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Cooking Report Card

Here is my cooking report card so far for Operation Learn to Cook:

Taste – A

Presentation – A

Time management – C

Remembering to take pictures to prove my success – F

Getting my picky family to eat new food (especially new veggies) – A+++

While I have only cooked twice for my family so far, both times have been complete successes . . . except for the fact that I am like a snail in the kitchen, but better time management comes with experience.

My first meal came from the great PIONEER WOMAN herself (her website at least). The recipe is called Meatballs with Peppers and Pineapple, but I decided it needed a cooler name so I dubbed it “Sassy Meatballs”. I picked this recipe because a) it looked absolutely delicious, b) it sounded absolutely delicious, and c) it looked like my limited kitchen ability could handle it. Luckily I was right on all counts. It was a hit. Everyone ate it. I was super stoked to see that my dad ate every bite and then ate the leftovers for lunch the next day. Here’s the thing: he really doesn’t like peppers or pineapples. Boo-ya! The recipe can be found here.

My second meal had a main dish that I completely made up myself, a recipe that I clipped from a magazine back in the Fall, and a fruit salad recipe I found online.

The meal evolved from my desire to use my magazine recipe for butter-nut squash fries. They were super easy to make: just peel the squash (make sure all the peel is off), cut it in half, scoop the seeds out and toss them, rinse off, dry thouroughly with paper towel, then cut into thin strips, place on cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray, and put in oven at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. I have never used/tasted butter-nut squash before so it was an adventure. It reminded me of a pumpkin, squash, carrot combo. It was also incredibly tough to cut. In the end they tasted okay, but I think that if I do these again I will let them crisp up more.

The fruit salad was tasty. Just some apple, pear, and oranges (I used mandarin oranges instead), chopped peacans, and a vinegrette. I don’t have the link bookmarked on this computer so I will post it later.

The main course was what I decided to name “Brisk Italian Sandwich”. I like cool adjectives if you couldn’t tell. Sassy, brisk, and who knows what else I’ll come up with! To make this sandwich I used some chicken tenderloin and marinated it overnight in Zesty Italian Dressing. Then when time to cook I used our small George Foreman Grill to cook them. Once done I placed them on some yummy lightly toasted Italian bread (any bread could do I guess, especially if on a tight budget just look in the Opps bin in the bakery area of the grocery store) with a thin layer of mayo. On top I sprinkled some feta cheese and topped with some spinach leaves. And again it was a success.

Now I need to figure out what I’m doing next week. Now that I have a good cooking reputation with my family I’m going to have to fight to keep it. They’re a vicious bunch.

~Erica with a C~

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