Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kitchen Tips By Yours Truly (j/k)

I never learned to cook. Ever. I learned to microwave. Does that count? That's probably why I've got thyroid issues now, lol. All that microwaving canned food in plastic containers my entire life... I'm probably full of toxins! Eek.

I've learned a few lessons from teaching myself to cook over the last couple years.

Cooking tips for dumb-dumbs like myself:
  • There's a difference between butter and margarine, and shortening and oil, and all kinds of other ingredients. They're not all equally interchangeable. I think one time I actually tried to substitute Cool Whip for butter. Why, I have no idea. It made sense to me at the time.
  • "Meh, that looks about right" is not an accurate standard of measurement. And dry and wet ingredients have different tools of measurement. Use the proper tools to get the best results!
  • Follow the recipe exactly, especially the first time around. Don't try to get fancy if you don't know what you're doing. And don't try to "substitute" if you're using your own brain to do so.
  • Don't get distracted. If there's something on the stove, don't wander off into another room and start another task. Things will burn. Horribly. To the point of no return.
  • When baking, don't try to put twice as much batter/dough on the same pan just because it "fits." It will overflow into a monster and GET EVERYWHERE. Just use two pans. It's not that hard.
  • Although it may sound efficient, cooking food at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time is not wise. There's a reason for cook times and temperatures, mainly to avoid DEATH!
  • Practice, practice, practice. Get over the aversion to the kitchen. Quit going out to eat to avoid setting foot in the kitchen. Find a dozen easy recipes to rotate through over and over until it's easy peasy to throw it together!
I'm much, much better now. I've even made some meals where Zay has said, "Hey, this isn't that bad." LOL. But I've spent many years avoiding cooking, eating out instead, microwaving things, or getting Zay to cook (who is amazing in the kitchen or on the grill). So it's still in me to want to avoid it.

How do stay-at-home moms who cook all the time actually get it done?? It seems like such a constant, thankless job. You can spend hours in the kitchen and the food is gone in 5 minutes. And then everybody has to eat again a few hours later, lol. I think that's why I take pictures of my food, as proof that I actually did something! I want the credit for it, dangit. Ha ha.

Zay grilled last weekend and I over-ate like a big, fat glutton because it tasted SO GOOD. I loved when he was a stay-at-home dad and he cooked for me all the time... it was AMAZING. That's a fast way to my heart - good food. He hasn't had the time for it and I've been in there slaving over the stove, trying to make healthy meals that are edible (i.e., not burned) and don't taste like bland cardboard. It's tough.

It was really too cold to be grilling outside last weekend, but we did anyway and invited some friends over per usual. The weather is supposed to be getting warm here soon, so we'll be out there much more often now. And I'm just relieved that I won't have to cook so much!!! Zay will be out of school for the summer at the end of the month. He's got a brand new grill and is ready to get right on it. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmm! I'm excited. My goal is to get fit and eat healthily, but this BBQ'ing is conflicting with that right now. I'm okay with that. Maybe we can make it a once a week thing and eat healthily the rest of the week. We'll see. :)

Our friends Derrick & Ora. Derrick had us cracking up cuz he was falling asleep while eating cuz it was SO GOOD he had to close his eyes and chew. Ha ha ha.



Our buddy Austin. Zay and Austin work together and call each other Shawn & Gus (for you Psych fans!)... I think they're an adorable duo. :)

Kal ate like 2 full plates.

Poor man's food. Baked beans, meat, and onions. :)






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