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Old 08-17-2007, 09:33 PM   #21
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Sorry, keltin, I wimped out. Used the crock-pot. Mostly because we always talk to Buck's mom every Friday evening. Those conversations usually last 2 hours or more, so the crock-pot seemed to be the best solution.

Browned some chicken legs and thighs that had been salted and peppered in a little olive oil. Sauteed some chopped onion in the drippings. Added all to the crock-pot. Stirred up a mixture of condensed cream of mushroom soup, white wine, garlic, and tarragon. Poured that over the chicken in the crock-pot. Sprinkled a can (drained) of mushrooms stems and pieces over and cooked on LOW for about 7 hours. Served over rice. Filled the hole on a very hot night.
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Old 08-17-2007, 09:40 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie E
Sorry, keltin, I wimped out. Used the crock-pot. Mostly because we always talk to Buck's mom every Friday evening. Those conversations usually last 2 hours or more, so the crock-pot seemed to be the best solution.

Browned some chicken legs and thighs that had been salted and peppered in a little olive oil. Sauteed some chopped onion in the drippings. Added all to the crock-pot. Stirred up a mixture of condensed cream of mushroom soup, white wine, garlic, and tarragon. Poured that over the chicken in the crock-pot. Sprinkled a can (drained) of mushrooms stems and pieces over and cooked on LOW for about 7 hours. Served over rice. Filled the hole on a very hot night.
Sounds great! And Im with you, Id much rather sit and chew the fat than cook with it in a hot kitchen on a hot day or night! Especially when you have somoeone so distinguished to converse with!
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Old 08-17-2007, 10:24 PM   #23
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Homemade cavatelli (first time) with marinara sauce and a salad.
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Old 08-17-2007, 10:36 PM   #24
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We had hot dogs with baked beans and chips. It's one of our old favorites from the days before I started trying to learn to cook. I just wasn't up to the "kitchen stress" today since the rain stopped and the heat is back.

Did everyone here experience a lot of anxiety in the kitchen when they were learning to cook? Or is it mostly us folks who don't have a natural affinity for it? Or am I fooling myself that some people are just naturally better at cooking? I'm certainly not implying that the good cooks haven't worked hard perfecting their skills. I just wondered if it is more second nature to some folks.

I mean, this isn't a huge thing but I am very anxious while cooking. This kind of cooking is pretty new to me and I find myself almost giddy with relief when the cooking is done for the meal and it tastes good. I am actually quite accomplished at many things and generally pick things up very quickly. Cooking sure doesn't seem to be one of them! Oh well, I have made some real progress so I guess I'll keep plugging away. (Sorry if this sounds whiney - must be the heat.)
Terry
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Old 08-17-2007, 10:51 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisher's Mom
We had hot dogs with baked beans and chips. It's one of our old favorites from the days before I started trying to learn to cook. I just wasn't up to the "kitchen stress" today since the rain stopped and the heat is back.

Did everyone here experience a lot of anxiety in the kitchen when they were learning to cook? Or is it mostly us folks who don't have a natural affinity for it? Or am I fooling myself that some people are just naturally better at cooking? I'm certainly not implying that the good cooks haven't worked hard perfecting their skills. I just wondered if it is more second nature to some folks.

I mean, this isn't a huge thing but I am very anxious while cooking. This kind of cooking is pretty new to me and I find myself almost giddy with relief when the cooking is done for the meal and it tastes good. I am actually quite accomplished at many things and generally pick things up very quickly. Cooking sure doesn't seem to be one of them! Oh well, I have made some real progress so I guess I'll keep plugging away. (Sorry if this sounds whiney - must be the heat.)
Terry
It sounds like you might be overloading yourself, which is something I did when I first started. I quickly learned (with a little gentle guidance from grandpa and grandma) not to try and do everything at once. If you want a meal with a meat and 2-3 sides, plan ahead and let your main work be the meat. Do the sides ahead, nothing too complex at first, or pick something that can just sit an simmer.

Trying to cook three or more complex dishes at once will cause you to go insane and order pizza! Timing is the hardest thing about cooking. Once you get that down, the next hardest is the esoteric world of combining spices, herbs, and flavors to change a dish….still working on that one.

To relieve yourself, do simple sides that can either be prepared ahead (even the day before) and reheated on a low eye or low oven, or pick a side that can simmer or bake a while as you concentrate on the main dish. As you start out, never try to "cook" (prepare from scratch, etc) 2 or three things at once. And never try to cook two or more "new" dishes at once! Instant migraine and a considerable whack to the esteem!
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:06 PM   #26
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Terry,
I've made myself crazy trying to do to many things at once.But as I learned, I found, hey, I just did two things in order and both turned out well..If I'm doing a roast, that is my main deal, I prep all the things for the salad so at serving time I can dump them together and dress, If I make my garlic mashed potatoes, I cook my cream and garlic cloves the day before and warm them up as I'm mashing the potatoes and adding the butter..Do insist that the kids stand back or lend a hand, that you're busy and they can help or not, just don't hang on your leg I have enough nerve now to allow them into the kitchen, just no pot and lid band is allowed. Singing, laughing go for it..Seems to make things less stressful for me. I've learned to turn off certain things so I can just go forward and relax as I do it..Remember, you can do this and never let them see you're hoping for a good meal..Just tell them come and get it..Ecourage comments and don't be hurt if they are not sure or iffy..The truth will help you in the long run..Just look confidant and sure of your self and wear a long skirt or pants so they don't see you knees knocking You're the head of the kitchen patrol.
kadesma, who knows you can and will do it!
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:22 PM   #27
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Leftover taco meat on a baked potato topped with cheese, onions, sour cream, chopped tomato, and salsa.
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:43 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisher's Mom
I mean, this isn't a huge thing but I am very anxious while cooking. This kind of cooking is pretty new to me and I find myself almost giddy with relief when the cooking is done for the meal and it tastes good.
there's still a small part of me, slightly anxious, that wonders "how is this gonna turn out?" on every dish that i make.

it's part of why we love to cook. not just the rewards for a job well done, but the experience itself.
cooking is an especially addictive challenge as it sets small daily goals for us to accomplish.
then, once your feet are wet, you begin to try to go for the big ones, at least on occasion.

success is a drug.
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:50 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom

it's part of why we love to cook. not just the rewards for a job well done, but the experience itself.
cooking is an especially addictive challenge as it sets small daily goals for us to accomplish.
then, once your feet are wet, you begin to try to go for the big ones, at least on occasion.

success is a drug.
Very good observation, bucky. If no one took a chance, we might not have Caesar salad or any other wonderful edible treat. After all, who first thought about eating raw oysters? Or snails...escargot? Or steak tartar?

I took a chance tonight with my chicken dish and discovered it was a winner. I love it when we take chances and jump into the cooking pool!!

Viva food!!!!!
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Old 08-18-2007, 12:09 AM   #30
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Absolutely! Experimenting is part of it. Run with it, but never let it over load you. I just experimented with a reduced papaya and Serrano pepper sauce for wings that was ok. It was good, but nothing in it said or exclaimed it was better than any other TNT sauce. So why the extra work??

However, I tried it outside of side meal cooking times, so if it went wrong, there was no stress. Again, timing and limits can easily reduce stress and make you far more confident. It was good, but and easier sauce would have been just as good.
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