Cooking at home #9- What makes us who we are?

I planned for my meal to look like it came from an expensive restaurant. I wanted it to have a lot of colours and I wanted the presentation to be really pretty. I wanted some of my food to smell sweet and salty so that’s why I made a dessert instead of appetizer. I wanted it to smell refreshing and have something that tastes sweet and something that tastes salty to balance it out. When I fried the spring rolls, I was expecting to hear a sizzling sound. I wanted the texture of the jello to be jiggly and and gel-like.

my meal tasted delicious. It was all balanced out. I didn’t make too much, or too little. The salad was refreshing, the jello was sweet, and the spring rolls were salty, just the way I wanted it to be. the smell of it was so refreshing, especially the salad. I put a roasted sesame dressing on the salad and it smelt so good. the texture of the jello was jiggly, the salad was crunchy, and the spring rolls were very well cooked. the presentation was outstanding. the jello looked very beautiful, the salad was well mixed, and the spring rolls were beautifully stacked. when I bit into the spring rolls, I could hear a crunch. the outside was crunchy, and the inside was soft and chewy.

the spring rolls I made show my culture identity which is Chinese. dim sum is really popular in the Chinese culture so that’s why I chose to make it. the salad represents how much my family and I respect the nature and enjoy going outside and gardening. the jello showed that I’m very outgoing, patient, sweet, and have a bubbly personality.

I believe that I showed strength in making the jello because it took a lot of time to make and refrigerate. there were a lot of steps in making the jello like measuring everything correctly, cutting the fresh mangos, putting everything in at the correct time, and cutting the mangos evenly. I wish that I cut the jello in even pieces to make it look prettier, next time, I’m going to try to cut them better.

one of these dishes represents me, one of them represents my family and one of them represents my cultural identity. as a mentioned earlier, dim sum is a very popular so I decided to make a type of dim sum, spring roll. the jello I made represents me. when I think of jello, I think of something joyful, sweet, outgoing, and bubbly. that’s exactly why I picked jello because it matches my personality! I chose to make salad cause it shows that my family and I love gardening and the nature. the vegetable I used to make my salad was actually from my garden!

Cooking At Home #7- using what you already have

In this cooking at home lab, I made an açai bowl. There was açai powder in it, blackberries, strawberries, a banana, blueberries, chia seeds, and some homemade granola.

I did not get this recipe online. I just used what I had and made it.

I put the frozen fruits in fruits in first which is the strawberries, banana, and blueberries, then I put the things that are not frozen along with the açai powder. I blended it up until I couldn’t hear anymore of the frozen ingredients mixing around. when I opened up the blender, I could smell the berries in it and it smelt really sweet. the colour of it was a purplish black colour and I could see that the chia seeds and granola was placed beautifully on top. the texture of it was creamy and the granola in it gave it a crunch. the last of it was so good. the berries in it was so strong and sweet.

if I were to make this dish again, I would put less frozen fruits in, or more milk, because it was too thick and cold.

a challenge that I had was that there were too many frozen fruits and it wouldn’t blend properly. to overcome this challenge, I put more milk in so it would blend better.

my greatest success in this lab was the final product. it looked really pretty and it taste really good. I could taste everything in there and it was just a burst of flavours in my mouth.

I never made an açai bowl before, this was the first. In this experience, I am most proud of being able to learn something new and being about to overcome my challenges I had.

Cooking at Home #6- Family Food Traditions

In this lab, I made mashed potatoes. Instead of just putting cheese in the mashed potatoes, I took the mashed potatoes out first, put cheese in it while it’s hot, laid it the mashed potatoes out on a pan, then put more cheese on top and baked it more.

When I heard the water bubble, I put in the mashed potatoes. I cooked it until the texture of it was nice and soft so that I can mash it up. The smell of it was so good. You can see the cheese I put it stretch from the inside of the mashed potatoes, and the cheese I put on top. The taste of the mashed potatoes was wonderful. the cheese was nice and cheesy, and the mashed potatoes were well mashed.

