Trying new foods and cooking all the time can be very time consuming and exhausting. I have found that, not only is it important to try new foods, but that it is necessary to try them repeatedly to really start getting used to the food and taste and texture and eventually figure out if it is something that I like or don’t like or am still just unsure of. So these past couple days have been more about integrating some of these new foods that I have tried at least once into my diet a little more and trying to get a little bit more used to them.
I tried two more smoothies this week, which were really good because they are so healthy for you! Although I have tried a lot of new fruits and gotten used to their different textures this is still great because you get the taste of the fruit without having to worry about the texture. Plus you have the added health benefits of really getting lots of fruits with vitamins into your diet all at once. For these smoothies I got all fresh fruits from the farmers market so they were made up of fresh squeezed orange juice, strawberries, blueberries, and a banana! They were smoother than the first time I made the smoothie and tasted better too!
I tried two more types of pasta and am at a point where I can actually say yum about pasta. Isn’t that amazing!?!? We have this amazing farmer’s market near our house in Belgium and one of the stalls sells homemade pasta. I have been thinking about trying one of their pasta’s for a while and finally decided to get some. This is a homemade Parmesan and truffle filled pasta and I had no idea how long to cook it for because they don’t exactly come with a recipe but that was okay I figured I could actually just test it out which is also a sign of the improvement to my cooking skills. I cooked it for about 4 minutes and then just added a simple butter sauce on top with a little salt. It is pretty perfectly cooked I believe, nice and tender but not too soft and is actually really good. How incredible. Very simple but very good. You have the butter on the outside that hits your tongue first and then the little pasta bursts open with the cheese and truffle flavor. The cheese on the inside is soft. You can smell the truffle and the butter a little bit. You can feel the texture of the little ridges on the sides of the pasta. The butter makes your lips kind of slick and wet. Then I also got a gnocchi which can be made from potato, flour, cheese or various other similar ingredients. These were made from potato and were light and fluffy and I made them with just a simple butter sauce and basil. They both turned out really good and I will definitely be getting these from the farmers market and trying them again with a bigger batch next time!
I tried a Raclette panini while I was in Dinant, Belgium at a cute little cafe. This panini had raclette melted cheese, bacon, and onions in it. The bread was really nicely toasted and was a pretty large baguette. The bacon was not crispy bacon so that took a little getting used to. The onion were spread throughout so sometimes you would get more of a bite of onion than you expected. There was lots of the raclette cheese so that was really good, interesting flavor and nice and melted. This was another new way to try that combination of flavors of new foods that I have tried a few times before. I like the heat of the sandwich and really enjoyed it for the first half of my sandwich. But the combination got a bit overwhelming in flavor by the time I made it to the second half. It kind of just became too overpowering and I think maybe it is because of how you need to balance the ingredients. I think there was just too much in proportion for everything on the sandwich. Maybe if it was spread out differently with a little less of one thing or another or if there was a bit more sweetness to balance out all the heavy cheese and bacon. Overall, though it was good and I really enjoyed my panini sitting by the water.
Four Cheese Pizza
I had another four cheese pizza for dinner the other day. This new food I am much more used to and this is just a matter of seeing what combination of cheese they will use. This one included mozzarella, gorgonzola, taleggio and ricotta cheese. I am very proud of the fact that I have more options with cheese pizza now. This pizza was actually even better when I popped it in the over and cooked it a little more the second time and got some of the cheese a little crispier!
Tonight I tried a whole new level of taco for me by adding in several more ingredients and toppings. While cooking the ground beef I added in some chopped up onion as well as a little bit of garlic. I used the taco seasoning from the grocery store again. I heated up the taco shells so they were nice an warm. Then I added on some shredded cheddar cheese, fresh avocado and even little pieces of cut up tomato. I had to look up how to dice tomatoes because this is not something I have had to do before and I also discovered that there is a specific knife that you should use that will make it easier to cut them up. I made quite a mess of the first half of the tomato because I had no idea how to cut it up. When eating these tacos I have noticed that you have to get a bite from the bottom and the top to get all the ingredients. I have also noticed again that once you start eating a taco you kind of have to finish it because it falls apart a bit and can make quite a mess. It is still strange to me with the change in temperature of the food. You have the warm taco shell and ground beef, the somewhat middle melted cheese and then the cold tomatoes and cold avocado. I am not sure how I feel about this change in temperature. I still really like the crunchy taco shell the best. There is just so much going on with this taco that it was a little overwhelming and a bit confusing. The onions and garlic made the ground beef stronger in flavor as well as the fact that I added more taco seasoning and salt than last time. Right now my preference is still just the ground beef with the cheese and the warm taco shell.