Saturday, January 23, 2010

This Week's Kick

The past 8 days I have been on an intense 'Cooking Kick'. I always like to cook and eat, so it's not abnormal for me to browse food blogs and dream about delicious meals. But this week was intense. Beyond intense. Even my lovely husband who normally eats until he can't move anymore, even he commented on this intensity.

I am giving a fair warning- this post will discuss the various meals I have made, without any pictures. Yes, I know, pictures do the talking. But I have an awful camera that always runs out of batteries and can't focus on anything. I've thought that maybe I could hint to Mark that camera would be a great Valentines/Birthday/Anniversary/Labor Day/Christmas present this year. But alas, we've got these little things called college loans. Let me clarify, I have the loans. But here is one of the joys of marriage- two have become one, so they are OUR loans! Sorry Mark. As we sat down this morning to figure out how to 'aggressively' pay these loans, the dream of a camera quickly faded. All that to say, college loans= very few food pictures on this post.

One more disclaimer: I recognize that the joy of experimenting with food and having access to tons of different ingredients can be a luxury. We live in a culture that is obsessed with food, and I admit I feel that cooking is an artform for me. (I have a whole 'philosophy of cooking' that someday I will write out). All that to say, our ability to pick and choose the foods we eat and to not view meals as simply means of survival- that is a luxury, and I want to always view it as such. Maybe that's why I freak out if I feel like we waste food....
So, the list of this week's meals:::

Monday- we had the day off, which was fantastic! In the morning I made Cooking Light's awesome coffee cake. Then in the evening we had (shout out time) Richard and Cory over for dinner! We made Chicken Tikka Masala, an amazing Indian dish with basmati rice and naan. Thanks to my sister Sarah and a combination of food blogs, this meal was a success!

Tuesday- black bean burritos- always a classic, always quick, always spicy, and always satisfying.

Wednesday- Impromptu dinner with the Parks. I ran to the nearby Korean grocery store (Jung Boo is how it's pronounced, kinda), and struggled my way through finding mushrooms, buckwheat soba noodles, and sesame seeds. For some reason, finding the right mushrooms was the most difficult! I thought I knew my mushrooms, but apparently not. We made a revised version of this meal from one of my favorite food blogs Smitten Kitchen Spicy Soba Noodles with Cabbage, Mushrooms, Chicken, and Red Peppers. Oh man, I can't say enough about soba noodles- they are phenomenal! This is going on our google document of 'Good Meals'.

Thursday- We continued our journey into making authentic asian food and made Panang Thai Curry. Also a fusion recipe, we included sweet potatos, green beans, spinach, red peppers, and shrimp. It was a similar recipe to my red curry recipe that I posted a couple months ago.

Friday- Dinner with the Baileys! Tomato Sausage Risotto with spinach, again, a revised version of this recipe. And a salad, of course.

Saturday (today!)- I finally made my mom's homemade bread! I've been wanting to make bread for a long time, and today was the day! I do have pictures of this bread, so please, be impressed. We also had fresh tuna salad- (wrap 2 tuna steaks in sliced lemons, then put tinfoil around it and cook in the oven for like 30 minutes. Toast walnuts, cut up grapes and then combine in a bowl with some plain greek yogurt. when the tuna is done, bring it out of the oven, break it up a bit and combine it with the other ingredients. Oooh, so good.)

The truth is, I don't really have anything profound to say about this week's food endeavors. I love cooking and it's a creative outlet for me. But the best part about cooking is that it creates a culture of sharing in our apartment- The Whipple. I can't describe how much I enjoy sharing meals with people. The work of cooking and doing dishes (without a dishwasher, well, Mark is the resident dishwasher), all of that work is totally worth it to me, because we get to share meals and meaningful moments with others. These meaningful moments are the highlights of my week.