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Category Archives: Cooking

Got Cookin’… Or At Least Tried To

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I’ve been working on goal # 14 of my Bucket List, which is basically aimed at my feeling more comfortable with my cooking skills.  I have conquered a handful of dishes, although I surely tried many more.  Just in case my friends (who know I am not a kitchen queen) don’t believe me, here’s proof.  Below are some of my tryouts accompanied by a very brief outcome report. You will notice that some of the dishes are very simple; my aim is not to become a gourmet cook, but to be able to create family meals by mastering certain dishes and being able to recreate them time and again with the same quality and flavoring.   Since I am being very picky as to accept any dish into my mastered list,  I am also  giving myself credit for every single dish I conquer, no matter how simple 🙂

    

 

HOW ABOUT YOU; WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN COOKING? 

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Dinner with Friends

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My shot was for a laid back weekend, and cooking some dinner for a few close friends.  Must say, I was very pleased with the results, which included spending time with friends (#16 on my list), furthermore decluttering my apartment (# 23 on my list), and cooking Chofán for the 2nd time  – if I may, let me brag about mastering this dish 🙂 ( #14 on my list).

It was a casual Sunday Evening; conversation over dinner with a few dear friends, and of course a good selection of music playing on the background.  The occasion was Yadira and Leona’s Birthday, for which Pezuzu made a delish Pina Colada cake, yumms and thumbs up to Pezuzu for making the cake in such a short notice.

I am starting to gain more confidence in my cooking skills; the more I cook the better I feel about it.  Plus it helps when guests rave about the meal and ask to take the leftovers home!

Chofán

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Ahhh, what a joy to partially accomplish a goal from my list without even trying… So this past Sunday for father’s day the kids and I invited my dad and their dad over for a home cooked meal.  Of course, I did all the cooking; Karla and Aleck did help by setting the table, helping dry the dishes, and performing some other odd chores.   

Now, if you know me you are probably thinking that I served:

a) Pizza
b) A lasagna that I bought frozen at the supermarket
c) An already cooked meal purchased from a restaurant

And usually you would have nailed it on the head with one of those guesses.  However this time I served them a delicious dish that I made from scratch!

Chofán is the Dominican version of the Chinese dish Chow Fan; which is pretty much fried  rice with some meat, seafood, and veggies.  We Dominicans love to adapt foreign dishes and give it our own Sazón.  Chofán is very popular in the Dominican Republic because of its flavor, and the combination of meat and seafood with rice.  We just can’t get enough rice!  It is our main dish and we eat it every single day in some form or another; usually for lunch, which is our main meal of the day. I decided to go for this dish because my dad loves it, my kids’ dad likes it, and so do I.  Also, my dear aunt Chabela, who is famous within our circle of family and friends for her awesome cooking, gave me her own recipe for it. 

As I am not a skilled cook; I was nervous about how it would turn out; specially because I had guests to impress.  I started cooking at 9a.m.; my guests were to arrive at 2p.m.!  Believe me, had I not started the process that early the food would not had been ready on time; I am slow-paced. 

 Happily, everything turned out just right.  Let me confess there were many calls placed to my aunt Chabela who was so gracefully willing to guide me through the process.  My guests were pleased with the final result, and so was I 🙂  I sent some over to my aunt for the final word of approval and she said I passed the test and graduated on my first try.

Afterwards, I realized that this absolutely counts towards goal #14 of The List: Mastering a few signature dishes.  I know this was only the first time I made Chofán , and I will be cooking this dish again and again in order to have it down pat, but seriously it was really good, and I am the toughest critic of my own cooking. Although time-consuming, it is not difficult to make; I know I will make it without any problem next time. So I am counting this as the first dish towards goal #14.

Sadly I didn’t think to take any pictures of my creation. The picture on this post I found at  www.dominicancooking.com/