November Challenge: 4 Recipes in 4 Days

*This is not a blog filled with recipes & instructions – just my opinion on the dishes made, difficulty level, and recommendations. Will provide links as references to actual recipes.

I like to think of myself as a pretty good house wifey, but when it comes to cooking I have zero imagination and even less patience. Between working all day – getting home at 6:30pm, having to cook a variety of meals a day and constantly cleaning, I am exhausted.

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I truly think women who do this everyday, and raise kids at the same time are the real superheroes of the world.

It’s true that it gets annoying eating the same thing everyday- but there are only so many ways I know how to cook a piece of chicken. This is why I went in search of quick, easy, and fun new recipes to try.

I wanted to try cooking 4 new dishes in 4 days, instead of resorting to good old leftovers for an entire week. Give my cooking skills a major challenge, and hopefully come across something I can add to my list of dinner options. I then left my Friday Night open to go to my favorite restaurant Nome Izakaya as a reward to myself for doing such a good job. Hoping boyfriend is reading this post and is now making those reservations!

Since I’m not huge on following recipes because I’m lazy, and really have no idea how/will power to chop an onion or mince a carrot (I think those are the proper terminology) I went in on this blind. Of course I opened recipes online for ideas and instructions on how hot to make the oven, or how long to cook for- I didn’t want to poison anyone. I kinda edited the recipes I saw and made it my own – I will however provide you with the online links I did use as references.

The Four dinner dishes I tried out this week are:

Monday: Seafood Paella

Tuesday: Beef Taco Night

Wednesday: Salmon with Potato Wedges and Green Beans

Thursday: Hand Cut Zucchini Noodles with Chicken Breast and Vegetables


Seafood PaellaMedium Preparation & Cook Effort|Great Taste|Not Easy For A Monday Night – Would leave as a weekend Dish \ Good as Leftovers too

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On my first night as house chef, I decided I wanted to make Paella as my boyfriend is a huge fan of the dish. However after opening a few different recipes I realized it was not an easy dish to make for a beginner. I would need to buy about a thousand different spices and cut up a whole lot of stuff in various shapes and sizes. To me it felt like rocket science.

While at the grocery store I gave up on the idea of proper paella and thought i’d just go with the flow. I grabbed some long grain rice (already going against all recipe suggestions of short Spanish rice), Shrimp, Mussels, green beans, & peppers.

Link to the recipe I butchered but used for reference: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/249956/quick-paella-with-shrimp-mussels/

I grabbed a left over Onion from the fridge and some garlic cloves and cut these up as well as I could and threw them onto a frying Pan with some sunflower oil. Once they browned a bit, I poured 1 1/3 Cups of water into the pan and dropped in the rice. The recipe I saw online suggested I use Chicken Broth, but I obviously had none of this on hand so I made do.

While this was cooking for about 20 minutes I cut up some Green Beans, and 1 Red Pepper and dropped that into the rice as well. I found some paprika in the very back of my cupboards and realized it was one of the many spices needed from the recipe so I dropped some in to flavor it up a bit. Once the rice was almost ready, I put in some frozen shrimps and pushed them deep into the rice to cook better. I knew they were ready once they pinked maybe 10 minutes later.

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Now I’ve never touched a Mussel before, let alone cooked one so this was where I followed the cooking instructions to the dot. I put them under cold water and cleaned them as well as I possibly could. The shells that did not close got thrown out, and the ones that did got thrown into a pot with just the bottom covered with water. I was told that once steam came out of the lid after 5 minutes they’d be ready… However there was no steam, just a shit load of water bubbling over everywhere.. 7 minutes later I assumed they were ready and got thrown onto the rice.

The taste was great. It didn’t exactly taste like the real Spanish Paella I once had in Barcelona, but for a first time cook it was a definite success. However it was a process to make and prepare as you are doing so much simultaneously. This is not something i’d do again on a week night but maybe on a Saturday when I could do it properly – all thousand spices included.


