Am I happy I did the cooking challenge? Yes! I have found so many delicious dishes that I can make quickly on a weeknight that it was totally worth the challenge. And it gave me a twist on normal dishes I already made, such as polenta. Instead of pairing polenta with black beans or roasted red peppers, I now know I can make it with sautéed mushrooms and it is SO good! In addition, the flautas that I made in week one or two of the challenge were a spin on baked enchiladas or burritos that I've made before, but so much simpler yet just as yummy.
What was the hardest part about the cooking challenge? Although I had the cookbooks to build meals off of, I am not the best meal planner. So if I hadn't planned ahead to get ingredients on my way home from work, it was impossible to look up the recipe and see if I had all I needed. In some cases, the recipes were listed online (on blogs or professional cooks' websites), but for the most part, I was out of luck until I got home to look at the recipe in-person.
What's next? I'll be writing a few travel blog posts in the near future. To find out where I'll be heading, and what restaurants I tried in different cities, stay tuned!