Lazy Cooking

Always always keep your pantry well stocked.  That way if you are lazy but still want to make home made food,  you can easily put something together in no time.  With Allrecipes.com and other similar websites, you can make a search for ingredients that you want in a dish and it’ll give you the results of which recipes that has the ingredients.  Sometimes you have to run to the store for one missing ingredient sometimes you don’t.

Tonight, I was  lazy and did not want to cook.  I was even willing to go to the store to just buy some instant noodles. (BAD!) But then realized that we had some leftover chicken that was used from making chicken bbq sandwiches.  It’s just chicken meat, bbq sauce and buns. Yeah easy.

So I decided to make chicken casserole. I had all the ingredients the recipe called for and then some.  I added asparagus to it.  I loved how it gave extra texture to the dish since it still had a little bit of crunch in it even after it was baked.

I skipped the butter and added onion soup mix. I used 3 cups of egg noodles, about 2 cups of chicken meat, plus 3/4 cup of chicken stock, used half and half instead of milk, and lastly  1/4 cup of cheddar cheese.  Add more stock depending on how saucy you want it.  Don’t salt it anymore, it was salty enough.

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Nom nom nom

I realize that I have been doing a lot of food postings.  I want you guys to know that I don’t just cook and eat all the time after I get off from work.  I workout a lot.  Just this week, I went to the gym 3 times. Ran for 40 minutes on Saturday then went hiking on Sunday.  I love eating but one has to balance it out with working out and being fit. I know this recipe is not a healthy one but we don’t eat it all the time.  I’d make this like 3 times a year.  I don’t even remember the last time we made chicken casserole.

So yeah, eat (don’t stuff yourselves) and workout. Oh and stay away from fast food.  It’s the healthy way to go.

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Easy Pasta Dishy

Last night’s dinner was Spaghetti.  And because I have been on a cooking roll, I didn’t want to break it with using some ready-made sauce. Sacrilege!

This was also the second dish we had this week with black olives.  Might as well use it if we have a Costco sized jar available.  I thought I’d make spaghetti ’cause it was the easiest thing, 30 minutes tops! And that already includes all the chopping.

I used the recipe from the “Pasta” cookbook that I borrowed from my friend last year.  It was the “Quick Tomato Sauce w/ Black Olives and Cream.”  It really was quick and easy.  I pretty much had everything available except for the leeks and cream.  I finished cooking in no time.

One thing I thought though, while the cooking was easy, the photography in between was a bit challenging.  So I give mass props to people who really really do the food design and photography at the same time. I am not posting all the photos.. just an intro and the finished product.  The more I do this, the more I’ll master the lighting and plating.  We’ll see how it goes.

Onions and Leeks

Onions and Leeks

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Our plates w/ the annoying olive on the bottom

Tomatoes and Olives

Hungry Yet?

Moroccan Chicken Dance

No it’s Moroccan Chicken Smothered in Olives.

The chicken is not really from Morocco and I didn’t really smother it with olives. More like, I put the olives in the casserole. Don’t know why smothered is the word.  But hey, it works. It was an amazing dish!

I got the recipe from Saveur.  I originally was just planning on making some pasta with ready made sauce (sacrilege!) since I just got back from the gym, but Nick said he just bought some chicken and it’s in the fridge.  I came home went online to check Saveur.com and searched for some chicken recipes.  I found this and realized that I had all the ingredients!  I didn’t have the green olives so just substituted it with the Kalamata ones that Nick just got from Costco.  One thing I’m sad about is I forgot to garnish it with the parsley. I was too hungry that I completely forgot. Oh well, next time.

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Moroccan Chicken Smothered in Olives

I recommend this dish to anyone who wants to make a fast hearty dinner. I’ve already decided that this will be one of those dishes that I’ll be making for our future little kiddies.

What have you guys been cooking for dinner?

Chicken Wings

Dark meat. I love dark meat. And when it comes to chicken, my favorite dark meat on chickens are the wings. I don’t know. I feel like the closer it is to the bone, the more flavorful it is. And I’m also the type that doesn’t mind working to get to the food. Like clams that are still their shells in a linguine, or eating crab meat that’s still in the crab. I just love it!

One day, to surprise me, Nick came home with chicken wings.  Uncooked chicken wings.

Nick: Hey babe! I have a surprise for you!

He gave me the plastic bag he was holding and then I looked inside. I saw some uncooked chicken wings.

Me: Uh…ok. Chicken wings.

Nick: But I thought you loved chicken wings.

Me: Yeah! The cooked ones!

Nick: Well they’re you’re favorite. I was grocery shopping and I thought I’d get them for you.

Tanya: Ohhhhkayyyy.

Nick: Come on love, I thought you’d like it.

Tanya: I do but a good surprise too is that when I get food, I don’t have to cook it.

Nick: I’m sorry love. I just thought you’d like it.

Tanya: I do like it. It’s just… it’s just that it’s the first time someone has given me uncooked food as a surprise. That’s all.

Nick: Ok. Next time I’ll remember to bring home cooked chicken wings.

I guess this is what makes my husband charming.  HAHA!  Yes it’s sweet that he bought me chicken wings but I think he forgot the part about who’s going to end up cooking it.  Which happened to be me of course and I was happy I did.

I got the recipe from allrecipes.com and adjusted it by adding 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to balance out the flavors. I wanted something easy to make so I used that recipe.

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Establishing Shot

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Medium Shot

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Close Up

It turned out so good, Nick ate half of what I baked in one sitting.  His surprise ended up to be a good surprise for the two of us.

Noodle Doodle

You’ll see that there will be more and more posts about food and eventually recipes.  For now, I’m just going to take photos and tell you what I’ve been cooking and eating.  Nick’s been pretty happy with all the cooking that’s been happening in this house.  Especially if it’s not him that’s doing it.  He gets to study and get fed at the same time.  That was my life back when I lived at my parents, I guess that’s just a dream now.  The good part is, Nick let’s me buy the ingredients I want, despite how challenging it is to find it.  Like the dende oil that I bought for my Moqueca de Peixe (Photo NOT by me) that I made last Saturday.  I assumed that oil will be available at the Brazilian store up in the U-District but when Nick got there, the cafe/store was closed. So he tried 5 other places and failed. I eventually got it from Latin Merchant at Pike Place Market.  I cooked the stew for Nick’s family and unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera to the island.  So I didn’t have a step by step photo process on how I made it. Next time.. I promise….next time.   But to comment on how good the Moqueca was… let’s just say, “Don’t be afraid of palm oil, because you don’t know how amazing it makes a dish soooo good!”

Here’s to showing you all that I made up for my previous noodle post.  That was really stupid of me to post that entry because it looked pretty disgusting and I know I have an option to delete it but I guess I wanted to show you all the improvements that I’ve made.

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Noodle Craving No. 2

One of these days, I’ll take my noodle craving on another level and really make some ramen from scratch. Boiling some pork bones for hours on end.  We’ll see when i’ll get there but for now, I’ll be playing with my new dutch oven first. 🙂