In Chinese culture, we eat noodles during birthdays as it symbolizes long life.
When I watch T have instant noodles or spaghetti, two of the handful of things our selective eater will have, I joke it’s my life force he’s slurping away.
I often write about the importance of self care in the marathon journey of special needs parenting – be it diet, exercise, proper sleep, alone time, hobbies, connecting with loved ones, counseling.
Cooking is an activity I enjoy during alone time, picked up during the pandemic.
It’s fun, low pressure and if the meal doesn’t go to plan, it comes out later the same way as a Michelin star meal.
Thinking about my next cooking therapy adventure provides mental respite in my busy day.
There are so many recipe inspirations, whether they’re bite-size videos on Instagram or wonderfully-detailed blogs.
Browsing supermarket aisles for inspiration is also fun, such as my recent outing at Asian grocer T&T and daydreaming in the long ramen aisle.
I also started to learn about plating techniques. According to top chefs, I can charge my family more for supper if it’s nicely plated. 😆
T gets annoyed when I’m in my cooking headspace, because it takes away from our Everest time. “Stop taking pictures of food,” he’d scream.
Maybe one day he’ll join the fun. But I’m honestly ok if it’s just time to myself.
Here are a few recent cooking therapy adventures:
Lamb and arugala salad. My original plating had three pieces of arugala and two dried cranberries but the hubby said it looked pretentious so I added more arugala. 😂
Lamb curry with garlic naan. The naan was store bought and I brushed it with butter. I hope to bake fresh garlic naan one day.
Spicy tan tan ramen was so satisfying to make. Who knew sugar free oat milk was key to that creamy savory spicy broth?! I’m also happy I’ve learned to make “ramen eggs.”
I made this French onion Salisbury steak with a pouch of onion soup mix long sitting in the pantry. A pleasant surprise! It also inspired me to learn about plating, because this looked messy.
Steamed egg and shrimp was so easy to make, using my mom’s steamer, and went well with rice!
Another steamer recipe – ginger scallion chicken.
Chicken congee is my go-to comfort meal. I garnished it with fried shallots, commonly used in Vietnamese cuisine, and chili oil.
Hot and sour soup. It was fun to demystify the process of how to make egg ribbons.
I made this Mexican-inspired dish with a pouch of taco seasoning also long sitting in the pantry.
Caprese salad is one of my fave salads.
Spicy peanut noodles.
Spicy peanut noodles topped with crushed nuts.
Lemongrass chicken dressed with green onion oil.
Curry cauliflower dressed with curry yogurt.
Spicy green beans. I used a lot of dried red chili and Sichuan peppercorn.
Cypriot potatoes garnished with dill and dipped in a lemon honey yogurt sauce. I learned that cinammon can be used for savory dishes!
Other Cooking Therapy Adventures
- Cooking for the Soul
- Making Asian Night Market Food at Home
- Cooking Gamjatang, Celebrating Korean Culture
- Cool as a Cucumber
- The Skin We’re In
- Fried Spam with Rice
- Secret Sauce
- Stewing Over Things
- Brittle and Faith
- Hotpot and the Case for Eating Together
- Bringing an Animated Italian Dish to Life
- Santa, Snow and Soothing Hong Kong Style Borscht