Tag Archives: cooking

Last Week and Next Week

What did I do last week?

Well, I wrote a sci-fi short story called We Dragons and submitted it to a couple of places. That was a three-day process from concept to writing to editing to submission. I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of rejections it earns me!

I also did some rewrites and revisions for my thesis, and later today I’ll be writing my abstract and sending my completed second draft off to my committee for further feedback. That’s another milestone to celebrate along the path to finally being finished.

Besides writing, I did some cooking last week, but nothing too special, and I didn’t take any pictures. I experimented with stuffing a chicken breast with almonds and apple, and there’s some potential there, but I need to work on it. I’m thinking of maybe trying it as more of a garnish than a stuffing. It went well with the rice, I thought.

This week, I’m back to working on my novel. With some good time management, I’m hoping to get at least another 12,000 words done. I’ll also be building up my 50-word story backlog, of course, and working to promote preorders of Volume Two.

Feels like a good week, coming up!

Pasta and Chicken in White Wine and a Cheese Sauce

Pasta with chicken and cheese sauce.

I made pasta for dinner last night. I was sort of improvising, so there are a few things I would have done differently, in retrospect, but it still turned out tasting pretty good.

I began by preparing some chicken thighs in a sauce pan with some white wine. When the chicken was done, I added chopped up tomato and lots of grated cheddar cheese, to combine with the wine and thicken into a cheese sauce. I seasoned it with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, and served it all over spaghetti noodles.

What I should have done is taken the chicken out when it was done, and chopped it up, then prepped the sauce over low heat and reintroduced the chicken for a couple of minutes when the sauce was ready.

My friend Andrew Metcalfe suggested I make a roux next time. That would probably work a lot better, too. I’m thinking if I prepped a roux, then added it to the remaining white wine after the chicken was out, and added the cheese after all of that had been combined, it would have made a better sauce, and I could control the amount of sauce a lot better, too.

Also, I’m not sure Italian seasoning was the best choice. I’m a total newbie with spices and seasonings. Someone needs to give me a course or something.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Yesterday’s dinner was something I was pretty excited to try out: chicken cordon bleu! I found a recipe that seemed interesting (here’s the link), and the chicken itself turned out good. The cheese leaked out the sides a bit too much, so next time I have to fold them over and make sure they’re tucked inside better. And I didn’t time the sides very well; they were done too early and got a bit cold.

The chicken is sauteeing in white wine.

The sauce (white wine, whipping cream, chicken bouillon, and corn starch) was delicious. The recipe was worth making for the sauce alone, in my opinion.

If only chicken breasts weren’t so expensive… But I guess you get what you pay for.

Chicken, rice, and asparagus, covered in that delicious, delicious sauce.

Pancakes For Breakfast

This morning I made pancakes–some of which had chocolate chips in them–with sides of yogurt and cherries. Not a particularly complicated breakfast, but a classic, and I think all the parts fit together pretty well.

Pancakes, yogurt, and cherries for breakfast!

Next time I’m going to make the pancakes a bit smaller. They were pretty dense, and I liked that density, so smaller portion sizes would be more appropriate.

You can do so much with the presentation of a breakfast, especially if you have vanilla yogurt and a selection of fruit on hand. I saw a lot of neat little ways of presenting fruit during our honeymoon, and I credit that with inspiring me to want to try cooking a broader variety of things, and using different side dishes.

I’m hopefully going to have a slightly more complicated meal to write about in the next couple of days. Wish me luck!

Chicken and Potatoes is Super Easy

When I posted about the stuffed peppers I made, I was really proud of my accomplishment. It was a unique and interesting recipe, it looked nice on the plate, and it tasted delicious.

Sunday’s meal wasn’t nearly so “special,” but I found it interesting for an entirely different reason.

I cooked some chicken with potatoes, yams, carrots, and garlic. Tossed it all up in a bowl with paprika, seasoning salt, and pepper, popped it in the oven at 425⁰ for half an hour, and that was it.

Chicken, potatoes, yams, carrots... and gravy!

And I made a side salad too, of course. Gotta have green stuff to eat. My mom taught me that.

What I find interesting about this meal is the awesome effort-to-output ratio it has. This was actually my second time doing chicken this way, and both times I’ve been really surprised how little work it takes to make a delicious chicken dinner, and how little mess it makes, especially compared to baking. You even end up with a tiny bit of gravy, which is super awesome.

Larissa liked it, especially the yams.

One thing I’ll do differently in the future is skin the yams. I forgot I had to treat them a little bit differently than the potatoes…

Does anyone have any suggestions for meals I should cook in the future? Leave a comment if you have an idea for me. I’m willing to experiment.

Stuffed Peppers

Last night my sister came over to hang out, drop off a late wedding present, and watch the season finale of The Office. I decided I wanted to put together something special for dinner, so I did a bit of googling and came up with a recipe for Mexican stuffed peppers.

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Here’s the end result. I would’ve liked to do something more interesting with the presentation, at least to the extent of not having a bunch of juices running all over the plate, but c’est la vie.

The basic concept is half a pepper stuffed with monterey jack cheese and a mixture of ground beef and rice which has been flavoured with chili powder and taco seasoning.

It turned out really delicious, and as you can see from the picture I served it with just a basic green salad. If I make this again, I’ll probably try to think of something more to serve as a side dish, maybe chips and salsa as a sort of appetizer.

Making this involved a couple of firsts for me. I’d never steamed anything before (I steamed the peppers before stuffing and baking them) and, believe it or not, I’d never cooked rice before. I’m a potato guy, so I’ve always made potatoes as my starch if given any sort of choice. Live and learn, right?