I don’t really have a tradition involving food. The reason I chose mashed potatoes was because my grandma taught me how to make mashed potatoes taste better by putting cheese on top then baking it again. I tried it and I loved it so much so every time I make mashed potatoes, I do that.

A challenge that I had to overcome was not putting too much cheese on top. if I out too much cheese on top, it will just spill out and get all over the oven. To overcome this, I didn’t put cheese on the side of it cause I know that once it bakes, the cheese is going to melt onto the sides. I also had to make sure that the cheese doesn’t burn. To make sure that it doesn’t burn, I turned the oven on low so it wouldn’t burn.

The greatest success of this dish was the preparation. I had everything ready for the dish and I was able to do every step correctly. I was able to make this dish perfectly and every step I did to make it was done correctly.

I am most proud of being able to do every step correctly without making any mistakes. I was able to plan ahead so that nothing would go wrong in this lab. I’m really proud of being able to recreate that dish without any help from any on my family members.

Cooking at home #5- Building your skill- Technique

A technique that I have always wanted to improve on was sifting dry ingredients. I wanted to improve on this because every time I use the sift, the thing that I’m trying to sift always ends up spilling out and coming off the side of the sift.

The video I used to learn more about this skill is a youtube video I found when I searched up how to sift properly. https://youtu.be/wOjS1KqKS8U. This is the video I learned for how to properly sift dry ingredients. I find this video very helpful because you can see what he’s doing so you can follow along at reasonable speed.

I created macarons to practice sifting. I thought that macarons would be a perfect recipe for this because for macarons, you have to be very careful for everything and you have to have the exact measurements. (Making macarons also helped me develop my measuring skills!) You have to sift a lot in macarons. Thats the main reason for why I chose macarons. Instead of sifting only once, I have to sift 3 times so the almond flour and powdered sugar has a lot of air in it.

An advice that I would give to someone who wants to learn this skill too is to not put the dry ingredients in to the top of the sift. If the dry ingredients is filled to the very top of the sift, it will spill out when you are sifting it. That was a mistake that I made before learning this skill. Be patient and just fill the dry ingredients up halfway. Also, if there are clumps in the end, use a spoon, or your finger to press it down so it can go through.

A challenge that I had to overcome was to not get the dry ingredients all over the place. When I was sifting, the ingredients were going on one side and it almost spilled out. To overcome this challenge, I switched hands to sift after a while so it wouldn’t go to one side and spill out.

The greatest success of this dish was the final product. The presentation of the macarons were beautiful. The taste of it was wonderful. I’m glad that I chose to make macarons because it tastes and looks wonderful.

In this lab, I am most proud of being able to measure the ingredients properly and learn how to sift properly. I’m so glad that the macarons turned out good because a lot of people say that it’s hard making macarons and that its easy to mess up.

Cooking at home- Salad

In this lab, I made a salad. It has kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli stalk, chicory, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and poppyseed dressing in it. One of my greatest success was putting the right amount of dressing in. Usually I don’t like that much dressing in my salads cause it tastes better in my opinion, so I didn’t add that much and it tasted wonderful. Another one of my success was cutting it to the right size. They were the same size and just how I like it. In this lab, I also faced some challenges. For example, when I was mixing the salad, the vegetables kept falling out and it made it really hard to mix together. To overcome this challenge, I switched them to a larger bowl so it would be easier to mix. The final product of this was great. It was presented in a way in which the vegetables were evenly mixed and the nuts and dried cranberries were scattered around beautifully. Overall, it looked fantastic. The smell of the salad was sweet, like the dressing I put in. The vegetables were nice and fresh so i can hear that crunch when I bit into it. The texture of the salad was very crunchy. This dish tasted really good. It tasted sweet you can taste the vegetables in there which evened out the sweetness of the dressing.

Cooking at Home #4- Building your skills- technique

I’ve always wanted to try making pineapple buns. Since we can’t go out that often now, I decided to search up a recipe online and try making it.

