“I think I’ll pass”

My goal for June is to cook a recipe a day (“cook” is a loose term here).  More specifically, “a new recipe I’ve never tried before” per day.  To give a little background on my cooking skills – I would say pre-marriage I really couldn’t cook much of anything.  I come from a family where going out to eat for most meals is the norm, and the years I spent living by myself had a very skinny menu of items I would ever prep myself (i.e. “kid food” like spaghetti, mac and cheese, grilled cheese).  My mom thinks making toast is cooking and I can’t say my mindset was every really any different.  I think I may have advanced to a piece of grilled chicken somewhere during the time I lived alone.  Once married and now owner of new appliances, my cooking skills expanded and I’d say there’s 10-15 dishes I feel pretty comfortable making (all healthy) and I have 3 years worth of 5 course dinners (including prime rib!) that I’ve done for a family Christmas.  So I can make a perfect prime rib (even though I gave up red meat and no longer eat it) but I don’t own a toaster, toaster oven, or mixer and I’ve never baked a pie or cake.  So….that’s what we’re working with here people.  Let June begin.

June 1Avocado Cilantro Lime Rice

I was still coming off the exhaustion from having done 30 days of handwritten letters along with the detailed blog posts of those peeps so the prep I normally do the week before a goal was non-existent.  Lack of prep when you’re doing a recipe a day that requires instructions and certain foods is not a good mix.  I literally found the recipe I would cook late on May 31 via Pinterest when I looked at some of the pictures I had “liked” before.  I figured it was an easy side dish that didn’t require too many ingredients or time and would leave us with leftovers we’d want to actually eat.  So after a full day of work, a spinning class, and a stop at the grocery…I was “cooking” way later than I desired.  I’ll just jump to the end.  It was gross.  Here’s what was supposed to happen and what actually did….

-2 avocados – I only used 1 because they weren’t even close to ripe and it took me + my husband + a steak knife to get anything out of the center

-brown rice

-cilantro

-lime juice

-cumin

-garlic

Yeah, a whopping 6 simple ingredients and I messed it up.  I actually did what I was supposed to but there’s really no hope for an unripe avocado.  I even tried microwaving it.  That resulted in lukewarm avocado chunks mixed into some rice with way too much lime juice.

Measurements aren’t even important to share here.  #fail.

It may look okay in this picture, but trust me, it wasn’t

rice ingredients

rice

June 2 Overnight Oatmeal

After last nights failure and while surrounded by a handful of dishes I had made dirty already, I decided I would “get ahead of the game” and go ahead and do my recipe for today.  This was another Pinterest find that would only require mostly ingredients we already have (because unlike Rachel Ray, we don’t all have pantry items on stand-by that would make amazing meals.  Unless you like oatmeal with protein powder because always have both on hand).  Anyway, I thought it would be genius to do an overnight crockpot meal so that my evening would be free on Tuesday night.  When Chris saw the ingredients sitting out he said “oh, can I have some of this tomorrow?” and I say “of course.”  I was both overly confident and flattered that on day 2 I already had guests to this recipe party.  So after the avocado failure, I put these items together for what was supposed to be the sweet dish that would cause us to wake up to the smell of apple cinnamon….

-2 sliced apples (if anyone knows how to cut an apple that leaves you with slices without skin….I’d like to hear)

-Cinnamon (no official measurement)

-2 cups of quick oats

-I think it was 1/2 or 1/3 cup of brown sugar (I used the splenda kind to cut back on the actual sugar itself even though I have eliminated artificial sweeteners at least for my recipes at home so it pained me a bit to buy it)

oatmeal ingredients

The directions say not to stir.  You put it in the crockpot for 8-9 hours.  It was going to cook overnight.  It was essentially going to be magic.

I head downstairs the next morning at 6:30am with Chris right behind me.  I remove the lid from the crockpot, we both peer over, and this is what I find….

oatmeal

Chris simply says “I think I’ll pass.”

