Venus Trapped in Mars

06 November 2014

Life Lessons Learned From Being A Terrible Cook

Cooking is hard.

Side note: this is not the point of this post, but do you ever wonder if you should have been the world's best at something you've never even tried? For example, you should have been an olympic curling champion (or what I like to call extreme mopping) but you never knew your calling was to slide a stone on some ice? Crazy, right? What if MJ had never picked up a basketball? 

Since I was first on my own as a college Freshman, I've lived off foods that came canned or in a frozen box, and can be fully prepared in a microwave. I've been under the impression that cereal is absolutely a sufficient meal option, and, well, peanut butter and jelly is my jam (hah).  But now that there is a boy in my life that doesn't see eye to eye with me on the topic that Lean Cuisines are a major food group, I've been trying to adapt. 

I go to his place, he handles dinner. He comes to mine, I handle dinner. Fair enough, right? 

Well, a couple of nights ago, I tried to make a lightened up breakfast pizza. The recipe called for a specific cheese. When I got to the grocery store, I found the cheese in the gourmet section where the man has to slice it for you. Then I saw the $18/pound price tag. I laughed out loud and picked up the $2.34 cheese located next to the greek yogurt instead. 

The recipe also called for something called Pancetta. I couldn't find that anywhere, so I googled "similar to pancetta" and bacon popped up on my screen. So I grabbed bacon. 
I have to google everything when I'm cooking. When something says saucepan, I google it to see if that is the shallow pan or the deep pan or god forbid a pan I don't have. I have ditched a considerable amount of recipes that call for supplies I don't have. A mortar and pestle??! The heck is this? 432 B.C.? Next recipe please, it is 2014 and we have people on the moon and junk. 

Oh, here is the recipe I'm working at, in case you were curious... 

So it says to crack eggs in all four corners of the pizza, then wrap the Pancetta (also known as bacon) around the eggs. I crack all four eggs and they start running all over the pizza, the pizza pan, my hands, the counter top, everywhere. I reach for the bacon as fast as I can and CB was like WAIT you can't put uncooked bacon on there you gotta cook it first.  

So as I have uncooked bacon in my hand, eggs running everywhere and a perfectly beautiful Pinterest picture to compare everything to... I naturally start crying and try and throw the whole thing away and run to my room depressed.... throwing myself on the bed face first and slamming the door behind me as hard as I can while yelling downstairs, "You never let me do anything fun, MOM!! EVERRRRR!!! THIS ISN'T FAIR!!!"

JK. I only teared up and tried to throw it away.  

Thankfully the wonderful boyfriend that I have calmly just cooked the bacon for me while I pouted, and placed it, slice by slice, on the egg splattered pizza for me.
And then we cooked it. And it was good. And I had it for lunch the next day too. 

It was really ugly. The egg was all over the place. The bacon got cooked. And the $2 cheese was fine.

I went to the grocery store yesterday and got all worked up again, gave up and left empty handed (well I did get some wine because I had already made the trip to Kroger and all...) because I couldn't figure out which steak option they had at Kroger was the rump steak. Is that like the strip steak? Is that the tenderloin steak? Is that a sirloin? Or would it just say RUMP STEAK on it?! I just have no idea what I'm doing. 

But in hindsight (or RUMPsight, if you will) I should have just stayed calm and picked one of the 58 steak options they had... 

..... because bacon and $2 cheese will turn out just fine. 
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38 comments :

  1. Next time? Look up meals you can cook in a crock pot. Google Crock Pot. Your life will never be the same and CB will be convinced you can cook.

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    1. I second this. You basically cannot mess up a slowcooker meal. You could probably put toenail clippings, dog hair, and orange juice in the slowcooker and it would turn out like a gourmet meal.

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  2. I get super confused about cuts of meat too. I DON'T GET IT. I just wing it most of the time.

    Sarah
    Midwest Darling

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  3. I get so frustrated cooking too! If the husband so much as makes a face while eating something I've made, I get upset. It's kinda ridiculous actually.

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  4. Ok this is hilarious. My bf and I moved in together a year ago, and he's a pretty good cook. I subsisted on lean cuisines most of my life. So, I've had numerous meltdowns in the kitchen as well!! I've learned a lot over the past year. David is always teaching me things like that too - cook the bacon first. LOL. I feel your pain.

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  5. okay so i looked at that recipe. it looks really hard. why don't you try emeals?! I made healthy butternut squash soup last night that was amaze balls and then the other day maple glazed pork (basically pork with apple, sweet potates and onion - low carb and only 2 tbs of olive oil in the whole thing!) It's $7 a month and has really really good recipes. I'm a huge advocate for them not only because my aunt helps develop the recipes (and shes one of the best cooks ever) but because I can actually make them and I feel like it's gourmet. okay i'll stop now bc this is the longest comment ever.

