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Three Meals Collage

Remember this post? I’ve been pretty sporadic about making meals at home since then, except for the past few weeks when I’ve cooked more than once each week. I’ve been trying a few new recipes, so I thought I’d share the ones I liked.

Good Old-Fashioned Pancakes (image via): This recipe is not new to me; I’ve been using it for months. I tried it one day after my friend Smita tweeted the link. If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I eat pancakes almost every weekend. If I’m not making them at home, it’s probably because I’m out ordering them for brunch. These are pancakes from scratch and they’re still very easy and very tasty.

Thai Beef with Basil: Asian-style recipes are my favorite to make at home and I tried this one for the first time yesterday. Again, this one was super easy and the fragrance/taste of the basil was yummy.

Jambalaya: I love a one-pot recipe. For this one, you just slowly add in all the ingredients and then let the whole thing simmer for 30ish minutes. Easy peasy and delicious. I didn’t have any shrimp when I tried this, so I eliminated that, and I definitely put in a bit too much spicy creole seasoning for my taste. In the end I just powered through with several glasses of water because it still tasted pretty great.

Tell me: Have you tried any good recipes recently?

Pico de Gallo Okay, it’s confession time. Up until a few months ago, I used to be pretty good at cooking meals to take to work for lunch. I’d gotten to the point where I cooked meals during the week and limited my take-out meals to the weekend. It took me a while to work myself up to that point and I was proud of my progress.

Then one day, I slipped. I ordered food during the week and it was just so. freaking. convenient. All you had to do was click a few buttons and within 30-45 minutes, someone brought food directly to your door. Then I went from ordering food 3-4 times a week to ordering food every single day. I didn’t have to go to the grocery store (which I really dislike doing here in the city) and I didn’t have to come home tired from work and then worry about cooking a meal- hooray!

If you don’t live in New York City, this might be very surprising to hear. There are so many sites here that offer free food delivery, you can pretty much find any kind of cuisine you’re looking for, and these sites are constantly offering discounts. I think there’s a joke about ovens in NYC apartments being used for storage, rather than cooking. Of course, that’s not everyone, but I think it’s more common than you might guess.

Anyways, all that is to say that I stopped cooking regularly and started ordering all of my meals. I’d still take lunch to work, but I’d carefully portion and stretch what I ordered to last throughout the week. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against ordering delivery and in some cases the cost/meal can still be pretty cheap. However, I would like to start cooking again for a few reasons:

- It will help me save money, which is always a good thing.

- Variety. There are certain things I don’t like to order because they don’t travel well and/or I prefer the homemade version.

- I do enjoy cooking from time to time and it can be really satisfying to make a meal that turns out well.

So I’m starting slow. Last night I went to the grocery store for the first time in months and I picked up a few things. I started with a simple chicken and orzo salad and I also made some pico de gallo, because last summer I discovered that homemade pico de gallo is the best. My goal is reasonable- I’d like to work back up to cooking about half my meals and ordering the rest, because I know I can’t quit Seamless cold turkey.

I’m really curious to hear other people’s thoughts on this topic. How often do you cook- a lot? a little? Are you shocked to hear my confession? If you do cook regularly, what keeps you motivated? If you have any tips for me, I’d love to hear them!

(image via)

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I’m heading to a Fourth of July potluck at a friend’s house tomorrow and I’ve spent many hours on Pinterest and the web searching for recipes to make. Here are a few that caught my eye!

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I may take the rest of the week off, so if I don’t see you here on Friday, I’ll be back next Monday. Hope all my American readers have a great Fourth of July!

Tell me: What are your plans for the fourth?

Through a series of wonderful events, I was able to experience three of my favorite sweet treats this past weekend. If you’re ever in NYC and looking for a tasty treat, I would definitely recommend these places!

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2000 Grand Street

Doughnut Plant Label

In case you missed, last Friday was National Donut Day. I don’t know if I’ve talked about it much on the blog, but I love donuts. I mean, I have a major sweet tooth, so I love pretty much anything sugary, but donuts have a special place in my stomach. There’s a local donut joint back home in Bakersfield that I used to frequent regularly. The donuts were cheap and delicious- what better combination is there? I miss it so much here on the East Coast that every time I fly back home and my parents pick me up at the airport, I always ask them to stop by Foster’s and pick up a donut for me. Anyways, all this is to say that I’m always on the hunt for my new donut joint here in NYC.

Doughnut Plant has some pretty tasty donuts.  They have many flavors that I’ve never heard of before and slowly I’m trying them all. My only complaint is that sometimes when I try to visit their store they’ve run out of donuts for the day! Luckily, I didn’t have that issue on Friday when I went and picked up a coconut lime donut in honor of National Donut Day- yum yum yum.

Butter Lane

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Butter Lane Label

This is one of my favorite cupcake places in NYC. Their cupcakes are pretty simple and very delicious.  You can choose from three different kind of cakes (vanilla, chocolate or banana) and about 14 different flavors (my two favorites are caramel and espresso). I had a “buy one/get one free” google offer that was expiring last week, so after work I walked over to their store in the East Village and picked out a mixed dozen. I still have a few left in my fridge- I’m trying to limit myself to one a day!

Dough

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Dough Label

I’ve been to the Brooklyn Flea several times, but the first time I went to the Fort Greene location and saw the stand for Dough, I couldn’t contain my excitement- new donuts to try! Dough might be favorite donut place that I’ve tried in NYC so far. Their donuts are so doughy (I can’t think of a better way to describe it!) and they also carry really interesting flavors, such as Blood Orange and Hibiscus. Last Sunday I went to the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg with some friends and I couldn’t leave there without getting a donut from Dough. This time I tried the Cafe au Lait which was so good. I’ve never been to their actually store in Brooklyn but one day soon I will.

Tell me: Do you like donuts? If so, tell me about your favorite donut place!

(images via 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6)