Apr 18, 2012

My cooking journey....sort of.

Well, I hoped to have better news on the cooking front.  Like everything in life, I've had to be flexible and unseen things that came up this week prevented my "6 out of 7 day cooking project."  Friday, I published my blog post, went to the grocery and was fired up for my newest quest to be a super mommy.  Friday, I made Chicken Bacon Pasta.  It. Was. Fabulous.  Naturally, I took the recipe and changed a few things.  We don't have a grill (yet....I hope to have a grill one day soon) other than the dinky countertop, fat-reducing grill that doesn't ever cook my chicken completely or evenly enough.  So I decided to pan sear my chicken.  Salt, pepper, olive oil and a skillet.  Couldn't be easier.
Holy pots and pans Batman.
As I was pan searing chicken, boiling water and making a white sauce, I was so excited.  For too long, I've had the attitude that the cleaning, cooking and baby raising shouldn't be all my responsibility.  I shouldn't be the one to provide meals, clean clothes and a happy baby every single day.  I'm not sure what happened, but a light bulb has gone off and I've realized that taking care of my home and making sure my family is happy and well-fed shouldn't be a chore, but a priviledge.  Yes, I still strongly believe that my husband should help out around the house, but it's my responsibility.  When someone walks in my house and sees that it's filthy and I have an empty pantry, who does that reflect on--me or Marty?  As unfair as it may be, it's me that would look bad if we didn't live in a well-run home.  And I'm accepting that.  I was looking at cooking as an exciting activity and not a chore.....finally.
Why is it that my dish is never as pretty as the picture??
So back to the cooking.  The sauce in this dish is fantastic.  I didn't have red pepper flakes, so I would recommend a little more salt in the dish if you choose to leave that seasoning out.  Since we're huge fans of broccoli in this household, I decided to throw some in to give us our veggie serving for the day.  Successful dish.  Marty gave it his stamp of approval and said he'd eat it again (always how I measure my success). 
Saturday night, I found this awesome recipe for gluten-free crust-less pizza.  I was PUMPED.  For about two years, I've been watching my gluten intake due to a gluten "intolerance" that was diagnosed after some pretty intense stomach pain.  For the most part, I'm okay to eat breads and pastas, although I can't have a whole lot of wheat breads.  But pizza is 100% off-limits.  One slice will send me crawling right to my heating pad.  So when I found this recipe, I was excited to try it.  I chose to make my pizza with sausage, pepperoni and green peppers.  While the taste of this pizza was pretty great....it wasn't really a pizza.  The crust is made mostly of cream cheese that I baked before adding the pizza toppings.  Even after baking first and leaving it out to cool, the "crust" wasn't firm enough to pick up and eat.  The dish basically ended up being more like a pizza casserole.  Forks were needed, but the taste was great.  Even though it wasn't what I was expecting, I definitely recommend the recipe for anyone trying to live the gluten-free lifestyle.

My little kitchen helper :)
And unfortunately, this is where my cooking story has ended.  Sunday night, we exercised the "see-food" night and fended for ourselves.  Monday, I was ready to fix my chicken nuggets and mac and cheese.  When I got home, I realized that I didn't put out any chicken to thaw out.  Oops.  So Marty ended up eating the leftover chicken bacon pasta (another plus to making dinner...leftovers....and saving money!) and I made myself a grilled ham and cheese.  I cut my losses and swore to get back to cooking the next night.  Tuesday night, Marty and I ended up going to my parent's house to visit and ate over there.  No biggie, go with the flow, try again Wednesday......until I woke up this morning with a massive migraine and Marty ate at his sister's house so I don't have to make dinner tonight.  I'm disappointed that I'm not getting to hone my cooking skills, but isn't that what life is all about?  Being flexible and rolling with the punches?  Cooking 6 nights a week sounds amazing on paper, but you don't factor in those nights that Avery needs to spend just a few more hours playing peek-a-boo with Granddaddy and Grandma's house or illnesses that make walking from the bed to the bathroom painful, much less pulling out pots and pans to make a homemade dinner.  It doesn't make me a terrible mom that we had some dinners away from home or that I might have to make a McDonald's run later to feed myself.  I know my family is still happy and I promise to return to cooking tomorrow night....no unforseen circumstance provided.


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