[30 Day Challenge] Epic Cooking Challenge

Random Observation/Comment #361: Cooking challenges are great because they’re win-win for both parties. I get to practice cooking and my friends get to eat what I cook. Time to make my friends fat and feel better about myself.

see lemons cook thats amore

Q: What are you up to now, you crazy cat?

A: I’m working on a new cooking challenge where I make 30 different meals over the course of 30 days posting recipes, photos, and blog posts about each meal.  I don’t expect to cook every single day, but I’ve organized it so I can have some lee-way for personal events.  My girlfriend, who is interested in getting better at photography, has offered to photo-document my prep, cooking, and presentation journey.

Q: How did you organize your meals?

A: I used Allrecipe’s pro account to create menus for 4 weeks. This menu feature takes saved recipes and allows you to organize/plan your meals for the week. It also has a shopping list that summarizes the ingredients I’ll need to buy in the beginning of the week to cook all the recipes.  I’ve noted these shopping lists and ordered the meals per week based on their shelf life.  I chose meals that I enjoy cooking and would test different cuisines.  Throughout a week, I test different cooking difficulties, times, styles, and tastes.

Q: What will you be making?

A: I’ve shared the full meal list in the approximate order I’m planning here: [http://allrecipes.com/cook/seelemonsonline/profile.aspx].  These cover meals throughout the day, appetizers, soups, healthy, fatty, interesting, and overall just fun things to cook. I’m going to most likely stray from this list, but here are all the categories I wanted to cover:

  1. Something fermented – make own pickles
  2. Something picnic-y – make a potato salad
  3. Something small and easy – deviled eggs
  4. Something stuffed – stuffed zucchinis
  5. Something with meatballs – meatball sub
  6. Something soupy – oxtail soup
  7. Something comfort foody – mac and cheese
  8. Something Chinese comfort foody – jook/congee
  9. Something with rolling – sushi rolls
  10. Something bready – Naan
  11. Something Indian – Chicken Tikka Masala
  12. Something childish – Grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  13. Something new soupy – Ham and Potato soup
  14. Something baked and wrapped – Chicken Cordon Bleu
  15. Something boozy – Sangria
  16. Something brunchy – eggs benedict
  17. Something stewed – Guinness corned beef
  18. Something with dip – Guac and chips
  19. Something to use with extra guac – burritos
  20. Something decadent – Seared tuna steaks
  21. Something fun to make – Okonomiyaki
  22. Something sweet – brownie cupcakes
  23. Something made from scratch – homemade ravioli
  24. Something classic Japanese – Japanese stir fry
  25. Something new – Spicy garlic chicken
  26. Something Italian – Baked Ziti
  27. Something amazing – Garlic mashed potatoes
  28. Something weird/creative – omelet in a bag
  29. Something with curry – Curried cauliflower
  30. Something ridiculous – Ramen burger

It’s a lot of things to cook, but the fun part was really organizing the meals so they have most reuse of ingredients. Leftovers will probably be a good thing to bring to lunch the next day as well.

I’m also considering taking an ICE course for knife skills (because we can all improve on this), making pasta, and making sushi. Those may be nice replacements and a good change in pace.

Here’s an example of a standard format with making the French omelet.

Recipe: (link it) http://frenchfood.about.com/od/maindishes/r/basicomelet.htm

see lemons make a french omelet

basic ingredients. Key is the string cheese 🙂

see lemons make a french omelet

I didn’t have chives, so I didn’t add them (obviously). It’s all about the quick shaking technique to keep everything creamy.

Lessons Learned:

  • You need to be quick with moving the egg around when making French omelets. You don’t want the curds to stick too long or they will brown.
  • I use a different salting technique. I add oil and salt to the pan first and then have the eggs cook over it.
  • For fun, I use string cheese instead of grated cheese to place in the middle before folding it over onto a plate
  • The center is slightly runny when I cook it because it will cook as it sits on the plate.

Final Thoughts:

I love the French omelet because it’s easy to make and it can take on many variations. I’ve learned something from every experience cooking the omelet, and I hope each one I make is better than the last.  Solid go-to breakfast and it will always be in my repertoire.

Also, this is why I love to cook: http://seelemonslive.com/2013/09/27/why-i-love-food-and-cooking/

~See Lemons Epic-ly Cook