Hello again, sorry for the hiatus.
Seems that I need to bring my Surface wherever I go. LOL. I have been so lazy in blogging I feel like just telling you guys to follow my Instagram instead of relying for stories about the food here.
Say no more, I will definitely update this blog with mouth-watering delicacies. 🙂
Anyhow, as somebody who has been living in NYC for more than 4 years, I always get question like how the heck do I cope with the not-so-cheap cost of living here especially when they see how often I actually get out to try different foods like every day. Or something like: are you a food writer or food journalist or food photographer everytime I go to a certain place and spend at least what it feels like eternity for some others when I take pictures that I am about to eat.
The answer is: well, NO, i am not a food writer nor a food journalist / photographer (although I have been thinking of this profession after i finish my graduate school) but I consider food as my passion. It seems like there is this uncertain feeling i can’t describe whenever I look at a picture of a food or watching a food related show or even when i cook at home; the euphoriac feeling or even more daring to say — orgasmic.
there you go, I said it. orgasmic.
and when i take a picture of the food then eat it and feeling satisfied and leave the place happy, that’s when the #foodgasm occurs to me. but alas, it even happens way before i try the food sometimes so please bear my inappropriateness 🙂
okay, enough rambling… (see, rambling does make a post longer LOL)
the other answer for another question is: budgeting. what i mean by budgeting is you have to know how much you are willing to spend per day in order for you to satisfy your appetite. like for example, i know couple of people who always eat out every day and they barely cook at home because apparently they don’t know how to cook so they just eat out whether it’s at a restaurant/bar/cafe/to-go place. and this means that they actually have the budget to eat out every day. my food budget is pretty simple: i balance every single thing. like for instance, i will eat out for lunch some days but for dinner, i will cook later at home. or vice versa. and then for some places that are kinda pricey (with a $$$ or $$$$ label next to it), i will make a bookmark and separate the money needed for that place later in savings. sometimes some places need a one to two months reservations in advance so i always make sure i have the time for the available date.
budget wise? tbh, for cooking at home i always make sure that my budget does not exceed $200 per month. there are times when my budget actually below $200 especially when the meals are the cheap and easy to make one; spaghetti/linguine/fried rice for example.
with that being said, I am going to share what I eat when I cook at home:
Indonesian style fried chicken with simple fried rice
Fried rice is my go-to meal whenever I do not have enough time to cook or when I am in my lazy mood. sometimes when i have plenty of spare time, i make fried chicken which i pair with a simple fried rice. recipe for the fried chicken is from here while for the fried rice i normally use this type of packet mix.
Bakmi ayam (Indonesian chicken noodles) with pangsit goreng (fried wonton)
back when I used to live in Indonesia, bakmi ayam is like a guilty pleasure of mine. I could always eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even when i just feel like having one for a snack. lol. so the only way to satisfy my craving is to make my own. i used this recipe which is definitely the easiest one; the authentic one with the soup and everything takes forever to prepare. as for the fried wonton, well i used grounded pork and shrimp that i wrapped inside a wonton sheet and then i deep fried them.
easy chicken alfredo
This one does not need any recipe actually. kinda like a cheap meal that you can make practically by buying all the ingredients at the supermarket. I used farfalle pasta while the sauce is from Newman’s own.
ground beef with tortilla, guacamole, salsa, and cheese
I considered this to be one of the easy meal whenever i do not have time. I used the taco mix from Old El Paso. I always make guacamole from scratch so everytime i buy avocado to make guacamole for next day lunch/dinner, i normally get the one that is 1-2 days from their riping time (unless i am making the guacamole that same day then i will buy the already ripe/soft one).
