Sunday, October 19, 2014

Boldness in the kitchen

Cooking for one person has its advantages. I don't have to cook new food that often, for one, because sometimes it takes over a week to eat all the leftovers.

But it also has its disadvantages. Like eating the same leftovers for over a week. And less motivation to cook, period, because there's no one to impress but myself.

But sometimes I put in the effort anyway. This weekend, for instance, I made two things I've never made before: Easy Broccolini Flounder Bake and applesauce.

The flounder dish I got from The Skinnytaste Cookbook, which is based on a food blog I follow that has yielded some tasty food. I don't cook fish that often, but in the spirit of trying new things, I decided to give it a shot.

It was actually pretty simple to make, and I only set off my hyper-sensitive fire alarm once. First I grilled some colorful veggies.

And then I threw them on top of seasoned cod (I couldn't find any flounder, and besides, I feel uncomfortable eating something that shares the same name of one of the characters in my favorite childhood movie), and let the oven do the rest of the work. Twenty minutes later, I had a lovely meal waiting to be consumed over some good magazine reading.

To be honest, I wasn't blown away by its tastiness, but I won't have any trouble eating it for the next few days, either. The tomatoes were my favorite part, unsurprisingly.

Now, the homemade applesauce—that didn't disappoint. I know pumpkin is all the rage these days, but nothing can compare to apples, in my opinion. I used to help Mom can apples when I was a kid, which is hard but immensely satisfying work. Especially if you get to sample fresh, hot applesauce before packing it away. (This is the sole reason I often heat up my applesauce before I eat it, in a feeble attempt to whisk myself back to my childhood, when certain things tasted better.) Sometimes at night, I would sneak into the fruit room and eat an entire bottle of sliced apples. There's no way my stomach could handle that much fruit now, but at the time those apples were simply too delicious to stop eating.

So I started with these apples,

which were promptly peeled, chopped, and thrown into a pot.

I threw in some lemon juice, cinnamon, and brown sugar, and let the crock pot do the rest for me. (Aside from the occasional stirring on my part.) For the next six hours, the smell in my apartment got more and more intoxicating.

A few hours after sunset, I was impatiently waiting for my bowl of applesauce to cool a little bit so I could see if it tasted as good as it smelled.

It tasted better.

Seriously, it's like eating apple pie, but without the crust. I am completely in love with it, and I don't think I'll ever buy pre-made applesauce ever again. This experiment in the kitchen paid off big time.

Taking pictures of your food is almost as much work as preparing it. But there's something about this blog series that has inspired me to use more pictures. You're welcome.

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