Vegan Bowls: Sweet Potato and Chickpea “Buddha Bowl”

This is so good, and I didn’t even do it right.  Next time, I have to do it with the proper tahini sauce (did you guys know that lemon juice and maple syrup together is pretty delish!) and with the broccolini.  MMMMM.

Also, my sweet potatoes definitely needed more time in the oven.  Boo.  So that’s where blogs like this come in.  Diameters, THANK YOU.  I hardly make the same thing twice, much less the same way.  Except mac and cheese.  And dumplings.

Also, I want a rabbit.

Also, more ABC cooks.

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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

Success and Failures

Yesterday, I made a meatloaf.  Not that exciting, but hubby really likes meatloaf, and the recipe I got was from another sister who got it from another sister who got it from another sister who knows where (sorry, I would give proper credit if I could), so I knew it was good.  It was easy and fairly foolproof, except that I didn’t know at what temperature the oven was supposed to be.  We tried it at 350 and just popped it back in if it wasn’t done.  It uses oats, which I like.  So here you go, a tried and true recipe!

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Some adjustments on my part:  I didn’t have shredded cheese yesterday so I just shredded up some cheese slices that Dear uses for lunch.  It ended up that they were chunky pieces in the meatloaf.  Yum. I also didn’t want to cry too much while cutting the onion, so I chopped it up pretty errr, large.  That meant the onion pieces were kind of spicy.  Not so yum.

The other day, I also decided to make salmon with a pesto and tomato on top, as seen here.  However, what I didn’t realize was that because I had sockeye salmon, which is a leaner variety, it wasn’t ideal for such a recipe.  All the sources said that it tasted better with a light seasoning and panfried (not oven), but alas, I had already chopped up tomatoes and pulled out four large pieces of foil and didn’t want to waste it, even though my economics class would have said sunk cost, sunk cost!  Alas, sometimes even sound logic cannot overcome internal flawed heuristics.  So I reluctantly stuck the salmon into the oven, pulled them out, felt they weren’t quite done (How can you tell with sockeye, it’s still red!), and put them back in.  I was really worried about overcooking them because I knew it was a very high possibility with how thin they were, and when I pulled them out of the oven the second time, I knew they were overcooked.  Not only that, but whoever did the fillet-ing job did a poor job and so there were lots and lots of bones.  I may be Asian, but I’m not that good at eating fish with a lot of small bones.  In fact, I am very, very, slow.  I felt that meal was kind of a failure, even though hubby assured me that he liked it.

I also have been making cauliflower, but overcooking it every single time.  I wonder how many minutes it’s supposed to take, or how I’m supposed to know it’s done because I don’t want to keep peeking under the lid and checking.  Or should I peek?  The thing is, if I peek, it all kind of looks the same, and if I pull out a floret to eat, I will almost certainly burn my tongue.  I sound like I’m making excuses.  All right, I guess if at first I don’t succeed, try, try, again!

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…

//edit//

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

//edit//

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…

 

Argh….

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There are a couple sizzles

And they mean a few things to me.  Burning, cooking, and spraying oil.

Today in the oven we have two pyrexes of ratatouille.  They were adapted from the ratatouille recipe from How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.  Apparently, adaptation is what you call it when you change a recipe and make it your own.  I use it loosely in this case to mean that I did not have all the ingredients on hand nor did I measure what I did have.

I figured I’d just pile veggies on in more or less even layers, because I’ve made ratatouille before.  So that’s what I did.  Who knows whether it will turn out.  Also, the recipe only calls for salt on every layer of five veggies, which seemed a little odd.  I just went with it.  I had no fresh herbs save basil, so I used the leftover basil and added some other dried herbs based on what I had.  Oregano, parsley.  Does oregano or parsley go in ratatouille?  Meh!

Right now I’m also adapting a Blue Apron recipe to make a butternut squash bean soup.  It’s sizzling like crazy over in the kitchen so I’m afraid it’s burning.

—- Recipe says two teaspoons of oil for one butternut squash, and to cook it for 6-8 minutes, until tender and slightly browned —–

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And it burned.  Nice toasty brown spots on the bottom.  Did I not put enough oil?  Was my heat too high?  Was my pre-cut butternut squash not quite equivalent to one butternut squash?

See the toasty bottoms of the butternut squash that I was not going for:

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It’s not too bad, so I’ll keep going.  Once I’ve reached the burning point in cooking, I kind of panic.  So I add the spices in, which right now is another haphazard mixture of cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, because I haven’t got Ras El Hanout.  However, a quick search on Wikipedia says it’s composed of “Commonly used ingredients include cardamomcuminclovecinnamonnutmegmaceallspice, dry gingerchili pepperscoriander seed, peppercorn, sweet and hot paprikafenugreek, and dry turmeric.”  So I throw in all of the stuff I have in my cupboard that fits the bill and figure I can do without the rest.  Next, in go the beans and the water.  I have some chicken broth leftover and I don’t want it to go to waste (Does anyone waste copious amounts of chicken broth or is it just me?  Why are the cartons so large and why must they be used within 7 days of opening?), so I substitute that for some water, and add some water for good measure and faithfulness to the original recipe.  Now I can breathe a sigh of relief, as I bring the soup to a boil, knowing that I won’t risk burning anything here.

Phew.  And then my oven sound goes off.  That means the ratatouille is done.  I wish I could just leave it there but I fear it might dry out.  And it’s beeping, again.  Hold on, need to check that.

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I’ve tasted the soup, and to my relief, it tastes pretty good. It tastes like butternut squash (Who would’ve thought!).

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Okay, okay, I’ll go get the oven.

I wonder if I dislike ovens beeping for the same reason I dislike phones ringing.  The sense of urgency sends me anxiously scrambling, except not scrambling, because I’m trying to finish my blog post, okay?  And neither ovens nor phones seem to bend to blog posting schedules.  They just beep, and beep, and beep.

Alright, before it burns now.

Here’s what the ratatouille looks like.  It doesn’t look like the ones I’ve made in the past. It looks shriveled and sad!  Did I not drizzle enough oil on the top?  Was it in the oven for too long?

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Oh yeah, I’m not vegetarian, by the way, and neither is my husband.  I just happen to dislike touching meat if I can help it.  Let’s just pretend that’s what we were going for.  Will this be a filling enough vegetarian meal?  Time will tell.  And this is what a blog post looks like when it’s done in the middle of cooking.