culinary genius.

Not so much.

Honestly, if I wrote a cookbook it would be titled “Using Every Dish, Bowl and Utensil in Your Kitchen While Making Food Because of Pretty Pictures and Ingredients You Can Pronounce” (or maybe something slightly shorter).

Let me start by saying that J is the cook in our family. I can make a few things really well, but I am not a chef. I tend to like fairly bland (not tasteless) foods, so I have a hard time knowing how something should taste which throws creative cooking out the window.

Things that are supposed to take 15 minutes to prep take me 30. I like to put things away as I use them and I might not always read to the bottom of the recipe in advance to know what I am going to do with ingredients and mixtures.

I am trying though and I should get points for that. A for effort!

I am an amazing lasagna maker. For real. I should be Giada’s sous chef (not so much). Ok, I shouldn’t since I am not cute like she is (seems like that’s my only limiting factor here), but I can dream.

Last Sunday I sat down with my new Hungry Girl cookbook (signed and everything!) and I started putting sticky note flags over everything that I would be willing to eat. Some of the stuff is just weird. I then showed the recipes to J and he wasn’t so keen on most of it (I don’t blame him actually because it was kind of a stretch for me too).

Determined to cook at least 3 real meals this week (in addition to whatever J cooks), I turned to Pinterest. Obviously.

I always pin recipes and I’ve made quite a few of them. I’ve not been disappointed yet. So I selected several and J and I agreed on the following:

Monday: Spinach and Artichoke Baked Pasta – the verdict? Good. J liked it and I liked it. We both thought it could use some grilled chicken mixed in. I altered the recipe slightly and used all low fat or fat free ingredients (including wheat mini pasta shells) and it still tasted delicious. It was filling enough, but probably would have been better as a side or, as I said, with chicken. We’ll likely make this one again + chicken.

p.s. I ate this for lunch the next day and it was even a little better, I think.

Tuesday: Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken – the verdict? Deeeeeeeeelish. I made this last night and I loved it. J liked it ok but added some spice. We ate it with plain rice and green beans on the side. I will definitely make this again and I am looking forward to having it for lunch today too.

Wednesday: Quinoa Mac and Cheese – I haven’t made it yet, but I’m pretty excited to try it tonight. Will likely pair it with a salad or green veggie of some sort. Yum.

Next week I plan to introduce a few more new recipes into our rotation. Melanie made a slow cooker baked potato soup that looks really good (and she gave it 2 thumbs up!), so I am looking forward to that one.

I am a pinning fool, but I am trying to only pin recipes that I’ll actually make. I have, in fact, made a bunch of them on my boards, so if you see something and are wondering if I’ve made it, let me know.

Winter definitely means more time inside and less activity (like walking to and from the gym – brr…), so I’m also trying to make some healthy choices during meal time to make up for that. Let me know if you have a favorite!

Now back to daydreaming about the mac and cheese I’m making later…

0 thoughts on “culinary genius.

  1. Ahhh, I’m not even kidding – I am now STARVING. That all sounds so good. I have family pictures (yes, we still do them yearly) next Wed. and engagement pics the following Sunday so I am trying to be extra good. Quinoa Mac and Cheese is totally acceptable right?? Tell me how it works out!!!!!

  2. mmmmm
    both the pasta and sweet and sour chicken sound delish!
    i always swipe recipes off Melanie’s blog…i have found some great ones!

    • I didn’t make it last night 🙁
      I was too crazy with work, so I worked out and then went out to dinner with J instead.
      May make it tomorrow though and will let you know!

  3. i have been horrible this year about cooking and meal planning… cooking for one is annoying. have you made the mac yet? sounds interesting!!