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Y’know, lately, I’ve been rather busy not cooking. Don’t ask how it happens, but it has.

I mean, I’ve cooked, don’t get me wrong, but it has been nothing noteworthy and I don’t want to bore you with more facts about popcorn or another story about picky children.

Speaking of picky children though, haha, just kidding, we won’t go down that lane.

In the last 3 weeks that I haven’t written, I’ve managed to cook uninteresting things here and there. Just this week, I used my Boyfriend’s Mum’s carton of eggs to feed him, his brother and I for the last several hang outs. I’ve made eggs on toast, eggs on toasted bagel with cheese, eggs and perogies (for myself), eggs with hot sauce and sausage on a bagel on cheese, well you get the idea.

It’s rather been the same with rice. I got my hands on kielbasa a few weeks back and made a bowl of rice (I’ve finally figured out how to do it!), sliced up some kielbasa, sautèed it, and toasted some perogies. My mom made jumbala the next day with the kielbasa. Did I mention jumbalaya is that boot in the arse that you need when you wake up? No? Well it really is. I woke up one afternoon (note: I’m a bum on summer holidays) an saw a bowl of it sitting on the counter, still warm. Mom motioned for me to have it, and I did. Boy, I’ve never woken up faster. It wasn’t hot (temperature wise) it was; it was spicy wise. But it was delicious, nonetheless. 2 days later, with the left over kielbasa and some more rice (it’s a 3 pound bag and i’m only using 1/2 cups at a time), I made a few more bowls of sticky rice and kielbasa. If you’ve not had it, it’s really good.

During the week of eating rice like a fiend, Mom and I got dumplings and chicken one day when we ventured out during the downpour. Not homestyle, southern dumplings, might I add. No, I mean fried dumplings with red hot peanut oil. Yum. So, reader beware, you have a peanut allergy? Don’t come near me if you see me using chopsticks and am eating from a tin container, I’ve got some of those dumplings and yes, I will probably kill you by inadvertently offering you them. But only because I’m polite. I don’t actually want to share my dumplings with you. They’re mine.

Since last writing, I’ve also had an assortment of foods.

