Attention, world! I have an announcement! I am not a cook. That is all.
It's well known in my family that I am not the greatest of cooks. There are a couple of things I can make, only one thing I can make well, (at least that's what I've been told) (they could have been lying..) and the rest of the cooking I leave to John.
However, I watched my father-in-law make a pot roast one day and it just involved a lot of dumping things into a pot and letting it sit on the stove top. Huh. Okay, so you drop the roast in, add a can of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato paste, sauce, water, and seasonings and then just leave it there for a couple of hours. And it cooks itself? With minimal involvement on my behalf? Really. I must try this.
So I did. And John liked it! And Sprite ate it! No one died! And it was good. I started making this meal every weekend and got a little more adventurous. I made mashed potatoes, from scratch! That's right, this "from a box"ed in kitchen wrecking ball who believed in the God of Freeze Dried Potato Flakes actually diverted from tradition and went the extra step. Why? Eh, I wanted lumps. But it worked! And it was good.
John became inspired by my increased interest in the culinary world and vowed to get us a good set of pots and pans. The ones we had were awful. Food stuck to them incessantly. We tried olive oil, butter spray, prayer, nothing worked. So, John came home one day with a brand spanking new set of pots and pans, the same day that I was making a pot roast for dinner, for my parents, who were in town visiting, and had heard about how I could rock a roast. Sense the foreboding? No? FOREBODING! (Just looking out for you.)
My dad and I had stayed home working on the baseboards in our family room since John and I would like to look at a color on the wall. (Primer does not constitute a color. It's true. I checked.) John and my mother took Sprite out for the day and around 3:30, I took a break from helping my dad (Oh, he took the lead in this one. I had to let him. We're so alike, we would have been butting heads. And the baseboards would never have gotten done. Mom, please don't comment on this.) (Ah! Fingers off the comment link! I see you!) and prepped the pot roast where it then sat on the stove basking in the heat of it's own sauna.
Some time around 4:30, John and Mom and the kid arrived home and John was just SO EXCITED about the new pots he had bought. I ooh'ed and ah'ed appropriately and then meandered off to find Sprite who was trying to corner Harry. (Poor dog. But that's another post entirely.)
While I was gone, (FOREBODING!) John decided he just HAD to try out one of the new pots. He dumped the contents of the pot roast from the old pot to the new pot and settled it back into the same spot it had occupied earlier. I would have been none the wiser about his shenanigans if I hadn't come back to the kitchen and seen red spots all over my just cleaned counter. (I'm anal. You know.)
I looked at the mess and then at the stove. The new pot? He transferred dinner from the old pot which I would not have had to clean after dinner and just toss out into the new pot which I was now going to HAVE to clean after dinner? I won't lie to you. (You look great today, by the way. Honest!) I was upset.
I took a deep breath, let it go, and started preparing the rest of the meal. When the timer sounded, (FOREBODING!) I lifted the lid on the pot and looked inside. Um, no, it wasn't supposed to look like a gloppy greasy mess. I took one of the flanks out of the pot and propped it on a plate where I promptly began slicing. Stringy, slimy pieces came off one by one.
Dinner was ruined. And for once, it wasn't my fault.
We had a blow out, right there in the kitchen in front of my parents, whom I had to send out for a rotisserie chicken while I sat and stewed in my own juices the rest of the night. (I imagine I would have been very tender.)
Since that disastrous day, I have been reluctant to cook. Especially since last night, when John brought home a fire extinguisher and made a big deal about where to stow it, "just in case". (Okay, now he's just being a schmuck.) (I understand that every kitchen should have a fire extinguisher and even Julia Child could have caused a couple of 3 alarm blazes in her day, but John's timing? Very schmucky.)
Now, of course, due to the economy being what it is (Um, quick tangent, can we send the economy to Time Out? Cuz it's been a BAD BAD BOY!), we are eating more meals at home and trying to stay away from the restaurant circuit. So, I am on the look out for some recipes, hopefully healthy ones, that are easy to make, and don't require much, you know, involvement. From me. In fact, let's assume that John will make the meals. All the meals.
I'm asking for your easiest time saving recipes. What is your go-to for when you come home and need to get something on the table in under 30 minutes? I'm not looking for Rachael Ray, I know where she is. (In syndication, duh.) I'm not looking for fillet mignon either. I'm looking for a reliable (somewhat healthy) alternative to canned soup. Which is probably what we're eating tonight since I forgot to bring down the chicken from the freezer.