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The Weird Chick

Greek Meatballs

November 3rd,2015


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greekmeatballs_03

The husbear and I have been staying with his parents since about mid-August. We packed up and sold the very first home I ever bought (albeit with my dad), bid farewell to home ownership and living on our own, and settled into the guest bedroom at his parents. We’re supposed to be moving into my grandmother’s house, but there have been a couple setbacks there. She had a cat, to which my husband is deathly allergic, but we found her a good home with some friendly acquaintances of ours. She also currently has no functioning shower and, as much as I love them, I do not have time to take a bath every morning before class. I already have a hard enough time dragging myself out of bed to shower; there is no way I will wake up even five minutes sooner to take a bath. I am the furthest thing from a morning person that a human can possibly be; I will forego anything to get an extra three minutes of sleep.

I hate feeling like a freeloader, so I have been trying to make dinner for the husbear’s family as often as possible. His dad and his sister like to cook but they don’t often have time, and his mother has never enjoyed cooking. I have made them a whole bunch of stuff, including my beloved burritos (no joke, I practically live off of that stuff), my grandmother’s signature chicken, taco soup (I call it soup but apparently it might be chili), and poutine-stuffed meatloaf (trust me, it is amazing and so easy; I will post a recipe for that next time I make it). His parents seem to be pretty happy, to the point that they brag to coworkers about the meal they are going to have waiting for them at home. It makes me blush.

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Meatball Tagine

August 6th,2015


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Meatball Tagine

I like to try foods from all over the world, as I am sure I have said many times before (I have a habit of repeating myself incessantly, according to my husband). Does that make me a foodie/hipster/foodster? Well, if it does, oh well. I’ll live with it. My favourite cuisines are pretty much whichever ones use a lot of cumin and garlic. Which, luckily for me, opens up a lot of options! Mexican, Indian, Arabic, African, and I’m sure more, all of which I loooove. Too much!

My “brother and sister” (our mom likes to buy things for us to give as gifts to each other — actually, she just likes to buy things) bought me this cool clay pot, called a tagine I believe, as a wedding gift last year, and I’ve only used it a couple of times. My family is Portuguese, and traditionally, Portuguese people use a lot of clay cookware and dishes, so I have always wanted to try clay pot cooking. My grandma has a bunch of clay pots, but I have yet to use them. I would like this thing even if I didn’t want to try clay pot cooking. I mean, look at it: it’s so pretty to have on display on a shelf. So yeah, most of the time, this tagine is purely decorative. But occasionally, I break it out and use it.

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Easy Tex Mex Beef

July 18th,2015


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Tex Mex Beef
I made nachos for friends.

My mom doesn’t really cook. I’m not saying that she can’t cook, just that she doesn’t. She’s a big fan of take-out. Which is funny, because she went through this cooking phase. Except it wasn’t really a cooking phase, but more of a buying kitchen stuff phase. She got a deep fryer, a bunch of chopping blocks and cutting boards, fancy knives, this cool vegetable peeler that makes peeling potatoes approximately 100% easier, and a whole bunch of other crap that I just don’t remember. This phase was a few years ago now. I inherited a bunch of the stuff when she finally admitted that she was never going to use any of it.

When I was a kid, she cooked more often. One of the things she made the most was chicken fajitas. I loved those fajitas, and when I started cooking for myself, they were what I made pretty much all the time. I hated raw meat back then. It was so gross to me; I couldn’t touch it. I remember one time, I think I was sixteen, I was house- and dog-sitting for her while she was having surgery. I had to make dinner for myself. I was still fairly new to that back then (I don’t know if that was a bit old to just start cooking for myself?), and was actually using precooked chicken breast strips I had gotten from the grocery store. It worked out well enough if I remember correctly. I used that precooked chicken for quite a while before my avó finally chastised me and gave me a raw chicken breast. I did not like touching it. So slimy and gross. But I got over it.

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Easiest Burgers Ever

July 13th,2015


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Easiest Burgers
Cravings satisfied in ten minutes.

My husband loves hamburgers. No, really. I know every guy out there, with some scattered exceptions, loves hamburgers, but my husband really loves hamburgers. Fast food, home-made, or fancy restaurant, it doesn’t matter; he loves them all. The other day, those two pound tubes of lean ground beef were on ridiculous sale (as in, super super cheap) so I bought ten pounds worth of ground beef and brought it home, planning to make burgers for the insatiable Burger Monster. I think he missed his true calling as McDonald’s Hamburgler.

Making burgers is usually a fairly involved process. You have to mix up some egg and breadcrumbs into the beef, portion it out, and shape it into patties. Sometimes people add little mix-ins, like onions or spices (my favourite things to add, personally). For these, though, I was planning to be a burger factory and stock my freezer with enough burgers to keep a hungry man satisfied (with some extra for myself, of course), and I really did not feel like spending hours getting through ten pounds of beef.

