The Real Life of Late Night Cooking

Enchanting Excursions

After the first week of being on my own, dog sitting for my mom, and cooking for myself and deciding I was going to take on this personal challenge, I went home. To regular life. To working on my business, and working when I need to work and can work. To regular dishes (with no dishwasher, hello time-eater!), to regular laundry (and catching up on laundry from being away), to coordinating with Adam’s schedule, you know, real life. Because I am *sure* that you are dealing with all of the exact same things. 

 I told Adam about my plan of cooking and baking once a week, and as the primary cook in our house, he was all for it. So I set about looking through my pinterest food board while we were meal planning (we plan a week at a time because our weeks are always changing). I picked a delightful looking, yet potentially challenging, Lemon Basil Shrimp Risotto by The Pioneer Woman.

I had just that week bought a delightful little basil plant and thought it would be perfect to use fresh basil, from my “Emily Basil“. Did you know there was a type of Basil named, Emily Basil? Because I did not. Until I encountered it at one of the many greenhouses around this area. Sometimes basil is not my favorite herb due to its flavor, but as soon as I took one breath of the Emily Basil scent, I knew it was my favorite. If you find some, you should try it. And if you don’t find some, but want to try it, well come over for dinner and we’ll make a meal using the basil. Back to the point…

In order to save myself some time, I picked up pre-cooked frozen, peeled and deveined shrimp. I learned later that Adam had also used the same shrimp in a meal months ago and we both encountered somewhat rubbery and not very tasty shrimps after having re-heated them in the cooking process. So, maybe one day I’ll find some more gumption to venture into cooking with shrimp in more complex ways. 

here's my lemon zest all over the counter...

The meal though, was fairly good. The shrimp, not so good, but not necessarily due to my cooking. The risotto was not quite right, but for my first time cooking risotto from scratch, it was also not quite bad. We found the dish to be a tad on the lemony side for us, but that could also be due to the wine I grabbed from our basement. 

risotto soaking up broth again and again

 And for the kicker, the recipe calls for 18 whole basil leaves. Well after having used my basil plant for a previous dish, it had not grown fast enough in between, and only provided 4 little basil leaves. 

I followed The Pioneer Woman’s recipe easily, and actually truly enjoyed making the risotto from scratch. It was kind of fun. Except for the fact that it was 8 o’clock at night when I STARTED COOKING! We did not eat until well after 9, because I don’t care what all recipes say for Prep time and cook time, they realistically take longer than that to prep and cook. I mean, my fridge is all the way across the room, that eats up some serious time walking back and forth. 

My baking for the week was a little bit different, but still counts as baking. 
My family has had some odd snack preferences, and many of them are handed down from our parents or grandparents. One of those being flavored “Oyster crackers” as snacks. Adam’s family refers to “snacks” and means only one thing, chex mix. Adam’s mom and sister both have their own methods and preferences in making their snacks, and when Adam and I were gifted a “snack scoop” it was time for me to start developing our own version of snacks. 

So I thought I’d try to combine chex mix items with the flavoring from my family’s Oyster crackers. It came out edible and was pretty tasty, but still needs some tweaks. 

So the reality is, sometimes, life is cooking dinner late in the evening and making messes. Sometimes its making a bunch of chex mix and proceeding to eat the majority yourself. And that’s okay.

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