Sunday, February 9, 2014

Day 36-40

I think I'll try and keep this mostly limited to just pictures, because most of this is stuff I make or am exposed to often, and would like to save it to write about later in the year.

Obviously, this doesn't represent every meal I ate, because I'm trying to cut back on duplicates.

This was some potato soup that I was given to at a free event. And it was delicious. But since there was nowhere to stand and I was trying to balance multiple things in two hands this, picture is god awful. Soup was provided by The Cavalryman Steakhouse, where I've never eaten because I'm pretty sure I can't afford it.

More pizza, that we got on the same night at a different event, from Domino's. There was so much leftover that they were giving entire boxes away - which I totally took advantage of.

The best chicken fried steak I've probably ever made, smothered in way too much gravy.

A closeup of some leftover chili.

There's a skull in my drink! Delicious Honey Ale from The Library.

Trying to sneak a photo of my buffalo chicken wrap from The Library.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Day 34, 35: Chili, Hushpuppies, a Surprise Package of Candy and Sweets

I made some Chili on Monday, and...I remember taking a picture of the whole pot. I really, really do. But I guess I didn't. So I don't really have anything to show for it.

But really, it's almost the exact same recipe I used last time...except for one thing - I added in half a jar of jalapenos that was sitting in my cupboard, juice and all. And that little addition added just enough spice to make the chili even more delicious, to the point I may make this a more regular thing. I should probably also start adding chilies more often.

That said, I saw this white chili the other day on Reddit that looks super delicious, and I may have to try making this sometime, especially since my boyfriend loves chicken.

I did, however, experiment with making some hushpuppies. They came out alright, but I did end up cooking them a touch too long.

  • 1/2 Cup flour
  • 1/2 Cup Corn Meal
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 Egg, Beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cajun Seasoning
 Beat together egg, sugar, and milk. Sift dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and add to liquid ingredients. Lump mixture together in balls and fry in oil until golden brown.

The sugar can be adjusted depending on how sweet you want these - I added slightly less than 1/4 of a cup, and that seemed to be just about perfect.

That day, I also received a (somewhat) surprise package - I had signed up for a secret santa exchange online months ago, and while I had sent out my gift in December (which included some fudge, which I'll make and discuss here one day), my gifter was a little behind on his shipment. In any case, my package did arrive on Monday - here's what came.

Candy and processed food is bad, blah blah...oh! Are those jelly beans? I haven't had jelly beans in years.


Look at these things.

Anyways, yesterday was pretty boring for food. I ate a bowl of honeycomb and two bowls of leftover chili. And more candy.

By the way, those Sour Patch Watermelon candies? Delicious.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Day 32, 33: Pepperoncini Beef Sandwiches.

I'm obviously an advocate of crockpot meals.


Because for the most part, it's really hard to screw up anything you put in the crockpot.

I made this for my friend who took me to the airport, my boyfriend, and another my boyfriend's request.

Literally, to prepare the beef, all you do is pour a 16oz jar of pepperoncinis on some sort of beef roast, and set it on low for 6-8 hours.

Although that day, I also added a bottle of beer in with everything.

It also doesn't hurt to throw on some salt and pepper.

When the beef is nearly done, take two forks and shred it, and caramelize some onions.

(I'm sure one of these sandwiches would also taste fantastic with some sauteed mushrooms.)

Toast a baguette or sandwich roll just before you eat, add your meat, onions, any sauces you want, and some provolone...and eat!

(Also, this definitely came from Reddit's slowcooking subreddit.)

Also from that day - I didn't want to eat too much before dinner, so I pretty much just ate a bagel with a spread of this honey cream cheese mix I tried concocting myself...except I added way too much honey and the spread is mostly just a goopy mess.

The next day was leftover sandwiches of course, and a turkey sandwich from Jimmy John's, and after I work up talking about them...a chocolate donut filled with cream.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Month in Review: January

Data is fun to look at when it's presented all nice and pretty, so I decided to do one of these "Month in Review" posts every month.

But first, I'll begin with the subjective stuff.

Best Home Made Meal
 While not exactly a "meal" for most people, I really enjoyed these Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms. They were really easy to make, and they were incredibly tasty.

Runner Up
Even though it's something I make often, I would have to give the "runner up prize" to the home made chili.

Best Meal from a Restaurant
I ate a lot of great food while in the Phoenix area, and while there's a lot of competition, I think my favorite would have to be the Yellow Curry Chicken from Thai Hut.

Runner Up
While I really liked my burger from In-N'-Out, I really enjoyed my Black Bean Burger from Fez.

Now, in doing this post, I really wanted to have a whole bunch of graphs - what kind of cuisine was consumed, how much was home made vs. how much was prepared by somebody else, etc. But honestly... a lot of that stuff is really freakin' hard to quantify. Where do you draw the line between "Mexican", "Tex-Mex", and "American"? I would never see Chipotle as Mexican, and for some reason, I barely see it as Tex-Mex, but a lot of people would disagree. What about a place like Biaggi's or Olive Garden? Do you classify that as Italian? They say they're Italian, but a lot of people would disagree.

