Thursday, August 22, 2013

adventures in cooking.

ahhh cooking.  i'm doing some cooking.  it's going okay.  here's the thing: i used to like making elaborate new things.  but money is tight [not like, omg we can't pay bills tight, but more like, oh let's not shop at whole foods and spend $1,000,000 on groceries tight] and scott does not have very adventorous tastes.  plus, i'm busy.  these factors have all contributed to my kitchen being a little.... boring.

okay, let's be real, it's mostly scott's lack of adventorous tastes that's driving this.  everyone shake a finger at scott and tell him to start eating more vegetables.  and fish.  and beans.  so, it's hard to make food that is simultaneously healthy and interesting and meets scott's culinary tastes.  thus, our average meals tend to be baked chicken, rice/pasta, and a side of steamed green beans for him + a side of steamed whatever type of vegetable i feel like.  or a casserole.  there are a handful of veggies i can sneak into casseroles without getting into trouble, so i go that route sometimes too.

speaking of casseroles, i recently made a major life discovery.  this will PROBABLY not be new news to any of you, but i learned that you can put rice, water, a can of cream of soup, and chicken into the oven and out will pop a casserole.  let me rephrase that.  you can put UNCOOKED rice and UNCOOKED chicken, in a casserole dish, with water/cream of whatever, and the rice and chicken will come out done.  MIND. BLOWN.  [thank you campbell's for teaching me new things.]

okay, i knew you could put raw chicken in the oven and it would come out baked, duh.  but i seriously just never knew i could BAKE my rice like that.  do you know how much time that saves? am i the only person on the planet who was unaware of this magic?

unless of course, you leave your husband in charge of the baking part.  i made the above-linked recipe on tuesday, and i pre-made it at home before i left for spin class.  i told scott to bake it covered at 375 for 45 minutes.  when i got home, it was just about ready to come out of the oven.  perfect.  i had time to shower real quick and then get dinner on the table.  except the rice was only sort of done.  parts were fine, but parts were still a bit crunchy.  [luckily, the chicken was plenty cooked].  so while we are eating our half-cooked dinner i remark that i guess it needs more than 45 minutes, maybe i needed to use a shallower dish or something.  and scott goes, "well, did i need to pre-heat the oven first, and then bake it for 45 minutes?" ...uhhh, how ELSE would you interpret "bake at 375 for 45 minutes"!?!?!?  apparently, he turned on the oven, put in the casserole, and set the timer simultaneously, rather than letting the oven preheat..  no, dearest husband, that is not correct.  LE SIGH.

luckily, this was easily remedied by an additional 5-10 minutes in the oven.  the casserole was much less soupy and the rice cooked quite nicely.  but y'all, be careful when you instruct your kitchen-illiterate husbands [or wives or friends] to help with dinner.

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