8.17.2012

Preparation vs. Reality. Cooking edition.

Do you remember about a year ago I started posting the ways I was preparing for our Sri Lanka adventure?  It started here, continued here and here.
In case you don't want to link to those pages, I will tell you I talk about cooking, make-up, Marine Ball dress, driving, and getting my "woman-stache" taken care of.  

Now that we have been here a few months, I thought I would report back and tell you how/if my preparation has paid off.  Shall we start at the beginning?


Cooking.

Yes, friends, I have been cooking.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Almost daily.  I have actually mastered a few recipes, and we have a few family favorites.  I have to find substitutions for some of the ingredients, but for the most part, it has been fun to cook and try new things.

I have even cooked a whole chicken.  I accidentally cooked it upside down, but it turned out fine.

Thanksgiving turkey- here I come.

One thing I have learned is that cooking is A LOT easier when you have the right tools- plenty of measuring cups/spoons, thermometers, and bowls.  It is also a lot easier when you have someone to help do the dishes.  Especially since we don't have a dishwasher.  Well...technically, we have a dishwasher, but it is in another room (not the kitchen), so we don't use it.

Some of my failures:  I made bread, but forgot to add the salt, so it was disgusting.  I also made some pasta carbonara in which I measured the pepper incorrectly (way too much), and it was not so good.  I am sure there have been more, but these were the most recent...like Monday.

Overall, cooking has been great.  It has been a little tough to get used to cooking everything on my own.  The connivence of prepackaged foods is such a huge time saver, however, it is certainly more gratifying when I have made an entire meal from scratch.  I do find, however, when I make a huge meal, the next day my desire to cook is seriously diminished.  In order to overcome this, I just try to make one or two really nice meals a week, and something simple the rest of the week, have leftover night, or have "take-away".

For recipe ideas, I have become really familiar with Pinterest.com, and have actually made a lot of the recipes I have pinned.

In case you are interested, here are our favorites:


Blackened chicken with quinoa and an avocado sauce

Thai food- chicken (this we make at least once a week- usually more.)

Coconut Chicken (we also love this with shrimp)

OH, and for dessert, Pioneer Woman has the most incredible Texas sheet cake recipe (Thanks Anne, for the recommendation) - this recipe is great because it calls for buttermilk, which I have not seen here, but gives instructions on how to make your own.  Super helpful!
 

If you have any favorite recipes, let me know...I would love to try them out.

6 comments:

k @ there is fun to be done said...

The very first time I made carbonara I got the teaspoon and tablespoon confused when I measured the pepper - it was interesting to say the least!!!!!

And... in our house this chicken is a fav! It comes out perfect every time and is my go to on a busy day!

Cheers!

http://www.italianfoodforever.com/2008/08/roast-chicken-with-lemon-garlic-and-rosemary/

Anne said...

You're very welcome for the recipe. I could eat that cake every single day. Yum!!

Sara said...

Way to go! Start small and easy and I like your idea to make something that you can then eat the next day as well. Make a side that you can have for multiple meals. Now that you've started you can literally make anything!!!

Liz said...

Good for you Emily! I think it is hilarious that you cooked the chicken upside down! We are so related! I have done that not once but twice! LOL

The Teeples Times said...

definitely going to try the coconut chicken...sounds soo good. I love the detailed instructions on the sheet cake...even a dummy like me might have hope to not mess it up. I am impressed with your cooking! I think I would die without prepackaged food. You are probably eating a lot healthier too! For an easy chicken recipe, I take the raw chicken, and dunk in melted butter then put in a mix of 1 c. bread crumbs and 1/2 c. parmesean cheese and 1/2 Tbsp. garlic then take out and put in baking dish, then cook in ovenon 350 for about 25 - 35 min. and you have parmesean crusted chicken.

The Teeples Times said...

definitely going to try the coconut chicken...sounds soo good. I love the detailed instructions on the sheet cake...even a dummy like me might have hope to not mess it up. I am impressed with your cooking! I think I would die without prepackaged food. You are probably eating a lot healthier too! For an easy chicken recipe, I take the raw chicken, and dunk in melted butter then put in a mix of 1 c. bread crumbs and 1/2 c. parmesean cheese and 1/2 Tbsp. garlic then take out and put in baking dish, then cook in ovenon 350 for about 25 - 35 min. and you have parmesean crusted chicken.

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