Well, here we are. Week two. I realized midweek (OK, Monday) that I need to add another category of meals: mooched. Mooching is an activity that I perfected in undergrad, and apparently I’m still really good at it, because THREE TIMES this week I ate food made by someone else… for free. As it turns out, I’m a straight-up mooch even as an adult, so that category will be considered separately from store-bought from now on.
Now, then. I know you thought I wouldn’t make it this far, but… here are the results of week #2!
I consider my former roommate and very good friend the main reason I didn’t learn to cook until late in life, because he was already really good at it when I moved into his apartment. This is his excellent chili, not as spicy as normal, but still delicious. Includes lots of tomatoes, beans, ground beef, spices, and a little cheese added on top. Not pictured, also consumed: Another bowl (damn right!), 2 PBRs, and a couple glasses of water.
Notes: Chili is excellent Sunday food. Especially in the Midwest, when even a warm Sunday in January runs about 45 degrees. And ESPECIALLY when football is on TV!
Monday: Meeting food
Sho ’nuff, free food again! Frankly, I think they only offer us food because there is invariably a sporting event interesting to half of the attendees, and the only way they can convince us to show up is by plying us with pizza and beer. So I missed the first (and apparently only) quarter of Notre Dame getting stomped by Alabama in exchange for pizza. Not pictured, also consumed: Nope, that was it. Free food. Moochalicious.
Notes: I would like to say I earned this food as a contributor to Ann Arbor Ultimate. Unfortunately, it turns out I would do that for free, even if food weren’t involved, so I guess this qualifies as free food after all.
Tuesday: Tamales (Thanks, Mom!)
Tonight’s dinner: blue-corn chile-cheese tamales, steamed to marvelous meltiness. Mmmmmmm.
Notes: I was feeling lazy tonight, I’ll admit. Classes haven’t started yet, so I don’t really have an excuse not to make food (rather than “food”) for dinner, but I did anyway. Fortunately, Mom to the rescue: my mom sent me a 12-pack of tamales from Williams-Sonoma over the holiday, which comes out to about three free dinners in which I not only get to use my steamer, but I also don’t have to do many dishes afterwards. Moms are the best!
Wednesday: New Orleans (in a bag)
Featured here, Zatarain’s Jambalaya freezer meal, and toasted corn. LOVE corn like this–you can make it from frozen corn by spreading on a piece of foil, sprinkling with chili powder and a TINY amount of salt, spraying with olive oil (drizzling also acceptable if you don’t have aerosolized olive oil), then baking at 400F for about 15 minutes (until browned). Not pictured: One enormous bottle of water.
Notes: While saltier than anything I’d usually make, Zatarain’s is alright for a quick meal (the freezer ones take about 10 minutes from freezer to table). I give their freezer meals in general a 3.5 out of 5 stars. (Or trumpets.)
Thursday: Cardiac Surgery Food!
Today… I ate appetizers for dinner. It wasn’t supposed to be “dinner” according to our department secretary, but hey, it was from 6:30 to 9 at night. And that’s when I eat. And it was free, putting this night, again, solidly in the mooching category.
Not pictured because I didn’t want to be caught taking pictures of my food at a department dinner: Coconut chicken strips, some kind of spinach-cream cheese spread on toast, some kind of brie-pear combo in phyllo dough, and cheese on crackers. Also not pictured: the three hours of sleep I didn’t get tonight because I was running around after a Frisbee from midnight to 2am.
Notes: I will try get over taking pictures of food in public. As soon as I learn how to take a good picture. So maybe by June.
Friday: Golden Chicken
I don’t usually fry things. Frankly, I’m not that good at it, I don’t have a deep fryer, using a lot of oil freaks me out… there are many reasons. However, sometimes you just want chicken nuggets, right? And not the gross kind you get at fast-food restaurants. No, I mean the delicious kind you make from chopped up chicken breasts brushed with egg and then rolled in some kind of spicy flour mixture. So that’s what I did. And it turned out like this:
Notes: The flour coating for the chicken also included pinches of salt and sugar, coarse-ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and thyme. I fried it in half olive, half canola oil with chopped green finger chilis, which turn out to be DELICIOUS when fried to a crisp. Also featured at dinner tonight is sauteed (with 2 tbsp butter) kohlrabi, onions, and collard greens with sesame seeds and a dash of soy sauce over brown basmati rice.
Saturday: Stuffed Peppers… still magic after all these years.
I love making stuffed peppers, because almost anything can be put into the stuffing part, and it will taste delicious. Tonight’s version was more protein-y than usual because I thought I had a couple cups of already cooked rice… but it was more like 3/4 of a cup. Step right up, cheese and black beans! You will make an excellent stuffed pepper filling….
Tonight’s dinner consisted of poblano peppers stuffed with beans, corn, cheese, a little bit of rice, bacon, and green enchilada sauce (that I can make, but did not make). Not pictured is the 20oz bottle of water I drank at dinner, followed by an equally large glass of soda water. What? I don’t like being dehydrated.
Notes: If you are wondering whether the combination of foods you’re considering stuffing peppers with will make for a good dinner, just try it! (Hint: just cheese will probably work, but won’t be very nutritious. I recommend adding a carb and some kind of protein to the mix as well.) Bake 45 minutes at 375 to 400F.
Leftovers: 0/12 (Don’t worry, this category will pick up speed as the semester progresses.)
And that’s a wrap, folks. Week two was delicious… can’t wait to see what’s in store for week three!