Cooking From Scratch: Week 3

When I started cooking from scratch at the beginning of the year, I knew that I would come to have a greater appreciation for food. What I didn’t know is that I would come to have an even greater appreciation for my cooking appliances. My electric stand mixer, given to me by two professors, is officially named Millie and now has a special place on the counter.

I think I’ve gone a little bit stir-crazy.

But hey, when your state decides to dump a foot of snow on you and then drop to twenty below zero, your sanity tends to slip a little. Making friends with electronics is probably not the weirdest thing I’ve done during the long winter months.

As for Moosie, she has found her own special place on my lap, my stomach, and sometimes my face if she is feeling particularly needy. She got so used to The Boyfriend being home over winter break. Now, the lack of constant pets has made her a little…well…desperate. When I have my wisdom tooth surgery next week, she will be getting more than enough attention. Especially since I’ll be bed-ridden and flying high.

But enough about life. The real question is: “What did I eat this week?” Since I’m back at university, I decided to keep it pretty simple on the food front. I continued to make bread, of course. This week, I worked on a split loaf that was perfect for toast and sandwiches. I also made another round of bagels, which quickly disappeared as I gave them out to friends and family (I can’t be the only one who enjoys my cooking).

This week also saw me playing around with spices a lot. This, admittedly, is something that I have not been so good at in the past. Although my food is never bland, I don’t normally throw much into a dish besides the typical salt and pepper combo. This week, though, I decided to get a little more creative. After all, fajitas with only salt and pepper may as well just be stir fry on a tortilla.

So, what did I make from scratch? Let’s go down the list.

The Best Things I Ate This Week

  1. Curry Chicken. Though Alaska did not have many cheap options for Indian food until recent years, the time that I spent in Europe got me addicted to curry. I like it very spicy, and in gigantic portions. This is one dish that I learned to make after our travels, and have made it over and over since then. It’s delicious every time, and perfect for those days when you just can’t seem to warm up.
  2. Ice Cream. Yes, more homemade ice cream. I can’t help it, guys! First off, I’m working on several different recipes for a future post, so I had to “test taste” my tail off. Second, it’s cold out, and my body is trying like hell to put an extra layer of fat on me. Hopefully my upcoming kickboxing lessons combat that layer. If not, there’s always summer.
  3. Fried Chicken. Are you sensing a chicken theme here? I don’t know what it was with me this week, but I couldn’t stop eating it. The fried chicken turned out tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, just the way it should be. I used to think that frying chicken took a lot of work, like you would have to babysit it. Turns out, it’s super easy and the pay-off is worth it.
  4. Mayonnaise. This might sound kind of “meh” on the cooking from scratch scale. After all, it’s just a few ingredients tossed together. I don’t know why, but for me making your own mayonnaise seemed like the height of self-sufficiency. When it turned out to be so simple, I was stoked. Not only was I #livingthedream by making it, but I didn’t even have to put that much work in! The satisfaction of smearing homemade mayo onto homemade bread for a sandwich was unlike anything I’d ever felt before.

Overall, it was a pretty tasty week. Unlike last week, nothing wound up in the trash, which is a big improvement. Wasting food is my least favorite thing, so having meals that taste good enough to become leftovers is a big deal. This week has given me a glimpse into the spicier side of cooking from scratch, and I now have a lot more confidence when it comes to throwing in a spice and seeing how it comes out.

As for you guys, I hope you all have fun plans for the week ahead. I know it can be dreary in January, but keep fighting on and doing things that make you happy. It will benefit you in the long run.

Until next time, eat well and get to know your spice cabinet.

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