Things I’ve Eaten Since I’ve Rather Stopped Cooking/Been At My Boyfriend’s Place

  • Taco Bell. Yeah, I just had this recently at my boyfriend’s dad’s place. There was a reason I stayed away from it. Why? Oh yeah, I can make better burritos with my bleedin eyes shut. Think I’m kidding? I’m not. My five layer burrito is actually five layers and you’re not eating a solid wall of beans, followed by sour cream, followed by molten cheese, etc.  Nope.
  • McDonald’s. Ew, we did that one night and I just got a salad. That’s the only thing (okay besides the fries) that I don’t feel like I’m eating stinky old gym socks. It’s disgusting really. All that grease that you ingest. (This is coming from the chick who ate a bunch of soft tacos from Taco Bell recently, that’s saying something)
  • Wendy’s (and I don’t mean my mom’s cooking). Wendy’s is okay. I mean it’s probably God Awful for you, but in a fix and on the go it’s not too bad, just pricey
  • Subway. I’m not a fan of subway, but I guess it’s good if you’re on the go or in the mood to discuss science and breaking out of cop cars. (No joke about that last part; my best mate and I were getting subway one afternoon last summer (or maybe it was the summer before), and while we were  eating, a cop pulled up, came inside and ordered his sandwich. That sparked a conversation between the best mate and I about the various ways one could attempt to escape apprehension by the police. I don’t advise trying it and never have he nor I ever ridden in the back of a cop car. It was all speculation and a bloody good conversation as well as a great digression from the molarity of my cherry coke. Oh the things he and I talk about, that one.)
  • Macaroni & Cheese. Nostalgia, anyone?
  • My Grandma’s Home Cooking. When I have been home long enough to grab a home cooked, sit down dinner with the family, it’s usually over at my grandmother’s place and boy does she know how to cook. The last meal I was over for was bisquick chicken, fluffy fresh mashed potatoes, green beans and corn. Talk about yum. When you’re jonesing for a good meal with the family, this really hits the spot. The chicken was tender and juicy, the potatoes, which I’d beaten until smooth and fluffy, were  flavourful and not gluey. Did I mention? While beating the potatoes smooth, I ended up with warm potato bits all over me. It was no big deal, as they weren’t incredibly hot, but it brings new meaning to the saying “You look good in mashed potatoes,” a saying that’s more of a joke than anything. It started out one day when I had been reheating mashed potatoes after either Christmas or Thanksgiving (I can’t recall which), and my sister walked in wearing her new sweater or something. So, mashed potatoes on my mind, I said “You look good in mashed potatoes” and ever since it’s stuck.
  • Tyson Chicken. I can prepare Tyson brand chicken at least 5 different ways.
    1. Easy Parmigiana. All you need is a bunch of chicken nuggets, your favourite brand of sauce, cheese (can be American, Swiss, Mozzarella, Asiago, etc., although, I prefer Mozzarella myself unless I don’t have it, in which case, I use American), and bread/pasta. If you’re making it into a sandwich, I highly advice kaiser/hoagie rolls as they hold up better than sliced bread does. It sounds lame, weird, even, but it’s more filling than the chicken by itself.
    2. Chicken Quesadillas. Before you get grossed out, it’s honestly not that bad. Yes, I prefer fresh, unfrozen, not breaded chicken, myself, however in my boyfriend’s kitchen, I cook with what I can get my hands on. It was no surprise that after I regifted an awesome quesadilla maker (that I thought I would use, but hadn’t since I’d received it) to his mother, my boyfriend wanted me to give it a go. So I did. We had the “Mexican blend” cheese, burrito sized tortillas already on hand and it was my boyfriend’s idea to use the chicken nuggets.
    3. Chicken Sandwiches. I don’t always use only tyson chicken nuggets (though they’re always readily available in my boyfriend’s freezer). Sometimes, in the freezer I come across the chicken breasts, lightly breaded and uncooked by tyson waiting to be used. The best part about this chicken is that I can either eat it as a chicken sandwich, by itself or toss it in a salad for a crispy chicken Caesar salad. For this variation, all I have to do is set the oven and let the chicken cook until the juices run clear. When they’re done, the next thing to do is put a slice of cheese on top and let it sit on the chicken, in the oven long enough for the cheese to get melty and voila. It’s great if you’re in a pinch for something to cook and pairs great with pasta salad.
    4. Chicken Caesar Salad.  If you’ve got the leafy greens, the Caesar salad dressing, croutons and chicken, you can make yourself a big bowl of salad and know for a fact it will fill you up. I’ve had it a few times and though it’s not as good as a salad from Panera, it’s pretty delicious and easy enough.
    5. The Original. I grew up hearing stories about how my father used to bar-hop before he met my mother. When he got home, he would fire up the deep fat fryer and throw in some chicken and french fries. This was at midnight, mind you. When Dad met Mom, the deep fat fryer got packed away (maybe even sold in a tag sale), and hasn’t been seen since. We, as kids, grew up with home cooking all over the place as well as chicken in the freezer for those rare nights when Mom wanted something easy to make. It’s baked in the oven (not deep fried) and served with french fries, too. It’s nostalgic, every time I sit down with a plate of chicken and fries/mac & cheese. It’s like part of my child hood is back… when I feel like being lazy and not cooking.
  • (Chinese) Takeout/Pizza. As it’s summer time, sometimes there’s a few missing chairs at the table, or maybe we’ve got friends over, but there’ll be nights when it gets tossed out “what do you want for dinner?” Well, when I’m home that is. When I -am- home and this question is asked, I shrug. Mom will say “Well I’m getting the girls and daddy pizza. Would you prefer a grinder?” If I’ve not had pizza already that week (as I do live between three houses, it feels like I ingest a bunch of pizza, back to back and it can get kind of annoying. But my boyfriend’s parents and my mother don’t coordinate, it just happens), I’ll have a slice of whatever pizza we get delivered. If I’ve had pizza, or I’m not feeling it that night, I’ve recently gotten into having a hot grinder at dinner. We have this really awesome place down in town that makes a really good pizza and has the best grinders around. When it’s mom and I running errands, some times I get lucky and can con her into picking up dumplings from a Chinese place that’s down by where I work. We have conflicting opinions over the other food, but mom and I both know that if we want a good order of dumplings and red hot oil, the place to get them is China Sea. Unfortunately, she seems to believe that the takeout place we order from when we’re working, Light Star, has better egg rolls. I beg to differ.
  • My Boyfriend’s Parent’s Cooking. My boyfriend’s dad makes a mean stir fry. One night at his house, he handed me a heaping plate of chicken, and brown rice covered with a stir fry. The stir fry was composed of red and orange bell peppers and chicken. Since I’ve had it, I’ve been wanting to replicate it myself, but haven’t had the resources. My boyfriend’s mom makes this thing. I can’t even begin to tell you what it is. She stews chicken on the stove for over an hour with spices and while it cooks, makes a batch of white rice. When it’s done, she ladles the chicken and broth over the rice. It’s simple, absolutely delicious and can’t get enough when she makes it. That’s probably one of my favourite meals.
Having been on hiatus, you bet you’re arse I’m already planning on things to make when I get the money. But I’ll save that for a different post sometime else. According to my clock, it’s almost 6 am and I’ve not slept yet. I think I’ll call it a night and see what the day brings for me tomorrow, food wise. On that note, I’d like to mention that you can count on a blog by Monday morning, I promise, detailing the list of foods that I plan to cook/try in the following seasons. After all, Labour Day marks the unofficial beginning of autumn.
Stay Hungry, Mates

(And do send in some recipes to my email TheMakingOfAChef@Gmail.com)

Xx Steffica