March 28, 2011

The $34.27 Challenge: Now You're Just Making Stuff Up

It's Day 10 of The $34.27 Challenge, and the eating's been good. Sort of.


Okay, there have been a few failures. Like the chicken two ways.

See, I'm not that good of a cook. I can follow a recipe (when I'm not being the It'll Be Fine Girl), but instinctive cooking without a recipe? It's Mr that you're looking for.

So you can see that cooking from whatever's in our freezer, fridge and pantry for The Challenge might stretch the old cooking instinct muscles a little, right? Or possibly sprain them?

Wednesday we had a whole chicken, sesame seeds and ginger in the freezer, so instead of the same old roast chicken with butter, salt and pepper, remade into the same old chicken noodle soup the next day, I had the brilliant idea to Asian it up a bit. (Mental note: never say no to butter.)

I don't think it was a total failure (I mean, the pictures turned out okay), but it wasn't what I had hoped it would be. There was some kind of failure in the translation from my brain to the food. That last picture, however, was a raspberry-ricotta-meringue dessert that my mom whipped up out of the leftovers from her fridge and dropped off at our house. I obviously have a nice Mom, who - like Mr - has no difficulties speaking the same language in her brain to her food.

I was cackling with anticipation on Thursday, though, because I thought the soup would be something special that could redeem the ho-humdrum-ness of the roast chicken. I even mentioned on Food Waste Friday - it was the chicken carcass in the pot, waiting to be transformed...

...transformed into blandness, that is. Pretty blandness, but blandness just the same.

Chicken carcass + green onion and ginger + over-complicated fat straining device made out of a sieve and a coffee filter = bland soup.

Now this, on the other hand, was a different story:

This is the best thing I've ever created. After my kids, obviously. This is simple, delicious, cheap and, if I didn't mention it already, delicious. It's Roasted Pepper Pasta, and I might post a recipe eventually.

It's possible that I might even choose - some days - to eat this instead of maple candy. (And yes, that was maple candy bubbling away on Facebook. More on that later, but I. Love. My. Husband.)