Monday, February 1, 2010

Cooking for One - Part One

While living alone has it's advantages (no one borrowing your clothes, freedom to wear whatever you want ;-), watching what you want on TV ALL THE TIME, and leaving your apartment as messy as you want name a few) there are definately some set backs. Cooking is such a challenge for me because I don't have anyone to share my food with. Thankfully, no one has to eat some of the stuff I try to make. Lately, I've been a little discouraged. I tried to do a nice thing for my brother and his wife by bringing a home cooked meal over. Let me just show you how that went...

Specatcle #1 : Dr. Pepper Can Chicken (Injected w Hot Sauce)

Which later I renamed " Blackened Chicken w/ Some Pop " and then threw it into the trash.

Spectacle #2 - "Rosemary Maple Pork Tenderloin and Lemon Butter Potatoes:

Don't let the looks fool you! The recipe (from Publix Aprons) called for 1/2 cup of Maple syrup for the pork and a large lemon for the potatoes. Everything was so sweet it felt more like dessert. Then I threw that recipe out. Unfortunately I made this one for my fiance' and kindly he told me he didn't like all.

Lets not forget the "Crunchy Chicken Strips" from my Better Homes and Garden (Pink Edition) Cook Book. I had all the ingredients in my kitchen and it was only supposed to take 20 minutes! How exciting! I should have known from the ingredients (Cheez-Its, Ranch, Chicken) that it was going to be gross, but I trusted the recipe. Unforunately, I didn't even take a picture. It smelled so bad I had to take it straight to the dumpster. And then I made a big black X over the recipe.

This is what it's supposed to look like. Maybe a kid would enjoy it - I don't know. I think the smell of ranch baking in the oven is probably worse then smelling garlic bread bake in the oven, except it doesn't taste good when it comes out.

So I keep thinking. Is it me? I followed the recipe to the "T." Why does everything taste so unbearable?  Am I ever going to be a good cook? And  is my fiance', who is already picky enough, going to starve?!! (Or go to Burger King every night??).

 So I had a chat w/ my mom and my sister-in-law. Where should I start? What am I doing wrong? Should i enroll myself in cooking school? My mom got me the "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" book for Christmas. I can't even read some of those recipes yet! My sister in law gave me some great advice (I know you're reading this ;-) ;-) ) She told me to start back at the basics - how boring! So tonight that's just what I did!

I present to you..Spectacle # 3 - Mac N Cheese

Which I left with it's great name. I also added some steamed broccilli and cubed up some ham steaks (like my mom always did, except she used leftover ham - so crafty.) This is probably my favorite meal in a long long time.

So now that I've exposed my cooking talent, next I will share with you the new "tools" I have acquired from the Macy's Home Sale Event to help me in my journey of becoming a decent cook.

Happy Belated 5th Birthday to my gorgeous and sweet neice!
She is going to be my flower girl! I can't wait to show you the birthday present I am putting together for her!

Good night! Early training at 6am!


  1. I like the back to basics tip - I would start trying to make easy things and work your way up. Also, ask your mom for some recipes she has made throughout your childhood b/c then you will know what they are supposed to look like and how they are supposed to taste when you make them!

    When you cooked for Mr. Bear and me everything was delicious so don't get discouraged!

  2. Congrats on the engagement!! It's such a wonderful time and some good news is, while your fiance is on the road, you will be a busy busy girl planning that awesome day. Can't wait to follow along :)