Friday, February 22, 2013

Okay Food, Good Friends

Cooking has been something that I have always loved.  I loved Sunday afternoons because I had time to try yet again to make a good loaf of bread or to make a nice dessert for the evening or--to the chagrin of my mother--literally spend all afternoon making Chinese food and a gigantic mess in the kitchen with my dad.  My mom would warn us not to go overboard, but we invariably did.

After getting married and moving to Wisconsin, I realized I would get to take cooking to the next level with all our new, shiny appliances and cookware.  I was ecstatic!  I cooked or baked nearly every day!...and sometimes without much success.  For example:

Case #1:

In October, we had two people come stay with us while they were interviewing for the Marquette Dental School.  The first was a friend of a friend who needed a place for the night.  It was a Sunday and I decided to make Peruvian Chicken Ragout--a safe dish that I had made it quite a few times and was healthy, fresh and delicious.  As Ty and our visitor were talking in the other room, I was finishing assembling the ingredients of the soup to let it simmer for a bit before eating.  The recipe called for 1-2 tsp. chili powder.  I went to our spice cabinet and began looking for the chili powder.  For whatever reason, I couldn't find it and then began second guessing myself when I did find the cayenne powder.

Kelsi 1: " this the same as chili powder and I am just being silly and forgot this necessary tidbit of information?"

Kelsi 2: "No, definitely not."

Kelsi 1: "But it has chilis on the picture...chili powder..."

Kelsi 2: "But where's the chili powder? Don't do it!!!"

Kelsi 1: "I have to get this done ASAP--shut up Kelsi 2 you don't know what you're talking about!"

Kelsi 2: (voice fading) "NNNNOOOOOoooooooooo!"

Kelsi 1 came out victorious and I put a little over a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in the soup instead of chili powder. 

We sat around the table with our soup and biscuits, said a prayer on the food, and began eating.  I reach for my biscuit first and begin talking and eating.  I watch Ty and the visitor begin eating.  I notice they begin sniffing and taking large gulps of water after every bite.  I take a bite and  WOW!  On a scale of 1 to SPICY it was HOLY WHAT-DID-YOU-PUT-IN-THIS-SPICY!  I coughed out apologies and these sweet men, probably not wanting to appear weak to the other male, quickly said it was good and wasn't that bad.  But after noticing their foreheads glistening with sweat, I knew otherwise.  

I went back to the cabinet and looked through every spice, finally found the chili powder and compared it to cayenne.  I am here to tell you, people of the world, that CAYENNE PEPPER is NOT a substitute for CHILI POWDER!  I repeat, THEY ARE NOT THE SAME!

Case #2:

A week later, Ty's second cousin Justin Nybo came out to stay with us for his interviews (which he totally rocked!).  I found a delicious recipe for smothered burritos on Pinterest and have since used it many times due to its ability to be awesomely delicious every time.  This was for sure a safe recipe for a guest and I wasn't going to mix up ingredients this time.  What could go wrong?

Nothing until it took two hours longer in the crockpot (which on a fast Sunday is basically an eternity) to be tender enough to shred (we're poor and don't buy good cuts of meat...sigh).  Then I put it in the oven on high broil to melt the cheese...but then I got distracted.  They came out literally black on the top.  We had to do an emergency surgery on them and cut the top half off in order to save the rest of the burritos.  I should just stop inviting people over for dinner--I obviously have angered the kitchen gods.
Notice how the tops are gone? Yep...
Rice-a-Roni Spanish Rice:  Our saving grace at the meal.  (Btw, have you ever had this stuff?? It is de-lish!)

Since then I have put on a few pounds due to my delight with my new kitchen appliance (thanks for the Kitchen Aid mom!).  So we have resorted to eating much healthier and I have to say that I have an awesome husband to put up with these concoctions!
Tofu with peanut cilantro sauce (YUM!!! I seriously love tofu so much)
Ty after eating the tofu--He was SO meant to love China!

Homemade Whole Wheat tortillas--we are trying to save money and eat healthy so we have been making our own.  We love them!  Ty is so meant for me--he loves whole wheat AND skim milk.  True love.  

Do you know how hard it is to roll out thin tortillas on a slippery tile countertop where dough gets stuck in all the grooves?  Now you know.  
Green shakes made with plain Greek yogurt, oatmeal, assorted frozen fruit, honey, and LOTS of spinach!  Don't knock it until you've tried it!  I may look like vomit, but it is SOOO good!

Chocolate chip cookies made using chickpeas as a base (so no butter) and honey and Stevia for sweeteners.  They were actually pretty good!

Okay, before you think I am crazy, you just have to try it.  It is pizza with a spinach crust.  It was good!  I would totally have it again.  

One of my favorite cooks, Julia Child, said “Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed. Eh bien, tant pis. Usually one's cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile, and learn from her mistakes.”  That's what this year has been all about!  Ty and I love being married and learning from our mistakes--both in the kitchen and outside of it.  


  1. Great memories preparing and cooking Chinese all fast day long. Helped keep my mind off of fasting. I think I will go have a green cayene shake now :)

    1. Kelsi,
      We all have our moments in the Kitchen, When I was first married I baked a cake, I turned out the cake from the pan and held it with a hotpad and put it on the bottom layer with the hotpad between the layers. I frosted the cake and had my parents and sisters for dinner. I could not cut the cake, looked inside and there was the hotpad. I have been very careful ever since putting a two layer cake together.
      Grandma Dalton

  2. Hey lady, I just nominated you for a Liebster award! Pass it on if you want:)