flailing in my kitchen 2.1

How can I be sad when I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
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Showing all posts filed under: summer is approaching

Slow(ly) cooking

May 26, 2022 11:04 PM

Life is pretty good right now.

Work has been relaxing, but productive. Summer is approaching and I'm not getting anxious about it. I'm still cooking, but I'm doing it for fun--planning out one dish at a time, going to the grocery store four times a week, buying just the amount that I need, and not worrying about how much money I'm spending.

I planned to write a post like three weeks ago, but I bought a new laptop, and I had to put that together, and then I had to figure out how to move over all the code for this blog onto the new laptop.

But I did it! And now I have some food photos to share (:

Dumpling preparation -- a bowl of the ground pork mixture, some wrapped dumplings, and in my hand, a dumpling wrapper with some filling.

I was at Aldi and I saw that their ground pork had $1 OFF stickers on them, and I learned that seafood and ice cream are not the only things I impulsively buy. It was one pound, so I used a tiny amount of it for some stir fry and saved the rest for dumplings.

It had been a while since I made dumplings, so I wanted to put my not-yet-published dumpling recipe to the test. I decided to buy thicker wrappers this time so I could try using the leftovers for scallion pancakes. I think I prefer the thinner ones though. And it turns out I pretty much used exactly one pack of dumpling wrappers for this, so I really could have just bought one pack of thin wrappers and one pack of thick wrappers.

...but I'll get back to the wrappers later. I think I spent about two hours prepping and wrapping and cooking, and probably another hour eating and cleaning. Yup. That was a Tuesday night. You may think that three hours spent on dinner is way too much time, but it was relaxing and it was delicious.

Some cooked dumplings and dipping sauce

I had to get that crispy bottom in the picture too

A few days later, I made the scallion pancakes at my friend's house. My original plan was to make them with her, but she was busy with work, so I did basically everything except make the dumpling sauce. Not quite as time consuming as dumplings, but still pretty time consuming. I really enjoyed it though. There is something so nice about working with your hands and being in motion and not having to think or stare at screens. And then I have something I can eat as a result!

Scallion pancakes with dipping sauce
That dipping sauce was too spicy for me to handle and yet I kept going back for more

The thicker dumpling wrappers were definitely a good choice for these. I thought they were delicious, and my friend thought they tasted pretty good too. I'll have to make these more often.

If I had the time and energy, I think I'd spend three hours cooking every day.


Easy rice meals

April 25, 2021 11:28 AM

Summer is fast approaching. Summer has my favorite kind of weather, yet it's my least favorite season. Summer means that my family plans all these vacations, and I get really overwhelmed and stressed out. Summer is when so much of my mental energy is taken up by other things, that my side projects take a back seat.

All that to say, things are slowing way down for the food blog. I won't say I'm taking a break, but I'm tending towards making easier meals and spending less effort on creating aesthetically pleasing photos.


I really really like making this chicken and rice dish, but most of the time when I make it, I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. It's just easier. But this time, when I went to the store for chicken, the family pack of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs were 50% off, so I had to get that instead.

Chicken rice skillet

And really, the dish is so much better this way. What's nice about having the skin is that it gets nice and crispy when you intially cook it. But the problem with this dish is that you later nestle the chicken in while the rest of the rice is cooking, and the skin gets all soggy again. And I think the skin still tastes good that way, but it's just not the same.

So what did I do? I ate a whole bunch of crispy chicken skin right after cooking the chicken. So no, I don't have a full picture of the finished skillet because it's a bunch of naked chicken pieces and it's weird looking.

This dish actually makes a lot of rice, much more than what's needed for four chicken thighs, so I later cooked some more asparagus and salmon to also eat with it.

Asparagus and salmon

I know, I have a salmon and asparagus meal just three posts below this one! And I took a picture at exactly the same angle! Well, asparagus is in season, and I still have a ton of impulsively bought salmon, and this is just all my brain can handle right now.

(Okay...that salmon above? That's not even from the same shopping trip where I bought 2.5 lbs of salmon. This post's salmon was bought two weeks ago, and it was also an impulse buy. I had to! It was also 50% off!)

Asparagus, salmon, and rice

This was all already delicious right after I cooked it, but reheating the leftover rice in a skillet is 👌.