Monday, June 28, 2010

Food Evolution

As a kid I was a pretty picky eater. The list of foods I did like was probably a lot shorter than the list of foods I didn't like. I didn't like onions, beans, tomatoes, pretty much all vegetables, pears, peaches, strawberries, lemons, limes, berries of any sort, melons (pretty much most fruits except for apples and bananas), peanut butter, meatloaf, turkey, fish and seafood, sushi, salad dressing other than ranch, and the list goes on. It was pretty ridiculous. I didn't eat turkey at Thanksgiving dinner for years.

I've actually grown up a lot as far as food goes. I slowly learned to eat most of the stuff served at Thanksgiving (except for that nasty cranberry sauce). I grew to tolerate more vegetables (squash, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans and many others) and fruits. I'll now happily nosh on strawberries and grapes and I'll even do berries and peaches in cobblers. Once I went to college and moved away from home it's like a switch went off in my brain and I suddenly decided to like food. I saw my friend eat a peanut butter sandwich for a snack once and thought 'hey, I bet that'd be pretty good!' and it was! And so now I eat peanut butter. The strangest thing was the time I woke up one morning with a serious craving for sushi. Sushi was something I had never eaten before in my life and always shunned it as 'bait'. So I tried it and OMG, it was pretty much one of the most amazing things I've ever eaten and now it's one of my favorite foods. I love spicy food now. I'll eat pretty much any sort of ethnic cuisine. I love sushi, mexican, chinese, japanese, indian, ethiopian. I'll pretty much try anything.

My last hurdles of Pickiness have been beans and raw tomatoes (I'll eat them in any form other than sliced raw. I love salsa, spaghetti sauce, and sun dried tomatoes). The whole point of this blog post is that I've overcome one of those hurdles. I think I officially like beans now. I willingly and knowingly made beans and rice for dinner and I ENJOYED it. Sure I've had sweet baked beans as a side, and I've had some refried beans in fajitas. I've had a bite of them here and there and tolerated them but never really sought them out. They weren't the main feature of any dish. Just some minor bit part to play a supporting role to the real stars of dinner. Well not tonight. They were up front and center stage and they were tasty. The bean hurdle has been conquered.

Who knows...maybe one day I'll learn to like raw tomatoes too. Maybe that will be my ultimate adventure in foodland.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cooking Experiments

I did two cooking experiments today. I stepped out of my comfort zone a few times and was paid off with tasty foodstuffs to fill my belly with.

First up, bacon, egg and toast cups.  I stumbled across the recipe yesterday and thought it looked 1.) cute and 2.) tasty. I figured it'd be an interesting way to mix up the usual bacon, egg and toast breakfast we have on the weekends. It was technically brunch since I didn't get around to making them until around 2:00 this afternoon. I only made two since Kevin was still in bed hung over. He got to have left over chinese food for breakfast instead.

Aren't they cute? I really liked these. It's kind of like a cheap eggs benedict knock off and would probably be even better with some hollandaise sauce.

For dinner tonight I got ambitious and took on two recipes that were fiddly and time consuming. Both from the Budget Bytes blog (I'm telling you, this girl knows her stuff!). I made her vegetable not fried rice and crab and cream cheese won tons. Both recipes turned out great and went really well together. For the fried rice I cheated and used frozen peas and carrots for my veggies plus half of a red pepper that has seen better days that was sitting in the veggie drawer. I really enjoyed the nuttiness of the sesame oil in the rice and the peas and carrots were a nice touch. It wasn't heavy or greasy like the fried rice you get from chinese restaurants.

I made Kevin help with the rice while I focused my attention on the won tons. They were a gigantic pain in the ass to make (the recipe makes a LOT of won tons so you're stuck stuffing them for awhile) but they were really, really delicious. I used imitation crab meat instead of lobster meat. I also pan fried them using a little bit of vegetable oil instead of non stick spray. I'm convinced the non stick spray I have just makes my pans sticky.

I've got left over crab meat and won tons so I might wind up making these again sometime this week. Or perhaps making the won tons up and freezing them for future use. I think they'd probably freeze ok, yeah?

I definitely recommend trying out both of these recipes. They can be doctored up a bit to your preferred tastes or to whatever ingredients you have on hand so they're nice and flexible. I plan making them again.