Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Culinary Cultivation

So I've been teaching myself how to cook. Actually, my "Sunset Quick Weekday Meals" cookbook has been teaching me how to cook, but he just sits there while I do all the work. I've always proclaimed (loudly) that I've hated cooking. I don't like to get all hot and sweaty while baking... It's like I'm trying to make SoCal hotter than it already is. I don't like having to follow all the instructions, but I don't know enough to improvise. I don't like people getting in my way when I'm attempting to do something that is clearly out of my comfort zone. Nevertheless...

I'm tired of eating Hamburger Helper and frozen dinners.

(Sorry.. got a little carried away, there.)

So, I bought my cookbook and tried my hand at creating edible art. And art it is. My first project was Turkey Enchilada Casserole. I felt a little more comfortable on the second, Shrimp Linguine, and ended up substiuting the shrimp for chicken breast. I faked it for a couple days and made a Chicken Caesar Salad and then Grilled Chicken Quesadillas with veggies. (See a pattern emerging?) But then last night? Wooowee! I made Seared Tuna Steaks with Papaya Salsa and asparagus on the side. It actually turned out okay. The asparagus were a little oversteamed, but in snooty restaurants, they make you pay extra for that. The tuna was seared well - even my non-fish eating BF said it tasted pretty good - and the salsa was sweet and spiiiiiiiiicy! The only thing I don't have down is my timing... Sunset swears this only takes 15 minutes.. an hour later I had finally gotten the table set and was able to pour myself a G&T. (A whole hour! If we had had wine in the house, I woulda been drinkin' that shit throughout this whole creative process...)

Anyway, so it's been going well. Mike (usually) does the dishes when I'm done, so that's my incentive to do the cooking, I guess. That and it feels cozy and domestic and I want to learn to cook something other than pastas and pizzas (which are super easy - noodles and any veggie you want or dough and any veggies you want). Since I'm trying to cut down on the breads, it's making me have to actually plan my meals and shop for them and... it hasn't been too bad. Partly because Mike knows to leave me alone until I say it's ready. I can crank up my music, sip my drink and saute away!

Bon apetit!

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