Tuesday, May 17, 2011

back in the kitchen again.

i am setting myself a new challenge. some might call it a resolution, or a goal, or even a *asthmatic gasp!* cooking project.

it will be nothing as crazy as the meal-planning adventures i have tried before, because i will be the first to admit that the week of cooking all new recipes three times a day back in January was a bit much. it left me stressed and burnt out, and once the week was over i was more than happy to fall into a mealtime pattern of pasta or pizza with a side of eating out. in short, it was the same old thing week after week, and required little more of me than boiling water or turning on the oven. (although remembering to take the pizza off its cardboard backing before putting it in the oven was a bit of a challenge, but we don't talk about that anymore) so i have decided that it would be good for our diets as well as my sense of domesticity to try something new every so often.

so here's the plan: every week, i pick a new recipe to make. just one new recipe a week. i think i can totally handle that. i'll probably blog some of them, most likely not all of them, because some things are more fun to share than others.

i started last night, with a pretty simple recipe from Jaime's Food Revolution cookbook: spaghetti and meatballs. i stuck with an industry standard for starters, because i didnt decide to do this whole new cooking adventure thing until after we had done the shopping for the week, and i didnt want to have to run out again mid-week because i think we all know how i feel about the grocery store.

the only ingredient i did not have was fresh rosemary. so i used the dried stuff i had in my spice rack. and since my only previous experience with rosemary made me feel like i was eating little twigs, i decided to chop it up into smaller bits of twig. except that apparently i have the mexican jumping variety of rosemary, and even though i kept one hand over the knife as i chopped it, i still ended up with half my kitchen covered in tiny rosemary twigs.

i mixed what was left of my attempt at chopped rosemary into the meat with everything else, shaped it into 24 perfect little meatballs, and forgot to take a picture of them. if i would have known that was the last time they would be perfect in any way, i might have been more diligent with my documentation.

it was at this point that things went downhill. i'm not sure if it was the pan i was using, or that my crackers were not beaten into small enough pieces, or if i under- or overestimated the volume of a "lug of olive oil," but i quickly realized after putting them into the pan that my perfect meatballs were on the fast track to becoming nothing more than fancy browned ground beef.

oh! the carnage!

after a change of pans, things went much more smoothly. and so what if my perfect little meatballs ended up looking more like oddly shaped little meat-cubes? a victory's a victory, no matter how small.

the recipe went on to tell me how to make my own sauce, but i already had that covered.

mmm... jar sauce!

so there you have it. week one of an indefinite journey of cooking new things equals a tasty success.


Abi said...

looks yummy! :)

Brenda's Man said...

Your mother will be so proud! Maybe we will have spaghetti tonight!