Beef Taco: Quick & Easy Preparation & Cook Effort|Great Taste|A LOT of Fun to make & eat.

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 7.55.07 PMSo Tacos are one of my favorite dishes to eat… Surprisingly though I’ve never set up a Taco night until now. This was one of the easiest dishes I have ever made and probably the most fun I’ve ever had cooking and then eating. Thankfully, no recipe was needed for this!

I chopped up some onions and threw them on a pan with some sunflower oil. Once browned I put my ground beef over top and cooked until fully brown on high heat. If you feel your meat dries quickly like mine does, feel free to add water to your pan to keep it moist. Once almost fully brown I poured Old El Paso taco seasoning mix over top the beef and mixed until it fully soaked in.

Logo_for_Old_El_Paso,_Oct_2014I also bought the Old El Paso Mecian Rice which was easy to make as they come with their own instructions.

I grabbed separate bowls and divided up lettuce, chopped tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, Tex Mex Cheese, and corn. My boyfriend was craving Guacamole so we made one ourselves by mushing a full avocado with lime juice and salt.

Once all the ingredients are done the rest is up to each person individually to pile up what they want! We bought the new Old El Paso Soft Tortilla Taco Boats as we hoped this would make it easier to eat and less messy which it did help a lot with so good call on that.

This was the best dinner I think I made all week because we actually had a lot of fun eating it. It was hands on, and we could not stop laughing. Dinners like this make you feel like a kid again, and allows you to forget you have a full day of work again tomorrow.


Salmon with Potato Wedges and Green Beans & Red Peppers: Quick & Easy Preparation & Cook Effort|Great Taste|Healthy!

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I came home tired and lazy after a long day at work and needed something easy and healthy after taco night. I had just bought frozen fresh water salmon and decided it would be perfect. I threw the two pieces we needed onto a cooking tray and topped it with “salmon spices” and that was it.

I had some small potatoes laying around and decided they would be a perfect garnish. I cut them into fours to try to make my own wedges. I drizzled them with sunflower oil and salt. I also added in some green beans and cut up red peppers because vegetable always taste better in the oven.

My favourite part about a meal like this is its super quick and easy. The prep time takes maybe five minutes while cutting up vegetable and potatoes and the rest is all done in the oven.

I set the oven to 425 degrees, cooked for about 25 minutes and dinner was served. It was easy, delicious, and healthy which was the best part about it.


Hand Cut Zucchini Noodles with Chicken Breast and Vegetables: Medium Preparation | Easy Cook Effort|Great Healthy Substitute to your favorite dishes.

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So I am starting to see that I have a bit of a Gluten Intolerance and I am starting to try to eat healthier by cutting out the foods that hurt my stomach. I am thinking of trying out a Paleo diet for this reason and am transitioning myself into eating healthier very slowly.  This is why I decided to try a recipe like this out- completely different from anything I have previously done.

I saw my sister once make pasta out of a squash so I decided to do it too… Except I mixed up my veggies and bought a Zucchini instead so I made do.

23584816_10155303044938253_752008260_n.jpgI used a vegetable peeler to slice the Zucchini up – slicing until I hit the seeds in the middle. Once this was done I used a knife to slice these thin slices into smaller pieces to look like very badly cut fettuccine noodles. This took a bit of time, but wasn’t a hard preparation for the meal so its not too bad as an after work dinner.

I then threw all of this into a pan with some Olive Oil and Garlic Salt. I let it simmer for about 5 minutes- long enough to take some of the crunch out of the Zucchini but not to long that it became mush.

While I was cutting my Zucchini into slices- I quickly popped chicken breast slices with Korean BBQ sauce into the oven as well as some garlic salted asparagus, broccoli, and orange pepper slices.

Once everything was cooked and ready, I threw it all onto a plate and made a nice simple- and best yet, healthy Gluten Free dinner.


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