Category Archives: Beginner’s Guide

Why I stopped making recipes

A vegan version of shepherd's pie with mushrooms, chickpeas, lentils, veggies, and a crispy sweet potato topping.

A vegan version of shepherd’s pie with mushrooms, chickpeas, lentils, veggies, and a crispy sweet potato topping.

So as you probably know, this entire blog went silent after its last post published on February 10th. Why? Several reasons.

First of all, I got fat and lazy, literally. Shortly after Christmas I went from 135 pounds back up to 180, and it literally took less than 4 months. I know this because I was recording my weight near the end of March, and I was exactly 167.2 on the 19th of March and 179.6 on the 6th of April. This was after I had went from 210 to 140 within a year and couldn’t maintain my weight as I kept dropping all the way to 135 in 3 months. You can call it metabolic damage, but I’m honestly not too sure what happened… One day, the same day I took the test to become a certified food handler, I started to feel incredibly shaky, and at the time I was speculating that I was developing diabetes since I exhibited a lot of the symptoms. Along with the shakiness, I felt hunger. Insatiable hunger. I have never experienced a hunger so fierce before in my life. I was strongly compelled to shovel every nearby calorie source I could find into my mouth and keep eating until I was ready to explode. I ate lunch at 3 different restaurants that day, and I couldn’t even taste the food at the first two. I had to drown my pho noodles in some weird sauce I found on the table before I could even begin to taste anything. It was unreal, I was out of control, and I couldn’t figure out why I was doing what I was doing. Also my mother came back with lots of sweets from Hungary and some pastries that my grandmother baked on that day as well, and I ate pretty much all of that stuff too. Ever since this bizarre day I’ve been stuffing myself until I couldn’t even move, and one time I actually did end up vomiting. I also went vegan some time in April, but that didn’t stop me from eating bread. My sudden change in weight brought on depression, insecurities, apathy, and my energy levels also completely dropped putting me in no mood to cook, let alone take pictures and write a recipe that no one would ever use.

Second of all, I got a job at a restaurant on the 19th of February. I’m now a full-time Chef de Partie and working my way up. This blog never made me any money, all it did for me was give me something to do besides playing video games and watching Star Trek. I had passion, and I was ready to throw some money at this site, but that passion is 100% GONE. I have better things to do with my life than be a fucking food-blogger. I get paid to cook now, this site is a waste of time, and it finally started feeling like a waste of time.

Thirdly, as stated earlier, I have adopted a vegan diet. I was tired of pretending that I was okay with animals having to die so we can eat their cooked corpses especially if it doesn’t benefit us in any logical way besides satiating our cravings to eat dead animals. Our culture is absolutely fucking disgusting. What about eggs? You mean hen’s periods marketed by an industry that grinds up the male chicks alive because they are of no use to the industry? No, this is not okay. It is FUCKED UP. And dairy? As much as I love sour cream, butter and cheese, what I don’t love is an industry that takes newborn calves away from their mothers (who are literally being milked dry by the way) and sending them off to the veal industry. I’d rather leave the sour cream off of my mushroom paprikash than give my money to these psychopaths.

And lastly, it dawned on me that nobody really cares. Nobody’s really interested in authenticity when it comes to another culture’s cuisine besides the people who belong to said culture. I am fed up with the push to remain true to a culture’s roots rather than experimenting and seeing what works better; it goes against our instinctual nature to evolve and better ourselves, and I don’t want to be part of the group that holds humanity back. This is another one of the reasons I’ve adopted a vegan diet; it seems most vegans nowadays are thriving, significantly more so than health-conscious meat eaters. Humans have the potential to be so much more than stationary obese fatties who on the inside know it’s wrong to kill and eat animals for pure pleasure but still do because they think it’s funny to die a pre-mature gluttonous death of cancer or a heart attack in their 70s. Vegans have a much lower risk of all-cause mortality, and the amount of energy high-carb vegans seem to have is incredible. I have admittedly struggled in my own transition, but I know it’s the right then to do and I’m going to keep doing my best to stay on track. I really don’t care if meat would help me lose weight, I cannot bring myself to eat another animal ever again.

Look at you. You probably follow a bunch of blogs, leave nice comments such as “Wow these look amazing! I plan to try them!” but do you ever actually try them? Of course you don’t. You’re not helping anybody. Your kindness means nothing to me. I don’t care about compliments, all I care about are results, and this website did not provide me with results.

I may start some other projects in the future, but this site is done, and my passion for cooking has reached an end. I will continue to work as a chef until I find my new calling. I’ve always had a thing for marine biology…

 

Also, go vegan. I don’t want to hear SHIT about how you “need” your meat. There is NO reason to have meat in your mouth unless you’re gay. Just shut the fuck up and carb the fuck up.

-Christopher

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Oatmeal Porridge – A Beginner’s Guide to Boiling Water

Oatmeal topped with caramelized blackberries.

