Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Cooking Cure: Day 19

Day 19: Make a Plan for Your Leftovers

Thursday March 27th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 19 on

The only leftovers I have right now are in the fridge at work with me for lunch! Aside from some lettuce, that has started to brown so it might be gone.

Now although I can't really take advantage of this particular challenge I am happy to see the focus on using every bit in your fridge if possible. After so much cooking and experimenting the last thing you want is a fridge full of food you're letting go bad.

I'm pleased I was ready to incorporate this into my already existing plan of awesome food. So this will be a short update! Simple, sweet and brief. Ps. My lunch is AWESOME.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Cooking Cure: Day 16-18

I have accepted my fate of failure in this Cooking Cure, but not feeling so much defeated about it as laughing at how much it takes to keep on track.

Day 16: Get Yourself a Treat to Have with Dinner

Monday March 24th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 16 on

The post for this challenge begins with a big ol' Congratulations! And you know what? I'm going to take it! I'm going to celebrate that not only have I been cooking a lot, and thinking more about what I do when I cook, I have totally made a blogging comeback. I haven't posted this much in years and feel that this fact alone is enough to celebrate.

Now what did I treat myself to? ICE CREAM! Not homemade, but good quality Haagen-Dazs is always a nice treat.

Day 17: Take 5 Minutes to Think Through the Rest of Your Meals This Week

Tuesday March 25th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 12 on

  1. Take 5 minutes to take stock: My week is going alright. Monday night I made a HUGE dinner that was actually also my week's worth of lunches. Chicken Burrito Bowls! Zach and I had burrito's for dinner and then packed up the rest of the food for lunches. It's not Wednesday (yes I'm posting late) and I still have lunch for today and hopefully tomorrow. My breakfasts are a disaster, but lunch is taken care of and I'm happy about that. 
  2. Adjust your plans: Breakfasts need some more attention but in the mornings I'm so uninterested in cooking. I think making a batch of bagels again on the weekend and using them just for breakfasts might be a good plan. Midway through the week I think I'll refrain from going crazy, but it's a good plan for Sunday night. 
  3. Share your week: Uh, heyo Twitter and FB. I always post to social media! 

Day 18: Make "Stuff I like to Eat" List

Wednesday March 16th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 18 on

  • Zach loves fruit, something he's trying to get me involved in. It's not really a 'cooking thing' but it's definitely something he loves to eat and wants more of in the house. I think this is more about changing where we shop as some of our local grocery stores are either too pricey or have crap stock. To the little asian groceries on the corner! 
  • Homemade Tuna Casserole: Zach loves it, I love it. Easy, I could do it in my sleep and makes for great leftovers. And did I mention it's cheap? 
  • Baked chicken enchiladas: because gooey with cheese and sauce is always welcomed.
  • Pot Stickers: Sometimes it's nice to just relax and make dumplings. It's not hard, takes a lot of time thought but the results are always wonderful and if done in large batches can last you a while. 
  • A good, from scratch, tomato sauce: It has so many possibilities like fresh pasta, amazing pizza, a dipping sauce for monkey bread. Making it in a large batch means more for later and less work. Plus Zach is a pro-star at making a good sauce. 
  • Bread: I have a few simple recipes that make the apartment smell amazing and we always love fresh bread. Who doesn't? Again, it's a process that I almost find soothing now and look forward to doing. 
  • Great damn sandwiches: I make a good sandwich. No bragging here, I have lots of supporters on this one. Stack them high, lots of meat, deli style fixings and a good homemade sauce or two, on some of the best bread ever. I love making them, take a pride in it, and Zach loves them too. 

We're nearly at the end, only two days left in the cure. I'm wondering what more we could do, but we shall see! Either way I'm glad of how this whole month turned out for my blogger revival. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Cooking Cure: Day 12-15 ...sigh...

Are you shocked? I'm not shocked. I think I'm starting to think about whether I really need to change all of my habits (well at least breakfast). Here we go, week three catch up! Maybe it was a bit much to assume I could blog every day of the week for a month...

Day 12: Ask Yourself 3 Questions About your Dinner Habits

Tuesday March 18th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 12 on

  1. What am I tired of eating? Pasta. I love pasta, but boxed pasta as often as I do have it is not a good idea. 
  2. What do I love eating? Like all my other answers: FRESH. And mexican. 
  3. What would I like to eat more often? From scratch homemade with more vegetables included. 

Did I rush through that? Felt like I did. I guess it's because I've answered it almost the same way twice already!

