Today I embarked on a culinary adventure, that I've affectionately named 'The Cookening'.
It was pay day, and I knew I would cook a lot of food this weekend. So I thought, in some free time, this evening, why don't I do all the cooking, and make everything for lunch for the next month, and get it done.
Well it turns out, I can totally handle that.
So, from work I headed to the shop, where I got everything I needed, for The Cookening. I didn't miss an ingredient. It was kind of magical.
I returned home, and began on the quest, with the initial part being a little slow, I managed to fit in my daily press ups, while my pinto beans, soaked from yesterday, were boiling in fresh new happy water. I then fried up some onions, seasoned well, added veggie stock and added black eyed beans that had been soaking from yesterday. Now I had two components on going, and I know what goes well with beans. Rice. RICE!
I fried the rice up a little with some oil for 2 minutes, added double the volume in water and bumped up the heat. Once it was boiling I turned the heat down to minimum, and pulled out the fourth pan.
Craziness, I know. It already sounds like I'm making a feast.
I then fried up some veggies for a delightful sweet chilli stir fry with plentiful amounts of edamame beans. Once done, I portioned it up, and got cracking on some noodles, in the same sweet chilli pan, and then separated them.
Next, well, this is where it gets 'weird'. I cleaned the pan, and put it back on the heat, cut up an onion, fried it up, added a bit of garlic and mixed herbs, added mushrooms, made them sweat, then added tomatoes and some veggie mince alternate and got it all moving.
I kept it heating, and checked the beans. The pinto beans were soft, and ready to eat. But I needed that pan, but wasn't ready for them, so I strained them and let them chill out for a while. I cleaned the pan, and started making a béchamel, added the butter, then flour, and then milk. Once smooth and good looking, I added the king of all the things, cheese! I included cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan. YAY! Once all incorporated, I took the pan with the (essentially) bolognese sauce in and made myself a lasagna! YES! ALL OF THE GOOD DECISIONS WERE MADE ON THIS DAY!
Once that was done, I put the now made lasagna into the oven, which I'd forgotten to pre-heat, and cleaned the two pans I was using.
The rice was still going for it, still a bit wet, not completely cooked, so I need more time, I need to make more things! I cut up another onion, and get it frying and add a slew of spices, cumin, corriander, garlic, all spice, cayenne, and a dash of salt. Then comes the bell pepper, I cut it into slim slices and wang it in. I coat it in all the deliciousness and add some tomatoes. The chopped in a carton kind, rather than some 'fresh' ones, I can never make those work. At this point I add all the pinto beans.
Something is wrong. There's 2 times as many beans as I was planning on! DISASTER! I knew I'd measured out twice as many beans, so I could make twice the amount, but didn't double the rest of the ingredients.
At this point, my black eyed peas, all seasoned, and rice have come to be cooked to perfection. So I take a step back and evaluate.
I strain the peas, and leave them draining, and use the rice for the many purposes I was planning to use it. I start by making egg fried rice to go with my stir fry, which is a quick cook, splash some soy sauce in, and get it all fried up. Now I've finally finished a meal! YAY! It gets all portioned off and promoted to the freezer!
Now, I have rice ready, beans ready, a lasagna in the oven which is nearly ready, and I need to make another start on the final piece of my mealy puzzle.
So I cut up another onion, another bell pepper and season it the same as before, as well as add some more tomatoes. I combine everything, and add the pot that I started earlier, and get it all mixing. At this point I remove the lasagna from the oven, and put it on the side to cool.
Now there's one thing left to add, chicken style veggie alternate, to this sort of chilli thing I've made, and so in it goes, and on goes the heat.
I then portion up the rice and beans, and the cooled lasagna. My chilli at this point is close to being ready, the oven is warm, so I heat up some tortillas, because this doubles as tonights dinner, and future lunch. There's some rice left over that will pair perfectly with this, and I have some guacamole and soured cream, some lettuce and more cheese! This is a meal fit for a king.
So I make myself tortillas with all the deliciousness and then once I've got my dinner served, portion up the remaining foods! I tuck in, and The Cookening is complete!
It's been an interesting lesson in pan management, as well as time management and making sure everything is cooked and nothing gets burned. I feel very confident in my cooking skills at the moment, even if all I did was make the same meals I always make, but in a condensed super hectic manner over 2 and a half hours.
Have an interesting day! You're all my favourites!