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Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Every week for the last several weeks I've been making a new recipe on Wednesday nights for Mr. Hobby and I to enjoy.  They've almost all taken significantly longer than I thought they would take.  Tonight's dinner?  No exception.  I started it at 6, telling Mr. Hobby "It'll be done in 30 minutes!"  Try 1.5 hours.  Fail.  But here is the thing, I don't really know how to cook.  I've always enjoyed baking, and not to toot my own horn, but my stuff turns out pretty good most of the time.  Cooking, you know, making dinner, not really my thing.  But I'm trying, I'm challenging myself to try new things all the time.  
I decided that it would be helpful if I had something to encourage me to try new things in cooking.  I was looking for some sort of blog party, a monthly cooking challenge perhaps.  Everything I found wasn't really striking my fancy.  Then I found the Real Women of Philidelphia website.  Four meal categories, four different categories, 16 weeks of cooking contests, one key ingredient, Philly cream cheese.  It started in July, so the competition has been through several categories already.  However, this week sounded like a good place for me to start.  The goal: an entree, 5 or less ingredients (one being Philly) and done in 30 minutes or less.  No problem I thought to myself, I can do this.  I came up with doing chicken breasts and tiny potatoes in a mexcian style cream cheese baked in the oven.  And because Paula Deen is the celebrity attached to this contest, I thought, why not make it in Paula's dutch oven?  See, I realize that is why people first "learn" to cook, and then "create" their own recipes.  I realize now, that the dutch oven was not the correct vehicle for a "quick" meal.  I was 15 minutes in, and the contents of the pot were still at close to room temperature.  (Of course the pot sat out on my stove top for 1.5 hours after it finally finished, and was still warm when I went to wash it out.)  I started to realize that I should have made it in a casserole dish, but being stubborn I didn't want to dump everything out of the pot and into a casserole dish.  I knew once the dutch oven got going it would make sure the flavor of the sauce made it into the chicken.  But, as far as 30 minutes or less, well that was an epic fail.  Poor Mr. Hobby, he has to live with me while I learn to cook.  Maybe I should start trying new recipes out on the weekend, and then just serving him leftover on Wednesday? ;)
I guess this is a lesson to all parents teaching their children to cook and bake, if your child shows preference for one, don't let them get away with not learning how to do the other.

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