Day 13: Find 5 New Recipes for Dinner

Wednesday March 19th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 13 on

  1. Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls from I like the freshness of these ingredients and the veg to protein ratio. Plus, who can say no to a nice peanut sauce for dipping? 
  2. Quiche how to on So this isn't really a direct recipe so to speak but a basic how to. Now I've made quiche before, a few times, but what I want to do is the entire thing from scratch (save growing the damn veg myself). This means pie crust, my biggest fear in cooking. 
  3. Zesty Fish Curry with Coconut Milk from This looks amazing and I love the idea of learning how to make a good curry recipe since I love indian so damn much. It doesn't look too complicated but I imagine it could get a little dicey working with chilies but I want to try it. 
  4. Korean Barbecue Pork Lettuce Wraps from I might not go pork, but the recipes this blogger goes through (with detailed instructions and pictures) inspires me to cook. This is one of those lovely recipe's. 
  5. Creamy Baked Orzo with Ham, Peas and Leeks from Yet another recipe but I like the traditional feel of a dish like this. Something I could make, or would find my mother or grandmother making in their own kitchens. I see it as something I can learn to substitute with and make my own which is the best part of a good recipe. That and it has superior leftovers potential! 

Day 14: Stock Your Kitchen for One New Dinner

Thursday March 20th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 14 on

You know it's funny, I seem to be able to do these challenges when I'm not really thinking about doing the challenges. I'll blog about it later but I made a big ol' batch of bagels from scratch, something I wanted to do for my breakfasts (and in turn made some nice lunches) for this entire week.
Wednesday night, after looking at the cooking cure and talking to the fiance, I decided we were going to have the Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls. So we had those for dinner Wednesday and again for dinner Thursday night.

So am I really doing the cure? I'm not following the method exactly, it's more 'Oh hey, we should have that' and I go out that day and get it. Perhaps I need to incorporate less about doing new recipes (that doesn't appear to be the problem) and concentrate on the planning of the meals a little bit more. So I'm not doing it all the night of?

Or maybe that's just not my style. Maybe spur of the moment cooking is how I'll develop my pallet, my routine and my repertoire of recipes. I like the sound of that. Repertoire of Recipes. Who knows! I'll do my best to keep up but I might just end up doing this my own way.

Day 15: Make Dinner Tonight & PLan Next Week's Breakfasts, Lunches  & Dinners

Friday March 21st, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 15 on

Yeah, I'm probably not going to go all too crazy on the meal planning this weekend. I have a feeling that's more my Monday gig. But some ideas I'm running through my head:

  • Another batch of bagels or english muffins for breakfast
  • buy a juicer for breakfast infusion of vitamins
  • buy veggies for lunch time snacking and possible sandwich toppings. I'm liking shredding veggies with a peeling for a thin but still crisp snack at home. Could lead to some really cool lunches. 
  • Casserole on Monday night for leftovers through at least part of the week
  • Maybe tackle a quiche crust on wednesday if I'm feeling ambitious
So much of these things depend on more than just my availability in the week. How I feel physically, now that I've finally kicked the cold I don't want to wear myself down too much. Need for a break: hard weeks at work zap my energy for creativity in the kitchen. If something, like a new recipe or a new gadget (I might be getting a stand mixer or a juicer this weekend fingers crossed) might tip the scales in favour of one thing or another. 

I like to remain flexible. I'll make that my plan for the next week but ultimately I'm avoiding at least two or three things: 
  • No Subway sammy's
  • No cereal in the morning
  • No take-out

Yeah, I'll start with that. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Cooking Cure Day 10+11: Aww, shit...

Crap, am I bad at this.

I guess it comes as no real shocker that I'm falling behind again. Not only am I missing days, I'm not completing tasks. Crap on a stick. Well anyhoo, here's my catch-up.

Day 10: Make lunch Today and Plan Next Week's Breakfasts and Lunches

Thursday March 14th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 10 on

Well, I may have kind done this one but on Saturday instead of Friday. It was an egg salad, not as awesome as I'd hoped for but it was from scratch. Chives, lettuce, egg, mayo on pita bread (not homemade). It was like an egg salad pizza. Sadly, no picture, but it was nice and fresh. So we'll call this one a win?

As for a plan? I plan to cook something. Breakfast and lunch were a bust today with a Sunday night out until about 11 commuting back from Pickering. There was no plan this morning aside from tea, which means I bailed on this day almost entirely. I end up being pretty busy on the weekends so this cure structure might not work. Most of my meal planning happens on Monday at or after work so I'm thinking of doing the rest of it today. My sort of 'cure' for the Monday blues?

Day 11: Make a List of Everything You ate for Dinner Last Week

Thursday March 17th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 11 on

First off,
I was recently correcting by an Irish friend that it's a Paddy's day not Patty's, that's a girls name. Now, back to the cooking cure.

First I should explain that my week was not a normal sample. normally I don't eat out so much or go out all weekend, but it was my birthday last week so this weekend was extravagant. And awesome.