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Afghan Kofta Burgers

July 12th,2015


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koftaburg

I was introduced to Afghan food a couple of months ago when my husbear and I went to the only Afghan restaurant nearby. I had driven past it pretty much every day for months and was always curious, but never got around to trying it. That’s too bad, too, because oh man, do I love that restaurant now. The inside is nicely done, with this fancy little raised section that is draped with Persian rugs and has one of those low tables where you sit on pillows instead of chairs. I’m such a sucker for that kind of thing. I was already impressed with the place before the food arrived, but even if I wasn’t, that food would have completely changed my mind. Damn was it delicious. Seriously. They have these fried triangle things, kind of like samosa but better, called sumbosa, and these awesome little meat-filled dumplings topped with more meat called boolani. Add that amazing “White Sauce” that you can find at any Afghan restaurant, I have been assured, and I don’t see any reason to eat any other kind of food ever again. The coriander/cilantro chutney is pretty tasty, too, but pales in comparison to that white sauce.

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Jalapeno Cheddar Meatloaf

June 30th,2015


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Jalapeno Cheddar Meatloaf

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but the Husbear loves meatloaf. You know what else he loves? Jalapeno cheddar anything. All the way home from work this morning, I was wondering what to cook. I knew I would have to go to the grocery store, since I had forgotten to take some meat out from the freezer yesterday and I hate defrosting in the microwave. Chicken breast is on sale, a good price too, but we’ve had a lot of chicken breast lately (since, as I said, it’s been on sale). Ground chicken is on sale, too; a little bit more than whole breasts, believe it or not, but on sale nonetheless. Unfortunately, I did not remember until now that I actually own a meat grinder and could have bought the breasts instead. Oh well. Anyway, I decided to make a jalapeno cheddar chicken loaf. Why? Like I said, the Husbear loves meatloaf, jalapeno, and cheddar. So why not? I had been thinking of making a jalapeno popper meatloaf, but I’m feeling lazy today. I will definitely be trying that soon, since this simpler version turned out so amazingly awesome. Seriously.

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Portuguese Garlic Chicken

June 27th,2015


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Vovo's Chicken

Growing up, my siblings and I spent a lot of time at our grandparents’ homes, and I’m not going to lie, I was not happy about that as a kid. Partially. My dad’s parents’ house was fine, because my cousins used to leave their N64 there all the time, and I didn’t have one and damn did I love that thing. But my mom’s? I love them, really, but there was nothing to play with at that house but old toys from my other cousin. They didn’t even have cable TV, and this was the 90s and early 00s. I spent a lot of time reading there (and watching Maury, but they can never know that), with which I suppose I was fine since I absolutely loved to read then (I still like to read but not as much for some reason). The real redeeming thing about going there (besides quality time with my grandparents, but I didn’t understand that as a little kid!) was my avó’s chicken and rice. All of us, my siblings and my cousins, love that chicken. We also happen to love her pizza, but that’s another story.

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Naan Pizza Dough

May 20th,2014


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Naan Pizza Dough

Indian food is my favourite food. I absolutely love it. When I was in grades six and seven, I attended a school with a very large population of Middle Eastern students, and along with the customary pizza days, we also had samosa days. That was my very first introduction to foods from that part of the world, and I loved it. I don’t know why I never pursued it further until almost ten years later when I was working at a pizza place in the same plaza as an Indian restaurant. I used to go there to get samosas when I was hungry, since I was sick of the cheap pizzas we made. They had awesome beef samosas. I ended up branching out and trying a few actual meals, including butter chicken and, my favourite, vindaloo, and actually worked there briefly as a bartender a year later. Ever since then, I have been a fiend for Indian cuisine.

My fiancé loves butter chicken. It’s one of his favourite foods. I decided to be the Best Fiancée Ever and combine butter chicken with one of his other favourite foods, pizza. I have a regular pizza dough recipe, but it wasn’t quite right. It’s wasn’t “authentic” enough. So I decided to use naan as the crust. I wanted the texture to be more like a regular pizza crust, but I wanted it to taste like naan. I looked at a few naan recipes, noted the typical ingredients, and began experimenting. I would say that this was a total success. It was crispy and fluffy and had that distinct naan taste. With butter chicken sauce instead of tomato sauce, and cooked chicken breast on top, it was amazingly delicious. So good. I made two 14″ pizzas, expecting to have leftovers, but they were both gone in minutes. It was just me, the boy, and two of my friends.

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Dijon Mushroom Chicken

March 22nd,2014


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Dijon Mushroom Chicken

I am quite a big fan of Skinnytaste. Many of those recipes have found their way into my tummy. It was from there where I first found a recipe for chicken with dijon mustard. Until recently, I hated mustard with a passion. It was ketchup’s foul tasting enemy. Within the past couple of years, I have noticed my opinion change. This recipe likely bears many similarities with the one I had originally found on Skinnytaste. I have not made her recipe in quite a while, but I’m sure I have the basics of it stuck in my head, and they likely bled into this recipe.

This is the second time I’ve made this sauce. The first time, the fiancé about died from how much he loved it. I was quite pleased, and proceeded to write down the ingredients I had used so I could make it again. This time around, I made it just for myself, with plenty leftovers, and added some mayonnaise and mushrooms. I have to say, this is waaay better with the mushrooms. It was so good. With some roasted asparagus and salad, it was a pretty damn awesome meal. There are enough leftovers to last me today and probably tomorrow as well. I’m pretty excited about that. I’ve already had leftovers once!

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