Friday, September 13, 2013

Cooking mania

I've noticed that I get rather manic on the weekends after my farmer's market purchases and literally go into frenzies when it comes to planning and executing my cooking plans. Literal mania - I'll decide what to cook after doing some searching and thinking on allrecipes.com and then I'll chop, stew, saute, and package like my life depends on it. Literally. Then I'll wash everything and clean everything like a drug addict looking for a fix. I'll almost always be listening to music and singing along at the same time and it is generally a relaxing process but I do get into a mode and it's very unlikely that anything will stop me in the middle of it. Nothing has so far at least. Not even the time I burned my foot on that red hot oven rack. Still made that amazing blueberry crumble like no one's business.

Anyway, I'm starting to think that though this is a fantastic thing to do on the weekends, I should probably relax a little.

But that's not what this entry is about. Nope. This is about what happens during that mania. Sweet sweet cooking glory is what happens during that mania.

So what did I make this time?

Broccoli with garlic butter and cashews

This was a new recipe from allrecipes.com. Got very high ratings though and I had basically all the ingredients (minus fresh garlic...this is like the fourth recipe I've found now where I've not had fresh garlic...might just bite the bullet next time I see it and just buy the damned thing...or at least some powdered stuff...this is getting ridiculous), so, I was going to make it.

I'd bought the freshest most gorgeous broccoli from the farmer's market the day before. It was straight from Kent, about two hours drive to the south. Beautiful. Two heads for a pound. Can't beat prices like those and it was just wonderful, staring straight at me. I love broccoli. Admittedly if I've not had enough sleep and I'm handling the little nodules too much or I find them in certain places (like by themselves on my counter later on after I'm done cooking) I tend to freak out...but I try to ignore those feelings as much as possible. It's just one of my weird plant-phobia things. I love eating broccoli, especially the "trees" (versus the "stems") but sometimes I just can't handle it.

Anyway...

Made the recipe. You can find it here.


Admittedly I did modify it, as everyone seems to (I'm also not great at following recipes to the T...just because...why do something to the letter when you can spice it up yourself and add your own flavors and style?).

So admittedly there is way more sugar in my version (and I ran out of brown sugar after the first disposable packet from my pack of weird sauces (reference the eggplant I made last time)) and I didn't bother to thicken the sauce as a lot of the reviewers suggested, but whatever. It was tasty.

Smelled wonderful.

What else did I make?

Cracky cracky broccoli slaw

I've talked about this before. The broccoli slaw that makes me sick everytime I go to Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation because I eat so much of it. I absolutely love eating this recipe. I made it with celery last time but it really isn't the same. Broccoli is king.


I even had a red onion this time instead of just the normal white kind. It does make a difference.

Admittedly the thing I had the least of was mayo (this is a crying shame but I've been eating open-faced sandwiches like a poor college student...I just can't resist...I love them too much...or rather I just love eating mayo on perfectly toasted multi-seed bread)...so I had to cut the dressing portion in half. This is probably a good thing at the end of the day - less fat and all the like. Whatever, this thing is still tasty by half. I will likely still eat the entire thing in two days. Much to the detriment to anyone who is nearby me (extreme raw onion breath).

And finally:

Free range organic chicken pot pie stew

Yep. I got this recipe from allrecipes as well, you can find it here.

But I'm too lazy to make my own crusts or even buy crusts and really I just think of carbs as being the vehicles for the things I really want to eat (the meat and veggies) so I didn't bother with that part. Hence, you get delicious pot pie stew instead:


This turned out gloriously, especially considering how much I changed the recipe in order to make it work (since obviously it would not continue to cook in its own juices in the oven).

I instead just cooked everything in butter (or olive oil spread which is pretending to be butter...I'm far too cheap for butter on a regular basis...I know I know... ~_~) and then did the roux stage of adding the flour, salt, pepper, etc. Then stewed everything in chicken broth and milk (in my case both from powders...so chicken bouillon and powdered milk...I almost never have fresh milk on hand).

Turned out awesomely. Had about a third of it for lunch today. Greatness. Really did taste like pot pie but in stew form (and a little thinner and healthier, to be honest).

I still have another pack of free-range chicken in the fridge; I'm thinking of making chicken cordon bleu with the rest and a local block of brie I have from Bath. I even have slices of ham (sort of unusual for me). Could be glory.

Hilariously after I cooked everything I didn't eat any of it. I wasn't in the mood and was going to a birthday party and then a dinner with Tiffany (a friend from university). So, knew I would be eating and drinking all day. So, three full recipes of cooking mania and straight into the fridge for lunches and dinners this week.

Nothing wrong with being ridiculously prepared I suppose. My week is going to be delicious. :)

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