Follow my journey as I attempt to learn to cook give a shit about cooking.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cornbread....ain't nothin wrong with that!

 After another weekend of slacking (oh, and Mike cooked the other day, too), I got back on the cooking thing tonight.  Mostly because I had pork chops in the fridge and wanted to fix them before they went rancid and I had to throw them out.  (This happens with obnoxious frequency in our house.)

The problem really was that I find it impossible to have pork chops without cornbread.  And in our household, there is no such thing as "leftover" cornbread.  (I cheat and use the Jiffy mix. 50 cents and dump the box in a bowl, add egg and milk.  Love it.)  However, today is day four in our household attempt to cut back on calories and lose a few pounds.  So you can see the problem.  Devouring a pan of cornbread is not really "cutting back" on calories. 

But I had the pork chops, so I went ahead to fix them.  And the genius thing was I actually attempted to plan ahead to have the whole meal done at ONE TIME.  A complete  meal, not just cereal and milk.  So I mixed and baked the cornbread, then cooked the chops, and then even made some wilted spinach to go with it.  Greens just seemed to "fit" the whole southern meal thing.  They don't have collards up this far north, so we went with spinach.  Honestly, I love spinach raw.  Cooked however, it's not my favorite.  I was explaining to Mike over dinner how I believe my dislike over cooked greens comes from elementary school.  They always seemed to serve "mixed greens" on the same day or the day after they cut the grass outside.  I know, I know, it was just coincidence.  But can you see a difference between a cafeteria serving of heated, previously frozen "mixed greens" and an ice-cream scoop of cooked, chopped up grass?  I can't.  Ick.

I cooked the spinach too soon, so it was tepid by the time the chops were cooked through, but still, progress on the whole planning a complete meal, getting it to the table at the same time thing.  And the cornbread....mmmmmmm.

(Bonus points for anyone who knows where the title comes from.)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Celebrity Chef!

Mike and I have recently discovered The Biggest Loser.  I know, I know, we're like a decade late to just be watching this, but realize that we didn't have access to television for years, and in the "early years" of the internet, there was no Hulu.  However, while we may not have cable again, we do have Netflix (hallelujah).  We're on Season 2 right now, and in one episode one of the players did a whole bunch of milkshake shots in order to have a celebrity chef for a week.  All I kept saying as we watched this was that I would do a whoooooole lotta milkshake shots for that. 

Fast forward to today. We were planning to go to the store, but I didn't have much on the grocery list.  Or rather, I didn't have anything, which is unusual.  I keep a running list for whenever I'm out of something, and in the last few days, I haven't run out of anything.  So what to buy? Ugh, that means menu planning.

I've recently just finished The Help, so I've been craving some hometown Southern stuff-- pork chops especially.  Beyond that, I got nothing.  This is not surprising.  But something surprising did happen: Mike started planning what to fix! So maybe I'll get my famous (local) celebrity chef after all?

However, we didn't head out for the store until around 5: when we normally are getting ready to eat dinner.  And I don't do well when hungry. Quite frankly, I turn into a nasty bitch.  So while we were at the store I asked what we were doing tonight, and Mike said he was planning on a chicken and pesto dish.  Now first of all, I'm already hungry, and cooking chicken and assembling all of this will probably take around 30 minutes or so after we get home.  Second, I don't really like pesto.  I mean, it's okay, but considering the sheer amount of oil needed to make a sauce of ground up basil and pine nuts, the calories are not worth it for something that is just "okay."  So we had nachos for "dinner."  Not exactly a good choice calorie wise either, but cheese trumps pesto for me every time.  Mmmm. Cheese.

Oh, and last night we went out for pizza.  Was awesome.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I know that this blog is supposed to help me learn to care about cooking.  But tonight my Dear Dear Mother in Law came over to watch the little one, and she brought along a rotisserie chicken and fresh veggies.  All I had to do was scrub & peel some potatoes.

Awesome.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Further Winning

Last night was awesome.  I made homemade mac n cheese (because we've been watching The Biggest Loser on Netflix, and for someone in Season one (yes, I know, we're seriously behind) their big "comfort food" was mac n cheese, and I kept seeing the bowl of it in their cooler thing behind the table where they have elimination meetings.  (Is it just me or is calling it "eliminations" on a show about dieting just a little on the icky side? Maybe it's just me...) 

I have a recipe for my friend Susan's fabulous mac n cheese, I am unable to replicate it so it comes out tasting like hers (Despite years of attempts), but this time it didn't come out half bad (but still not as good as hers!)  I made a half recipe, because The Little One will not touch homemade mac n cheese, and even baked it in this nifty pottery crock I bought years ago and rarely use.  Not only did it come out good (and not burned), but I made JUST ENOUGH so we ate it all and there were no leftovers!  I made a box of mac n cheese for the kiddo (because four year olds like the powdered cheese crap.  I remember liking the stuff, but it tastes like dog food to me now.  Not that I've ever eaten dog food.)

And today was even better. Mike suggested that burgers on the grill sounded nice since we were having unseasonably warm weather, but instead of going to the store to get the stuff to make it, he showed up at home and took us to Five Guys, instead.

Mmmmmm.