Five Ways to Fail in the Kitchen

New city. New school. New apartment. What is the most important of these three? The new (to me) kitchen, of course! What comes next is completely true account of my cooking failures. Here are five different ways to fail in the kitchen.
1) Use coconut oil for marinades

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When I saw a jar of coconut oil in the aisle at Costco, I was thrilled. Wasn’t it supposed to be super healthy and good to cook with? It is indeed great to cook with and adds a sweetness to foods that I’ve come to enjoy. I’ve been using it so much that I never went out and bought a jar of canola oil or vegetable oil to keep in the cupboard. So when I needed a tablespoon of oil to complete a cilantro and lime marinade, I scooped some coconut oil and poured it into the bag.

Nota Bene: Coconut oil is a solid at just below room temperature.

As soon as it hit my not-quite-defrosted fish it solidified right up, taking all my garlic, lime, and cilantro with it. Coconut oil = not good for marinades. Continue reading

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Cooking Adventures with Megan

Taking a break from more serious posts, I have been exploring and playing around in the kitchen! While not all of my experiments have turned out wonderfully, I am only going to tell you about the successful ones. Muahaha! The power of controlling information!

This all started when a friend posted a link to this recipe site: whatmegansmaking.com. It is a dangerous website filled with all sorts of delicious unhealthy goodies.

They may have looked a little strange but they were wonderful!

Back when I was up at Notre Dame, the last friday of my archaeology dig was approaching. It just so
happened that National Archaeology Day fell on the same date. To celebrate, we made these delicious oreo truffles. They were a dig favorite and I left with barely a crumb out of the forty-five that I brought to the site. The making was almost as exciting as the eating in this case. Because we were cooking using the dorm kitchen, we were missing a few supplies. A food processer, for instance, to crush the oreos. In lieu of actual useful tools, we intellectual college students combined saran wrap, a mini-Crisco bottle and pizza cutter to chop up whole oreos into minuscule bits. Inventive, eh?

Oreos add deliciousness to everything. Who could refuse oreos? 

But that’s not all! My cooking adventures continued on vacation in Texas where my Nana taught me how to make an easy no bake cheesecake. I was able to be fancy and cocky impressive when I made it a second time for the cousins as the recipe was so simple that I recalled it from memory! I’m sure I ate most of it but that is beside the point. Food is meant to be enjoyed — even if only by the chef!

Served with a side of marinara.

Since I have already gloated over my small skill with desserts, I decided to take a big step and try and make an actual meal! My parents served as my guinea pigs and as far as they will tell me, they were happy to do it. First up, I wanted to create a twist on a Carraba’s favorite: the Zucchini Fritti, aka zucchini fries! Instead of frying them I baked up a blend of Italian bread crumbs, parsley, oregano and sunshine to get this yummy appetizer. 


But! My dinner was not complete without a main course. Because I am still learning what on God’s green earth I am doing in a kitchen, I decided to make a skillet meal of pasta, broccoli and chicken. Using fresh broccoli, a lot of spices that I don’t remember the names of and a half cup of white wine, I came up with this beauty:

Serve with a dry white wine for added tastiness!

Even then, my adventures in the kitchen weren’t over. Today I had a surprising amount of energy and the day off from volunteering so I decided to try something new: Pepperoni Pizza Puffs! Unfortunately, we were missing a few key ingredients like whole milk and pepperoni…so I improvised. Mixing 2 tsps of butter with skim milk replaced the whole milk and bacon replaced the pepperoni. Served with some of the marinara left over from the zucchini fries (yay leftovers!), they came out of the oven piping hot!

Ok, I’ll admit it. I (attempted to) plate the dish and staged the picture. 
To wash these puff pastries down, I whipped up a peach lemonade which I don’t have a picture of but is definitely in the “Make Again” category. I’m starting to have fun now. Can you tell? I’ve got a few different desserts waiting to be made so who knows? I might just become a pseudo-chef. As long as I’ve got guinea pigs to be my tasters (thank you, my dear parents), I’ll keep this up! Happy cooking!