Monday: Pasta. I think?
Tuesday: My birthday. We had indian and cheesecake. It was wonderful.
Wednesday: Leftovers, ie. Indian and cheesecake.
Thursday: Asparagus and some bread. I wasn't feel great so I kept it simple.
Friday: Sushi. I don't know why but we decided it was important so we had more take out. Sushi, of course, was awesome.
Saturday: Dinner at my moms (homemade swedish meatballs, rice, salad, and cake!)
Sunday: Dinner at brother in-laws (pork and beef tenderloin, beans, potatoes,  cucumber salad and a tonne of jelly beans).

Yeah, I don't normally eat like that. But there you go.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Cooking Cure: Day 9

Day 9: Stock Your Kitchen for One New Lunch

Thursday March 13th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 9 on

Alright, here we go. I'm going to pick the easiest of the lunches I mentioned because quite frankly I'm not 100% better yet and could use a break when it comes to prepping. That and snow-pocolypse has returned to Toronto. So what do I think is the 'easiest'?


Random Google image from a website that I can't seem to access that pretty much depicts what I'd like to end up with.
In no way did I take this photo. I would love to credit the owner if they ever stumble upon my blog. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Cooking Cure: Day 8

I should note first that YESTERDAY I TURNED 28! I'm cool like that. There was a divine blueberry topped cheesecake, a wonderful cast iron chinese style tea pot with two adorable mugs (I'll post about those soon) and indian for dinner! Butter chicken, chicken curry, beef vindaloo, garlic naan, chicken samosa, chicken biryani and mango shake for me, lassi for Zach. 

IT WAS AWESOME! Despite still being a little under the weather Zach treated me like a princess and I had a great night. I might do a recap of the gift, at the very least, at some point down the road but with the Cooking Cure I've got a schedule to keep and I intend to keep it.

But why is this all relevant? Guess what I have for leftovers! 

That's right, butter chicken and biryani. It was awesome.

The Cooking Cure: Day 2 to 7 (Yeah, I screwed up)

I may have screwed up and totally missed a few days of the cure. Although my breakfasts surely could use some form of help it looks like it'll have to wait because I am not backtracking now.

To keep you up-to-date, I was sick all last week. At home sick, the real kind. Not fun coughing, not hearing, no use of nose kind of sick and it was unpleasant. But I'm getting better, or at least that's what I'm telling myself at this point and I expect you'll all agree that mind over matter has it's place. Whether we agree where that is debatable, but nevertheless I am alive.

I'll give you a quick list of what I missed (and you if this is your Cooking Cure source of info, which is mad if you ask me.)

Day 2: Ask Yourself 3 Questions About Your Breakfast Habits

Tuesday March 4th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 2 on
  1. What am I tired of eating? Cereal. I like the connivence but I know I eat it too much and I feel like it's not the kind of breakfast I should be having. It's not the 'power-packed-first-thing-starter' it once was, or at least not the brands I like. Those of course contain all the sugar in the world. Not bad until you hit about 10am and feel exhausted. 
  2. What do I love eating? Fresh. I love fresh when I remember to do it. I love eggs, I love good bread and perfect little things. Yes, I like eating lots of little food. If I could eat finger appetizers for the rest of my very short lived like I would. 
  3. What would I like to eat more often? Real and homemade. I like knowing what goes into my food and I'm starting to really enjoy the process of cooking and creating. If I can see exactly what went into it: a fruit, how much butter, what kind of flour, the amount of salt, I feel better about what I'm eating. I end up feeling proud. This is in part what I think 'real' food is. Not processed or filled with ingredients you can't pronounce, real food. But I'm not crazy obsessed or rich, so maybe this goal is a little high. 

Day 3: Find 5 New Recipe's for Breakfast

Wednesday March 5th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 3 on

This one is pretty easy to start. I love breakfast and would always love to try new things. Whether or not I'll ever get to trying these is up to the cosmos but I will remember them (I'm an avid pinner, if you must know). But I want to keep in mind about my questions last week; what do I love and what do I want to eat more of.
  1. Smoothies: Now I know I should be thinking of one specific recipe, but smoothies are so diverse I want to really get into the habit of making them for a breakfast. Like a staple I can transition from what I have. I like starting simple so why not a Mango Yogurt Smoothie from
  2. English Muffins from I always like a good english muffin. I thank my mother for that breakfast treat, but the store bought ones are just 'eh'. Not bad but I look at the ingredients and cringe. If I could make these puppies, or a way to have one fresh in the morning, I would be soooooo happy. 
  3. Huevos Rancheros from Love mexican cuisine, love eggs why not put them puppies together? My only fear is I'm not sure how I feel about hot sauce on my eggs. That being said, I've been corrected by the fiance that 'it's awesome' so I think so far this is the most likely subject for a breakfast cook day. 
  4. Cheddar and Leek Muffins from Portable, tasty I'm sure and I feel like I should try my hand at baking more.  
  5. Ham and Egg Crepe Squares from Bacon, or salty ham as a healthier substitute, couldn't escape this list. I love bacon but I want to find new ways on twisting the ever loved bacon and egg sandwich. This crepe square recipe is kinda cool and something I think I'd enjoy trying.  

