Cooking Out of My Comfort Zone

Bet you thought I gave up on my goal of cooking every recipe in one cookbook? Wrong!

Well, I have thought about it. I just don’t have the energy to cook real food all the time. I basically live off of greek yogurt, bananas and babybel. The other night for dinner I ate a bag of chips with dill pickle dip. It is what it is.

I did actually cook three more recipes from Half Baked Harvest since I last updated the “cook” portion of this site. All three were a bit outside of my comfort zone in different ways. Out of these recipes, I think I would only make one again.

Apple Ricotta Pancakes with Bacon Butter

Difficulty Level: 4/5

Yumminess: 2/5

Would I make it again? Probably not. Too much work for the end result.

This recipe was a lot of work. It took me roughly two hours to make. First, you make the soufflé pancake batter, which involves using a mixer two times with two clean bowls. I only have one mixer bowl, so I had to transfer the first set of ingredients to a new bowl and then wash the mixer bowl to use again. Ultimately, not that much work but I found it incredibly annoying.

This also involved whipping egg whites into peaks, which I have no idea how to do. Then you fold the egg white into the batter. This is where I started to maniacally laugh.

The one thing I did not learn from this episode of Schitt’s Creek is how to actually fold ingredients in. At this point I was starving though, so rather than search online I just made it up.

Then, you cook thinly sliced apples side-by-side about the size of a pancake. When the apples are partially cooked you pour the pancake batter on top. This was a frickin mess. The photo above is probably the closest to actual pancakes I was able to cook. Most of the pancakes fell apart.

This recipe also involved making whipped ricotta with lemon. That part was easy and pretty delicious. The bacon butter was the redeeming part of the whole show. I ate that shit for the rest of the week. It was particularly delicious on banana bread my Mom made.

My husband cooked the bacon by roasting it in the oven and caramelizing the bacon with sugar. Rather than use the recipe for bacon butter, I just blended the butter and chopped caramelized bacon together. It was fantastic. Maybe I’ll post that recipe later?

Soy Marinated Flank Steak with Potatoes

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Yumminess: 5/5

Would I make it again? Definitely! This was surprisingly easy to make and tasted great. We gobbled up the leftovers in record time!

Once again, I had some ingredient issues: no fresh oregano! No sesame seeds! Ran out of soy sauce! The ingredient list also called for lime juice but the recipe itself says lemon juice? I used lime but it seemed like either would work.

Otherwise, this was a shockingly easy recipe to follow and it turned out amazing. The one thing it could have used was temperature guides for the meat. We like our steak medium-rare and cooked it until it reached an internal temperature of 130-135 degrees. Use a thermometer!

Easy Coq au Vin

Difficulty Level: 3/5

Yumminess: 2/5

Would i make it again? No, it’s not really my jam.

This recipe was less out of my comfort zone than the others. I do make a fair amount of soups and stews because they make such delicious leftovers. The part that was difficult for me was cooking with chicken. It is my least favourite ingredient.

Chicken is kind of gross, takes so much effort to cook properly and rarely tastes that good? I’m just not a fan. And this recipe did not make me feel differently about that. The chicken ended up kind of dry and flavourless, which is crazy because there is so much fat in this recipe! You cook the chicken in bacon fat and a ton of olive oil. Plus you cook the whole thing in a mixture of wine and broth. Yet I still felt really underwhelmed.

My husband liked it though, so if you’re a fan of chicken then you might like this as well. Although, I can tell it wasn’t his favourite because he hasn’t eaten a single container of leftovers.

Also, was not a fan of serving this over butter noodles. It felt really unnecessary and kind of heavy. That said, I couldn’t find any fresh sage, so our butter noodles were just plain butter noodles.

And that is my cooking update. I need to find something that will get me back into the cooking groove! Any suggestions?

2 thoughts on “Cooking Out of My Comfort Zone

    1. I love Shakshuka. I have a recipe at home from a different book that I’ve never tried before. It has Israeli couscous in it, which is kind of different. I don’t know where I can get Israeli couscous but if I can find some I will give that recipe a try.

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