A few nights ago I was sipping on Cabernet and wrapping wontons with one of my best friends when it finally dawned on me… cooking is a lot like crafting. I like both to be aesthetically pleasing while also being of substance. And they’re both fun. It’s the care put into each step that makes something truly awesome in the end. This realization made me think, “Man… if I treat cooking like a DIY tutorial, I can make anything.”
And then the wine buzz wore off and I realized that ingredients like “pork rind jelly” (thanks, Emily!) still freak me the heck out. Not because I wouldn’t eat it (please), I just don’t know where to find such a thing. I mean the Asian store for sure, but I’d be in way over my head. My word of advice to fellow novice cooks… start with simple recipes and work your way up or you’ll psych yourself out like I tend to do.
Anyway, I am lucky to have a boyfriend (who shall be dubbed “E” from this point on) who loves to cook and has somewhat eased my insecurities in the kitchen. Early on in our relationship I assumed the role of sous chef, and I dig it! It’s so fun watching the wheels in E’s head spin as he scans our inventory, sometimes picking out the most random combos.
Me: “Seriously, what are you planning to do with that bottle of Pepsi and an apple?”
E: “HUSH OH YE OF LITTLE FAITH” (not a direct quote but more or less) (and also in my defense I was more curious than questioning)
Our meals are never crazy elaborate but they’re healthy/inventive/fun + collaborative, making cooking one of our favorite things to do together. However, he does question my combinations of food sometimes (what’s wrong with chicken salad + brussels sprouts + a side of rice? NOTHING), so I like to experiment while he’s away on business and then hit him with an awesome recipe when he comes back home. POW!!!!!
Which finally brings me to: Honey Sriracha Tofu + Roasted Brussels.
I’ll give you my recipe for the roasted brussels in a bit. Real simple, can’t mess them up if you tried…. unless you get super distracted. USE YOUR TIMERS, (E) PEOPLE.
As for the tofu, the recipe actually comes from a delightful blogger named Caroline aka Pickled Plum. I loved her recipe because:
A. It’s delicious
B. The recipe is super simple and easy to follow
C. The results turned out great. Any Pinterest recipe that turns out as-advertised is awesome in my book!
Keep reading for my fail-proof brussels and some result pics. Make the brussels first because they take longer than the tofu. Click here for her Honey Sriracha Tofu recipe.
Roasted Brussels sprouts
– 1 pound of brussels
– 1 tablespoon minced garlic (or more if you want it to be extra yum)
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– sea salt to taste (I used garlic salt because it has garlic in it and I can’t get enough)
– cracked black pepper to taste
– lemon juice to taste
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
2. Wash and then trim bottom of brussels sprouts, slicing each in half top to bottom (or quarters if you have huge ones)
3. Place chopped brussels in large bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients, tossing thoroughly
4. Spread evenly on foil-covered baking sheet and pop in the oven for 20 minutes (or more if you like them super crispy… just check on them from time to time)
Thanks for the delicious recipe, Caroline!