I decided to set myself the challenge of a Culinary Tour of Africa. I had 6 dinner recipes, and 2 desserts to cook.
West Africa: African Peanut Stew
West Africa: Jollof Rice (and some Onion and Curry powder rubbed Drumsticks)
South Africa: Peri Peri Chicken (and leftover Jollof Rice)
East Africa: Kuku Paka, and Pilau (am attempt at Pilau…)
North Africa: Lamb Meatballs and Herb Couscous
North Africa: Shakshuka
Dessert! Malva Pudding
It was a fun experience. It was surprising to discover how much the country differs culinarily by region.
I attempted a few things for the first time:
First time Spatchcocking a bird (Cornish Hen)
First time making Meatballs.
And I discovered a few things about myself, such as: Owning a fancy expensive rice cooker has made me weak. I no longer seem able to cook rice on the stovetop. Unless I’m making rosotto. As you can see, both my African rice dishes turned to African Risotto of sorts..
All together, it was a lot of work and a lot of time. But it was worth it. I believe that food is the doorway to beginning to understand other cultures. Despite its nuances and differences, food is universal. And this was a fun way to do a little traveling myself. (I also watched BBC’s Africa thru all this.)
Living by myself, I admit I don’t always take the best care of myself. In an effort to save some money and be a little more adult, I challenged myself to cook 7 dinners in 7 days. (Might seem kind of easy, but this is a girl who will opt for icecream for dinner when she is too tired to cook… which is more often than not…)
Night 1: Chicken Parmigiana with homemade Arribiata Sauce..
Night 2: Sausage, Kale, and Green Bean soup, Thickened with Pureed Poatatoes and Heavy Cream. And a piece of Toast..
Night 3: I cheated. I added the leftover Arribiata Sauce to the leftover soup..
Night 4: Shrimp and Arugula Pasta with Lemon, Garlic, and Parm. And Thyme and Red Pep Flakes..
Night 5: Lemon Garlic and Herb Cornish Hen, Wild Rice with Cranberries and Walnuts stuffed Acorn Squash, and Garlic and Shallot Sauteed Green Beans
Night 6: Pumpkin Risotto with Bacon, and the other half of the Cornish Hen..
Night 7: Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, with Garlic Green Beans, some leftover Squash pureed, and Broth made from the bones of my enemies… I mean from my Cornish Hen carcasses…
The lesson to be learned here is this: Home cooking is probably worse than just going out to eat. It is totally just as expensive, takes a lot of work, and you still have to wash the dishes after!… (and that its hard to get a sexy picture of a bowl of soup…) But I sure do love to cook, and it was kind of fun to rise to the challenge. Plus I got to eat a lot of awesome food 🙂
Beef Barley Stew with Beef Bone Broth. Colcannon with Cabbage, Kale, and Bacon. Cider with Irish Whiskey. And Apple Crisp for dessert.
I love the Autumn best. The way we cannot keep it, cannot hold it. Like flame. Ever flickering and changing. I love the impermanence. The falling of the leaves, to dance along the sidewalks, finally free. One final dance as they die. I love the inevitability. You cannot stop the Autumn from happening. The colours from changing. The trees from dying. You cannot stop the air from growing cold and dark. But like a candle in the night, the trees burn bright. Its okay, all things come to an end. My leaves are gone, but they will blanket the earth as the Winter comes. And the sun will keep shining. And when the Winter is done, I will rise like the Phoenix and live again..
So I bought a Cucumber and some Tomatoes to make some under eye cream. (Sometimes I make my own lotions and things.)
(I know, it looks delicious… My Eye Cream:
Coconut and Almond oil. Cucumber, Tomato, and Potato juice. Green tea, Mint, and Chamomile. A smidge of Coffee.
If nothing else… it smells like a nice day at the Spa.)
The problem is, I only needed a quarter of the Cucumber and maybe 5 Cherry Tomatoes. And I honestly don’t really like Cucumbers or Tomatoes…
Thus begins the effort of choking them down:
Made this huge Greekish Pasta.
Salmon with Tzatziki Sauce and leftover Greekish Pasta Salad.
Lemon and Yoghurt Marinated Chicken Gyros (no tomatoes) and with more Greekish Pasta Salad..
Fresh Tomato Sauce.
For Meatball Subs with leftover Pita Bread.
So it took a while, but I managed to utilize the leftover Cucumber and Tomatoes in a delicious way.
It was kind of an endeavor cuz I had too much Pasta Salad, then I had too much Tzatziki Sauce, then I had too much Pita… but I eventually managed. 😁
Moral? Just buy under eye cream from the store!