Bringing back Sunday Night Dinner

Confession: I am not a good cook.

My go-to used to be chicken breast with BBQ sauce with some boxed organic mac and cheese. It was a great meal back then, but not so much now.

I also used to be afraid of raw chicken. Salmonella terrifies me to this day along with all the other food-born illnesses you can get. But it really was the actual touching of the chicken, so slimy and weird. Fortunately, over the last few years, I have slowly moved from having someone else touch it, to me using a fork to touch it, to finally grabbing it with my hands and cooking the darn thing with confidence. …And washing my hands three times afterwards…

Anyways, I have taken this small step of success as the beginning of a cooking journey. Jaques Pepin is not only a world famous chef to me, he is a comforting memory – My parents would watch him and Julia Childs every Saturday morning on PBS while I would sit on the couch and eat away at my Cheerios. This last Christmas, my dad got me Jaques’ dvd set – 13 beautiful hours of food. “From easy to elegant,” Jaques would say.

Here, I would like to inset a quick thank you to my boyfriend who watched all of it with me!!!

With overcoming my touching-of-the-raw-chicken fear, I now feel that there is a new world of cooking that awaits me. Thanks to Jaques, Pinterest, and a few cookbooks that I randomly purchased, I have been trying some new recipes out.

Both of our families and most of our friends live four hours away, so we try and visit at least once a month. Sometimes with holidays and birthdays, it turns into a twice a month, similar to how next month is going to go. For me, this presented the opportunity to try out a new meal for those weekends we stay at home.

Plenty of jokes have been made that it’s dangerous for me to be in the kitchen alone with sharp objects but slowly I have been gotten the confidence to tell the boyfriend, “Out of the kitchen, this is my meal for you.”

My first cooking adventure started with apple slices and smoked Gouda baked into a butterflied chicken breast. On the side, I made quinoa stuffed red peppers. SUCCESS!!! I couldn’t believe that I actually made us a meal where I didn’t need help and we were satisfied with it.

From here, I expanded my menu to a caprese avocado salad with a balsamic glaze, baked kale chips (surprisingly delicious), skillet caprese chicken, and snuck in a dessert of chocolate butterscotch cookies. Nom nom nom!!!

We’ve been on the road the last few weeks and now I finally have a weekend to plan a meal. It’s silly to me just how excited I am right now haha. I get a little thrill each time I read a recipe and think, I can make this!

Time a open up a bottle of wine and get some recipes picked out. Cheers!

About that Novel I started in 10th Grade…

Going back a little to my previous post, Losing My Resolution, I decided to get down to business this weekend when I visited home. The reasons behind my cleaning may or may not have been due to a little accident (ok, HUGE accident) my poor ancient cat had under the bed, but the fact is that I started to clean my little but over-stuffed room at home.

Treasures galore were under the bed! I knew about a few things that were there but a couple of surprises were there too! Finally found my sparkly headbands from back when I used to play ball, found the book of ads that my freshmen roommates and I had taped up to the walls of our dorm, and the biggest find of them all (besides the box full of my hard work in AP Physics)…the novel I started in high school!!!!!!!!

It’s almost like finding a diary and reliving memories. I remember writing most of it on my bed in that same room. Reading through it, all those exciting tingles of putting pen to paper and suddenly magic happens and you can see the scene set by the words. Gah! It’s amazing the power that can be captured by those few written words. I remember writing until I fell asleep one night, it seems like it was almost out of a movie. The excitement pulsing through my fingers right now is just getting me all riled up! (And it’s almost bedtime…whoops.)

I made it six verrrrry short chapters back then and the story was just getting started. I know that when I got to that part, I really didn’t know where I wanted the story to go. I didn’t know my characters through and through. There were all these big, broad ideas that I had, and now, after years of reading all sorts of genres and books, along with watching an eclectic assortment of films, maybe I was meant to pick that story up now. Perhaps now I can make that decision for blue eyes or brown eyes. I would also like to think that I have a more developed writing level and a better vocabulary than I did in 10th grade but we can’t win them all, right?