Monday, November 29, 2010

Amateur Cook turned Amateur Blogger/Pan Fried Cabbage

There have been a ton of changes in my life the past few years.  New job, getting married, moving (twice!), and becoming a vegan to name a few.  With all of these changes I've been so wrapped up in becoming "domestic" and figuring out my life goals that I've forgotten about the little things that make me happy.  I've been wanting to start up a hobby or find something I'm "good" at that I can share with others and cooking just sort of fell in my lap.  It seemed like an appropriate progression after becoming a vegetarian turned vegan, of course it took me 2 1/2 years to get here!  I'm pretty good at finding something I can adapt into vegan at restaraunts but you never know what they really put in the food, and who can afford to eat out all the time anyways?  Plus after starting to cook a few new dishes I found it very rewarding to put together a bunch of nothings to make something that is actually edible, that you would even feel comfortable with sharing with friends (well sharing with others besides my family is still a bit scary but I'm getting there!  On a side note I'll be cooking for my friend Kayla in a month so she gets to me my guinea pig!  I'll be sure to blog about the expereince!)  I guess I got tired of the same ole meals that I would cook over and over again because they were easy and half way decent to eat. Not to mention the age old question "What DO you eat?" and my answer "Well.....stuff?!".  I wanted a good answer to that question.  I started posting photos of my new fouund hobby on Facebook not to brag (okay a little bit to brag) but I was so proud that I was actually COOKING that I had to share it with someone other than my husband (he has been very supportive by the way).  Speaking of my husband I guess you all should have some background on the man I will speak of often.  I'll be brief, you'll learn more about him as time goes on.  He's a very interesting fella!  He is a meat eater, not vegan like myself, although he is very open to my lifestyle choices.  I don't cook meat, or buy it for that matter, so if he ever wants to cook for himself he picks it up and cooks it!  Which is fine by me.  Most of the time he eats what I eat.  He is very open and will try just about everything.  He is honest and will tell me if something doesn't taste right (he helps me make the recipes better) but is the first one to sing my praises.  He knows just how to pick me up when I'm having a melt down after a bad day in the kitchen.  So life has given me the natural progression of blogging to share my new hobby.  I hope you all enjoy my blog.  Like cooking I'm a complete amateur.  I don't think of myself as very witty, or funny even so bare with me (Husband thought I should take this out, but what does he know?)  If anything I hope you enjoy the photos and recipes I will come to share with y'all!

So for my first blog I'll share what I cooked on a whim with not much left in the fridge. There aren't that many ingredients involved which made it easy for a work night.  Haluski (Pan Fried Cabbage and Noodles)!  Husband and I LOVE cabbage and I had almost a whole head of cabbage left over from another recipe I did so I figured this was an easy and yummy way to use it up!  I did make a few adjustments to the original, but it turned out great.  Next time I think I'll reduce the butter though as it was pretty heavy (even Husband agreed and he loves butter!)

4 Cups of cooked pasta (The original recipe calls for egg noodles so I substitued for regular pasta, I think any kind will do)
1/2 Cup of butter (I use Smart Balance Original with Flax because it's vegan and taste just like butter!) (Like stated above I will reduce this next time as it was a bit much)
2 Cups sliced sweet oninos, about 1/8 inch thick (I didn't have any sweet onions on hand so I just used a medium sized yellow onion, which was exactly 2 cups and it tasted fine)
2 Teaspoons of brown sugar (I used agave nectar to substitute)
6 Cups of cabbage thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon of salt (to taste)
Pepper to taste

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drizzle with a little bit of oil to prevent the noodles from stickting together and set aside
2.  While the pasta is cooking melt the butter in a large deep skillet over meduim-low heat
3. Add onion, sprinkle with brown sugar and saute, stirring occasionally for about 5-10 minutes or until softened and just beginnig to turn brown (I cooked for closer to 10 minutes, but I work on an old electric stove which can be tempermental)
4. Add cabbage to skillet, stirring well to incorporate, and saute for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally
5. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
6. Turn heat back to medium, add cooked noodles, salt and pepper, and stir well to combine and noodles are heated through
7. Adjust seasoning if necessary, serve hot

Side note:  I added a dash of soy sauce and hot sauce to my bowl.  Husband isn't a fan of soy sauce so he added a little bit of "Slap ya Mama" seasoning (which I will use quite often in cooking, it's a mix of cajun seasonings that's a tad spicy), both were equally good! 

As a side side note, I made some hot chocolate before bed and it was yummy!  I got the recipe from the side of the hershey's choclate box and made my own adjustments!  Look at the ADORABLE mug my awesome Maw got me!  I <3 owls! 

1 Cup of milk (I used almond milk as a substitue, soy milk would have done fine as well) heated in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes until warm
2 Tablespoons of Hershey's CoCo Mix (this is just the plain CoCo powder no sugar or anything added) 
**I will use less next time, I'm not a huge chocolate fan so it was a bit chocolately for me, which made me have to add a ton more sugar, but if you like chocolate it would be fine)
2 Tablespoons of sugar (I used agave nectar, and again probably doubled it, I stopped measuring!)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
dash of salt

1. heat milk in microwave
2. Mix coco, sugar, salt in mug
3. Slowly add milk to mug to mix
4. Stir in vanilla

My first post seems to be going on forever so I'll stop it here.  Next up will be 2010's Thanksgiving day feast YUM!  Makes me hungry just thinking about it!

As they say in the south
Laissez Le Bon Temp Rouler (Let the good times roll!!)