Speaking My Mind,  Yummy Recipes

the salty, the smelly, the sweet

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This slideshow feature must be relatively new, I’m pretty excited to use it for my food blog!

Anyway…this will be the last food blog of the summer.  I hope to continue cooking when the semester starts, but it may be even less frequent than how often I’m cooking now (I haven’t cooked in about three weeks.  Part of that is due to the fact that I traveled for two weeks but…I’ve been home for awhile and I haven’t made anything yet).

Slide #1

I actually didn’t make this; my mom made it for the Fourth of July and I thought it was too aesthetically pleasing (and delicious!) not to share!  I believe my mom found the recipe on Facebook and all it is is watermelon cut into the shape of stars with mozzarella cheese, and arugula sandwiched in between two watermelon slices.  Then balsamic glaze is drizzled on top to add some acidity.  She used a cookie cutter for this, although I’m sure you can do it by hand too.  This dish seemed pretty weird at first, but it’s refreshing and tasty.  Plus it’s super easy and a cool twist on the mozzarella, basil, tomato, and balsamic vinegar with olive oil appetizer.

Slide #2

I also didn’t make the second slide, but it was part of our July Fourth dinner.  They were gourmet burgers my mom and I had picked up.  One of them was jalapeno and cheddar stuffed, another was stuffed with bacon and bleu cheese, and the last one was stuffed with bacon and gouda.  Super tasty.

Slide #3

This is the first dish I made in this slideshow!  One of the days I was in my apartment, I was craving something relatively healthy, so I made a vegetable stir fry.  I used the largest pan I had to cook it, and the lid barely stayed on because there were soooo many vegetables.  I followed the recipe from the In the Kitchen app I keep raving about, but I made it a little bit my own.

My stir fry consisted of frozen, cooked chicken I had made quite some time ago, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, green beans, bok choy, and teriyaki sauce.  The recipe also called for sesame oil but I couldn’t find it anywhere and I didn’t ask for assistance, so I omitted it entirely.

The cool thing about this recipe for me was that I cooked with a ton of vegetables that I hadn’t cooked with before.  I’ve cooked with broccoli before, but I’ve never gotten raw broccoli, so I got that and learned how to cut it.  I’ve also never cooked with bok choy, but it was very similar to celery (in regards to how to chop it), so it was rather simple as well.

Unfortunately, similarly to the only time I tried to make a mashed cauliflower dish, I made this stir fry too salty by being too generous with the teriyaki sauce.  I didn’t realize how salty the sauce was and I should’ve tasted my dish before getting sauce-happy.  When the dish was served over rice and with siracha though, the salt wasn’t too overwhelming.

Slide #4

All this is is a simple salad consisting of arugula, beets, and feta cheese.  I drizzled apple cider vinegar (I didn’t have balsamic) and olive oil over this.  You can add protein to this, but I didn’t.

Slides #5 & 6

Fettuccine alfredo is the second dish I made with my girlfriend!  I was cooking a lot at one point and sending her all the photos, and she became interested in cooking with me again.

The first time we cooked together was back in either late October or early November, a couple of days before my birthday.  It was maybe the second or third time we hung out, and I wasn’t twenty-one yet.  When we first started hanging out, she was getting over a somewhat recent breakup, and so a ton of her ideas for things we could do together were pretty couple-y, in my opinion.

She wanted to make salmon with me and show me how to de-bone it…she brought over pliers, a ton of fresh spices, asparagus, candles, and a bottle of wine… Oh- I omitted the fact that she used to be super late to everything and didn’t show up to cook until past midnight.  We started with the wine, but she broke the shitty wine opener I brought back from France.  Because it was late, we couldn’t get a wine opener from anywhere so we were forced to go to a bar.  She went inside by herself because I was still underage and she told me that the wine broke two of the bar’s wine openers so they ended up just giving her a bottle of wine, and then they all took green tea shots.  Meanwhile, I was getting harassed in the street…perks of city-living.

Anyway!  We didn’t cook the salmon until 1am, as pictured on the microwave clock below.  By “we cooking,” I mean her.  She did all the cooking and I drank all the wine lol


So yeah…that was the last time we had cooked together, until July!

In July, we made the delicious fettuccine alfredo depicted in the slideshow.  Alfredo is basically heavy cream and parmesan, but we differentiated ours with some spices such as red pepper flakes, black pepper, and basil.

