I Can Cook! Don’t Look So Surprised (Yeah, I’m Talking To You Dad).

Taco Bowl. My family loves bowl meals. Mexican rice, taco meat, tomato/green onion salsa, lettuce slaw, cotija cheese, with a blue corn tortilla chip and chipotle crema garnish.

I’ve been cooking a lot lately. Like, A LOT. If you know me, you know I am a fairly good baker, but regular cooking, like meals and stuff, not so much. I CAN cook, It’s just never been something I enjoyed doing. Since the beginning of February (BSQ-before self-quarantine), circumstances have demanded a change in the way I approach our family’s meals. I love take-out and relied on it for three or four meals a week. I know, I know, I’m not proud of it. Ordering food is not the healthiest, and is also super expensive. At the beginning of February, in an effort to save money, I decided to meal plan and have been cooking about 98% of our meals. It’s been a mindset adjustment, but surprisingly not as hard as I thought it would be. In light of recent world events, and really having to stay in, cooking at home has gone from optional to necessary.

How does someone who has never really cooked start cooking? YouTube. Pinterest. Instagram. Lots of Recipes. I need recipes. I am not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants cook. I wish I was. My dad is. When I was a kid, I remember him doing most of the cooking. The man could whip up a meal with a bottle of ketchup and steamed rice, and it would taste good. I can’t, so recipes it is. I have been watching a lot of videos and cooking shows, my favorite right now is Pati’s Mexican Table on Amazon Prime. I freaking love Pati Jinich, and Mexican food is my favorite food ever, so win-win.

Breakfast Enfrijoladas. Adapted from a recipe I saw on Pati’s Mexican Table. She used black beans, which I didn’t have, but pinto beans worked great. I also filled the enfrijoladas with a chorizo and egg mixture, instead of just scrambled egg. She garnished her recipe with crispy chorizo, which would have been amazing, but my chorizo was too loose, so I mixed it with the eggs instead.

I learned to make corn tortillas from scratch, insanely easy, and so much better than store bought. Also really cheap. Oscar and I made al pastor tacos, with a scratch marinade using a makeshift trompo on the barbeque grill. We’ve made carnitas, scratch salsa, and even homemade circus animal cookies. I used this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, which is my favorite website when I need a fool-proof recipe for baked goods.

Mini Circus Animal Cookies
Chicken Pad Thai Bowl. I learned a great way to cook chicken thighs for this one.

I’ve discovered, I really like cooking. There are so many things to make, right?! So.many.things. Like conchas, I really want to make conchas, and bread, and pasta, and flour tortillas. So basically all carbs. I see many more home-cooked meals in my family’s future, because we have to eat, and cooking at home is also super cheap, so there’s that. Here’s to the next recipe!

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