Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Resolutions for an Idiot Cook: 2017 Edition

Right now, the measure of my culinary success is this: I don't get sick or die after I cook something.

Extreme, but 100% true.

I don't cook for anyone else right now, because it's too nerve wracking.

But my goal is to change all that in 2017. 

That's the overarching theme: The Year of the Unpuke.  

Friday, December 30, 2016

That Time I Cooked Creamy Garlic Chicken

December 22, 5:00 PM

Tonight, I am going to make one pot creamy garlic chicken and rice.

The scary thing about this particular recipe? Chicken.

Now, I love chicken.

I eat a lot of chicken, but cooking chicken freaks me out.

It's not because of the animal thing or anything like that. It's because of germs. It's because I'm afraid I'm going to kill somebody, most notably myself, since I'm eating alone.

My fear is that I'm going to get whatever it is that you get when you eat bad chicken. I can't think of the name right now, but you know what I'm talking about.

[editor's note: salmonella]

So, this is a concern. This is a big deal.

I know for everyone else out there, cooking chicken is not a big deal, but it's a big deal for this chick. I didn't die last week when I made my spinach and pasta bake, because obviously I'm still here. But there wasn't anything all that dangerous in last week's meal.

Now we got some meat going on, so we got the danger.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hiiii Green Thingy Inside the Garlic Clove

Okay, here's what I just learned about garlic, because I've been doing my googling.

When you go to the market, you can usually count on the garlic bulbs being fresh. Because most normal people (which excludes me, obvs) go through garlic quickly, so the turnover is good. You want a firm bulb. That’s all I got.

But what about the actual clove of garlic? Here’s what I learned! It should have a purplish hue. See the image and my once-a-year-painted fingernails (holler to the holidays!).

Let’s just say my garlic rarely has the purplish hue. I buy a bulb of garlic and it sits for days weeks months. (ADMIT IT: YOU FEEL ME.)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Getting to Know Your Oven. What Fresh Hell Is This?

When I first moved into my current apartment, I was like, "I'm going to learn to cook."

I had some old standby recipes (lol, we're talking two) that I've actually done before and felt okay about, and I was just cooking for me, so I could start with those and build from there.

Anyway, the oven didn't work. Well, it worked, but it was too hot. As in 500 million degrees too hot, give or take a few million.

I didn't figure this out right away.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Surprise You Get When You Look Up “How Do I Thaw Frozen Spinach?”

I made this baked ziti with spinach

I didn't die. 

I didn't get sick. 

This, at the moment, is my measurement of culinary success. 

It was tasty. I recommend it.

But I'm not here to post a recipe. This is about a certain step in the recipe that will demonstrate WHY I get so frustrated with cooking. So you're going to hear all about my frustration and maybe learn something along with me.

First, here is my big issue with recipes in general. This particular recipe, in theory, should have taken me 15 minutes of prep and then a half hour of cooking, so we're talking 45 minutes.



Because I am an idiot and don't know what I'm doing. They should include TWO times: the one for people who have a clue about cooking and the one for the rest of us who need to read the recipe ten zillion times, have a nervous breakdown, and google steps within the recipe in order to figure things out. The googling takes time, people. Even if you don't fall down a rabbit hole, the googling takes time. 

Here's a perfect example from this recipe. You have to use a 10 ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed. Okay, sounds simple, right? Frozen spinach. That's supposed to make life easier. But then I thought about it and was like "Hmm. Do I know how to thaw frozen spinach? Let's make sure I'm clear on that."