(Note: I don’t really like releasing individual oatmeal recipes because of how redundant and easy they are, so I decided I just wanted to compile all my oatmeal knowledge into one post and call it a day. The only exceptions are my apple cinnamon porridge and my steel-cut apple risotto. If I ever make another exception in the future, it’d have to be absolutely amazing.)

I won’t lie, I used to be a health nut. So after reading that cereal is just empty calories and that I should be eating a healthier breakfast, I learnt about porridge, particularly the porridge known as oatmeal. Porridge basically refers to any kind of grainy starch (e.g. rice, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, etc) cooked in water or milk. At the time I didn’t know about the varieties of oats, all I knew was that I didn’t want those shitty microwavable Quaker packets that I always hated as a kid. So I instinctively bought a bag of small rolled porridge oats labeled “quick-oats” and a porridge mix which included whole flaxseeds, both of which were a bad idea. First of all, don’t get a porridge mix, get just the oats and mix them with your own stuff (you can’t even digest whole flaxseeds unless you grind them… what were they thinking when they made that mix?) Second of all, don’t get quick oats. More on that later.

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Chili – A Beginner’s Guide to Emptying the Pantry and Freezer

Beef & bean chili topped with crème fraîche.

Chili was one of the earlier things on my bucket list when I was first learning how to cook. At first I wanted a Texas-style beanless chili recipe for the purpose of being more “authentic”, but then I realised I’m not a Southerner, and I’m not really passionate about keeping Southern recipes authentic. Also I like beans, so I decided “screw it” and just went for a nice beanie chili. So the first chili recipe I tried was Chef John’s beef, bean and beer chili recipe, which was amazing and I highly recommend it to everyone who loves beef, beans and beer, but since then I’ve made plenty of other chili pots without following any recipes in particular. I’ve done vegetarian chilis before too. Later I became friends with a fellow cook who says “Chili is something you make when you want to make room in your pantry and freezer.” and there is quite a bit of truth to that… So now every time I make chili, I use it as an opportunity to get rid non-perishables I don’t want to see anymore. Especially dry beans and spices, and oftentimes frozen vegetables.

What most chili recipes have in common is the spices; a large handful of them appear in many different recipes, and chili all comes down to tasting and adjusting the spices until it’s perfect to your taste. So for this post, I won’t be giving an exact recipe with precise ingredient amounts, but rather I want to teach you how to chili, essentially. I’ll be giving out a bunch of commonly used chili ingredients, all of which are optional, even the beans are optional if you want to go southern-style. However, you do need chili powder, whether it’s ancho, chipotle, or even kashmiri. Most people seem to prefer ancho though, especially for chili pots. You can also make your own chili powder blend. And once you know how to chili, you can go on to creating your own personal chili recipes and sharing them! Or keep it as your secret recipe if it really is that amazing. Whatever you prefer!

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Pancakes – A Beginner’s Guide

Pancakes with blueberries and chocolate chips cooked into the batter, served with blueberries and drizzled with a generous amount of maple syrup.

Pancakes with blueberries and chocolate chips cooked into the batter, served with blueberries and drizzled with a generous amount of maple syrup.

I’ve been avoiding attempting a Scotch/American pancake recipe for awhile because most pictures always present it as a huge portion that could probably feed a family of 6, and I tend to avoid not only promoting but also eating big portions especially for breakfast, but seeing as pancake day is just around the corner I figured I’d come up with and share my own pancake recipe, albeit with a more reasonable portion size. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE pancakes, I just don’t like how you have to make so many at once!

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Scallop Linguine with Wine Sauce – A Beginner’s Guide to Sauce Making

Pan-seared scallops served with linguine pasta in wine sauce.

So I was in the kitchen experimenting again, just like when I came up with that Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti à la Béchamel dish. Although this time instead of testing the efficacy of almond milk in a béchamel sauce, my goal was to 1. Learn how to cook scallops and 2. Practice making sauces, in general.

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Semolina Porridge (Cream of Wheat) – A Beginner’s Guide

Tejbegríz, semolina porridge, semolina pudding, Grießkoch, Grießbrei, griesmeelpap, mannagrynsgröt, and sometimes “Cream of Wheat”, this is a porridge dish commonly eaten for breakfast in Europe, especially by children, and sometimes as a dessert in both Europe and outside of Europe.

All these different names and regional variations are confusing… I actually used to think this was a Hungarian dish because my mother used to make it for me for breakfast when I was a kid, and so I grew up thinking it came from Hungary because it was called tejbegríz and we never called it anything else. Turns out it’s a type of porridge; very similar to grits or polenta, except it uses semolina instead of cornmeal. In fact, outside of the US, grits is referred to as semolina with no distinction between the type of grain unless explicitly specified. This is way too confusing and so I’ll stop talking about it. Let’s keep things simple… A rose by any other name, this dish is made from semolina; the coarse, purified wheat middlings of durum wheat used to make Italian pasta, commonly enriched and packaged as a hot breakfast cereal in North America under the name “Cream of Wheat”. (´・ω・`)

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