This oatmeal leaves me with more questions than answers.  Why is it green?  Why did it taste like paste?  Why did I still try it?  Why did I put it in a container and put it in the fridge like anyone was ever going to eat it again?  Why was it hard as a rock before even going in the refrigerator?

Tip (as if you want to take my opinion now) I learned from my BFF:  Use crockpot bag liners.  Clean up is SUPER easy that way (even though Chris thinks we’re going to die from eating something that’s cooked in a bag like that).  We’re probably more likely to die from the actual green oatmeal itself than anything else at this point.

June 3:  Mini Quiche

3 days in and the last thing I feel like doing is cooking and I’m now semi-dreading the month ahead.  I’ve been tired this week, unprepared, trying to workout after work with lingering grocery needs, and obviously having bad karma per Chris who says its because I laughed at (“with” not “at”) Angela when it literally took her until the last day of May to get her garden bed built on her gardening goal last month due to random circumstances out of her control.  I decided I needed to attempt to get a little more focused today or else I’d waste a lot of food and time on these so-called “easy” recipes like day 1 and 2.  I opt for mini quiches (is “quiches” a word?) making for possibly the first time I’ve ever used our muffin pan.  Here’s what went into it…

-6 organic eggs

-1/4 c heavy whipping cream

-1/8 c organic milk

-parsely (just sprinkled in until it looked pretty)

-organic broccoli (bought a frozen bag, heated it for a few minutes, chopped some up and added until it looked like enough)

-a few handfuls of shredded organic cheese

Clearly I follow measurements.

They turned out perfect!  They even came out of the muffin pan perfect!  ::thank you, thank you::

It was so late by the time they were done I didn’t eat one and I walked out the door the next day forgetting I had them.  Chris said he ate 2 and they were great.  I have redeemed myself!  I shall have my own cooking show by next week!

quiche ingredients

quiche prep

quiche

June 4Homemade Granola Bars, aka Granola Balls, aka Hippy Snacks

Thursday and I’m still unprepared.  My interest in prepping for this goal has been way less than the other months.  I think my focus has just been on other things or I’m just tired.  Let’s get real….a new goal per month that you do everyday brings highs and lows of interest and energy.  But, I made the commitment so I’m riding the mini quiche high and diving in again today.  At 5pm as I was shutting down at work I was simultaneously looking up homemade granola bars on my phone – thinking I could make a snack that would last for days vs a dinner meal that I would likely be starving by the time it was done anyway.  While these were found under the name “homemade granola bars,” the picture looked more like a reese cup shape, and then I opted to just make them into balls.  Here’s what’s in these little hippy-type snacks…

-2 smashed bananas (It said overly ripe organic bananas.  I ate organic for the month of April and even said in my “10 things I’ve learned…” post that you can’t buy an organic banana that’s not already rotten, and here I am the day of this recipe and all the organic bananas are still semi-green.  Figures).

-1 cup organic oats

-2 large spoonfuls of organic peanut butter

-a few blobs of organic blue agave (“blob” is an official measurement)

-a few pinches of chia seeds (giving them my “hippy” flare/an ingredient I chose to add because I’m cool like that)

-more than what I was supposed to add of semi-sweet chocolate chips

-dried orange cranberries (it said cranberries but I love this kind from Trader Joes)

-1.5 tbsp of cocoa which was supposed to be 2-4 tsp but I messed up

Smash or put into balls or do whatever – but whatever form they’re in, put in the freezer for 1 hour.  That is where they are currently residing but I have to believe they will taste good when we take them out.  Here’s to hoping.

hippy snack ingredients

hippy snack

Tomorrow is Friday and I have nothing in the hopper for what to make yet but I do know this weekend I will need to prep a bit more.  My plan is to make a wide variety – some easy things and some hard things throughout the month.  I also would like to bake a pie or cake since I’ve never done that before.  Stay tuned.