My mom worked from home from the time I was born, so she cooked dinner for us every single night. We never had the same thing twice in one week, and she was good about sneaking in new things here and there. If there was ever a night where I didn’t like what she was serving, I had to fend for myself – no way was she making two separate dinners (and I don’t blame her!). Because she always did all of the cooking, though, my culinary skills were limited mostly to ramen, mac and cheese or rice and gravy (hello, carbmonster).
This didn’t really change much once I moved out. My first apartment was with three other girls at the age of 19; our diets consisted mostly of coffee, beer and whatever random stuff could be thrown together in a bowl and microwaved after getting stoned (canned chili mixed with white cheddar mac and cheese was a particular favorite). When I got married, I was lucky enough to marry a guy who knew his way around the kitchen. I was so terrible in that arena that even when I was pregnant and home all day, he would still come home from work and cook dinner for us. Had it been left up to me, we’d probably have had chicken nuggets and – you guessed it – mac and cheese every single night.
Once we had kids and I was mostly a stay-at-home mom, I tried to get my hands dirty but truth be told, I had no idea of even the basics of cooking (read: how the fuck do I cook a steak?). I knew enough to boil water. I could microwave the hell out of a frozen meal. Sandwiches? I was your woman! But cooking a substantial meal was something I was just clueless about. We survived our married years on a lot of canned soup meals.
It’s really only been the last few years that I’ve said you know what? I CAN COOK, GOD DAMN IT. It can’t be that hard. I spent so many years of my life relying on the “I’m just hopeless in the kitchen” bit that I hadn’t even tried to follow a recipe in… well, I don’t even know how long. THAT’S how long. There have definitely been some, uh… surprising results from time to time but for the most part, I’m now pretty okay in the kitchen and like to get in there with a new recipe and hash it out (as long as it doesn’t involve flour… that’s another post entirely). When something comes out great, I feel like I’ve just kicked my kitchen’s ass.
Which brings us to today’s victory:
I pinned this recipe a week or so ago and was actually going to make it this weekend, but got kidnapped for sushi instead (sushi > cooking). Since boy minion isn’t really about beans (like, at all), I had to try them sometime when he wasn’t home; lunch today seemed like as good a time as any.
Now, can I just tell you how easy this was? The thing that was the scariest to me was the roasting of the peppers and the broiling of the cheesy bits because the oven in my house doesn’t work and I had to do this in a toaster oven (don’t even ask) and I was afraid the entire thing was just going to go to hell in a handbasket but you know what? It didn’t. And these things? They are amazeballs. And filling. And pretty low calorie unless you dump sour cream on them and eat them with a side of chips like I did (still only around 750 calories, though). And totally vegetarian and can be made vegan (remove the cheese and sour cream) and clean (use dried beans instead of canned). YAY HEALTH STUFFS.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go revel in the glory of my success.
xx – Heather.
[Edit: I just realized I forgot to add the corn! Oh, well. They were delicious without, even though I'm sure they'll be even MORE so with. Next time.]