Category Archives: cookordie

CookOrDie: Meatball mishaps

Today I discovered what meatballs taste like if I use too much bread
to extend the ground beef. I’m definitely going to do mostly-meat
meatballs next time. Also, cheddar isn’t the best cheese for Kathy’s
recipe for Secret Happiness. I should use a soft, melty cheese like

You live, you learn. =) The meatballs were edible, though, and
properly cooked all the way through. They were just not as crunchy or
juicy as I remembered. I cooked some spaghetti, threw six meatballs
into the bowl, and tossed the spaghetti with tomato sauce. I then
microwaved everything for a minute to get the sauce nice and hot. It
was an acceptable dinner. And yes, Mom, I took my vitamins. =)

I scrimped on the ground beef because I also wanted to cook ground
beef with garlic and onions for the pita pocket lunch I intend to have
tomorrow. Let’s see how that turns out.

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Cook or Die

Today was Cook or Die dinner with Dominique and Marcelle. I found a
packet of pepper beef stir-fry seasoning mix and a recipe for bean
sprouts with Chinese egg strips. I was supposed to cook it for lunch,
but my family decided to go out then, so I ended up cooking it for

Pepper Beef Stir-fry

  • 500g beef fillet, sliced – I used the beef stroganoff cut
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 stalks spring onions, cut to 3 cm
  • Maggi seasoning mix
  1. Combine 1.5 tbsp seasoning mix with 2 tbsp water. (Probably just pepper and MSG. ;) )
  2. Heat oil and stirfry beef for 3 minutes.
  3. Add mix and onions. Stirfry until beef is done. (What do they mean by done?!)
  4. Add spring onions and stirfry for 1 minute.

I chopped the spring onions a bit more finely than I should. I
completely forgot about the 3 cm description! Oh well. It didn’t turn
out too bad, although the spring onions practically disappeared.

Bean sprouts with Chinese egg strips

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 medium onion, skinned and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, skinned and crushed
  • 1 medium red or green pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 4 celery sticks, washed and chopped
  • 175g (6 oz) button mushrooms, wiped and sliced
  • 225g (8 oz) bean sprouts, washed
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) soy sauce
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in frying pan. Add beaten eggs and cook over gentle heat. Remove from pan, cut into thin strips, then cut each strip into three or four pieces.
  2. Heat rest of oil in pan. Add onion, garlic, pepper and celery, and cook for around 10 minutes until soft. Increase heat, add mushrooms, cook until golden brown.
  3. Stir in bean sprouts, soy suce, seasoning, egg strips. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring, until heated through. Serve immediately.

Not a bad meal. Again, I was a bit overzealous with the knife, chopping the green pepper instead of slicing it. Oops. That’s okay, it was still edible.

It wasn’t a particularly impressive meal, but it wasn’t a bad way of using beansprouts.

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Cook or Die

The dearth of recent CookOrDie posts doesn’t mean I’ve figured out how
to cook consistently well. Rather, it means that I just haven’t been
blogging much. <sheepish grin> Diane reminded me that some
people find my narrow escapes from food poisoning actually _amusing._
Sickos. ;b Well, that’s not what she said, but I’ll take the hind.

I have so far managed to survive my cooking. I consider that one of my
major accomplishments. This is what I’ve survived this week:

Bean soup—no, bean heap

I _meant_ to prepare bean soup last Friday: a nice, warm, nutritious
meal before we headed off to Pride and Prejudice. Soup mix, lots of
water, a bit of chicken stock powder for flavor. I left it simmering,
covered, and set the stove alarm to go off after the time indicated on
the soup mix packet. I then went to my room to talk to my research
supervisor over Skype. By the time I checked on it again, all the
water had evaporated. Oops! I quickly threw in more water, pushed it
around a bit, then turned off the heat.

Verdict: Still palatable. Pleasantly crunchy and textured, even. Needs
a bit more flavor. Probably better in small portions.

