Perishables will be the death of me.

10 Nov

I like food that you can stick in the cabinet and forget about and rediscover it 3 months later. I don’t do well with vegetables of any kind that aren’t frozen or canned. It is the usual case that I don’t have anything that can’t feed me while I survive a nuclear holocaust in a bunker.

But today, I have so many things I have to put in my belly before they go bad:

  • yogurt
  • spinach and mixed greens salad
  • my leftover steak and mashed potatoes from Applebee’s (which might have already turned)
  • a tomato
  • a buch of carrots

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Yogurt is really gross when you think about it for too long.

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At long last…

9 Nov

I did it. This is a huge milestone for me. I actually planned, prepared, and cooked my first real dinner in a very, very long time. Thank you for your applause. You’re all too kind.

From my humble beginnings of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (on a good day), I present to you: Asian Stir Fry.

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Gettin’ them veggies hot. Looks like some carrots, celery, red bell peppers, green peppers, green bean like things, and something purple. I don’t know, it came all mixed up in a plastic container from the grocery store. I ain’t that good yet.

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After lots of stirring, added chicken I traded my roommate for and copious amounts of teriyaki sauce.

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More stirring, added rice. Set aside to cook and get super yummy.

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Got so excited to eat it I completely forgot to take a picture. Instead, have a picture of what I didn’t finish. I had plenty of leftovers. If anyone doesn’t like the taste of undercooked rice or pasta, they probably shouldn’t ever let me cook for them. So the rice, as usual, was a little raw. Patience will never be a virtue of mine. But goodness, it was delicious. I didn’t want to stop eating, I just couldn’t fit anymore in my belly.

I think I’m finally starting to gain back the weight I lost after coming to school post three-square-meals-a-day-plus-dessert-for-free camp. Big Don’s Hawaiian pizza will always have a place in my heart.

My first attempt at a real dinner…

7 Nov

was an absolute flop. I decided while on the shuttle bus ride back to my apartment that I would cook my first real dinner tonight. I was still hyped up on Red Bull from my study session and productivity high at the library and thought I felt up to the challenge. I opened up my new-found allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner iPhone app and found an easy recipe to which I had all of the needed ingredients. I was getting all excited for my Asian Stir Fry that I was confident I wouldn’t mess up that by the time I burst through my apartment door. I was rarin’ to go and bust some grease in the kitchen.

I confidently exclaimed to my roommates and their present significant others that tonight was the night. I was going to cook my first real evening meal. Their shocked gasps filled the room as they made way for me in the land of stovetops and laminate flooring. I ripped open the fridge with determination and gusto…

and then I realized. Everything I needed; the chicken, the stir fry vegetables, the seasonings, were all in the freezer. Frozen. Moreover, the chicken was pre-flavored – I could choose from Italian or Garlic and White Wine, neither of which sound very Asian. My plans were unraveling in front of me as the cold mist poured from the open freezer cavity.

I learned an important lesson in cooking today. Planning.

In the meantime, as I try and mop up the puddle of my broken motivation off the floor, I am reminded of why I’m doing this. I’m saving money for my semester abroad. I’m so excited to get there by (partially) my own means – and my friends are all beginning to feel the excitement as well. My friend Lydia just started her own blog, which you should immediately leave my sad-excuse-for-a-cook self to go check out.

My replacement dinner – Mrs. Budds Chicken Pot Pie – is in the oven.

The Egginbagel Returns Part 2

6 Nov

I would like to think that in this battle of easy cooking meals, I was the clear victor, but it’s highly debatable and will probably have to be settled by a vote, and on Election Day here in the US I don’t think there’s enough time to add it to the ballot. So for now, I think it will stay an undecided contest between friendly and amiable nations.

I mean, look at this colossal improvement on my part:

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Even though it’s not all entirely on the bagel, I’ve at least let it cook before attempting to flip it. My patience is improving, but isn’t entirely perfect – considering upon eating this I really didn’t think the yolk was cooked all the way through. Hell, I eat cookie dough, I wasn’t too concerned about finishing my Egginbagel on account of a little runny egg. But it’s still something I could probably continue working on.

BUT SEE HOW FANCY IT LOOKS:

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I put a slice of Cabot Cheddar Cheese on top, along with some sliced tomatoes (as Pingu did!) and a dash of sea salt from the grinder.

Add a little bit of Instagram, and wait for it…

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A big thank you to Pingu for giving me the idea to revisit this and give it another shot! I hope she and others continue to call me out on my crap and challenge me to do better. It’s SO EARLY IN THE MORNING. So thanks for also getting me out of bed today, because that’s debatable enough as it is.

The Egginbagel Returns Part 1

5 Nov

Pingu, my good friend from summer camp, one-upped my Egginbagel. She put this picture on my Facebook wall this afternoon:

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How good does that look?! The egg isn’t everywhere and there are even sliced tomatoes all fanned out on the plate. That’s some fancy breakfast, and it’s practically incomparably good when you look at mine.

It seems that I have a cooking challenger! Since someone clearly was able to make my first attempt way better, it’s time for me to take another shot at it. See if I can’t up my game a bit and make an obvious improvement.

I’ll do this in the future with every recipe, if there is a worthy challenger. Just let me know if you’ve made something you saw on my blog and think you did it better (trust me, you probably did) and send me a picture.

Tomorrow: The Egginbagel Returns Part 2

First snow means snow bagels!

