So...I've been cooking. I've never been one to get excited about cooking. Maybe I'd get excited about making an incredible sandwich, each ingredient carefully layered in a very specific order. Or maybe if somebody else wanted to cook a bunch of stuff and have me "critique" their cooking, I'd get excited. But really, the idea of coming home from work at 9 pm and cooking something delicious has always seemed a bit out of reach for me. It's probably because I never really tried very hard before. Whoops a daisy.
And so, this year, I've started trying. Yay Reem! Good show, old man. Seriously though, although it's been a sucko year, it's also been a year of a lot of change, what with my Saturn returning and all...So I've embraced it, and I'm trying new things. I know that to most, cooking isn't a "new thing," but for me, it sort of is. I've been way better at cooking vegetables and making things up as of late, although I still have not, and most likely will not, cook meat. Grody. And so I must say, through hours of hard work, researching recipes on the internet, chopping, slicing, dicing, sauteing, and sampling, my cooking has a reached a point of absolute mediocrity. That's right - from non-existent to mediocre. Not bad.
In my quest to cook more, I've also been attempting to be healthier. Some days it works. Other days, I mostly eat bacon and potato chips. Waa waa. Tonight I was inspired to combine the "trying new things" with the "healthy" and cook up a big, delicious dinner. The funny thing is that it wasn't necessarily the healthiest thing in the world, rather, it was all "fake" versions of other things. A few months ago, I wrote about the fake versions of things, like Not Dogs and BologNo and Gimme Lean. In fact, Valerie made a brilliant comment with a list of like fifteen more - fantastic (you should absolutely check that blog and look at the comments section to see what she wrote)! Tonight was kind of like that...here is the menu:
"Macaroni and Cheese"
Why all the quotes, you ask? Well, those names are all sort of lies. For example, in the "Macaroni and Cheese," instead of using pasta, I used spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is like spaghetti, right? And pasta is spaghetti, and pasta is what goes in macaroni and cheese, so why the eff not? A perfect substitute. I baked the squash for an hour and then added it to the extra gourmet cheese sauce I'd made with Smart Balance and fat free American cheese. Yes, gourmet. Sexy. I know it looks kind of gross in the pictures, but it was really pretty good!
You might be wondering what could be fake about "Mashed Potatoes." Well, my friends, they were definitely mashed, but it wasn't all potatoes. Get ready to be gassy, because these "Mashed Potatoes" are actually mashed potatoes and...cauliflower! That's right, cauliflower. It's actually really delicious, and the same color as potatoes, so you could probably fool people pretty easily. You boil them up together (I did it in a vegetable stock for extra flava), and throw in some light cream cheese, margarine, a splash of milk, and salt n pepa. PLUS - I made it in the Magic Bullet! Everybody wins!
"Fried Chicken." Well, I'm not going to beat around the bush here. It was obviously a Morningstar Farms chik patty. That is all.
And as for the "Garlic Bread," I guess it wasn't really all that fake.I just didn't have any "good, crusty" bread as the online recipe suggested. Yeah...I only had frozen whole wheat loaf bread. Um...it was kind of okay. Sort of gross. But, the brilliant and innovative cook in me decided to make roasted garlic. I made three heads, just with some olive oil, salt, and thyme. After that was done, I mixed in some margarine and made a nice spread for the sort of stale bread. It wasn't all that bad, I guess...I probably would not offer it to guests, but still. It filled the void.
The final product (no picture of the delicious vodka drink that went along with dinner - all real ingredients there!):
Now that all that delicious food has been consumed and enjoyed, it's time to get creative. I need new fake names for these scrumptious concoctions! I'm blanking at the moment (I must be exhausted from all that cooking), so I'll need your help. We need names that sound like the real name, but have "no" or "not" or something involved somehow. Am I being clear? Like for Nachos, you could switch it to "Not-chos." Get it? Easy as pie.
Here is what I have so far:
Macaroni and Cheese:
Macaro-No, by Meez!
Fried Chalken (this makes me want to vomit)
Morningstar Fams Chik Patty
I got nothing.
As you can see, I need a lot of help here. I'm looking especially to Miss Sherin, who was so helpful with the whole Surf n Turf debacle. My creativity can only go so far...I am definitely not a viking at making up new clever names for things. Help a girl out!
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