Pantry Fridge Leftover Experiments

Hubby is gone for the rest of the week, so somehow I feel a little more adventurous in making disgusting looking food for myself.

Today it is dumplings (for protein), over random pasta, plus zucchini (leftover and cooked in the remaining potsticker juice cause I’m lazy like that and why not), and this olive oil garlic sauce except without the anchovies ha ha which are probably a main ingredient, but whatevs!  Topped it off with panko, because I read the recipe wrong.  Whoops!   🙂  So we have an Italian-Asian fusion going on here.  Cause that’s what I meant to do….  😉  Bon appetit.

Verdict?  It doesn’t taste bad!  I overcooked the zucchini though.  I wouldn’t mind eating this again if I had random ingredients to get rid of.

The end.

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Go to Spaghetti

Our go-to for those dinners when you didn’t quite prep but you’re hungry and want a one plate meal is spaghetti.  I try a lot of different spaghetti sauces, because Sprouts usually has various ones on sale.  I have found that the more expensive ones tend to taste better.  However, I also found that Costco sells an organic spaghetti sauce that actually tastes pretty good!  I also found that if I add to store-bought spaghetti sauce, I can make a pretty good tasting spaghetti.  There are a lot of tips on the Internet, and I find myself looking them up every single time.  So I’m going to document what I do this time.

  1. Saute(?) ground turkey until it is browned.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Add whatever aromatics I have to the pan.  Usually this is garlic, and sometimes onion if I have any around.
  3. Add whatever hard veggies I have.  This could be zucchini, carrots, or broccoli.  Today, I didn’t have any to add at this point.  Softer veggies (kale, spinach) go at the end.
  4. Add something alcoholic.  I usually don’t have red wine sitting around, but I do have rice wine.  It seems to do the deglazing trick just the same, and tastes like alcohol to me, so I add a splash of it to the pan.
  5. Add the sauce and meat back in.
  6. Add some spices.  I have dried basil and oregano in my cabinets.  I have some everyday seasoning.  Hmm.  Sure, why not.
  7. By this time, the pasta is probably done.  Add some of the pasta water to the sauce mixture.
  8. Add some sugar.  I only have brown sugar.  It’s going in.
  9. I have some whole milk in the fridge.  I add a little.  Usually I don’t have any.
  10. Let simmer.  Write a blog post.  Simmer for as long as I can.
  11. Add kale.  I added a ton (a whole bunch) so it filled up the pan.  Whoops!  Simmer it down.  Mix it in.
  12. Add some butter at the very end.  All done!

Thoughts:   I think I went a little too strong on the oregano.

Anniversary

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

Repeating recipes

There’s a problem with not following recipes to the tee, and it is this.  When I actually succeed at making something delicious, I can’t pinpoint what I did right, and often I can’t really remember at all what I did anyway.

Today I tried to roast a chicken again.  This time, a 5 lb Foster Farms chicken on sale for $5, stuffed with half a bulb of garlic diced up and two halves of a lemon.  I couldn’t find any original recipe, because what happens is I often look at a bunch of variations and then combine elements.  Rubbed the outside with kosher salt and pepper.  Put it in the oven at 450 for about 1 hour and 19 minutes.  The good thing was that this time, the fire alarm only went off once before my husband took it down (hoorah for tall people).  But when the chicken came out for us to eat, I couldn’t help but think it wasn’t quite as perfect as it was the other time.  Maybe I didn’t put enough garlic.  Maybe hubby shouldn’t have diced it.  Maybe I put too much salt, or not enough inside the cavity rather.  Or maybe my husband just happened to be starving the other time so I thought it was better.  Or maybe the chicken from Sprouts was better, or just smaller.  I don’t know.  There is no way to retrace my steps to solve the mystery.  There are only more chickens to roast before I find the perfect one.

Well, that’s annoying, innit?

 

Tilapia

The trash fish.  The fish that eats everything from the bottom of the sea.  I have found way too many things about tilapia that I did NOT want to know about, especially with regards to farming practices.  Yikes.  The things people come up in order to increase profit with food items are n-a-s-t-y.  I won’t go into detail.

Anyhow, I happened to have a freezer bag of tilapia from Costco.  How to cook?  Most recipes involve dredging the fish in flour, which I didn’t want to do.

So here’s a recipe I found from Yummly.  Garlic, butter, lemon.  Three of my favorite things.  Lucky for me, my parents and my parents in law both have a lemon tree, so lemons are in abundant supply!