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#cook90 Week 5: The Home Stretch

Blog: Random Acts of Deliciousness

Recipes and other delicious discoveries, served randomly.

#cook90 Week 5: The Home Stretch

Lynley Jones

This is the final week, and we actually just have 3 days until the end of the month! So we're sliding into home with a month's worth of experience under our belts, and a fridge full of leftovers.

What, exactly, have we learned?

For one thing, I'm a little embarrassed that my cooking has been fairly repetitive! Part of the problem is definitely the fact that I often have to make a dish repeatedly to test the recipe and photograph it before publishing it on this website. And all that cooking happens here in my home kitchen, so we often end up eating the same dish repeatedly over the course of a particular month (and then maybe not again for several more months).

But the other thing is that, like every other family in America, we're really busy! Lots of different schedules, mom and dad both working, and we sometimes just need to get dinner (or breakfast, or lunch) on the table in a hurry. As I promised at the outset, this series has shared our real-life everyday cooking. I didn't fancy it up for you, or try to make it seem more adventurous or glamorous than it really was.

So it seems breakfast is generally either smoothies, oatmeal or eggs. And especially since my son decided he doesn't want to have any thermoses of anything for lunch, the kids get sandwiches every day. Dinner has a bit more variety, but there sure do seem to be a lot of salads, and beans, and pasta dishes in rotation around here.  

If it weren't for #cook90, we definitely would have relied on packaged foods, delivery and school lunches for at least some of our meals. And I guess that's the point: as I look over my embarrassingly repetitive menu for the month, the one thing I am proud of is that it was all (for the most part) homemade. Breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day, usually for the family but sometimes just for myself, all month long (with 3 much needed passes, of course). That's 90 meals that we made - I made - rather than letting a factory* make them for us. That's better for the planet, better for our pocketbook and better for our health.

I hope your #cook90 experience was a success! If you did #cook90 (or "cook30" or "cook60") please drop me a line and let me know! I want to hear all about it.

I'm in your corner, rooting for your continued, adventurous success. (Even when it means lots of leftovers.)

*Yes, even school lunches tend to be factory-made. They're usually made in a central kitchen, then shipped individually packaged and frozen to the schools. I like to imagine the central kitchen is staffed with kindly people who lovingly hand-craft each meal for our children, but I'm sure it's a bit more mass-produced than that. Regardless, the fact is that most school cafeterias reheat the food but don't really do any scratch cooking these days.


Sign up to #cook90 with me! You'll get special emails from me with recipes and ideas for you, and updates from my #cook90 adventure. 


Monday, 1/29

Breakfast

Fried eggs with salsa and cheese on top. One of our new favorites.

Lunch

Ham and gruyere sandwiches and a piece of fruit.

Dinner

Super yummy dinner. Root vegetables tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roasted in a roasting pan in a 425 degree oven. When they had browned, I added chicken thighs to the pan, which I had brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. When the chicken was about three-fourths of the way done, I added onion slices to the pan, which I had brushed with olive oil. When the chicken was almost done and starting to brown, I removed the vegetables from the pan and added lemon slices. Meanwhile, I made a brown chicken gravy to go with it. When the chicken and lemon slices were done, I strained the liquids from the pan into the gravy.

Passes used: 3

Meals cooked this month: 84


Tuesday, 1/30

Breakfast

Leftover pancakes and Applegate frozen sausages.

Lunch

For the kids: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a piece of fruit. I had intended to eat something else for my own lunch, but my son forgot his lunchbox at home, so I ate his sandwich instead.

Dinner

I made a wrap with leftover salmon mixed with gochujanng, fish sauce and a few other things. Topped with shredded cabbage, chopped peanuts and scallions, and wrapped in a collard leaf. It was good! But needs some tinkering before it's ready for you, so stay tuned. :)

Passes used: 3

Meals cooked this month: 87


Wednesday, 1/31

The last day!

Breakfast

Leftover brown sugar oatmeal, with blueberries, raisins and dried cranberries to choose from.

Lunch

For the kids: I'm embarrassed to tell you it was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches again! With a piece of fruit.

Dinner

Leftover roasted chicken thighs, veggies and gravy from Monday night. 

Passes used: 3

Meals cooked this month: 90


Recipes this week:


Tools and special ingredients used this week:

I bought a couple large sheet pans like this last year, and am so glad I did! I use them all the time for big-batch cooking. This is the exact type of pan I used on Monday for my big batch of steak and onions:

 

Sign up to #cook90 with me! You'll get special emails from me with recipes and ideas for you, and updates from my #cook90 adventure. 


#cook90 is the brainchild of David Tamarkin at Epicurious.com. (I'm a fan.)