Failed Improv

It’s been a year since I last updated and don’t get your hopes up that this means I will update again. This must also mean that I have more confidence in cooking and fail less. That one is up for debate. Here’s a story about how I failed at thinking I could make up a recipe.

Things I Had:
– 3 pounds of yukon gold potatoes
– frozen morning star fachikin
– 1 avocado
– a bunch of spices
– an old red onion

Things I Didn’t Have:
– everything else.

The recipe I tried to make was called Roasted Potato Cups with Loaded Guacamole which was inspired by http://potluck.ohmyveggies.com/roasted-potato-cups-loaded-guacamole/

I thought I could dress up the potatoes with the taco-ish spices and then stuff smashed avocado and a piece of fake chicken inside. Sounds good, right? Errrrr.

Step 1:
– Cut potatoes in half
– Scoop out potato flesh with melon baller or teaspoon
– You can bake the potato flesh balls and it will be like a tater tot

My Step 1:
– Ok I’ve cut the potato in half, but there’s still a big chunk left here in the middle
– What is a melon baller?
– Is this a different kind of teaspoon then the usual measuring device? Is there something I don’t know about teaspoons? Do they double as knifes? How is a round thing supposed to puncture a raw potato?
– Dig a spoon into the potato as hard as you can, which is not very hard, and nearly impossible
– Try to use a knife to cut a hole and then scoop out with spoon. How do I make a knife cut round? Whoops wen’t all the way through the potato with that slice.
– Are the potatoes going to cook if I barely cut any flesh out?
– Give up after a few potatoes and just cut into fries

Step 2:
– Bake the shit
– Prepare the shit to stuff with

My Step 2:
– Shit bakes unevenly because different sizes
– Microwave weird morning star fachikin strips that are nearly freezer burned and feel super rubbery
– Taste weird fachikin
– Cry.
– Cut the avocado and worry that it is too far gone to eat

Now, we eat. Or we don’t eat. Depending on how you feel about this mess.

Lessons Learned:
– Potatoes make everything better, but nothing can make a weird fachikin better
– Avocados are delicious, but guac is better
– Lucky Charms for dinner is good too.

This look was appropriate (this image size is pretty appropriate too):
img_6184

I’m good at something!

I decided one rainy night that I wanted, what I call, “A Frank Dinner” (AFD!). The main ingredient in an AFD! is garlic. You basically want to leave your house smelling like garlic for days and have to brush your teeth 2-3 times to smell normal again. The only downside is the vampires it attracts.

An AFD! also typically consists of salmon and a green vegetable. I devise the plan for lemon pepper salmon and rosemary roasted potatoes and asparagus. Of course, all of this is covered in garlic too.

I had never cooked salmon in a frying pan, never roasted potatoes successfully, and never roasted asparagus. YORO (You Only Roast Once)…

IMG_2210

Things:

  1. I was told that different types of potatoes need to roast at different temperatures. So I googled red potatoes this time for ultimate success
  2. I’ve got this garlic mincer, but how do I get it equally across everything? Welp, I’ll just toss it all over and hope for the best (same with the rosemary)
  3. I dribbled olive oil all over everything a tablespoon at a time
  4. Salmon in a pan, hmmm.
  5. Salmon in a pan.
  6. PUT THE SALMON IN THE PAN!
  7. Heat the olive oil in the pan first?
  8. Heat the olive oil in the pan second?
  9. Just do it already.
  10. Sprinkle so much lemon pepper on the salmon that it looks like a mass pepper murder
  11. 5 min each side, wow this is working…
  12. Oh I got this handy dandy meat thermometer, let’s use that…
  13. IT’S GOOD!

IMG_2211

The verdict: “Wow, you’ve been lying to me this whole time, you really can cook” – Joe.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh yeahhhhhhhhhh.

It’s safe to say the house and us smelled like garlic for days. AFD! success! The rosemary also got everywhere. It’s like the herpes of cooking, can’t get rid of it!

