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Kitchen Nightmares

Posted Jan 16 2013 6:34am

Remember last week when I was like, “Hey everyone! I have run out of food ideas! Can you help me? K great, thanks!”

And then you came out in droves and you helped me ?

And I promised to report back with a roundup of the “so awesome and helpful” suggestions everyone left?

That was funny, huh?

Well I finally got around to reading — not skimming, really reading — every single comment. And, in the aftermath of my “research,” I’m here to present my findings and thoughts.

First, let me address three very, very common, very popular statements that were made in response to that post:

  1. No, I don’t like smoothies. They taste fine, but I like to chew my food and just can’t get fully on board with drinking my meal, even if it is convenient and nutritious. Sorry that I’m a terrible healthy person.
  2. Yes, I have a slow cooker. Also known as a “crock pot.” One of my New Year’s Resolutions for this year is to use it. It’s smaller than normal because a regular-sized crock pot won’t fit in a single one of my kitchen cabinets. But I have a bite-sized slow cooker and I plan to use it. To make a single meatball.
  3. No, I am not on Pinterest. So the advice about “finding cute recipes on Pinterest” was all sweet, but that website overwhelms me. It’s not something I’m looking to get into. Remember the other big Resolution for the year? The one about “spending less time online.”

There are people on Pinterest who are not engaged but have entire “boards” devoted to planning their dream weddings. That seems crazy to me. And maybe a little scary. (Brian, I promise I do not have a secret public Internet page where I plan our future together. I do, however, have a secret Oreo stash I will never, ever tell you about. I’ll wait here while you go look for it, but I assure you, you will come up empty handed and Oreo-less.)

THIS IS NOT ME. But guess what? This is a very popular “rehearsal dinner dress idea” photo from Pinterest, and at least two people email it to me every month saying, “This looks like you!!!” I think it’s very flattering. And the dress is cute.

Also also, did you know that I’m afraid to use my slow cooker? I was always taught “not to leave stuff on” when I’m not home. I even make sure the toaster is unplugged at all times. So naturally I’m convinced that throwing a bunch of chickens and sauces into a giant electric pot is going to set my apartment on fire while I’m at work writing about tutus and teenage things.

Brian, do we have renter’s insurance? We do, right? That’s what those statements are that come in those envelopes I throw away every month?

SO EXCITED TO SEE JERSEY BOYS!!!!!! Not so excited to learn I keep a secret junk food stash in our apartment…

Where were we?

Right.

Recipes. Food.

Food that is prepared fresh and fancy and that I can make because you’re going to help me!

Oh this? This is no big deal. Just a clementine, arranged nicely. And a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Pressed on my George Foreman grill circa 2003. I’ll give you the recipe.

The big takeaway from this post, other than having a slow cooker and playing on Pinterest, was that preparation is key. I can’t expect dinner to magically turn up on the table if I don’t grocery shop for it. And then cook it.

Actually, I can.

And it’s called Seamless.com.

But that’s what we’re trying to get away from.

Just a little something I whipped up.
No, just kidding. Brian made this. Show-off.

So I have to plan. I have to make lists. I have to not “just wing it when I get home,” because that’s what drives me to the delivery boys on bikes.

I really do want to cook more, both simple stuff and more adventurous things, with ingredients like “cheese.” I’m going to study up, and I’ve added Smitten Kitchen to my Google Reader. It’s a start, right?

I also found these recipes that I want to make from other sites:

Here are a few of my favorite suggestions from my post that I swear I’m going to implement at some point in 2013:

I like the last part of this one: the suggestion to make tacos or fajitas. That sounds like something I could actually be capable of doing. Thanks, Lauren!

I love having breakfast for dinner. That was always, like, the biggest deal growing up. OMG PANCAKES AT NIGHTTIME! DOAEJWIGOJBKCL!!! So I can see myself having an egg creation while I watch “Wheel of Fortune.” Thanks, Rebecca!

Oh, Jen. You had me at “cheese.”

I am a big fan of taco night when Brian does it. I think I could do this. I want to do this. I can brown beef, right? It’s not hard. You just put it in the pan and make it hot and mush it around…until it’s brown…?

And finally…I can always count on Liz Heisler to speak my language.

And to all of you who took the time to chime in and help me out, thank you so much! Your knowledge is my gain. That doesn’t seem like a phrase that works, but you get it, yeah?

I want to read more food blogs. I think I like them. So feel free to throw more suggestions my way.

I love you.

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