Culinarily Inept

Well, I’m not that bad. I do know that a salad doesn’t belong in or near the oven. Right?

I love my mother. She’s great. But there are somethings I never learned from her. Such as, how to french braid hair or do makeup. I had to learn the makeup thing from friends and YouTube.

She did cook. And it was definitely edible. Somethings are still my favorite meals. Her pork chops? Delicious. Her biscuits and gravy? I dream about them.

My mom’s real skill, however, lie in baking. She could bake like none other. Cookies. Pies. Brownies. Cakes. All yummy.

Now, from reading my favorite things my mom made, can you see my food issues? My mom has the metabolism of a race horse. She gained 55 lbs. when she was pregnant with both me and my brother and lost it all to go back to being a size 4. She can eat anything. If she wasn’t my mom, I would be mad.

Also, I didn’t pick up the hobby of “let’s help mom in the kitchen and learn how she does this stuff.” I decided that it would be more fun to annoy my older brother and to play with my friends.

So here I am. Newly married to the man of my dreams and he is, by far, much more domestic than I am. He cleans better than I, can decorate (at times) better than I, and cooks better. I know I’ve mentioned that he worked in a bakery for several years and seriously considered going to culinary school. It’s a little embarrassing. The man in this relationship can do all the house stuff better than I can. I mean, I’m the new wife. I should be making dinners for him and making our little two bedroom apartment our new little home.

And I have gotten bit by, albeit a very small, bug and I want our place to not look like a glorified dorm room. Putting pictures up. Getting bookshelves and all that.

But in the kitchen? Other than making it look nice, the actual cooking is an issue.

I mean, I DO know how to boil water. I could survive on my own. It would just involve a lot of microwaving and food that comes in boxes with directions. I’m a champ with mac n’ cheese.

But I’ve been working on it. Even coming up with recipes in my head.

I made us orange chicken with veggies over brown rice the other night. It was good. Could have used a little more sauce. And I burnt the snot out of my hand when the oil popped. Who knew you weren’t supposed to put water on hot oil? I was just trying to cool down the pan….. (Please don’t tell me if everyone knew this. Husband acted like I had come from another planet when he heard the cussing and the insane bubbling/steaming noise.)

I even made a dessert after I saw it on the menu at our new favorite thai restaurant. It was banana, nutella, and peanut butter “egg roll”. Basically those 3 things wrapped in a wonton wrapper and pan fried. They were actually pretty darn good. If you like those things. Did I mention how much I love chocolate and banana?

So tonight I’m making jambalaya. Yes. The rice comes from a box with directions, but I have to cut up and cook the kielbasa on my own. That counts, maybe?

So what are some of your favorite recipes? What were some of your first recipes? I would love to find some new recipes that aren’t insanely complicated. Because that’s another problem. I find recipes, but they have about 943,382 ingredients and they have twice as many steps. That’s too much for a rookie to the culinary arts.

Off to attempt this jambalaya. I promise not to burn down the apartment. I have a fire extinguisher on hand, just in case.



Filed under Home Sweet Home, Married Life

8 responses to “Culinarily Inept

  1. Dan is such a better cook then I, so when we were dating he did most of the cooking (or we ate out). Once we got married I started what I called “Friday Cooking Experiment” where I tried to teach myself to cook. A year later, I can say it was a huge success. I am now very confident in the kitchen (still not a master though). I recommend Pioneer Woman’s cookbook because it has step by step instructions with pictures and none of the ingredients are too out of the ordinary.

    Good luck! Your dinners sound yummy!

  2. Oh I love that recipe! We take the Dirty Rice from Liptons and then cut up the kielbasa and make it all simmer together. We just call it Dirty Rice and Kielbasa. I didn’t realize there was a technical name for it!

    Don’t feel bad that you can’t cook for your new husband. Three years in and I still have to beg my husband to cook so we can actually eat something that won’t end up burned. I’m HORRIBLE in the kitchen… but learning, I guess!

  3. Sarah

    Pioneer Woman Cooks is definitely a good place to start. Also, on, there are lots of five ingredient recipes. Also, check out

    B and I do a thing where each week (we trade weeks, me one week, him the next), on Saturdays, we go through cookbooks and online and pick a fancy menu to make. It’s a good way to practice cooking–and a good way to have a fancy date for cheap. 🙂

  4. Notes from the Fatty File

    I love cooking but I definitely started off in a place where all I could do was boil water for spaghetti. The best way to learn is to just keep doing it. I LOVE Cooking Light magazine; it is my crack. always has discounted subscriptions. The recipes are never very difficult, are slightly on the “impressive” side and are, of course, healthy.

  5. Notes from the Fatty File

    Just tried to comment but I think my comment got eaten… Anyway, I love to cook but I started off in a place where all I could do was boil water for spaghetti. Everyone has to start somewhere, you know? The best way to get good at cooking is to just keep on doing it. I absolutely love Cooking Light magazine (you can usually get cheap subscriptions on The recipes are never difficult, usually on the impressive side of things and are, of course, healthy. I highly recommend it.

  6. I highly recommend Pioneer Woman’s recipe sharing site, Tasty Kitchen.

    ALSO, I know people hate her voice, but I love Rachel Ray. Her books on 30 minute meals, or even her magazine are FULL of easy, fast, cheap things to make that also taste great. I am incapable of thinking of a recipe on my own. BUT, I can follow one someone else created.

    My advice? Read the recipe like three times all the way through to get the timing down AND pre chop all your ingredients. This will always save you.

    Good luck!

  7. My husband is also the better cook in our family. I am a little challenged in the cooking department. That said, I enjoy cooking. I think it’s really important to keep trying things – even if means thinking, “hmm, let’s throw these five ingredients together and see what happens!” Sometimes, you will have to throw it out. Sometimes you will hit on something really tasty.

  8. Thank you guys! Lots of helpful hints, and as the husband leaves for a week long work trip Sunday, I think I will tackle some of these ideas while he isn’t around that way if it’s terrible, I’m not forcing the food on anyone else. hah

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