The Corona Lockdown Made Me Cook It
The Corona lockdown was definitely a good opportunity for me to upscale my skills in the kitchen. I have been learning how to cook since 2016, when I took a career break and lived in New Zealand for almost a year. I mean, I know I can now cook, however, I have only been cooking food that I am comfortable cooking. In short, I (always) play safe because I am very impatient in the kitchen (this is the only aspect of my life that I am impatient with). So, when the lockdown was imposed, I decided to level up in my cooking. I started cooking food that I would not normally cook, food that I haven't eaten in a very long time and food that I very rarely cook. I even learned how to bake bread, cakes and muffins. So yes, another good thing that came out of the lockdown is the fact that I am now inspired to take on my cooking into new heights. So, watch this space. :)
Allow me to please share the food that I have cooked during the lockdown:
1. Cakes, Breads and Muffins
- I say this as if I actually baked amazing cakes. Haha. Not really. I started baking banana bread during lockdown just like everyone else. I am comfortable with banana bread because I have baked it once before. For me, it's the safest and easiest to bake. Then my birthday came, and I decided to throw an afternoon tea party for myself and J. I was forced to bake scones, cupcakes and my birthday cake. It was my first time to bake a proper cake. I chose pistachio cake because I found the recipe easy. I also baked red velvet cake for the first time. Surprisingly, I pulled it off very well.
Then I tried to cook pandesal- the first proper bread I ever baked. I mean, it wasn't the most successful pandesal, but it was not bad for a first timer.
- Although pasta is easy to cook, I very rarely cooked it before lockdown because J and I were cutting on carbs. But since lockdown, we have declared Fridays as our pasta night, so I have been cooking pasta more than ever before. The pasta dishes that I enjoy cooking the most are fusilli and cheese (because J is not keen on macaroni), creamy carbonara and garlic pasta.
- To be honest, as much as I love steak, I don't really want to cook it because it is messy to cook. I don't like it when the oil splatter all over. Besides, I was never good at cooking steak. So, whenever I craved for steak, I would go out to eat. Saying that, it is J's favourite so I really made an effort during lockdown to learn how to cook it properly because we couldn't go out. I still haven't got it 100% right, but at least I am a lot better.
- There are not many Filipino dishes that I can cook, and J can eat. This is the reason why I very rarely cook Filipino dishes at home. During the lockdown, I craved for some really badly so I cooked my favourite kare-kare, liempo and adobo. To be honest, it was only recently that I was able to cook proper adobo. I mean the colour and the taste finally tasted like the adobo back home. Yes, they say that every Filipino should be able to cook adobo. I was one of those who couldn't. But perhaps now I can? Also, I tried to cook sisig for the first time ever and it was definitely a success!
Oh, I also made an no-churn ice cream for the very first time. Of course, I tried my favourite Filipino ice cream flavour- ube.
- You probably wouldn't believe me if I say that before lockdown, I couldn't cook pancakes. I mean, I have attempted many times before but they were either bitter (from too much baking powder) or flat and chewy. I was on the verge of completely giving up on pancakes when I came across Food with Mae's recipe. Her 4-ingredients recipe gave me hope. You have no idea how happy I was when I finally saw those fluffy pancakes. J was even wondering why I was so happy. Then I took my pancakes to another level and made my version of "duck and pancakes" (instead of waffles). :)
6. Spam and Corned Beef
- I really can't remember the last time I ate spam and corned beef. But the lockdown gave me the excuse to eat them again after God knows how long. And boy, was I excited!? It was definitely the perfect comfort food for me during the time of lockdown. And of course, garlic rice which I haven't cooked like in forever.
7. Tofu, Dahl and Nando's Chicken
- Okay, I never thought that I would and could actually cook tofu and dahl. These two dishes really never occurred me. And although I knew that I could buy Nando's Peri-Peri sauce, I never really tried using it for cooking. So, thanks to Mindful Chef for inspiring me to cook dishes that otherwise I wouldn't cook.
8. French Onion Soup
- I have always wanted to learn how to cook French onion soup because this is J's favourite starter but for some reason, I never tried it. Perhaps because I thought it was difficult to cook. But I was wrong. In short, my first ever French onion soup was a success. Another dish that I can add to my starter list.