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  6. I don't know, I'm pretty good at cooking + that pizza looked a little tough, she used the word "simplicity" too many times for me to really believe her. But I definitely second the whole crock pot thing, especially anything you can "set + forget"

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  7. Hahaha. I have a love/hate relationship with recipes that have pictures. Love because it lets me see how mine is supposed to look. Hate because it never looks that good. lol. BOOOOOO.

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  8. This is so very much me! I am the same in that if I can't do something pretty much perfectly the first time I try I'm like "forget this!" and also in that I suck at cooking and cuts of meat thoroughly confuse me. My poor husband! Good things he's a great cook!

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  9. I know how you feel! First learning to cook sucks and everything takes forever because everything is new and has to be figured out. I feel like I'm starting to figure out a few things, but I also rarely cook anything fancy. Pancetta? No thanks. I'll have some cheese ravioli with "blush sauce" made by mixing white and red sauce together. Throw some shrimp in there, and it's practically gourmet!

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  10. Maybe you should get one of those dinner subscription boxes? They're not that expensive anymore, and everything comes prepped for you, you just need to cook it, basically.
    Personally, I'm an incredible chef, and I love it so much, so I'm always confused at people who can't cook (hello from my high horse!). But I totally feel the beginning of this post, because I'm pretty sure I could kill it on Top Chef haha

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  11. We have Dillon's not Kroger, but they're pretty much the same thing, and the meat department people are the NICEST. Seriously, just ask next time.

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  12. I always like when mistakes still turn out delicious. Trust me we've made some DOOZIES at my house. I remember once my hubby was trying to make chili and he grabbed what he thought was chili powder, and it was cinnamon. THANKFULLY he hadn't stirred it up yet, the result, a sweeter version of chili, no harm no foul. No really there was no chicken in that chili. Thank you, I"ll be here all night. ;)

    I think yours looks better - if I could sneak some egg into my pizza I'd be over the moon but my husband HATES eggs, he'd take one look at the original recipe link and gag. I however would love to try it, maybe I'll make a personal pan pizza like that. Thank you for always sharing ALL Your adventures!!! Keep up the cooking, it gets easier, once you realize it's more about applications (how to make certain things) vs. an exact recipe you'll do fine. You'll start to trust yourself and make up your own shizz a long the way. I didn't learn to cook until I was at least your age.. many moons later I feel semi pro. I'm like part of the feeder team for the World Chef League (not a real thing).

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  13. Here's my thing with cooking.. I do enjoy it and I'm mostly good at it but I normally don't attempt things that are very hard. I'll usually look a recipe and if it uses more than 8 ingredients or has more than like 12 steps I'm out. It keeps things mostly simple. I might go onto my Pinterest and move some of my tried and true recipes onto a separate board and then you should check them out! I'm all for easy :) Also, lucky you that your boy cooks.. if I'm at Brian's it's takeout ha.

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  14. Oh dear lord girl!!! I feel you, I try to be all domesticated and then fail. And when I fail, I get upset and then then whole thing just sucks. Just start small, make recipes that seem easy to make and build up to the harder ones. Hang in there girl plus you have a pretty awesome boyfriend to help you.

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  15. Im currently going through this with my new beau! He's all like a chef every time I go to his house and then when its time for me to provide dinner I just hand him a bunch of menus :( lol

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  16. I blame Pinterest for ruining the standards of what good food is... It's totally their fault that it seems like normal people can't cook because we have Martha Stewarts running around posting pictures of everything delicious and beautiful. End rant. I actually love Pinterest and I'm going on it right now.

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  17. HAHAHA rumpsight. You kill me. Totes understand about recipes these days...I feel like they either have 4 ingredients and I'm all "okay, I think I can handle a little more skill than just opening a can" or they require 14 different utensils. It's a fun game to play at night at the Walker house. Usually involves me drinking a lot of wine. Keep on trying, sister! You'll have lots of wins and sadly, lots of fails, too, but it's the process that's the fun part.

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  18. for future reference-- pancetta is probably closest to prosciutto which you should know as its a common ingredient at gourmet pizza shops :) Basically thin meat thats been cured in salt and smoked and so it's safe to eat.

    also hate the recipes like that which look relatively easy (only a couple steps) but require things that make it far from budget friendly!

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  19. I love reading your posts, you are hilarious! But I feel the same way about cooking...I googled exactly what 1 clove of garlic was yesterday because..yikes.

