that's alright. This was still delicious with chicken breast. This was super easy to make and very flavorful, so I'd definitely make it again. And adding limes made it even better!


Day 38 (Saturday): Somehow with all the stay-at-home orders, I still managed to have jam-packed weekends. I had a virtual hangout with my friends during the day, and a virtual hangout with my cousins at night. So I wanted to make something easy for dinner.

Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry (Budget Bytes)
Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry (Budget Bytes)

I've made this beef and cabbage stir fry a few times in the past, and it's easy and tastes good enough, but I feel like it was lacking something. Maybe it needed more fish sauce and sugar. The sriracha helps though.


Social Distancing: Days 7 - 9

March 30, 2020 8:00 AM

Day 7 (Wednesday): So during my multi-grocery store excursion, I impulse bought some Ahi Tuna, because of course I did. And because I was out for three hours, that gave plenty of time for that slab of tuna to already start thawing, so I figured we might as well keep it in the fridge and have Poke the next day.

One of our lessons learned from past poke parties is that we usually buy way too much fish. So we picked out the smallest piece (about 1/2 lb), and we decided to NOT add any extra items to our grocery list because the best way to do poke parties is to just use what you already have.

Raw tuna is so beautiful.

Another lesson learned is that we should just marinate the fish, and not any of the other ingredients because otherwise it gets too salty. My sister makes the most delicious marinade with soy sauce and other Asian sauces and ginger and garlic and onions and she even included some lime this time!

If you're wondering, yes, we ate everything on that table. There were no leftovers, and there shouldn't be, since this is raw fish we're talking about.


Day 8 (Thursday): We had a planned game night with our cousins this day, so I wanted to make something easy. I still had a lot of pulled pork leftover from a few days ago, so it's taco time again!

I was expecting to do another taco night, so I made sure to buy lots of cilantro and sweet onions. I also happened to buy Mexican cheese, which I wasn't even planning on using for this. (I like putting Mexican cheese in my green bean casserole...which will be for another blog post!) But it adds some nice color to the tacos!

Also, we're sitting here at my dinky table, when I realize how nice the lighting is at one particular spot. And I realize that I have a spotlight in my kitchen that is pointing RIGHT at that spot on the table, and I have two other spotlights and I'm like WHY HAVEN'T I NOTICED THIS BEFORE. I need to buy a ladder now so I can re-angle these lights and give my pictures better lighting for the future.

My sister also made some shaobing. She's so talented.


Day 9 (Friday): So one of my friends is really into those Bon Appetit videos, and I figured I'd watch one to see what all the fuss is about. I'm not really into watching videos about food, but watching this video of this guy making pasta with chickpeas really made me want to make pasta with chickpeas.

Brothy Pasta with Chickpeas (recipe from Bon Appetit)

Brothy Pasta with Chickpeas (Bon Appetit)

Except this is more like soup. Pasta soup? They call it "brothy pasta" which my sister thought was weird, but that's what it is! You eat it with a spoon! We also threw in some kale and celery that we just happened to have. I thought it was great. I'd make it again.

Oh remember how I was struggling to find flour at the grocery store? Well, that's not the only thing we struggled with. We also couldn't find butter. We did find butter substitutes though, so we bought two packs of margarine. My sister used it to make these croissant-like things that don't really resemble croissants at this point, but whatever. It was still tasty.


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