more kitchen adventures

so now i discovered a new facility to one of my primary joys in life: food.

packed sandwiches are easy.

my chocolate lava cake has been perfected: consistency is just nice (750W for 50 seconds), a bit more egg, a bit less sugar, remember to sift flour and cocoa. it is stupendous. of course i teetered over the edge of decadence by adding a topping of chocolate chips, and then a layer of nutella over for a nice glossy finish, and more hazelnut kick. turned out pretty perfect. it straddles that thin line between outright extravagance and can’t-get-enough-of-this: so far my two victims have both fallen prey to the oh-this-is-too-rich-but-i-can’t-stop-its-too-good syndrome. so i would say, just about right. even i found it incredibly rich and filling. brings you to the edge of jelat, then reels you back into satisfying comfort with all that chocolatey goodness.

so today with more whatsapp instruction, i proceeded to creamy chicken tagliatelle. i love tagliatelle! basically its tomato sauce on tagliatelle, then you serve the creamy chicken sauce on top of it.

so this morning i woke up and marinated my chicken, which i took out of the fridge… which had been transferred from the freezer. cooking is like combat – logistics have to be planned way in advance. more on cooking-as-combat later. so i start whipping up some marinade. worchester sauce, bbq sauce, salt, pepper, olive oil, sugar… it tastes kinda good, but i’m not so sure about it. anyway in goes the chicken (chicken is really easy to cut), and i have lots of fun using my (cleaned and washed) hand to mix the chicken into the marinade. then comes the cling wrap (still suck at cling wrapping neatly) and back into the fridge it goes. marinades should be fun to experiment with! i want to do a very spicy one, with chilli powder and pepper and tabasco, etc, all this good spicy stuff.

i cheat on the tomato sauce by adding a can of plum tomatoes into the sauce… next time i’ll try making it from scratch. by now i am pretty decent at frying mushrooms so i manage not to overdo them. my mushroom slicing (slicing this time, not quarters) is a lot more precise and deliberate, since i know how important it is now! first thing to go into the pan is almonds, but i start with too high heat because i was trying to get the oil hot, and i think i burnt my almonds a little… but they turned out fine in the end. things to take note: even heat, less oil on almonds. golden, not brown! then its garlic (garlic is magical) to brown, and make the mushrooms taste good. no salt for shrooms! spoils that wonderful taste of the good earth. out come the shrooms and in goes the chicken! chicken browns and is nicely moist, though my seasoning can be a bit stronger. but there’s going to be tomato sauce so its fine.

cooking pasta and warming tomato sauce is routine and simple now  so i’m a pro i’m not going to talk about it. like a boss.

so next comes the cream. pretty worried about it because i’ve never done cream before, mum says it burns really easy. while the chicken is in the pan i just dump the cream in, turn the heat down. simmer simmer simmer! please simmer, cream. what do you know, it does! it boils and then thickens and then i dump the shrooms in, add oregano sage and thyme to season (should have gotten rosemary, eh), and stir and boil some more, till it thickens. i know its ready when i take a sip to test, and before i know it i’ve sipped 5 times. which means its good to go!

my d-day h-hour has come together nicely: pasta is ready just as the chicken and cream is ready, and tomato sauce has been kept on low heat. almonds are crushed… time to serve! this making things and managing all at once isn’t easy as it looks… how does mum have three things on the stove and still prepare two things at the same time? i’ve got three on the stove and i don’t even dare to take my eyes off the stove, let alone prepare something else.

cooking for four, so as the 3 girls sit down (all my friends in london are girls, oh dear), i carefully spoon out the tomato onto the pasta (trying to pay some attention to presentation since its not just me eating), then even more carefully the creamy chicken sauce, then add a dusting/sprinkling/dumping of crushed almonds on top. i do wish i had the green tagliatelle, it would be a lot more visually impressive! but it’s still pretty nice.

okay i found out how to put a link so the photo is here: http://instagram.com/p/espZkEuiVT/

dessert, however, was a different story… i tried to do cookie-in-a-cup, and zhnged it with bits of mars bars and chocolate chips. unfortunately it did not bake very well. it was more cookie doughy than anything else ): it did not become a cookie-ish, baked texture! but it tasted good la. sort of disappointing because i was looking forward to eating a giant cookie. i conclude that it is because there was too much mixture. have to even it out, have it in thinnier portions. also, let mixture cool from melting the sugar + butter, if not chocolate will start melting inside :O and become horribly hard to handle again. however, it goes very nicely with a layer of peanut butter melted on top, followed by banana slices,

this has inspired me to try making cookie dough lasagne. which will be banana slices, chocolate, cookie. banana slices, chocolate, cookie. etc. stacked up. in a cup. should be good. yeahhhhhh. results in a week or so… after i gather up enough energy to start doing this again. baking (even simple simple stuff) is hard work! but it’s pretty fun. cleaning up, however, is not.

now i need to figure out what to do with minced beef and stir fry beef slices. and how to get more veggies into my diet.

cooking is really fun. this creative process thing… even if it’s following instructions! it’s sort of like writing. speaking of which, i was going to come up with a cool name for today’s dessert, but its apparent failure has robbed me of all inspiration. let us hope that the muse of good food returns soon. i might not be able to sing or dance or do cool things but perhaps this cooking thing can be slowly worked at

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