Stay tuned to find out how repeating this recipe resulted in a few fails…

IMG_2018

IMG_2325

Cheese is accidentally delicious

Here is a true failure for ya.

My friend Brea sent me this recipe for broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken, the concept sounded simple.

I started reading the recipe and it says some crazy nonsense about doing art with your cheese. I do not feel like cutting it up into triangles and trapizoids, I just want to eat it!

I decided that I would just stick a chunk of cheese and piece of broccoli and roll that bitch up… Sweet, chicken isn’t long enough to roll up. The recipe also said something about toothpicks to hold it all together, but I am not down with getting a splinter in my food.

I decided to just lay the chicken out, stick some cheese and a piece of broccoli on top and see what happens. Great, now my pan is too small and i have to dirty another one, I hate when this happens!

IMG_0500

Brea called me and suggested that I use a meat tenderizer to beat my meat with in order to make the pieces longer. But I have no such tool, maybe someone wants to buy me one? While on the phone with Brea, Joe starts yelling to me that the water for the potatoes keeps boiling over. We just moved and are using a cooktop now, which we need to get used to using apparently.
Next comes the great debate of bread crumbs:

  1. The directions say for frying so Joe thinks I can’t use them for baking, but I’ve seen people use these!
  2.  I read the directions and notice there is a section title FOR BAKING!
  3.  It says I need an egg or milk… I have no eggs and we discuss that a milk would be too thin
  4.  Good thing I have Brea to tell me to use olive oil!
  5.  Whoops, I spilled it all over the pan like no body’s business.
  6. Whatever.

IMG_0501

In the mean time, I need to cook the rest of this bag of broccoli, but it is one of those steam in bag things and it says not to puncture bag before putting into microwave. I was about to ignore it and stick it in the microwave, when Joe decided to read the rest of the directions. Oh look at that, you can actually eat it raw or steam on the stove. Let’s steam this bitch! mmmmmmm! (Lesson learned: we never read ALL of the directions!)

IMG_0502

IMG_0503

Ok guys, prepare yourselves… This shit was so delicious! Here I thought I was using pepper jack cheese when it turns out it was jalapeño and Cayenne pepper. Thanks for tricking me, Joe. But it was nice because the taste from the cheese spread over everything. Accidental cheese is yummy. It’s great that what started out looking like a disaster, turned out to be really good! And easy too 😉

Funny though because this picture makes it look real gross:

IMG_0505

And don’t worry, the potatoes that we’re boiling over earlier, they survived:

IMG_0507

Dozey is enjoying her new counter top, ya;ll:

IMG_0468

Tater Tot Tacos

What is with Dozey’s shoe obsession lately?

Back when we had 36 tortillas to eat, we had to come up with some creative ideas. Now, I can’t take full credit for this particular item. We all have Taco Bell to thank for their Crispy Potato Soft Taco. (Wow, Taco Bell, I am impressed with your website)

They describe it as; “A warm, soft flour tortilla filled with crispy potato bites, pepper jack sauce, crisp shredded lettuce, and real cheddar cheese.”

Let us try to recreate this delicious masterpiece…

  • Warm…not so much
  • Soft flour tortilla…yes!
  • Crispy potato bites…I think that is just marketing language for tater tot, which we definitely have that on hand
  • Pepper jack sauce… don’t have any of this, but who likes condiments anyways? Not I!
  • Crisp shredded lettuce… more marketing terms, yes I have some damn lettuce
  • Real cheddar cheese… as apposed to fake? It’s cool, got that too. Although, Taco Bell, you piss me off with your cheese portions. You barely put any on this particular taco and sometimes none at all. When I ask for extra cheese, you charge me a dollar. Screw you and your cheese hoarding.

Let us also add some tomatoes on top because they’re gosh darn delicious.

This tater tot taco does not require many steps to create:

  • Preheat oven..that is the worst part
  • Bake tater tots…ok
  • Cut up tomatoes
  • Throw shit into tortilla
  • Eat it.

