{adventures in cooking}

As I mentioned in my first post, one of my goals with working at home was to learn to cook. My excuse in the past was that I never got home before 6 so I never really had time to start anything. Thanks to my husband being home so much since the fire, I've been letting him cook as usual, but I'm trying to get better! So, here are some of my recent exploits...

Those of you who follow LobotoME on twitter may have caught that we recently bought a CSA share for the fall. I'm so excited about getting fresh, locally grown produce! Our first delivery had eggplants, cucumbers, onions, squash, salad greens, mustard greens and possibly things I'm forgetting already! I was so excited to see that today I'll be getting sweet potatoes and spaghetti squash (among other things). I can't believe that I went 34 years without discovering the awesomeness that is spaghetti squash. When I'm lazy I microwave it, scoop it out and toss it with pesto. Even my husband and kids will gobble that up. This time I'm thinking of making a spaghetti squash casserole that was emailed to me recently. We're also getting bell peppers, so I think I'll make stuffed peppers tonight and the casserole later in the week. We'll have to see how many of each I get!

I realize that the above paragraph may make it sound like I know what I'm doing in the kitchen, but I really am a horrible cook. My husband seriously dreads the days I declare that I'll be taking care of dinner (unless I make the announcement at 5pm while searching the web for good takeout). I have a tendency to get overwhelmed, forget steps, mis-time things and I am always missing ingredients I thought I had. You have no idea how proud I was last night for cooking two side dishes. I made a simple quinoa recipe (that was made even more simple since I didn't have the celery, or lime juice) and creamed mustard greens. YES, the same mustard greens from my CSA! I actually used a recipe that was sent to me from the farm and it was everything I dread in a recipe. It started with "wash and destem the mustard greens." Yeah, I don't exactly know what destem means, so I had to google it. It was also lacking cooking times (give me an estimate, please??) and the milk measurements. Seriously, the ingredients just listed cream (or milk) and the instructions said to add it till the mixture gets thick and creamy. Thanks! With that said, and despite the fact I had to use Philadelphia Cooking Creme instead of regular cream cheese, it came out surprisingly yummy. I normally don't get near any "creamed" veggie so I was pretty happy!

I was on such a high from the side dish success (translation - family ate it) that I decided to make the slow cooker oatmeal I've been wanting to try for over a week now. Slow cookers are a miracle device aren't they? Throw in a bunch of ingredients and voila! Food! Unfortunately, I was again missing ingredients. I was convinced that if we had ~50 jars of spices in our cupboard, surely we have cardamom, right? Apparently not. I thought it came out pretty good (once I remembered to add the sweetener), but my finicky kids weren't so sure. I'm going to try again when the weather cools down and I have everything I need!

On a side note, I recently signed up for pinterest, but I'm not sure I'm doing it right. So far I've been using it to pin recipes I want to try, but that's about it. At least it helped me keep track of the slow cooker oatmeal!

image from here


Janice said...

Have you tried punchfork? Its like pintrest but it is a collection of recipes from a ton of food blogs and you can collect all your favorites. I used to bookmark recipes all the time but I love having one place where I can find them all.

LobotoME said...

I haven't but I will! Thanks for the tip! Having a site to keep recipes is so much easier than bookmarking.