5 Nov

I awoke this morning to the first snowfall over this part of Vermont. After dragging myself out of my warm blankets, I had to make breakfast. I thought to myself, “I’ll make snow bagels”.

I have no idea what snow bagels are. But I invented them on the spot.

Going off my super healthy toast reinvention the other day, I began plotting how snow bagels would come into existence and hopefully still be edible.

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Toasty bagel, creamy peanut butter, and crunchy granola.

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BAM. POWDERED SUGAR. SNOW BAGELS.

They were really yummy, too. Almost as sweet as a donut, which I really liked. Serve with a piping hot cup of tea and you have yourself a breakfast fit for the first flurries of winter joy.

WARNING: This breakfast is so messy – do not attempt to eat on-the-go. Avoid buses. Especially if you are wearing your new black skirt.

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New Twitter!

4 Nov

Follow me on the twitterwebs!
@DishonestCooker – where you can get up-to-the-minute details on my life as it revolves around my kitchen. You’ll be the first to know when I slip up and succumb to my tendencies to buy cooked food and when I cry to my friends about my growling stomach.
@rachelann_fitz – my professional twitter where you can get a look into what I’m doing with my life other than stumbling around blindly in my refrigerator. Even though I’m awful at cooking, I’m a pretty decent Public Relations student.
@rachel_ann802 – the super personal look into my life, which I have secured so let me know if you want to follow me here and I’ll accept your request. This one is where there are lots of cursing and sassy remarks about people I go to school with and lots and lots of complaining.

Grocery Shopping with the one person who wouldn’t let me buy chicken nuggets.

4 Nov

Today was the last day my mom and sister were up visiting in my lovely little self and at the last minute they decided they would take me grocery shopping.

I wanted to go shopping for new clothes. But no. Of course food is more important than a new skirt and those tights I was lusting after.

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Here goes nothing.

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Here’s the picture my mother forced me to take of the cart before we started piling things up. Take note, the bottle of wine. That’s what will likely get me through this entire experience in mostly one piece.

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Here’s a $9.99 jar of pine nuts. The queen mother over here advised that I don’t buy pine nuts. Just to steal them from salad bars.

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“Never buy Shake N’ Bake. They have monoglycerinoids.” Instead, we bought fancy-shmansy Japanese Panko breadcrumbs. Which, apparently, don’t have any “monoglycerinoids”.

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Pros of shopping with my mother: She pays and has some good advice.

Cons of shopping with my mother: She wouldn’t let me buy chicken nuggets and she has some poor advice. She said I should keep crackers in the freezer. Is that a thing? I don’t think so.

I went and bought those tights and a new skirt anyways.

That was easy… too easy…

3 Nov

I have returned unscathed. I went back to the kitchen to be greeted by something frightful. Because I had intentionally neglected stirring it, when the lid was removed, there was a solid mass of scalding cheese sauce to greet me. As I dragged a fork through it, all the rice was on the bottom of the pan and coming up in chunks while I scrambled for a pot holder with my right hand to try and pull it off the warm burner. After struggling for with the rice as it clung to the skillet, this is what it finally came out to look like.

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All those brown bits are burned rice.

I couldn’t possibly submit myself to trying this first in case of poison or vengeful chicken bits.

I brought a bowl to my little sister.

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Here she is, completely unaware that I am using her as a guinea pig for food safety assurance. Say hello to my little sister, Sara.

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Now say your goodbyes.

In this one instant, I had an intense flashback. Once, when Sara and I were younger, we were on Cape Cod enjoying a nice vacation to the seaside. The water was still very shallow, despite the fact we were a considerably long way from shore. We were standing side by side, hunting for shells and hermit crabs in the knee-deep water. All of a sudden, I caught something in the corner of my eye. I could have sworn to my 12 year old self that it looked like a little shark. I turned on my heels and booked it for dry land as fast as my legs could carry me, leaving Sara confused, alone, and undefended against the killer beast of the deep.

This is the last picture I have of her alive.

….

I am entirely kidding. She’s fine, I ate my bowls worth and I’m fine too. It wasn’t very good – the rice was undercooked and it smelled strangely of latkes (although I’m fine with that!) but it certainly was good enough. No one died in the making of this box meal.

Not yet.

A Meal in a Box

3 Nov

I was skeptical about this whole ordeal.

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To be honest, I’m still really skeptical. But it’s right up my ally – disgustingly easy. I opened the box, and began preparations.

I halted upon opening the can, because I was nervous it had gone sour. There were little swirls in it and there were solid remnants in the can that didn’t look like chicken and I was mortified into paralysis.

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I got up the courage to smelt it and nothing seemed off right away. I trudged onwards.

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At this point, I decided it would be a good idea to remove my new Icelandic knit wool sweater in case “blending” wasn’t going to go well.

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In the end, blending wasn’t too traumatizing. I’m glad I removed the sweater though. Good decision, past Rachel.

And now it’s cooking.

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It’s on the stove for 20 minutes. I’m afraid that it’s going to not work or it’s going to be gross or gone bad and induce foodbourne illness or that it’s going to rise up from the stove and swallow me when I try and stir it. I should go stir it… Oh god, it’s going to be worse if I don’t.

I’ll update on the finished product, if I make it that far…

I don’t think I can ever use these boxed meals again. Even if it isn’t hospitalizing, this is way too much anxiety for one meal. If I don’t make it out alive, tell my parents I want a weeping angel gravestone, please and thank you.