Watch Out, Paula Dean

Those of you who know me well know that I am not known for my fabulous cooking skills. I can follow a recipe (sort of–I call my mommy every five seconds to ask question), and I do cook for myself now and then, but overall, my cooking abilities are what you would call low. I chalk it up to lack of experience, as I balked at the idea of anything cooking-related as a child, much to my mother’s disappointment. I was zero help in the kitchen. I also chalk it up to my tendency towards being a perfectionist. It really irks me when food doesn’t come out exactly like it was supposed to, or when I don’t time the dishes correctly and the chicken is done but the rice is still cooking and the steamed veggies are getting colder by the minute. Ugh…hate that, and due to the aforementioned lack of experience…it happens more often than I would like.

So, since my cooking skills are sub-par, and I happen to have a boyfriend with chef-tastic cooking skills (he could probably throwdown with Bobby Flay), I tend to leave the cooking to him. When I ask what we (er, HE!) should make for dinner, he’ll pause for the smallest moment and then he’ll bust out something like, well how about fish tacos? Fish tacos! As in, we went and bought fresh fish and all sorts of veggie-like things I don’t know the names of, then he cooked the fish and made a slaw to put on it and made other deliciousness I couldn’t even explain. Just busted it out, no big deal. Blows my mind every time.

However. This post is not about Todd’s fabulous cooking abilities. This post is about my cooking accomplishment this past weekend. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen…I made breakfast. Don’t roll your eyes! This was a big accomplishment for me. I made bacon, eggs, and pancakes! And, get this….it was actually delicious!! Todd looked up between scrumptious bites and said, “I think this is the first time you’ve cooked for me in the entire year we’ve been together.” Wow. Uh…so, maybe I cook even less than I thought. I’m gonna beg off that one because we were long distance for 10 of those 12 months, but still. I need to get my cook on WAY more often. So, Paula Dean…watch out! I’m going to rival your cooking skills one of these days. You just watch!

Deliciousness in progress…

And the tasty result. And yes, that is a heart-shaped pancake you see. I like to put a little love in my food. Oh, and there are silver dollar pancakes too…shoutout to my Dad, who makes the best silver dollar pancakes you ever did see!

Any thoughts on a (easy) dish I should tackle next? Anything goes…breakfast, dinner, dessert…you name it, I’ll attempt it!


0 thoughts on “Watch Out, Paula Dean

  1. Becky

    Casseroles are always the best to start off with, it’s mainly prep work and then stowing the dish away in the oven for a bit.

    My favorite is Italian Casserole, my mom made it up when my brother and I were younger. You’ll have plenty of leftovers =]

    You’ll need:

    1 lb Ground chuck
    1 Onion (chopped)
    1 small can tomato paste
    1 medium can tomato sauce
    1 bag No Yolks noodles
    1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese
    (Sliced French bread for the side)

    To do:

    Boil water. Add No Yolks noodles.

    In a frying pan, cook the ground chuck until browned with no signs of pink. While the chuck isn’t fully cooked yet, add the chopped onion so the two will be finished together.

    Preheat oven to 375.

    Drain the noodles. Add to casserole dish. Add tomato paste, sauce, 1 teaspoon oregano, cooked ground chuck and onion. Stir until all/most of the noodles are coated.

    Top with a layer of shredded mozzarella. Garnish with oregano.

    Hope this is something that may be useful or of interest to you!

  2. Becky

    Oops, a line was erased.

    After you top with the cheese and oregano, put in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the mozzarella become golden.

    1. Wendy Norman

      Yum! Sounds delicious!! I’ll try it sometime soon and let you know how it turns out. 🙂 Thanks!!

  3. Mom

    Hey, I beg to differ on your cooking skills. How about those fantastic dishes you were making right and left from the BL cookbook? Try some of those on Todd. He will be very impressed. Your breakfast looked so yummy, by the way!

    1. Wendy Norman

      Aww thanks, Mom. I need to try more of the actual meals from that cookbook. I was trying the snacks and sandwiches mostly. I’ll let you know which ones are good! Have you made any that you like?

  4. Once_a_King

    “Any thoughts on a (easy) dish I should tackle next?” I understand Julia Chiles has a cookbook with about 500 recipes in it. You could do one everyday and blog about it!


  5. Jared

    Not sure if you’re a fan of Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi soup, but it’s one of my favorites. If you have a crock pot this one is super easy…

    1/2 cup unsalted butter
    3/4 cup celery, chopped fine
    3/4 cup onion, chopped fine
    1/2 cup carrot, grated very fine and chopped
    1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup half and half
    3/4 cup milk
    4 cups chicken broth or fresh chicken stock
    1 1/2 cups cooked chicken (white meat works best)
    3/4 cup fresh spinach, julienne cut
    16 ounces gnocchi (potato dumpling)
    1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon white pepper
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1) Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan.
    2) Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic and sauté until soft.
    3) Add flour mixing well, cook for 3-4 minutes ,stirring frequently.
    4) Add heavy cream, milk and chicken broth mixing well.
    5) Cook and stir until mixture thicken and comes to a boil.
    6) Reduce heat and stir in chicken, spinach, gnocchi and remaining seasonings.
    7) Adjust seasonings to taste.
    8) Cook over low heat 8-10 minutes until gnocchi become tender. (you could also place the ingredients in a Crock-Pot and cook on low for 1- 1 ½ hours , this really makes the flavors come together.).

    1. Wendy Norman

      I’ve never had that actually, but it sounds seriously delicious…and super easy! I bought this mini crock pot from Target last year, and I haven’t even used it yet. This might have to be the first thing I try! Thanks!!


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