I’m Not A Bad Cook: Cooking Challenge Day 1

Hey Guys!

So for the next couple of weeks (really until November), I will be taking over this blog site for Mom as she is off busy being awesome. Now since I have never blogged before, I was not sure where to start. So I decided the simplest solution was to challenge myself on something and write about it here. (mind blowing, right? totally original.) Up First: cooking challenge.

Now I want to clear the air here and say, I am not a “Bad” cook. So no thinking that I can’t mix and measure with the best of them. I just don’t cook. I never held more than a mere where-is-the-milk-for-my-cereal interest, until I struck out on my own (with husband in tow) and discovered the true dire necessity of knowing how to cook. Because being able to prepare deliciously nutritious meals on a nightly bases is like Survival Level needed. ‘Cause let’s be honest here, Fast-food…looks good on no one’s thighs.

Hence, when my husband and I moved in with my parents for the year, I put myself into what I refer to as, “Housewife Training.” I being Murphy’s Law (if it could happen, it’s going to happen to me, sort of thing) look to my mother the Queen of Keeping-it-Together for guidance in these matters and she has proved to be the wisest of all councils.

Now as I make this transition from catastrophe to composed, the rest of the family has been faced with a challenge themselves. For instance, due to my inexperience in the culinary arts, I tend to use way too many dishes and utensils and so the workload for the clean-up crew has definitely doubled! Therefore, I want to take this moment to say a really big, “I Love You!” to my family for understanding that my GPA has no bearing what so ever on my level of common sense. But I Digress.

For this week, I am cooking from a cookbook that Mom and I found at Target called Skinny Taste by Gina Homolka. She is a blogger at SkinnyTaste.com. I am going to be honest here and say that I have never been to her blog site, but the pictures in her book were absolutely mouthwatering and she had all my favorites there (made healthy!). So I knew we had to try it out.

The first meal I made was the Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Pesto Mayo (p.95 in the cookbook).

sandwich 1

Not the most ambitious recipe, but the sandwich came together perfectly (Yum!) and was a good start for a novice. The recipe went just as the name implies: grill the veggies, toast the bread, make the fancy mayo, slap it together and “Pesto!” (see what I did there–punny) you’re a sandwich prodigy.

For my husband, who has yet to be convinced that “Veggies alone, a meal do make,” I made a ham, tomato, pesto mayo, and provolone melt, which seemed to be edible, seeing as there was none left when he left.

Along with our sandwich, we toasted some sparkling caramel apple juice (Delicious!) in honor of the first Autumn chill. Which is when my world traveling parents informed me that the correct way to toast, as they do in Europe, is to simply raise your glass to each other, rather than clinking the two glasses together.  To which I smartly replied, “Well, I’m American.”

And on that note, I loudly and proudly clink my glass to you in honor of a first post and a first meal completed.

Until next time,


4 thoughts on “I’m Not A Bad Cook: Cooking Challenge Day 1

  1. Hello Catie!
    It’s nice to “meet” you. I grew up with your mom in Vicksburg, playing basketball, etc.
    Its funny – just the other day I remembered these scrumptious breakfast crepes I had at your grandmother’s house, after a Halloween sleep-over (Mimi, do you remember our Halloween raggedy Ann and Andy garb??). I am from a cooking family if many generations, but I had never tasted such glorious “French” food. Ha. I was quite intrigued by the wafer thin crepes.
    Cooking I feel was always best categorized by Julia Child. She knew how to have fun cooking. There are some basics to get out of the way before one can relax and enjoy – if you’ve ever taken piano lessons, it was like that for me. Once I got a few techniques down (eg measuring dry vs wet, or understanding binders and fat) I would try anything. Don’t let any cook kid you – years of experience have absolutely no bearing on the goof up category. No matter how many Thanksgiving pecan pies one makes, it is still possible to make one and leave out the pecans…😌 or my favorite goof – a homemade coconut cake with double the butter (I syccinctly after that goof, to hand write in my cookbook, that the recipe calls for 2 sticks of butter and not 1 cup). I had in my head somehow converted 1 cup TWICE from 2 sticks, to four! You ask how…I was simply doing too many things and put in 2 sticks…then another 2, completely not thinking. What a glorious cake that became a laughable disaster. To add injury to my own insult we did not discover the good until we unfolded the layers and looked at the extremely greasy surface. It actually looked ok otherwise…and yes, I did also taste it! If I’m going to good, let’s go all the way.
    But no one goofs like Julia Child. In a tv show somewhere on film is a show where she is cooking a chicken hen. After the cooking time, and I can’t remember why, she was so unpleased with the result that she promptly, and quite UNapologetically dumped the entire hen in the side bin trash next to the TV set presentation area. I remember my mouth dropping open in aghast at what I had witnessed on PBS. The shot is etched in my memory. Julia made French cooking accessible – yes, but she also made trying a fearless endeavor.
    So what if something isn’t right? I have 2 recipes completely discovered by accident because something was missing in my pantry and I had a last minute substitution. One involved a very early – wee Christmas morning explosion (a brand new, large Lea Perrin’s Worcestershire bottle) on the freshly cleaned floor. It was so bad, I laughed in hysterics. I never knew my entire kitchen would be covered – including the ceiling.
    So to tie all this in the subject of blogging, I never gave it much thought, thinking that blogging = sharing of ideas and experiences. I’m sure I’m not doing much service to the subject however with that viewpoint. But there I go, just wrecklessly diving in…again. Maybe that’s what I like. I’m usually so conservative, that this is where I let go I guess. I’ve already done the deed I’m about to share, the sharing itself is almost cathartic??

  2. What a clever way to disguise your gratitude to your parents, Catie. But some of us see your challenge for what it is: to give your mom a welcomed respite from the drudgery of not only planning but also preparing meals. I just wonder who comprises the clean-up crew!
    Mimi was most definitely bragging on you tonight! Love the blog…


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