November 12, 2014

I cooked dinner (and didn't burn the house down).

Anyone who knows me knows that there is nothing scarier than putting me in a kitchen.  It doesn’t matter what I’m trying to make.  I will find a way to screw it up so badly that you wouldn’t even recognize what my creation was supposed to be, or what recipe I was following.  I made one of those boxed cakes one time for my mom’s birthday.  I don’t know what I missed, but as wonderful as it smelled, it had no binding properties and promptly crumbled as I attempted to un-pan it. One time I tried to scramble some eggs.  I smoked out the house before anything even reached the griddle.  I made an attempt at oatmeal and ruined a pot...

You get the idea.  I am no chef.  Needless to say, I have never been allowed to cook dinner for the family.  In my mind, all I need is a little bit of supervised practice.
So at the beginning of last week, I asked my family if they would let me make them dinner on Friday.  I promised to buy all the ingredients and make something they’d like.  To my surprise, they gave in!

I did some Pinterest exploring and decided on a very simple meal that I was sure I couldn’t mess up.  I was also painting and re-tiling the bathroom that day, so I picked something kinda fast since I couldn’t spend all day preparing it.  Here’s what I made (along with the recipes!):

Coconut Chicken Tenders

These were super quick to make and everyone LOVED them.  I made about 15 pieces and it fed five easily.  The coconut was an awesome addition.

Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole

I am a little obsessed with sweet potatoes.  This recipe called for a lot of brown sugar and was pretty much half marshmallows, so they really were sweet, but they were delicious and a hit with my family.  I used 3 lbs. of potatoes rather than 2, and there was a LOT left over after us 5 going to town on them, so I think 2 lbs. would be fine next time.

Cinnamon Apple & Quinoa Salad

Okay, this one was a long shot.  I asked my family what they thought of kale, and the verdict was that we are not ready to expand our taste buds to include this strange green veggie just yet.  Also, no one had ever heard of quinoa (I Googled the pronunciation so that I didn’t say it wrong at the grocery store).  But I wanted to try something new and we had TONS of apples to get rid of before they go bad, so I replaced the kale with a lettuce mix and crossed my fingers.  It was okay.  The quinoa/lettuce combination was questionable (I see why it was made with kale instead).  Everyone had a serving of it (the dressing was really unique and delicious!), but I don’t think I will make it again.

All in all, it was a great experience, delicious dinner, and only (haha!) took me about an hour and a half to figure out.  My mom was happy with how it came out and I think she will let me cook again soon!  (Practice makes perfect.)