A great picture can make mediocre food look good and good food look great. I've taken lots of pictures of my dishes that actually turned out - which I in turn post on my blog, facebook and instagram. It's no wonder that everyone thinks I have absolutely amazing food at home on a daily basis. But the truth is that comforting food need not be complicated, take lots of time, or be costly in any way. I'm an amateur cook in every sense, yet I have people coming up to me asking for all sorts of basic tips - should they use a pot or a pan? How do they crack an egg? Separate it? Where should they buy groceries and what should they buy?
The truth is, no one really taught me (except perhaps Cooking Mama and Jamie Oliver (and I'll give a tiny bit of credit to my mom and dad)). Most of the dishes and techniques I simply try out on intuition, or, occasionally, I'll follow a recipe. And it doesn't always come out perfect! Hardly so. There is a first for everything and it's ok to 'fail' - though once you get the hang of it, most 'failures' are still quite edible and delicious. On the other hand, if you've seriously burned your food, it's not edible.
So today I'm writing a blog post about everything I've cooked this week. About how to get variety in an easy way that doesn't cost too much or take a lot of time at all. (Though to be fair, I did make some 'nicer' dishes to showcase on my blog this week, which inevitably drove the final cost up. I'm sure many of you are going to scroll straight to the pavlova!) I always try to buy different ingredients week on week so I never get bored - and you should too - even if you're completely unfamiliar with them. Throughout these last seven days I've tried some new dishes - sometimes they turn out, other times they don't. But I've nonetheless included them here. And if anything, I hope it gives you some ideas of what to cook next week.
If you want to know more about the supermarkets I buy from in LA - and I know a couple people have asked me - see my previous post A Note On Supermarkets.
Dinner: 1 Abalone Sashimi , Steamed Egg with Minced Pork
Price, Time, Supermarket: $7.96, 15min, Mitsuwa
Abalone: $5.5, 0 min
Steamed Egg: 3 eggs x .375 = $1.13; 1/3 of $4 pack minced pork = $1.33, Total $2.46, 15 min
I felt like steamed eggs with minced pork from home, so I asked my parents for a simple recipe from Luvis. They decided to each send me a recipe in a group chat at arbitrary times, the result of which is that I read one set of tips and not the other. So it didn't turn out perfect with that smooth glossy top - and it was a little watery on the edges - but still yummy and very satisfying.