Sate ayam (chicken satay) with peanut sauce and shredded garlic chili
When I have plenty of time, I will make this finger-licking-good snack. Of course this is not the authentic ‘you-can-find-them-everywhere-in-Indo’ version but with a good oily peanut sauce and some shredded chilli, eh why not! This recipe is the closest one to the authentic sate ayam I used to enjoy back home.
gyu don with beni shoga, pickled radish, and soft boiled egg
I made this using Ochikeron’s recipe. did a little bit of modifications here and there especially with the beef part but turned out good.
linguine in clam sauce with clam, basil, thai bird chillies, and some grated cheese
another easy to make meal that can be done in less than 20 mins. i admit that this is not the authentic linguine in clam sauce you will get at the authentic mom-and-pops Italian place but you will thank me later! i used Snowy’s clam sauce and clam juice for the basic sauce while the chillies are added because sometimes i just want a lil bit of heat 😀
honey garlic chicken wings
I used the recipe from DanSeto and I added a lil bit of chillies and scallios for extra heat and flavor! 🙂
fish tacos with bok choy, dill sauce, and guacamole
another take of easy to make meal. i used quinoa herb and crusted fish from Dr Praeger’s for the filling inside with a dill sauce i got normally from Whole Foods. You can always pair them with guacamole and stir fried veggie; in this case i cooked bok choy stir fry with carrot and chilli.
linguine in clam sauce with prawn, clam, and scallion
same recipe like the other linguine except with the addition of jumbo prawn.
chicken tenders with chilli peppers
originally i wanted to make the chicken tenders using the recipe from Nigella here but in the end i used Food Wishes’ recipe instead to marinade and deep fry them. If you have kids and they are picky eaters, i guarantee they will love this meal! (chilli peppers are optional)
beef burger with some side salad and sweet potato
Burger is something that you can easily make at home and you don’t have to be fancy with the presentation. I actually bought the side salad from local supermarket but the sweet potato fries I actually made them myself. as for the burger, check on your local groceries cause sometimes they have promotions for angus beef patties. I got mine in a package of 4 for around $7ish. i always put onion, lettuce, american cheese, and tomato inside my burger. the sauce is just plain mix of ketchup and mayo.
steak with sauteed green beans
Now, I am still learning when it comes to cooking the perfect medium rare for my steak (i like it medium rare, rare is okay sometimes but it has to be from a very good steak place) but yes, on certain occasion i do make steak which i always pair with a sauteed green bean. i used Gordon Ramsay’s method and it did work!
spicy maple chicken wings
As soon as I saw the recipe from Curtis Stone’s news page, I knew I had to make it. Depends on how your taste bud can handle the hot level, you can definitely make this with habanero flavored hot sauce. 😉
bakso babi udang goreng (Chinese-Indo fried pork shrimp meatballs)
Another snack that I can literally eat tons of them and still want for more. lol. I used the recipe from here which I modified a lil bit. My dad made this at least once a month back home for afternoon snack. there are tons of variations on how to prepare the meatballs. it is so freakin delicious it’s kinda unhealthy in some way 😛
bakmi babi (ground pork noodles with scallion – Indo style)
I used the same recipe with the chicken noodle to which I substitute the protein with ground pork. (i am so sorry i am a sucker for pork lol)
Shrimp fried rice
Now when Whole Foods has their special promotion on those big succulent juicy prawn, you know you definitely have to mix them in the fried rice! 😉
rib eye steak with sweet potato
another lazy meal that is easy to make too! i cook steak at least once to twice a month at home and normally i will pair my steak with green beans or in this case, sweet potato fries. Tips: sometimes fancy market like Whole Foods discounted their steaks on certain times especially for sirloin or porterhouse. Unless you are feeding a family of 4 or more then I would suggest to look for bargains at their meat department.
Yes, I did not post every single thing that I cooked but hopefully this post can answer your curiosity or perhaps can actually motivates you to cook at home. And if you feel like saving, try buying certain products in bulk. for instance, if you want to make let’s say shrimp fried rice for tomorrow’s dinner and then you want to make something with shrimp (like shrimp scampi for other day) again with different menu then buy 1 LB or even 2 LBS. you can always freeze the shrimp until you want to use them later.
PS: this is solely based on how I cook for one person. some recipes might call for two portions.
Yours Truly 🙂