The video I used to learn how to make this was: https://youtu.be/40O2jC8ja5M

I created pineapple buns in this lab. Pineapple buns are these sweet buns. They’re not made of pineapple’s and they don’t contain pineapples. The reason why they’re called pineapple buns is because of the sugary golden top that it has. Unfortunately, I was not able to make the top of the bun to look like a pineapple, but I was still able to make it taste the same.

For anybody who wants to make this dish, my advice for them is to not rush when you are stirring the flour and water together in the pot. Turn in on low heat and stir it until it gets thick into a dough kind of consistency.

A challenge that I had to overcome was to try to make the top of the pineapple bun round. I was using a rolling pin for it and i couldn’t make it perfectly round. To overcome this i rolled out the whole thing out and use a cup to stamp it out so it’s perfectly round.

The greatest success of this dish was the final product. It looked and taste wonderful. Although it didn’t have the pineapple look on the top of the bun, it still tastes exactly like the ones me and my family always get. I would definitely make this again. Next time, i’ll search up a better way to get the pineapple effect on the bun so it’ll look exactly like the ones in the stores.

In this experience, I am most proud of being able to just look at a recipe, follow along and get it to taste good the first time we make it. I thought that it would take several tries before i get it right, but Im really glad that it came out right the first time i made it.

Cooking at Home #3- building your skills- Tools

The tool I used for this home lab was a rolling pin. This is a tool used to shape and roll dough flat. I’ve always seen my dad and sister use it to roll dough so I decided to try doing it in this lab! I made pizza with a rolling pin. It was used to roll the crust of the pizza flat. Other uses for a rolling pin is so that the dough you roll out is smooth, not chunky. They can be used for rolling out all different sorts of things like cookie dough, pasta dough, cinnamon rolls, and many more.

Although rolling pins look safe to use, there are some safety concerns with using them. For example, if you don’t wash the dough off the rolling pin well, it may rot and mold and the next time you use it, you might not see it and the mold will get on the food. I used a wooden rolling pin, but if you’re using a heavy rolling pin, dropping it on your foot would really hurt so be sure not to drop it!

The proper way to use a rolling pin is to first sprinkle flour on the surface and the rolling pin so the dough doesn’t stick on it. Next, you hold the rolling pin with one of your hands and hit the dough until it is evenly flattened. After that, put your hands on the opposite ends of each side of the rolling pin, start from the middle and apply a little pressure on it and start rolling it back and forth. Be sure to get the edges too.

If you don’t have a rolling pin in your kitchen, you can use something that is cylinder like a cup. It would serve the same purpose but it may take longer to roll out the dough since it’s smaller.

I created a pinnacle pizza in this lab. I shared it with my mom, dad, and sister.

I used a recipe for this lab. The recipe will be at the bottom of the page so that you can try this for yourself!

If I were to make this dish again, I would put less sauce so it’s not as wet, and to try making the crust rounder next time.

Challenges I had to overcome was to try to roll out the dough perfectly. To overcome this, I tried to roll out the middle first and make my way towards the edge of the pizza. It still wasn’t perfectly round but I thought that I did a good job since it’s my first time using a rolling pin.

My greatest success in this lab was the final product. It tasted amazing and the crust was nice and crispy. The cheese was really stretchy and overall it was just an amazing pizza.

In this experience, I was most proud of my skills with making the pizza because I got the crust to be nice and crispy and it was my first time making pizza and it turned out to taste really good so I’m happy with how it turned out.

Cooking at Home #2- Using what you already have

This week, I made apple and cinnamon oatmeal. I found some oatmeal in my pantry and some apples in the fridge so I decided to just cut up some apple, put some cinnamon and sugar in it and just cook it along with the oatmeal with some more cinnamon and sugar.

