Cooking on the Fly

Running out of time, we made this.  Out of the ingredients that we had around, because our Blue Apron delivery failed, yet again.  Somehow being in the middle of nowhere is difficult for them.  So I searched for something I could do with chicken drumsticks and a bunch of basil I had pulled off our basil plant to save them from thrips earlier this week.  I didn’t have enough tomatoes, so we substituted with some tomato paste and water.  Overall, the taste was good and maybe I would make it again, but with the proper ingredients.



Yesterday was our one year anniversary.  I was going to write a post about it, but I guess I got busy with other things.  We took a weekend away which was nice, but by the time we got back, there were a lot of things to do!  Laundry, work, and finding a nice “romantic anniversary dinner” recipe that would be easy enough to pull off.  Apparently there are lists of these things on the Internet, you know?  So I tried to make steak for the first time by myself.  Well it wasn’t exactly stellar.  I cooked it longer than I intended to and put too much salt.  But it was okay.  I think Hubby was touched, which is what counts.  Today I’m trying another one on that Internet list.  It’s a baked chicken with tomatoes and garlic and kale, and it was pretty easy, so far.  We’ll see how it turns out!

I’m kind of pooped now, after two part-time jobs during the day and feeling the kale bits on the kitchen floor with my feet while prepping.  Yes, something about that tires me out.  My head is aching, but the chicken is in the oven.  Phew.

So seriously, what am I supposed to write?  Oh boy, what is a girl to do!  Marriage is a strange and funny thing, and there are some things that just have to be kept between the two peas.  That’s the hard thing about it.  On the one hand, it’s my marriage right, so I should be able to talk about it?  But on the other hand, we’re two and yet one.  It’s all intertwined and yet not.  That’s the funny thing about marriage.

I seriously have arm cramps from whatever I did today (blowing bubbles for kids?  throwing a bouncy ball?  I have no idea..) so I will continue this line of thought later.

I’ll leave you with a quote I found that resonates with me.

A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short. – Andre Marois

Sick, yet again.

My hubby and I have both been sick for what seems like an eternity.  Just kidding, it hasn’t been that long, maybe a few weeks.  Anyway, it has been longer than either of us anticipated.  First him, then me.  Interestingly, we have different illnesses.  Today, Hubby asked for soup.  Lucky for him, I was thinking exactly the same thing!  So today, instead of making Home Chef dinner number 2, I’m making Asian chicken soup, yet again.  I don’t have green onions, so the simple chicken drumsticks, ginger, water, and rice wine will have to do.

I’m starting to really like chicken drumsticks.  You know why?  Because I don’t have to touch them at all.  No butterflying, no hacking, no stuffing, nothing.  They either get thrown into the pot for soup, or picked up once to put into a pan to brown.  And that, my friends, for a germaphobe like me, is wonderful.  They have skin, bone, AND meat.  I took them for granted because Mother suggested them to me, and you know if Mom suggests it, how great can it really be?  Sorry Mom.  Turns out Mother is a genius.  I already knew that, but this just reaffirms it once again.

HomeChef Day 1

I received my HomeChef box today!  First thing I noticed was the weight of the box.  It was heavier than my Marley Spoon box.  When I opened the package, there was a soft insulated wrapping and a lot of ice.  The food was also bagged, and there was no cardboard divider where the meat was, just meat lying between ice packs.  That’s fine with me, but what I did notice was the meat portions seemed smaller than what I had received from Marley Spoon.  Just kidding, I think it was just the packaging. At 9.95 per serving, we’ll see.

Today I’ll be making Chicken Scaloppine with Mustard Cream Sauce.  Yes I had to copy and paste that name.

Here’s the recipe card for those of you who are curious.

Things I like about the recipe card so far —

  1. The note from the chef.  Last time I made meals from Marley Spoon, I felt like I was a little bit left in the dark.  It’s nice having some explanation in the cooking realm.

OK, gotta cook, see you later!


Verdict– Intermediate level is pretty tough for me!  Hubby says it tasted like restaurant quality but it definitely took me a long time to make.  Also, I don’t know if it’s my cast iron pan that is the problem due to residue, but lately all the food boxes are too salty!

