flailing in my kitchen 2.1

How can I be sad when I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
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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 12 - 14

April 6, 2020 8:00 AM

Day 12(Monday): We still have a decent amount of Thai basil leftover, and I figured it's due time for some stir fry. Plus I don't think it's going to last another day. I'm scrolling through recipes from The Woks of Life and I come across one that looks good. It also looks familiar. I made it last year! So I check my old posts, and it says to double the amount of basil. Well, that's not happening. Doesn't matter. This was still delicious.

Thai Chicken Stir-fry with Basil (recipe from The Woks of Life)
Thai Chicken Stir-fry with Basil (The Woks of Life)

We also realize that even though we bought a ridiculous amount of groceries the week before, that we were running out of fruit! So we go back to the grocery store an pick up more stuff. Hey, we lasted one extra day this time!


Day 13 (Tuesday): I have a friend of a friend that apparently works at a local restaurant, and they've got a ton of food (ingredients) that they're telling their employees to take home. So what does that mean for me? I get a surprise box of produce! It's like Misfits Markets again!

I mean, really all I specifically asked for was avocados, but she asked me if I was also willing to take limes, and so I said, I'll take anything! But these avocados are super ripe, so they need to be used today.

And what else can we do with avocado? Put them on some BBQ chicken pizza!

We half the dough recipe this time since we had super thick pizza two days ago. But this turns out super thin. Next time we'll go with 3/4 the amount of dough. And maybe one day I'll actually buy a circular pizza pan so we can have proper circular pizzas.


Day 14 (Wednesday): Yesterday we had chips and guac. Today we decide to have chips and queso!

But what about dinner? We have so much food. Why did we buy so much food? What do we have that looks like it's going bad? The green beans are looking a little sad. Let's make green bean casserole! I have this can of Cream of Chicken that has been sitting in my cabinet for who knows how long. It looks like it expired last year. But it's canned, so I assume it's fine.

In making the pizza and the cheesy bread a few nights ago, my sister learned that I have a large amount of cornmeal just sitting in my pantry, so this inspires her to make some cornbread.

Now all we need is some protein in this meal. I did buy a family pack of chicken breast from the store on Monday. So I look for some chicken breast recipes, and found this super basic one from Budget Bytes. Chicken breast is kind of boring, but as long as we absolutely do not overcook it, it will be delicious. The recipe says to cook for 20 minutes. I think we cooked it for less than 15. Perfectly cooked chicken breast.

Garlic Herb Baked Chicken Breast (recipe from Budget Bytes)

Garlic Herb Baked Chicken Breast (Budget Bytes)


Social Distancing: Days 10 - 11

April 5, 2020 8:00 AM

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?


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.


Mostly Mexican Food

October 19, 2019 5:16 PM

I've been so busy at work that it's consumed my brain, and I haven't had a lot of mental capacity left over for really giving my cooking as much thought as I'd like. Which means I end up forgetting to take pictures of things. But, I looked at my phone, and it turns out I have enough pictures to write a post on some random things that I made over the past two weeks.


Chicken Fajitas - Budget Bytes

I went a little crazy with the filters on these photos.

I had gone home to visit family for a week, in which I accompanied my mom in grocery shopping. She bought a ridiculous amount of vegetables that she wasn't going to be able to finish, so she gave me a whole bunch of stuff to take back to my place. Part of that was a lot of onions and bell peppers, so naturally, I had to make some fajitas. I've made these fajitas so many times, and they're always delicious.


Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork - Budget Bytes

Everything is extra bright and saturated.

Speaking of things wrapped in tortillas, I also made these pulled pork tacos. I don't have a picture of the initial batch of pulled pork, but I actually made it in non-taco form for my mom and her friend when they visited me. I also made cilantro lime rice (which you can kind of see in the tacos) and brussels sprouts and broccoli. Yes, there was a lot of flailing that day as I kept going back and forth between working and cooking.


Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs - Damn Delicious

I see cilantro and lime together, and I'm like "YES. I WANT THAT." So what happens is I buy those things for tacos, and then I just end up making more Mexican food because Mexican food uses a lot of cilantro and lime. (At least the kind I like does) These chicken thighs were really good, though I think using the cast iron pan was more trouble than it was worth for this. Next time, I'll just stick to one of my normal pans.

Oh, and obviously, I need to have some sides too, so I cooked some sweet potatoes and veggies. I didn't really use a recipe for them. I just cut them up, drizzled olive oil, and sprinkled various spices on them.


Chorizo and Sweet Potato Enchiladas - Budget Bytes

I forgot to take a picture before I started eating, so a few of the enchilada rolls are missing.

Yeah! Even more stuff that I wrapped in a tortilla! I just really like tortillas, okay? But, the heading for this is totally a lie, because when I went to the store they were completely out of chorizo, so I had to settle for just "sausage" instead. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of enchiladas, but I had sweet potatoes, and I had been just roasting them so I wanted to do something different. This was good, but I think I just need to take a break from the Mexican food now.


Three Cheese Pizza

Apparently I'm not capable of making circular pizzas.

Yeah I know, this is totally random and why this post is only mostly Mexican. Hey, I had some pizza dough and pizza sauce in the freezer, so why not. I had cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan, so that's why it's three-cheese. This wasn't bad, but I'm going to have to improve on my pizza-making game. I definitely put too much sauce compared to cheese.


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