Cooking adventures (kind of) this week

It’s been a relatively adventurous week of cooking (for me). Usually I keep it really simple with a big pan of stir-fry or toss together a salad but I was feeling a bit less lazy this week and tried making some different things.

I made stove top rice for the first time! I know, pretty boring. Since moving out, I still haven’t bought a rice cooker and don’t plan to. The budget’s tight and there’s no room on the wishlist that fits the particular rice cooker I want. I do have a lot of mixed rice from back home. This week I finally set aside time to make some rice. It looked alright and I was getting pretty excited, but then I poked it when it was done and it was all a gloopy mess. It was pretty awful. On the second day, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I shaped them and fried them as rice cakes. Could have used more seasoning but it wasn’t a bad improvement to soggy rice. Oh well, learning curb…

I’ve been having cravings for brownies for a few weeks. I found a pretty simple recipe online that had the measurements in cups (a kitchen scale is also low on the buy-list for now), and only required me to purchase some chocolate. I adjusted the baking time for my oven and actually it turned out pretty good, if I say so myself. Waiting for the brownie to cool was pretty excruciating, but it was super yum and worth it! I had to try very hard to not stuff my face. I’ll definitely be making it again (and again and again…).

brownie 01

brownie 02

Believe it or not, on the same night I made a braised beef. The braising liquid I used I had previously concocted for braised pork chops, but I cubed the beef in the hopes it would soften more and take on more flavour. To bulk it up, I mixed in a lot of vegetables at the end. It was really tasty and ended up lasting me four meals! I’m a big fan of this braising liquid for slow cooking meats although it does make it hard when I’m making it after getting home from work.

Towards the end of the week, I sometimes realise I’m running out of opportunities to make meals and there’s still stuff I want to use up as soon as possible. Usually, it’s vegetables since I like to keep them fresh-ish and I wouldn’t store them in the freezer like meats. Last night, T was over and we made a blended vegetable soup – broccoli, cauliflower, potato and carrot. My saucepan and blender both weren’t big enough but we managed somehow (blended it in three batches and then transferred it into a giant pan – there may have been soup splattering everywhere at some points and it was almost a catastrophe). We also fried off some bacon and kept them as small chunks in the soup. Honestly it was like 13 cups of soup and I’m amazed because we finished 4/5 of it! What monsters.