Sticky Sticky.

Today I ate a late lunch, and thus when I came home for dinner, I was not hungry.  So while we microwaved Mom’s “zou lu ji”  (walking chicken, literally, a black silky looking chicken marinated in some Asian flavors), and baked a piece of salmon leftover in the freezer from one of Costco’s pre-marinated freezer bags, I decided I wanted to make mochi cake.  Every once in awhile, I stock up on mochiko and coconut milk, and today I had the itch to bake.

What, Esther has an itch to bake?  It is strange, I know.  But here I was, making a mess out of the kitchen with coconut milk, eggs, flour, and sugar.  The nice thing about baking is that, provided you’ve done everything else right, you can stick it in the oven and expect some magic to happen.  Pretty cool.

Remember that EasyBake commercial from the 90s?  Maybe since then, baking has always seemed magical.

I didn’t do too much searching for recipes this time since I had made two variations of mochi cake before.  This time, I just made the first one that came up on Google search that I had all the ingredients for.  It happened to be found on Epicurious.  We’ll see how it turns out.

My poor husband had jury duty all day today and is now collapsed on the couch with the blanket over his head.  It’s not like him at all.  I guess sitting in on a court case and listening to lawyers can be exhausting.  He asks, “Dear dear, when will the nian gao be done?”  Not for another hour and a half dear, and then it has to cool for another two dear.


VERDICT:  I think THIS recipe is better, from or matcha.  I think the only difference is the addition of milk (whole milk, or condensed).  Somehow I think it makes the texture smoother and less cake-y.

Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup

From Tiny Urban Kitchen

This is now a favorite for me to make!  It’s super easy.

Here’s what she has for her instructions

“3 1/2 pounds chicken bones, necks, backs, and/or pieces
9 cups water
1 cup Chinese rice wine or sake
6 slices of fresh ginger (lightly smashed)
Salt and pepper to taste”

Usually, you bring it to a boil and cook it for 1.5 hours.  I want to try it with a pressure cooker today.

This site says with a pressure cooker, you could reduce the time by 1/3 typically, so I’m guessing I probably could do this in about 30 minutes, which interestingly is about the same time Jen’s beef noodle soup recipe takes.  Alright, here we go!


OK we are eating yesterday’s leftovers tonight because the cornish hen FAILED to defrost overnight in the fridge.  Like what?  Yes.  I took it out and it was still hard.  What am I supposed to do with that?  I hate using the microwave to defrost because it always ends up that the meat accidentally gets cooked a little.  Gross.  At least I know our fridge is working!  Though it may need some recalibration, folks?


//edit again//

OK, I think I managed to defrost the hen enough in water so that I could chop it apart and put it into the soup.  We’ll see how it goes!

How do you defrost your chicken meat?  I dislike handling chicken meat, because I once got salmonella in college, and chicken was definitely suspect.  I still don’t handle it confidently.  How do you handle your chicken meat?

I’m just hoping the pressure cooker doesn’t explode.  They don’t make the exploding kind anymore, do they?

How to roast a chicken, take 2

This time, with an actual chicken and not a cornish hen.  I figure that if I can get this down, then I can save my hubby and I from eating sandwich meat and put roast chicken in sandwiches!  Sounds delicious, right?

There are apparently like a hundred or so different ways to roast a chicken.  It’s all very overwhelming.  Why do some people roast at this heat?  Why that heat?  Why this filling or that outing(..)?

I found a pretty full explanation of roast chickens here, so today we’re trying something like that.

450 degrees, 60 minutes.

Half a lemon and some garlic inside (as much as I could do before I got sick of peeling garlic cause it sticks to my fingers).

Put it breast side up on a roasting pan.  I just checked and apparently I put the wire rack upside down.  UGH…


OK, rack is the right side now.  My fire alarm has gone off twice already.  Is something burning?


The chicken wasn’t done.  😦  Next time I do this, remind me to check the weight of the chicken so I know.  I hate taking things in and out of ovens and checking done-ness!  Per Allrecipes, a difference of a pound makes for an additional 20 minutes…