This past week was weird. It's the first time in my life that I'm not home with family on Thanksgiving. To make it feel more "Thanksgiving-y", I decided to cook a bunch of Thanksgiving food this past week! And by that I mean I cooked a bunch of American food, and after about two days of it I remembered something: I don't really like Thanksgiving food that much.
Anyway, I started off with some pulled pork because turkey is too much work, and it doesn't taste as good. And the pulled pork was delicious.
And then later that day I made some mac n cheese. I've had mac n cheese on my "to make" list for a while, and I've also had a pound of elbow pasta sitting in my pantry for who knows how long. I've always been a fan of baked mac n cheese, but after I cooked it, I totally regretted cooking a whole pound. Also, I'm definitely making a stovetop version next time.
Yeah, that was a lot. It's still a lot. The recipe said this was more like a casserole, and she wasn't kidding. Once you put it in the fridge, it just hardens and I feel like I have to microwave it for two minutes just to make it not shaped like a block. I've eaten about a quarter of it by now, and I don't think I can eat any more, so I cut it all up and threw it in the freezer. I'll figure out how to repurpose it.
I also made some collard greens. When I was talking to my aunt on the phone, she suggested it and I thought it was a great idea. The recipe I used wasn't bad, but I made a few tweaks. I cut the bacon before cooking it. I also added about a tablespoon of brown sugar to the recipe, which made it much better.
And finally, I made some sweet potatoes. I went with this cumin lime recipe because I have a bunch of lines in the fridge, but I also thought it was kind of weird to have a lime-y dish in my Thanksgiving meals. Oh well.
Yeah, I'm totally sick of Thanksgiving food now.
Really my work has been busy. It's been so exhausting that I haven't been able to prepare good meals for myself. And when I have I've been too lazy to take photos of it. But it's getting better, so the food pics are coming back. These pics are all kind of terrible, but hey, in the end it's about how the food tastes.
Yeah, I really wish I threw something green on that. But fajitas are delicious, and I think I really like cooking shrimp in the oven. It cooks evenly, and I rarely overcook shrimp when it's in the oven. It was delicious.
So one of my friends was telling me about this chipotle cream sauce thing that she had at a restaurant and that she was trying to recreate it. We actually ended up getting takeout from this restaurant and there was no such chipotle sauce, so I have no idea what she was talking about. But I decided, hey let's make these loaded sweet potatoes so I can actually have some chipotle lime crema. Also delicious.
And finally, I made some bibimbap because I had 1/2 a pound of ground beef and I didn't know what to do with it. Pretty good. Don't know if I'd put it at the delicious level. I think it was missing a sauce-y element to it.
Okay, I know we're not really quarantined, but I didn't know what else to call this blog post. I had some pictures of things I made before my sister visited. And I know I can't tie these all together nicely, but whatever. Enjoy the pictures!
I've been on a hummus kick for the past few months. Back when I could still go into the office, I would snack all the time. I don't think I went a single hour without eating something. And the cafe in the office doesn't exactly offer the most healthy options.
So, I'm trying to make sure I have healthier snack options. And since I love chickpeas, that also means I love hummus. And homemade hummus is way way better than anything you can buy at the store.
Remember those fish tacos I made a while back? I actually bought the family pack of tilapia, so I needed to do something with the rest of the filets. I saw a chimichurri fish recipe on Budget Bytes, and you know I love chimichurri.
I was going to buy a head of cabbage for this, but I saw a pack of coleslaw mix on clearance for $1 so I grabbed that instead.
You know a post about lots of food I make wouldn't be complete without tacos. Sweet potatoes were on sale at Aldi, and I also saw these tiny little tortillas at Trader Joes that I impulse bought!
Since the potatoes at Aldi come in 3 lb packs, I still had to so something with the rest of them. So why not continue making more Mexican-inspired dishes?
The chipotle chili powder in the lime crema was a great addition. I think I'm going to always add the chipotle powder in the future.
And to finish off the sweet potato recipes, I also made some beef stew. The sweet potatoes made the whole dish sweeter, which was nice.
For something completely different, here are some pierogies! That I bought from the store, because sometimes I need an easy meal.
Dumplings! The best freezer meal and completely worth the hour of prep time that goes into making a large batch.
And tacos again! Because I love tacos! All recipes on this page get a 5/5 star rating from me. Hopefully I'll remember to post more often in the future.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'm trying really hard this month to cook using the food I have and to not go to the grocery store almost every day. Yes that's right, I go to the grocery store almost every day. I found Sheet Pan BBQ Meatloaf Dinner from Budget Bytes, and I already had everything in my kitchen so I avoided a trip to the store yesterday!
The recipe said to roast the broccoli for 35 minutes, and we roasted it for 20 and that was way too long. Also I need to make sure that I cook the meatloaf and the broccoli in a separate pan next time. Broccoli with meat juices does not taste right.
I also forgot to flip the sweet potatoes halfway through, so they all just got really dark on one side.
I actually still have more broccoli and sweet potatoes, so I'll need to find more recipes that use them.