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  20. I find that Pinterest recipes almost never turn out looking the way they do in the pictures online. But I also find that making the recipe my own sometimes make them that much better. It is easy to get discouraged when it doesn't turn out just right... but as long as it tastes good that is all that matters!! Sounds like yours tasted delicious so that is always good!! Also, crock pot recipes are definitely the best... throw everything in the crock pot in the morning and by dinner you have a delicious home cooked meal!

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  21. You crack me up!

    Sounds like you're putting too much pressure on yourself when it comes to cooking. It's supposed to be fun. Just relax, drink some wine, and see what happens.

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  22. Your pizza looks good. It just take time and pratice. You will get the hang of it. If the food turn out bad order take out and feed the dogs the food. At least that what I do. Also figure out how you can make it better next time. When I got married we ate the same meal. Now I try new recipe out all the time.

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  23. And this woman has the nerve to call it simple ingredients, maybe if you live in Italy you might have pancetta and gruyere laying around to whip this pizza up (the end result looks yummy though).

    You know what you can try that is awesome (and you already have tons of experience with it) ramen noodles with extra stuff, add some veggies, some shrimp or meat, egg and they will come out delish (Pinterest, as usual, has tons of recipes). despite the fact that they have your monthly sodium allowance in one package it will be delicious, or you can create your own flavoring.

    Natalia

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  24. I have no idea what a rump steak is... but I know my mom used to cook something called a rump roast? Wondering if it's the same thing. It looked like a big pot roast

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  25. Love it! Damn Pinterest, it gives you false hope that you can cook. I like the "cooking" where all I have to do is assemble things ;) I also love cooking as a team, better than me being the solo chef - cause if it tastes bad, we're both to blame! This one looks doable...I might even try... xoxo, ganeeban

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  26. Oh goodness, Pinterest recipes have definitely caused some tears on my end. They just make it seem so easy! But I would definitely try going for pasta recipes, because in general they are pretty easy to make, and can be made in large helpings for leftovers! And honestly, who doesn't love some yummy pasta!

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  27. Yes! Finally someone who lacks the cooking gene as much as I do! I legit need to buy a crockpot and just call it good!

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  28. Echoing the crock pot suggestion. You literally throw things in a pot and dinner is done in like 3-12 hours. I am so confused by weird cheeses and meats, so I avoid recipes that contain words I don't recognize. Or I google for recipes of the same meal, but with simpler ingredients and instructions. Less pinterest-y, but still pinterest inspired.

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  29. I am the same! I have no idea how to cook meat.. and i'm 24. Or what kind of meat to pick out. Usually I ask a mom / manly bearded type in the grocery store..

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  30. This is hilarious and SO me! Basically, I can make different variations of eggs and that's about it:) Luckily my husband likes to cook or I don't know what I would do. This looks like it turned out really well, though! Anything with eggs and bacon is delicious:)

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  31. If you're looking for healthier pretty simple meals...Cooking Light's Fresh Food Fast cookbooks are great. Each recipe uses probably no more than 12 ingredients with some of those just being spices, salt & pepper etc...stuff you should have on hand already. Skinnytaste.com is really good for healthy meals too, but some of her recipes are a little more involved. If I could give any advice it'd be to not do recipes found on Pinterest if you're not that great in the kitchen yet. A lot of the stuff found on there is written poorly, and basically the recipes just aren't that good. (this doesn't stop me from pinning everything that looks delicious though!) You should get you a really good cookbook like the Cooking Light one or one that focuses more on the cooking directions with lots of pictures. Although her recipes aren't all that healthy, the Pioneer Woman's cookbook/website seems to really gear toward those that need a lot more help with the step by step stuff. Oh, and I second everybody that says to get a crockpot! Hope this helps!

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  32. I love my slow cooker I often cook roasts in it the meat is always so tender it falls off the bone

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  33. I'm so glad I'm not the only learning-to-cook-but-getting-burned blogger out there! I SUCK at it. Like burnt toast and gross Ramen kind of bad.

    Beth at www.littleworldcalledwonderland.blogspot.com

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  34. Hahaha word! Thanks to Pinterest everyone has bloated expectations- including myself and my endeavors are rarely photo worthy! lol

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  35. I've done the whole homemade-breakfast-pizza thing and while I love everything about combining pizza and breakfast...the egg piece always throws me for a loop. The results are guaranteed to be ugly...though everything usually tastes just fine. We have to kick Pinterest to the curb and get over insisting on "pretty" food.

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  36. I am CRAZY behind on reading blog posts. #1...good job at cooking #2 THERE IS A BOY?!?!?! WOOHOO!!!!

    -AJ

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  37. I'm an absolute fiend for cooking. It's my love language if you will. I wish I had realized that I loved it this much a few years ago. Maybe I would have gone to school for it.

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