Cooking: To Boldly Go Where My Dad Never Went Before

Holy cow!  I’m freaking out!

I promised my wife I would cook dinner once this week and today’s the big day!  This is way harder than my wife makes it look.   I will only have one hour between when I get home from work and when my wife needs to take Ella to her preschool activity.  My wife suggested I just forget about it since it would be so rushed, but I told her I really wanted to do this.  So I began my quest.

First, I had to find a recipe.   I appreciated everyone who left a comment on my previous post, the chicken sounded good, but it called for eight, and I’m only cooking for two and right now I don’t understand how to cut recipes in half.  My wife made the stir fry with soy sauce yesterday, so that was out.  And as far as being able to create as I go, I’m not quite there yet, like, at all.

A lot of the recipes I found online called for making your own pasta sauce from scratch the night before and cooking it for six hours or something like that, or they wanted me to use ingredients I have never heard of.  Seeing ingredients like evaporated milk gave me flashbacks to my high school chemistry class.   I needed the perfect recipe that called for ingredients I knew, that was for about two people and that wouldn’t take too long to make.

For my debut, after three hours of searching online, I found a honey mustard chicken recipe that sounded about right.  Now I understand why mom blogs are always sharing recipes…

Next, I had to make a trip to the store.  Planning a meal takes so much forethought.  You definitely shouldn’t wait until the night before to find a recipe (like me).  I made a just before midnight run to Giant Eagle to pick up two things, Grey Poupon savory honey mustard and Kraft Zesty Italian dressing.  Before, when my wife would complain about the store not having the one thing that she needed, I didn’t really understand.  Now I do.   After investing so much time searching for just the right recipe,  and going to the store with only that one bullet, I was so frustrated to find they were out.  I stood there, in the mustard aisle, I never knew there were so many different kinds of mustard.  Creamy, yellow, dijon, savory, sweet, brown, spicy, honey mustard…I’m not comfortable deviating from the recipe at all yet, so I was nervous to pick out a replacement for the honey mustard.   But, I wasn’t about to go back to looking for a recipe so I found some other foreign sounding mustard that said something about honey and crossed my fingers.

Still sticking to the brand names suggested by the website, I made sure to specifically get the Kraft Zesty Italian dressing.  I’m sure the two bottles of zesty garlic Italian dressings we have at home would screw the flavor up.  And ever since I attempted a chicken casserole  a few years ago that ended up being more of a mayonnaise casserole, I’ve been worried about how things will taste.

Oh man, I was feeling pretty good until it hit me that I needed sides.  Here’s where I’m getting bold.  I’m going to cook Couscous.  I’ve heard a lot about this, but have never had it.  The instructions on the back of the box seemed easy enough so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

My eyes fixed on a bag of frozen green beans that said “Microwavable” in bright lettering.  Immediately I thought, “I like that” and picked it up for a vegetable.

So, today’s the big day.  I picked up a little something to help me be at the top of my game.

There were lots of opportunities to give up, to throw in the towel.  Reasons my wife would have understood, but I am committed to doing what I promised.  Wish me luck!


3 Replies to “Cooking: To Boldly Go Where My Dad Never Went Before”

  1. I was actually unaware that my comment posted, as I tried four times and each time my browser seemed to freeze.

    As for my recipe, you need not divide the recipe at all, just make up the breadcrumb coating w/ the quantities I suggest, use what you need on the number of breasts you are cooking and baggy up the rest for future use, (or easy disposal if you don’t like it!).

    One recipe website I like is, as it has the great feature that allows you to change the number of servings on a recipe, click a button and have the amounts of ingredients automatically adjusted.

    As for being creative, for me its just about thinking about how something tastes and how it would go with the other ingredients. And if its something you’ve never used before, taste a little first.

    I doubt you’ll need it, as I’m sure you’ll do a brilliant job, but good luck!


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