Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 12 - Lasagna Style Baked Ziti

This feeling of fullness that I am experiencing right now is amazing.  This dish was delicious and fast.  Tonight (Monday night) I made Lasagna-Style Baked Ziti from Real Simple.  So good and so filling.  The only negative thing I have to say is that I used a ton of dishes.  Thankfully I have a dishwasher, but seriously, it was a lot of dishes.

Today was my first time going to the butcher counter at Giant.  I was super nervous, so I first tried getting the ground beef from the regular old meat section.  I only needed half a pound, but the smallest amount I could find was over a pound.  I did not know what I would do with the extra meat, so I sucked it up and headed to the butcher.

It was all fine and dandy until the guy asked me "What kind?"  My response - "There are different kinds?"  Dang it, up until then I was actually looking competent.  After looking at percentages and prices, I went with the middle option and chose 85% lean ground beef.  Whatever that means.  All I know is that I had the exact amount I needed.  As I've said before - exact measurements make my brain happy.

My nephew, Cameron, was at my mom's house so I called to say hello.  Sadly, he didn't want to talk to me.  He was too busy playing with the ipad/legos/thomas.  Since I was already on the phone, I asked where to find the ricotta, so I guess this will have to count as one phone call.  I also asked if my 3 week old mozzarella cheese would still be usable.  Turns out that no mold equals good cheese.  Sweet.

Tonight I was a super, excellent multitasker.  While my pasta was cooking, I browned the meat, shredded the cheese, and started my first load in the dishwasher.  I was focused and deliberate.  I looked at the recipe and actually knew how long things would take, so the planning was very smooth.  I didn't even set a timer for the pasta, I just continued to check and taste.  Plain noodles still gross me out, but this time I actually ate the piece I bit off instead of throwing it away.

Charlotte tells me that if I stop seeing the food as gross, then cooking will become more enjoyable.  She's right.  But eggs still gross me out, plain noodles make my mouth feel weird, and don't even expect me to like touching raw chicken.  I'm taking her advice to heart, though, and I'm proud to say that I'm making progress.  I've separated egg whites without cringing, eaten a plain noodle, and touched raw chicken when cutting it.

This dish was so yummy.  The fact that it is smothered in cheese definitely doesn't hurt.  It was pretty filling with the meat and the pasta, but so good.  The recipe says it serves four.  I know that I'm not feeding a bunch of grown men, but you can definitely get more than four servings out of this.  That is a 9x13 inch pan and there is a lot of food in there.

I had my dinner and still had enough left over for five lunches.  Which is awesome because that will last me the rest of this week and next Monday.

1 shopping trip
1 phone call
0 iPhone searches
40 minutes
1 dinner
5 lunches

This completes month 3 of The Awkward Chef challenges.  I'm half temped to change it to The Less-Awkward Chef Challenge.  I'm much more comfortable in the kitchen and I really enjoy my time making dinner.  Just last week I made dinner 3 nights instead of just one, because (believe it or not) I wanted to.  Crazy!

Here's a recap:
Day 1 - Fettucine Alfredo
Day 2 - Curry
Day 3 - Chicken Salad
Day 4 - Spring Risotto
Day 5 - Chicken in Creamy Pan Sauce
Day 6 - Lighter General Tso's Chicken
Day 7 - Ham and Cheese Turnovers
Day 8 - Turkey Caprese Sandwich
Day 9 - Chicken and Pasta Soup
Day 10 - Mac and Cheese
Day 11 - Minute Steak
Day 12 - Lasagna-Style Baked Ziti

1 comment:

  1. Ummmm! Antonio's look have competition!