Day 4: Stock Your Kitchen for One New Breakfast

Thursday March 6th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 4 on

Haha, go shopping. While I was sick as a dog? You bet your ass I didn't step outside all week. The weather was craptastic and I was even more shitty. The last thing I wanted to do was put real clothing on and leave my blankets. So no, I didn't stock up for anything.

Day 5: Make Breakfast Today and Plan for Next Week's Breakfasts

Friday March 7th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 5 on

We we all know this didn't happen. Being home sick, no cooking really happened over the course of last week. I did, I'll tell you, make myself some homemade mac and cheese but I can do that with my eyes closed. It wasn't healthy, but damn was it tasty and when you're sick all you care about is being a little bit satisfied. There was also all the orange juice drinking that could happen. I've been a little obsessed about it lately. Planning to ask the fiance to get me more OJ was the extent of 'planning' that went into my breakfasts for this week. Guess what? I already drank the OJ.

Day 6: Make a List of Everything You Ate for Lunch Last Week

Monday March 10th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 6 on

Does OJ count? I didn't really eat much other than Macaroni and cheese, toasted english muffins and take out, I think. I can't remember all too well because most of it was surrounded by 'I WANT ICE CREAM' and the fiance saying 'No'. I remember not eating ice cream (until the weekend). Does that count?

Day 7: Ask Yourself 3 Questions About Your Lunch Habits

Tuesday March 11th, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 7 on

Oh I see what you're doing! This is just like the breakfast Q's. Sneaky Thought you'd trick me there.
  1. What am I tired of eating? Goddamn Subway. Screw me sideways I eat there way too much. Forgot lunch? Have some Subway. Brought lunch but it's gross? How about Subway? Feeling bad about yourself? Eat some more GODDAMN SUBWAY! I can't blame them, I keep going back. Maybe because my 'take-out' lunch choices are between 'healthy' subway sandwiches and the over priced grocery store next door where something of far less quality (and that's saying something) costs three time's as much. 
  2. What do I love eating? Apparently fucking Subway. I think it's the fake-bacon. I love salty food and well, it's easy and I don't have to make it. I do love sandwiches, fresh fat happy sandwiches, deli style with all the pickles. But what do I really love eating? New things. I get bored with the same old. I can't eat the same thing every day for lunch for a week. I've tried, I get bored and disillusioned by Thursday and end up going to Subway. That is depressing. 
  3. What would I like to eat more often? Leftovers from good dinners that keep and healthier lunches. When at work I don't really have the time to prepare a nice lunch even though I'm lucky enough to have a stove. Just don't think the bosses would approve of me spending an hour cooking and filling the office with my food stench, even if it's good. Or maybe they would... Either way, I want to try and eat healthier, prepare more satisfying lunches so that I'm not starving when I head home and gorge on an over indulgent dinner. 

So there, caught up. Not really doing the more 'active' cure's but hey, I'm trying right? 

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Cooking Cure: Day 1

This March is having a 'cure' or a monthly challenge it poses to their followers and readers, this one designed to "get you cooking at home every day, starting with 5-minute baby steps and culminating in a week of 21 home-cooked meals."

It's similar to the very popular 'January Cure' on, where you spruce up your place with some simple tips over the course of a month to take you out of any new years blues you might be suffering. As a messy home-body the January Cure was too much but as a cook, maybe not a great one, but an aspiring one I like the idea of the Cooking Cure.

You can sign up if you'd like on their main page for the Cooking Cure. Don't be shy, there's no real obligation here.

Day 1: Make a list of everything you ate for breakfast last week

Monday March 3rd, 2014
Cooking Cure's task for Day 1 on

The basics, write everything you ate for breakfast last week on paper. Now I know I should do it on paper paper, but I'll lose it so I figure the blog is a good place to start.

Monday: Subway BLT footlong with cheese, mayo, pickles and onions.
Tuesday: Honey Nut Cheerios with milk.
Wednesday: Honey Nut Cheerios with milk.
Thursday: Honey Nut Cheerios with milk.
Friday: Latte and croissant.
Saturday: Leftover beef Pad Thai.
Sunday: English muffin with strawberry jam and half a glass of orange juice.
Monday (Today): Honey Nut Cheerios with milk.

Probably not the best of breakfasts this last week. So much for my 'eating from scratch'. But in the morning I am so uninterested in cooking.

Now the extra credit portion of today is tracking my lunches and dinners.
Monday (today): Subway BLT footlong with cheese, mayo, pickles and onions. Granola bar and a ginger ale.

So I guess that's done for today!

Dont' forget, if you're doing the cooking cure to tag with your posts with #cookingcure