With being in quarantine I was forced to feed myself yet again! No more fast food! No more going out at all! So, I've learned to cook. Look at my masterpieces.
I am not the best chef (or photographer) I must admit. However, I love cooking. It was so much fun. So delicious. So enlightening and almost therapeutic. And the more that I do the better I get! My boyfriend doesn't mind my new found love either. He's gotten some pretty good eats out of it. And these are just the one that I remembered to get pictures of. I've cooked just about everyday through this quarantine. I've mad a lot of food and I have no more left. Good thing I'm going home for the summer. I am very proud of my dishes and myself. I'm so excited to where this will take me! I'll keep you updated.
I eat them everyday
Not in the same way
You think it to be
Not in the cold or breeze
But sitting happily
I pack so neatly
So that I can munch greedily
Loudly and proudly
In the middle of my classes
Hiding behind my sunglasses
Oh, how delicious
One might think fictitious
How much I enjoy
All this good food
It's almost rude
I would never trade
My joy may never fade
They surely make my day
This food I munch
My favorite, cold lunch
So this week, I actually had to cook for myself!
Yeah, yeah, I know. It's really that big of a deal. But I've become accustomed to the on-campus dining and not having to do more than swipe my card and grab some food. But this week (because I decided to return to campus a week before it actually reopened) I had to cook everyday this week just to survive!
But I made some pretty good food. Check it out.
Monday, Jan 6
Spicy one-pot jambalaya. Andouille sausage, white rice, skinless chicken breasts, all in one big pot to create a blend of savory cajun flavor.
Tuesday, Jan 7
Bacon, tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, and mustard. Along with homemade potato fries. Simple but delicious.
Wednesday, Jan 8
Easy baked tilapia flavored with fresh lemon and Italian Garlic. Along with slow cooked wild rice and broccoli mac & cheese. One of my favorite dishes.
Thursday, Jan 9
Thin noodle spaghetti with smoked sausage and savory tomato sauce. Served with a garden salad and cheesy biscuit cookies (namely because I messed up the recipe and it turned into a cookie more than a biscuit).
Friday, Jan 10
I went to the movies. My boyfriend dragged me into watching a period piece called 1917. About a series of events of two British soldiers, Schofield and Blake, when they impossible orders to race against time.
It was really good, to my surprise. But I eat at the movie. Had some nachos and gobs of popcorn.
Saturday, Jan 11
Half and half baked wings. Honey barbecue and buffalo baked in one tin and cooked alongside a cheese loaded baked potato.
Sunday, Jan 12
Lemon and garlic buttered salmon seasoned with salt and pepper and baked with brussel sprouts. Served with slow cooked wild rice and salted tomato slices.
A weeks ago my brother was eating a pie. One of those mini personal ones that you get from Walmart or Safeway. I thought very little of it and continued what I was doing. But a few more bites in, it occurred to me that I've never really eaten a pie. I mean, once like 2 years ago at Thanksgiving but I don't think I've had one since then. So when I found myself in Phoenix, I jumped at the opportunity to try something new.
While on a trip with my boyfriend, I roped him into going to a pie shop with me. It was Mamma Toledo's The Hole Pie. It's a little place located on the corner of a strip mall on 7th Street. It's a family-owned, hole in the wall type. The interior was that of a 80's diner. Polka dots everywhere. But the best part was getting to sit down with the owner's daughter, Sarah Saidi.
According to her, mamma wasn't much of baker at the beginning. But after having to change her career goals, she started baking and selling out of her house. When she started garnering popularity, was when Sarah and her sister were recruited to help out. Now, with so much attention they needed a name to put on the pies. A title people could come looking for and they settled on Mamma's Toledo's. "Why Toledo's?" You must be wondering. "Where did it come from?" Well, they made it up! Mamma was thinking about changing her name for a half minute and from the brainstorming came their family business. And not long after, a food truck was carrying the name all around town. A few years after that so did their current shop. Two before this one.
Of course, there was one final question that needed answering while I was in the shop. "How was the pie?" So before I wrapped up my interview, I asked Ms. Saidi two things.
1. Let's say, for instance, that I've never eaten pie in my entire life and I just find myself here, at Mamma Toledos', what would recommend me?
2. And on the opposite end, let's say I eat pie everyday all day, do you have anything unique that I should try here?
She recommended me their fan favorite, the Brown Sugar Peach for the newbie. She told me to eat it warm with a little bit of ice on top. She also suggested I try the Banana Cream and Raspberry Cream Cheese, which were the two that I got. And for our experience pie man, she suggested their signature Green Chili Apple and Mango Chili Lime. I got the Green Chili Apple and ooh boy! I was excited.
First, I tried the Green Chili Apple. With apple being the only pie I had a reference for it only made sense that's where I begin. Of course, with the spice of the chili it transforms the tradition. One can really catch the inspiration as new age. Something different than what the average pie eater might find. The filling is gooey and soft when warmed up. The crust is a delicious crisp contrast to the soft center.
Then I tried the Raspberry Cream. It's very familiar to Raspberry Cheesecake. It's light and fluffy. It's surprisingly refreshing for being a pie. The whipped cream drop on top is to dir for! It's a nice sweet interruption from the tart raspberry. Now, I must say that I'm not usually a fan of raspberry and I might have came in a little biased. But my mind had been changed. Next time I get a raspberry anything it will be from Mamma Toledo's!
Then finally, I tried the Banana Cream. I knew I was gonna love this before I even saw it. It had a soft pudding-like interior with chunks of banana. The crust was light but spectacularly firm. It held its shape well (even after my boyfriend's job of cutting it).
Overall, the stop is worth it. Two pies up!
I like food. A lot. I like how it feels in my tummy. I like how feels in my mouth. And more importantly I like how it tastes.
Now with all that being said, my culinary palette is extremely narrow. What can I say? I like what I like. And that's not a lot. As far as I know. You see, I haven't really tried a lot of things so I wouldn't really know if I liked them or not. I mean, would you believe me if I said I've only ever had apple pie. One time. That's true.
So I made a decision. I was going to eat a bunch of food. New food. I was going to eat a bunch of new food. But then the 'how' came into perspective. Was I gonna make all this food? How would I that? I didn't even know how it was suppose to taste like. Or look like for that matter. Ok, so I would buy it. Where would I go? Where would I start? So I took a day - literally, like 28 hours - and did some research and made a plan. I broke up everything I wanted to try up into categories. Pie, Sushi, Ribs, and the like. And before you ask, no, I have never had sushi. Then I went about looking for places that were close to me to try it. I mean, I couldn't go all the way to Tokyo. I'm a budget! I decided to stay in Arizona. And anywhere in Arizona is fair game. I asked my peers, my co-workers, yelp, and everyone in between for some of their favorite places across the AZ in these specific categories. Apparently, Yuma has some hot topic seafood that I need to try.
So over the next couple of months - probably the rest of the year - I'm going to be traveling around Arizona trying some of the best foods from local businesses. That means they are only in Arizona. And I'll be telling you guys all about it. So if you wanna to try them, you gotta get out here. Can't find it sitting in New York.
*Phew* I'm about to embark on a very expensive adventure.