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June 07, 2005: Eating in

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The last two days I have been very inspired to actually cook. The past few weeks have been marked with a distinct lack of enthusiasm for making something at home more complicated than a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese, or going out to eat, but yesterday, for some reason, it finally clicked.

Last night I made salmon cakes, by smashing up several salmon patties (purchased from Trader Joe's so at least I can rest assured they were environmentally friendly chunks of dead fish) with some bread crumbs, onion flakes, egg, and seasoning. Then I spritzed a pan with nonstick spray, cooked them until the salmon looked like it was done, and served them with green beans and a side of brown rice. They turned out quite delicious, for something thrown together at the last moment. I tossed the recipe, such as it is, onto What's for Dinner, because they turned out pretty well. Likely I will have to make them again in the near future to work out some tweaks to the recipe, but there you are. My very own recipe for salmon cakes. I am sure that it is extremely similar to everyone else in the world's recipe for salmon cakes, but I couldn't be bothered to go find out.

Riding on the success of last night's dinner, this morning I decided that it had been far too long since I last made (or attempted to make) Paprika Chicken, and it was time to remedy that situation. I found this recipe years ago and have made it numerous times since, usually to rave reviews. But it is also the recipe I seem to be most capable of ruining. There was the one fateful evening I accidentally grabbed the wrong orange box from the cupboard and put in a tablespoon of baking soda instead of cornstarch (in case you were curious, baking soda and tomato sauce make an exciting, nasty smelling, bubbly combination which neither of us was brave enough to taste). And the last time I tried to make Paprika Chicken, I think I must have put in a tablespoon of cayenne pepper and 1/8 teaspoon of paprika, instead of the other way around, making the dish a wee bit nuclear, and also quite inedible.

This time, however, it turned out marvelously. I suspect we'll be eating the leftovers for dinner tomorrow night.

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