Slides #7-10

Back when I was in either middle school or early high school, my step grandma taught me how to make a quick tiramisu.  She’s from Italy and although it’s not super legit, it’s easy and quite tasty.  It was cool because I made it mostly from memory of ingredients and taste, although I did have some supplemental help from my favorite app.

You need to make two mixtures: A. cold coffee and Bailey’s, and another one of B. mascarpone cheese, cool whip, a tablespoon or so of cold coffee, and Bailey’s.

All you have to do is take lady fingers, which you can buy in the bakery section, and you drizzle A. on the front and back of them.  You have to be careful because the lady fingers are delicate, so you can’t get them too wet.  Then you spread a layer of B, then repeat with the lady fingers and another layer of B.  Finally, you sprinkle cocoa powder on top, and then refrigerate!  Soooo delicious!

Slides #11-13

Shrimp scampi was another dish I made with my girlfriend, but unlike the fettuccine dish, this was such a smelly production.  It was so smelly.  So smelly.  I don’t think I’ve made that clear enough.  My apartment reeked of shrimp for a week after we cooked it.

No matter what we did (open a window, light a candle…) the repulsive stench did not go away!  I felt so terrible because my poor roommate had to put up with it…so yeah.  It was awful.  I’m not cooking with shrimp again for awhile.

Not only did making this dish stink up my apartment, but it also took FOREVER.  My girlfriend was adamant about getting wild-caught shrimp.  We went shopping later in the day, so the fresh shrimp seemed kinda sad.  We opted to get frozen, wild-caught shrimp.

Normally, people would not make an entire bag of shrimp.  For some reason…we did.  Especially because I had thawed the entire bag in hot water, which started to cook the shrimp, so we had to cook it all.

While the shrimp was thawing (cooking) in the hot water, we had to clean the shrimp.  This included peeling off the shells and then de-veining it.  “De-veining” means that you remove the poop from inside the shrimp.  Gag. 

After over an hour of doing these unpleasant tasks for an entire bag of now-sort-of-cooked shrimp, we actually cooked it.  That part didn’t take too long, and neither did making the pasta or the sauce that it all would go in…but I’m not making this dish again for awhile.  If I did, I’m definitely not making an entire bag of shrimp nor nearly half a box of linguine.  I still have leftovers in my freezer, and the idea of heating it up in the microwave and risking a shrimp-reeking apartment again is too traumatizing.

The highlight of this dish, however, was the lemon, wine sauce.  Perhaps I’ll make that on its own and drizzle it over chicken or pasta.

Slides #14-19

This was the last dish I made with my girlfriend, and the last dish I made thus far.  We became interested in cooking with protein other than chicken, because that was all I’ve cooked with before.  Hence why we made shrimp and then this dish…burgers!

My girlfriend loves burgers, she has a real problem.  She’s basically a lil burger lol but yeah, she was quite excited to make this with me.

I handled the burgers and seasoned them with cayenne pepper and Goya seasoning.  I was not very generous in seasoning them though, so the spices were unnoticeable.  I’m too used to cooking chicken (you can’t season very generously).

I made the burgers…medium I think.  They were cooked all the way through.  I tried to leave a little redness inside but I left them in the pan although the stove was off, and that cooked them through.  They weren’t overcooked though, which was awesome!

For toppings, we used tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, blue cheese, arugula, siracha, and sauteed portobello mushrooms.  We had also gotten turkey bacon, but we forgot to cook it, so she used it in some monstrous omelette the next morning.

The picture I have of her cutting onions was for the onion rings we made but they came out horrible.  It was tricky to bread due to the ring shape.

I also have a picture of the inside of my fridge, which is stocked with tons of cider she got for me, and tequila.  We made margaritas after we had some cider, which was super delicious.  There were some unique flavors like orange blossom, honey, and cherry blossom.  My favorites were the orange blossom and honey ones.

Slide #20

This isn’t so much a dish but more of an obsession I have lately.  I used to eat sunny-side up eggs when I was a kid so I started making them so I can eat them again!  I don’t know how to cook the egg without flipping it (it’s still oozy on the inside though) but yes, I love it!

Anyway…that’s all the food for now!  I’m going to go to the grocery store and pick up some stuff to make a recipe or two.  At this rate, I won’t post about it until September, the earliest.  Perhaps I’ll delve a little into baking by then too.

Have you made any of these dishes before?  Do you have any recommendations for me?  Share your thoughts below!

Happy cooking!

xx Vic


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