In the end, I really only came up with one idea for a chart (that wasn't boring, like a home made vs. restaurant food)....I made a pie chart of meat consumed during the month of January.

Even this was surprisingly difficult - because I sometimes didn't know what to count as a "meal", considering sometimes, I'll eat a muffin or a piece of banana bread and call that lunch.

In the end, I decided to avoid "meals" like that...and still ended up with the same percentage of meals eaten without meat as meals eaten with chicken. I was honestly expecting a heavier skew towards meals with chicken, because we eat a lot of it. No seriously. We probably go through at least 3-4 packages of 6 chicken breasts a month between myself and my boyfriend...and a lot of that is because he loves chicken. But sometimes, it's just easier to boil some egg noodles, or just eat some rice. (Plus, you'll notice two out of the four meals I mentioned above contain zero meat.)

In the end, I think doing this blog has made me realize one thing: food is a very social thing. What you eat is often dependent on who you're eating with, especially those you live with. If I didn't live with my picky-eating boyfriend, I would probably eat a lot more fish and vegetables, for example.

But even without him, the food you eat can easily be influenced by the people you're around. While in Phoenix, I suggested to my friend that we try an Ethiopian restaurant, and he told me he wasn't in the mood to try something new. We ate at Buffalo Wild Wings one day because that's what a friend of ours wanted. We eat at McAllister's all the time because it's my boyfriend's favorite place to get a sandwich. On the flip side, you may notice that it's rare that vegetables are cooked for the sake of being eaten as just a vegetable....because I could never get him to eat just "a side of broccoli" - all of our sides are usually potato-based, or bread-based.

Next time you want to cook something, ask yourself who you're cooking for - are you avoiding certain things because of a taste preference, or a food allergy? Or, next time you want to eat out with your friends, pay attention to how everybody comes to a single consensus. Why did are you eating at Restaurant X as opposed to Restaurant Y?

And seriously, try something new, even if you have to venture out by yourself.

Something Else from Day 28

I nearly forgot! On Tuesday night, I made some coktail weenies in the crockpot from a recipe that seems to be everywhere on the internet.

If you mix a package of "Lil' Smokies" with about half a jar of grape jelly and about half of a 12oz container of barbecue sauce in the crockpot and cook it on high for 2-3 hours, you get some pretty delicious cocktail weenies. They make a great snack.

Days 28 continued, 29, 30, and 31

On Wednesday night, the boyfriend brought home a pepperoni Pizza from Papa John's.

I would like to start off by saying that I really don't care that much for Papa John's Pizza - between them, Pizza Hut, and Domino's, I think Domino's tastes the best. And Pizza Hut has the best wings, especially if you have them run them through their oven twice. (I used to work at a Pizza Hut and did this frequently.)

But, the Pizza Hut here is notoriously awful and my boyfriend insists that he's gotten sick off Domino's every time he's eaten it.

Plus, he works at Papa John's, so we get discounts.

So, he ordered a pepperoni pizza on Tuesday night, along with some cheese sticks. But, I wasn't feeling too hungry, so I only has a few cheese sticks and a slice of pepperoni.

On Wednesday, I was hoping to eat some leftover pizza, but the boyfriend had taken the entire box to work and eaten three of the four leftover slices. But promised he would bring the last of the pizza and cheese sticks home later.

I ate what was left of the Chinese food for lunch, (can you believe it lasted this long?) and he brought the box home for dinner, eager for that last slice of pepperoni...only to find one of his coworkers stole the last slice out of the box.

(He actually works two jobs....this pizza-stealing occured at his office job.)

But, he felt bad and ended up bringing home a half buffalo-chicken, half pepperoni and olive pizza (because I love olives).

Thursday afternoon, I ate some leftover pizza.

Thursday night, boyfriend was feeling really sick...and wanted tomato soup and grilled cheese. It seemed pretty obvious that he had a flu, and I think he was sicker than I'd ever seen him. He actually stayed home from both work and school that day - which I've never seen him do. And he slept a lot. So, I was more concerned with getting him what he wanted than taking any photographs. But, the grilled cheese has provolone and American cheese slices, and the tomato soup was just some campbell's condensed I found in our cupboards.

I wanted to make the tomato soup spicy, hoping that some spice would help clear up his sinuses - so I added some Cayenne and crushed red peppers, along with some garlic, basil, and a bit of lemon juice. It was fairly tasty, but ended up being too spicy for him. So we had some leftover soup.

I actually tried using those leftovers as a tomato sauce for some pasta. It turned out...okay.

I intend to cook real tomato soup one day, because I'm not exactly the biggest fan of canned soup, for the most part. But it did it's job.

I also made myself from Cheesy Rice-A-Roni last night.

Finally, boyfriend ordered me a sandwich from Jimmy John's the other night - I got one with Turkey. Again, I didn't take a picture, because we were preoccupied with other things. But this one looks kind of close: