September 18, 2016

Things We Cooked This Weekend

I don't have a lot to say with this post, I'm just really glad I spent time in the kitchen this weekend (and less on the takeout... save Friday night Pizza Hut and a growler of fresh Fossil Cove beer). I'm dedicating a whole post to a few pictures of meals to simply celebrate the art of slow living and not relying on restaurants, huzzah! That's really an accomplishment for me on the weekends. I'm getting better about eating out during the work week... but I love to treat myself on the weekend. With $1000 deductibles in my future, I know I'll have to lay off on that habit...

Because someone was kind enough to share his last pre-made freezer burritos (a combo of eggs, black beans, veggies, cheese, plus fresh salsa), he said I was responsible for breakfast the following morning. Apparently he was joking, but while I was working on my ferments (see next post) Friday afternoon, I prepped an easy, mostly make-ahead breakfast to take over to his house: Dutch Baby. Dutch baby's are considered a type of one-pan pancake, but I would argue that they're more of a bread pudding. While you can make them plain, it's also common to add fruit, and since I still had several apples left over from making a birthday apple pie, I snatched one to skin & slice in the morning. I mostly followed along with this recipe.

These are delicious, and when cooked with fruit, there's really no need to add any kind of syrup, powdered sugar, or additional fruit topping - though I would probably do so with a plain one.

It was delicious. It definitely fueled us for the bike ride to the Farmer's Market... though I had to walk the hill where Frisco Trail leads to Maple. I'm getting there!

It's a little charred on the edges but it didn't taste burnt. I'm not very familiar with Peter's oven, and it's a little finicky.

On Saturday I caught up with my friend, Alissa. She was telling me about some rumored goat tacos a Mexican grocery store in Springdale (Mi Tienda) made on the weekends. I have no knowledge of the Spanish language (mostly because my high school's Spanish teacher creeped girls out and I continued with French in college since I'd already begun studying it). Even Alissa's Spanish is limited, so there was a little miscommunication after our arrival, but regardless... if they do make these tacos, it appeared they didn't have any that afternoon.

We decided to make our own. Now, I have no knowledge of the dish, but in hindsight, I have a feeling we were looking for some birria-esque tacos, which is not exactly what we ended up making. We just made some simple goat tacos because we didn't want to go full out grocery shopping. I threw the goat in the pressure cooker once it was defrosted, along with some garlic, shallots, onion, tomatillos, and a variety of spices - cumin, cinnamon, oregano, salt, pepper, peppercorns, cloves, chili, red pepper...and also vinegar because one of the recipes I'd glanced at a recipe calling for it, and I was really thankful I only added a splash and not six tablespoons. To me, goat is already a little tangy, and you could definitely taste a faint sour flavor in the end. It smelled so good before that!

Still, they turned out pretty good - topped with some crema, cilantro, queso fresco crumbles, and a fresh squeeze of lime, mm! Plus, I'm secretly not crazy about avocado or guacamole, but Mi Tienda's looked tempting and it was so good.

At some point I'd like to work on my food photography skills... but today is not that day. 
Finally, after leftover Dutch baby and guacamole during the early hours of Sunday, I dawdled around the grocery store before preparing Sunday dinner. I don't know what it is about joint grocery shopping, but I really enjoy it... maybe because I've grown to despise grocery shopping, especially on Sundays. While in the fruit section I was tempted to buy kiwi berries and golden berries, to discover I did not care for the latter and that, while good, I'd probably just buy regular kiwi in the future.

Now, when I say we prepared dinner, I mostly let him take the reigns on this one as I didn't want to ruin our perfectly juicy tuna steaks.

We decided we could easily be pescetarians if we had seafood this high quality all the time. 
His preparation was pretty simple: he loaded a plate with Mike's seasoning plus a little freshly ground salt and pepper because it doesn't have any MSG. We were introduced to this spice at this year's Tontitown Grape Festival's Craft Fair... which didn't end up being so impressive with the crafts, but the spices saved the trip! He dipped both sides of the steaks onto the plate then blackened them on a hot cast iron skillet.

We served it with some make-shift shrimp boil (literally boiled some leftover already-cooked shrimp [from our anniversary surf & turf] in crab boil spices for a few minutes... slightly overcooked, which isn't very fun with shrimp, but added some good flavor) and a salad of beet greens, arugula, feta, and a zesty vinaigrette.

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Yay! Here's to twenty-somethings who bother to cook on the weekends instead of indulging in restaurant habits! Here's to having self-control, happy taste buds, and full tummies!

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