Cooking Diaries: January 1 – January 15

What we made at home

Note: Dishes that we made for the first time are italicized.

Notes

Helpful Techniques

  • Meal Prep is your friend – I normally shy away from dishes involving a lot of individual components (read: salads, grain bowls) but I was really craving a Life Alive Adventurer bowl. In the spirit of New Me! January!, I consciously prepped a bunch of the ingredients of the grain bowl while the toddler was napping. Given the amount of prep, I wouldn’t quite say it was “everyday cooking” but it did have the spirit of the Adventurer bowl and that I would absolutely make it again.
  • Stripping lacinato kale of its stems using your hands – Between the Adventurer bowl, sheet pan bibimbap and kale malfatti we ate a lot of kale these last couple weeks. It was particularly timely that this video of Sohlae El Waylly stripping kale leaves with her hand showed up on my Instagram feed.

Favorite Foods

  • Ripe Bartlett Pears – I love eating pears straight – especially Barletts which are so juicy and soft when ripe.
  • BelGioioso Ricotta Con Latte – I make no money from this blog but wanted to call out that I really liked this moderately-accessible ricotta. There were leftovers after making the malfatti and I found myself schmearing it on walnut raisin bread and plonking spoons of it on pasta bowls.
  • Radicchio – I really enjoyed the flavor of it cooked and would make it again! It was exceptionally easy to make although its bitter flavor may not make it as universally loved as other vegetables. I’m curious to seasoning it with Indian spices (inspired by a karela nu shaak) or adding it to a risotto.

Takeaways

  • Adventurer Bowl Achieved! After a few unsuccessful attempts over the years, I have my Adventurer bowl away from Boston! This time I think I’ve cracked it – the secret for me was prepping each ingredient individually and utilizing a steamer to maintain the freshness of the veggies while gently warming them up
  • Parsley is polarizing. I’m really starting to adore parsley, especially with lemon and cheese. My husband is definitively less into parsley. The toddler refuses to take sides and appears agnostic to the sauce coating pasta.
  • Malfatti are delicious. I was ambivalent when I first tried them served in chestnut soup (which I probably would not make again) but when I heated up the leftovers under a blanket of tomato sauce, my opinion completely changed – they are toothsome-ly tender and taste somewhere between a cross of gnocchi and lasagna.
  • Sheet pan bibimbap was a success! It was both easy and deemed tasty by both the husband and toddler (although toddler’s portion was served with the gochujang-free Life Alive sauce). Our sweet toddler loved saying “bean-bean-bop” which we caught on video and that alone made this recipe worth it. If candid videos aren’t a good reason to feed a toddler something, he also enjoyed all the parts, especially the was also a fan of the crispy kale..