This recipe went really well for me. The apples were sliced evenly to the perfect size and the cinnamon and sugar was coated evenly with it too. I first cooked the apples in the pot so it would soften. Next, I put some milk in another pot and water for the bubbling sound. When I heard it bubble, I put the oatmeal in, along with some cinnamon and sugar. I waited until the oatmeal soaked up the milk, then I added the precooked apples that was coated with cinnamon and sugar. It smelled really cinnamon-y when I took it out. The texture of the oatmeal was not too wet of dry. It was a bit gooey and it taste amazing.

I did not find a recipe online for this lab. I just eyeballed everything and hope for the best. I wished that I put just a bit more sugar in it, but it still taste good.

If I were to make this dish again, I would definitely add a bit more sugar. Other than that I thought that it turned out to be an amazing dish knowing that I did not use a recipe.

Challenges I have overcame was trying to measure out the amount of oatmeal I needed, and the amount of milk I needed and the amount of milk. To overcome these obstacles I decided to not put that much milk at first and just add more as I go so I can get it to the consistency I wanted it to be.

I thought that the greatest success in this dish was the preparation. Setting everything up what’s very easy, as well as cooking the dish. I believe that the final produce would have been better if I made the presentation neater.

I am most proud of my time management in this experience. I am usually not good with managing my time, but in this lab my time management was great.

I would definitely make this this again, because it’s very easy to make, and you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make this as well. it is also a great recipe to make when you were in a hurry to get somewhere because it does not take a lot of time at all.

Cooking at Home #1- Using what you already have

In this home lab assignment, I made sautéed asparagus.

It turned out to look the way I wanted it to look. They were bright green. The taste of the asparagus was amazing. The seasoning put in it was perfect for me. They were all cooked evenly and perfectly. They texture was tender and crispy. This dish smelled wonderful. when I was cooking it, I put the garlic in first and waited for the sizzling sound. once it sizzled I put the asparagus in and salt and pepper in after.

I did not have a recipe for this dish. I just used what I had at home and decided to test out something new.

If I were to make this dish again. I would definitely try putting something else in it like slices of bell peppers to see how it would turn out.

Challenges that I had to overcome was that I didn’t know how long I should have cooked my asparagus for and I didn’t know how much seasoning to put in. To overcome these challenges, I decided to taste as I go, so I know if it was cooked to the way I wanted it to be and seasoned the way I liked it.

The greatest success in this dish was the final product. The presentation and the overall taste. In my opinion, I thought that the presentation of this dish looked wonderful and the taste of this dish was even better.

In this experience, I was most proud of working independently. Usually when I make something at home, either my sister, or parents helps me but in this one, I made it all by myself without anybody helping me.

Communication

I believe that my group and I communicated best when we made banana muffins. Both groups ended up with spectacular looking muffins. We all communicated and decided that we would bring in and add chocolate chips in our muffins to make it a banana chocolate chip muffin. We were all really happy about this muffin because we almost didn’t make any mistakes at all! There were many successful things that we did. For example, we followed the recipe and did what it told us to. When someone was struggling, we all stopped to help. We even measured the ingredients correctly! At the beginning when we were measuring out the ingredients, we all talked and decided to decrease the amount of sugar that was on the recipe because we had chocolate chips to make it sweeter. For the first two labs, we were all getting to know one another so we weren’t that comfortable communicating, both times, we turned on the oven wrong, but for this lab, we were more comfortable with each other and started to communicate more and finally turned on the oven correctly! What we found challenging was to not over mix it. Both our groups over mixed it slightly, but it still turned out delicious. It is important to have good communication because without good communication, we can all easily mess up the whole lab and have disgusting looking and/or tasting food. Communicating involves talking to everyone in your table group and agreeing on what were going to do and helping each other out when they need it. If the group did not communicate well, they might put in the wrong ingredients, forget to turn on the stove or oven etc. To solve them, you can work it out by communicating with at least one of your group members, or even better, everyone. The picture I have below this paragraph shows effective communicating because of its golden brown colour on it, and the chocolate chips on it that makes it taste 10x better. Overall, I believe that my group did a great job getting along with one another and baking the muffins.