Almost-lemon dill chicken

One of the suitemates bought too much dill, so I searched the Net for
recipes involving dill and I settled on lemon dill chicken. I
remembered to buy the chicken, but I forgot to buy lemons. Oops. So I
reached for the nearest liquids: olive oil and balsamic vinegar. (What
was I thinking about? French bread?!) I mixed the oil and vinegar with
garlic and dill along the lines of the original recipe. I dunked the
chicken in the mixture and broiled the chicken again according to the
recipe. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the chicken actually
got cooked, although I wish I had seasoned it with something slightly
more flavorful (salt and pepper?) or marinated it or something like

Verdict: Edible. A bit bland.

Too-dry rice

Oops. I put in too little water when I cooked rice.

Verdict: So far I’ve come up with several ways to use very dry rice.
=) Butter helps a bit. Heat helps a bit. Mixing it in with everything
else helps a bit.

Garlic fried rice

Doesn’t quite work yet. I probably should’ve added the rice before the
garlic browned. Maybe even at the same time?

Tomato, onion and cheese omelette

I’m getting better at these omelettes. =) This one was okay, too. I
sauteed the onions before making the omelette because I didn’t feel
like biting into crunchy raw onion at the time. Might be fun making a
salsa omelette, though.

Leftover stirfry

Chopped up remnants of that weird chicken thing + green beans I’d
nearly forgotten about + carrots I’d forgotten about + too-dry rice +
a generous pinch of ginisa mix + a couple of splashes of soy sauce =
some kind of leftover stirfry which will do in a pinch.

Rabbit-impersonation day

I bought a bag of Caesar salad mix reasoning that a head of lettuce is
intimidatingly large and that the ridiculous markup they have on
convenience mixes like that was worth it just to see if I could
happily eat veggies. I think it was meant for two servings as a main
dish. I ended up finishing the entire thing. I guess that’s a good
thing. Oh, Mom and Kathy will be pleased to know that I now eat Caesar
salad with dressing.

Life continues. If nothing else, I’m cultivating better resistance to
bad cooking. ;)

Too chicken to try anything new

I bought four whole chickens at the recent Price Chopper sale, trying
to get into once-a-month or freezer cooking. I’ve been very happy with
my lasagna and adobo leftovers so far, so I decided to scale up a bit
and do my next few weeks’ meals in one go. It was a toss-up between
trying new recipes all the time and trying once-a-month cooking, and I
decided that experimentation can wait until I’ve got a stock of
leftovers for lazy lunches and dinners.

Chopping the chicken was harder than I thought. Fortunately, Cooking for Engineers has an illustrated guide to cutting up chicken. The first chicken ended up as a mangled tangle of unrecognizable parts, but the second chicken separated cleanly into somewhat recognizable wings, breast, and quarters (drumsticks + thighs). The ordeal was enough to make me consider roasting the other two chickens, though, and now I’m going to have to find a way to deal with roast chicken in the freezer.

Not knowing how to make chicken soup means I can’t make the most of
the bones and other parts. Pff. I have come to the conclusion that ten
cents or so per pound is a small price to pay for the convenience of
having my chicken all cut up and ready for me. I should look into
exactly how much the chicken parts I like are, anyway.

I can only hope that I have enough freezer space for all the adobo and
roast chicken I’ve got planned. Meep. I can do this! I can do this! I
can do this!

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Trudging home with groceries

I bought four whole frozen chickens today, taking advantage of a promo
at Price Chopper to stock up on ingredients for chicken adobo, chicken
adobo, and oh! more chicken adobo. I also gave in to the temptation to
get a large resealable bag of frozen chicken nuggets, and I ventured
into the world of frozen vegetables (which are much easier to manage
than fresh ones).

I have come to the conclusion that I need to drastically rethink my
budget, and quite possibly impose a (temporary) moratorium on buying
books while I sort out my finances again. Pfft.

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