Trust me, it’s the best creation yet.

Cheesey Potato Haircuts

Budget Bytes is a great little site I like to use to aid in my cooking. It’s actually the only one I use. I like it because she breaks things down, uses pictures, and it looks like she has a sweet haircut.

I’ve made these twice baked potatoes a few times before, so you would think this time it would be smooth sailing.

Only after reading the directions do I have a few problems:

1. Sour cream, gross. How about a little milk instead? Joe said they were a little dry the last time when I didn’t use sour cream. But I don’t mind, because my taste buds are boring, remember?

2. 1.25 cups of cheese – there is no .25 on the measuring cup. How am I supposed to know what .25 is? (Oh, elementary school, right.) Joe informs me that it is 1/4 after I had guessed it was 1/2. More cheese, please!

3. The recipe is for 8 “halves” of potato, we only have 6. Fuck it, cheese it up.

Cat Pause (or paws):

4. You are to put the potatoes right onto the oven rack. This scares me. The oven is hot. I don’t want to touch the potatoes with the oven mit either – who knows what has been on that oven mit.

5. Twice baked potatoes. Keyword here, twice. I have to cook these shits, TWICE!? This boggles my mind. The first time around is long enough. An hour, really? Isn’t it okay to eat the potato “raw”? Why do you have to cook it for so long then? Not only that, but then I have to put it BACK into the oven for another 20 minutes? I have to do this after I have mixed in the broccoli and cheese – you know, when the mixture is good and yummy and you just want to eat it.

It felt like when you make cookies or a cake, and you just want to lick the bowl. But you’re not supposed to because apparently you will get sick. I just wanted to eat the potato mixture right then and there! (I totally had a few bites)

While mixing, I totally mixed it onto the counter and onto the floor. CASUALTY CHEESE, RESCUE IT!

To solve the sour creme issue, Joe starts pouring some milk in. I am so nervous that it’s going to be much. Us cats that can’t cook are no good at eyeballing shit.

In the end, they turned out pretty scrumptious and it was plenty of food to last us a few days, which I always like.

Thanks, budget bytes lady, and your sweet haircut.

Breakfast Potatoes #2

First, here is Dozey enjoying some chicken:

20120512-125949.jpg

We must be on a breakfast potato kick because we decided to try Ore Ida’s frozen bag of hash browns. I was laying in bed starving while Joe was snoring away. When I’m starving, I need my food and I need it now, no time to wait for crazy culinary tricks. I was really hoping Ore Ida would let me put their hash browns in the microwave.

I pull out the bag and start reading the directions “pre heat oven, mix this condiment and that condiment galore” I was like, Ore Ida say whaaa? Oh, that’s directions for some casserole, let’s turn the bag…

Here we go, frying pan, lid, oil, sweet… “flip do not stir” wtf how do you flip a pan filled with little tiny pieces without accidentally stirring it? This terrifies me. Well, as I was trying to flip I am sure I stirred instead. And your hash browns didn’t kill me, Ore Ida!

But I did start to freak out when some of them started crisping so I assumed that meant they were all done even though most of them were still white. Totally ate them anyways. A potato is a potato, son!

Another piece of the directions that pondered my brain. “Use a 12 inch skillet, for half a bag use 4 tbsp of oil, for the whole bag use some other number that I can’t remember”

1. I don’t have it memorized of what size my frying pan is
2. I have no idea how many potatoes are going to fit into this pan, I am assuming less then half a bag so I guess I’ll just go with 2 tbsp of oil. What’s annoying is that you can’t turn back. The oil is doing its job under the hash browns, that I have now used a half bag of. And there is no turning back, I need to get back under there and add more oil for my now half a bag, but that just ain’t gonna fly.

This “eye balling” shit involved with cooking does not go well with my brain activity, or lack there of.

Whatevs, my hash browns were good and Joe got potatoes in bed again.

20120512-125748.jpg