Remember, lo, a billion years ago, when I did my 30 while 30 project? (The tldr version for you who are newer: I listed 30 goals I wanted to accomplish while I was 30 - everything from learning to pitch a tent to paying off my student loans. I got most of them done!) One of my goals there was to teach myself to cook. That's right, I'd reached 30 and barely knew how to scramble an egg, boil a pot of water, or butter my own toast. I was a straight up disaster in the cooking front.
In the years since then, mostly thanks to that 30 while 30 kickstart I've achieved what I would call "relatively decent cookdom." (TM) I'm not a great cook, but I'm not a bad one, and I can finally say I know my way around a kitchen. I even know how to make rice! (Seriously. I didn't know how to make rice at one point, so this IS an accomplishment.) I cooked everything from homemade pasta to fried chicken to scallops.
In December of 2015, when I was doing some reflecting on why the year had ended up so crappy, one of the things that popped to mind was that I had barely cooked at all. I, like many people, I think, take much solace in cooking. It is meditative; it makes you feel accomplished; it nourishes the body AND the soul (or whatever). So when I was making my list of goals for 2016, cooking once a week made the cut.
So far I've cooked several delicious things in the new year, and what I hoped was true: it's rewarding. It makes me feel happy. It keeps me occupied during my social media diet, hours I probably would spend otherwise scrolling endlessly through Facebook. To encourage the continuation of this, I blocked out Friday and Sunday on my google calendar to remind myself I have to cook one of those nights. It's worked so far, and I wanted to share the especially delicious things I've made in 2016. As I come across more good recipes, I'll share them here, too.
This thing is like five ingredients and gloriously goopy and delicious. Definitely freeze it before you serve it though - I don't think I did for long enough and both the chocolate and caramel layers were really difficult to cut through and all the servings sort of ended up a mess. But they also all got eaten to the last crumb. I would definitely make it in a springform or a fluted pie tin where you can remove the sides, as that should make it a lot easier to cut and serve. I just did it in a regular pie pan and boy THAT was a mistake. WILL YOU EVER LEARN CATHERINE?
I'm a little of the mind that all decent roast chicken recipes are pretty good, but it's fun to experiment. This one creates a very moist, cinnamon-spiced roast chicken, with delicious accompanying golden lemony sauce to pour over it. Tip: I didn't brown it well enough up front (have you ever tried to brown a chicken in a small pot with a stick of butter using only a set of tongs and spoon up the chicken's butt? It's not easy) but I wish I'd tried harder because it would have made it taste even better.
Turns out if you mix broth, tomato paste, and a crap ton of peanut butter all together (adding in a lot of other stuff, of course) you get this tasty soup. It's nice and thick. I eat it over rice. Very easy and a good winter meal.
I know I already raved about this in a different blog post and I KNOW all of you cool people have already made bread a billion times in your life but I NEVER HAD because making bread is like BEING A WIZARD and it seemed totally incomprehensibly difficult how exactly does a SOLID LOAF OF BREAD come out of some flour and water but it DOES and when it is done you're like I'M A FUCKING MAGICIAN and then you eat the entire loaf covered in butter and cheese and life is great. I'm going to make this every couple of weeks this year.
What recipes would you recommend to me for my 2016 cook once a week goal?