About 30 Day Cooking Challenge

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 (recipe)  – Completed (blogpost)!
  2. Something picnic-y – make a potato salad (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)!
  3. Something small and easy – deviled egg (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)!
  4. Something stuffed – stuffed zucchinis (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)!
  5. Something with meatballs – meatball sub (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)!
  6. Something soupy – oxtail soup (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)!
  7. Something comfort foody – mac and cheese (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)!
  8. Something Chinese comfort foody – jook/congee (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)!
  9. Something with rolling – sushi rolls (recipe) – to be done later
  10. Something bready – Naan (recipe) – to be done later
  11. Something Indian – Chicken Tikka Masala (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)! 
  12. Something childish – Grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich (recipe) Completed (blogpost)! 
  13. Something new soupy – Ham and Potato soup (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)! 
  14. Something baked and wrapped – Chicken Cordon Bleu (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)!
  15. Something boozy – Sangria (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)! 
  16. Something brunchy – Eggs Benedict (recipe) – to be done later
  17. Something stewed – Guinness corned beef (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)!
  18. Something with dip – Guac and chips (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)! 
  19. Something to use with extra guac – burritos (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)! 
  20. Something decadent – Seared tuna steaks (recipe) – to be done later
  21. Something fun to make – Okonomiyaki (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)! 
  22. Something sweet – brownie cupcakes (recipe) – replaced by Winnie Pooh Cookies – Completed (blogpost)!  
  23. Something made from scratch – homemade ravioli (recipe) – to be done later
  24. Something classic Japanese – Japanese stir fry (recipe) – to be done later
  25. Something new – Spicy garlic chicken (recipe) – to be done later
  26. Something Italian – Baked Ziti (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)! 
  27. Something amazing – Garlic mashed potatoes (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)! 
  28. Something weird/creative – omelet in a bag (recipe) – not sure this is good for the bag
  29. Something with curry – Curried cauliflower (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)! 
  30. Something ridiculous – Ramen burger (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)! 
  31. Something with venison – Venison Stroganov – Completed (blogpost)! 
  32. Something with Turkey Day – Perfect Turkey (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)!
  33. Something on the Spot – Zucchini and Corn (recipe) – Completed (blogpost)!

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. (Edit: This didn’t happen because I was too busy cooking, but I’m planning on taking one next year.)

This is how I prepped for all the cooking: http://seelemons.com/2013/10/30/30-day-challenge-weekly-prepping/ 

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

Here’s the intermediate post where I realized that cooking is more about sharing and having 4 thanksgiving meals: http://seelemons.com/2013/11/22/30-day-challenge-epic-thanksgiving-events/

Here’s the post after the successful completion of the challenge: http://seelemons.com/2013/12/04/30-day-challenge-cooking-challenge-impressions/

Here’s some beginner level cooking advice: http://seelemons.com/2013/12/06/cooking-advice-for-beginners/

~See Lemons Epic-ly Cook