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Little Miss Momma: La Chef has been banned from La Kitchen

Sunday, February 28, 2010

La Chef has been banned from La Kitchen

Horray for Little Miss Momma's FIRST official Guest Blogger...
...and its a good one!

My kind, beautiful and very talented friend and freelance writer--Shannon--has graciously agreed to posting one of my all-time favorite stories of her adventures as an amateur chef.
{I told you she's beautiful}
{and she's fun}
I was so excited when I got the go ahead from Shannon to hi-jack her post, I just couldn't help myself--I wanted everyone I know to laugh as hard as I did when reading this. Sadly, I can relate to her experiences in the kitchen more than I will ever admit. Enjoy, and maybe, just maybe, if we twist her arm enough (and leave very nice comments) we can convince Shannon to share more with us in the future!
In the words of Shannon:
La Chef has been banned from La kitchen
I have a confession to make: I am a terrible chef. No, really. I am. The problem lies in the creativity that I believe myself to have. You see, I have this little habit of starting a recipe without all of the necessary ingredients, all the while concocting in my head the perfect 'substitution' for said missing ingredient.

Now, we all know that substitutions are allowed to be made; Betty Crocker, in fact, has two full pages of substitutions in the back of her well established book. The disparity lies in the sad fact that my substitutions do not come from the back of that famous book. Take for instance, a sample of the failures in the list below:
Mango Cheesecake
Sounds delicious, no?
necessary ingredient: mango
(but I have no mango. I do, however, have apricots. Loads of them. And I like apricots just as well as mangos. So, why not?)
Outcome: Well, nobody knows, because NOBODY would try it. Apparently healthy, orange-colored cheesecake isn't appealing to the eye. And it probably didn't help that I accidentally put double the amount of apricot puree into the mix of things. Nobody's perfect for Pete's sake. I had a bite and didn't think it was too shabby. Soupy, yes. Shabby, no.

Ginger snapsnecessary ingredient: molasses
(but I have no molasses in the vicinity, nor do I have the will to go and get some--why should I? After all, there are plenty of ingredients in my house that have the same consistency as molasses)
substitute: Karo syrup and maple flavoring
Outcome: Disasterous
Well, accolades for the attempt, right? The batch was flat and ruined. We still tried to eat them, however. Can you guess where they ended up? Yep. The garbage.

Chicken Enchiladas
necessary ingredient: chicken (hence the entire first half of the title)
(but Ryan and I were currently trying out the realm of vegetarianism. I couldn't just go and put chicken in the enchiladas, now could I?)
substitute: garbonzo beans
Outcome: Not so good. I did not realize that you must first cook the garbonzo beans before you put them into the oven to bake with the rest of the dinner. Hmmm. Felt like we were eating little pebbles in between tortillas and cheese. Not recommended. Ryan still ate it, though. He's a champ. Little does he know that he is only encouraging me to experiment again.

Cake from a Box
Simple enough, right? Right.
necessary ingredient: water
(but I, being the genius that I am, forgot to add the water. No substitute for a sound mind--I had just lost mine this night)
substitute: none
Outcome: The 'cake' did not raise more than an inch, but still tasted pretty okay (so I thought), so I made frosting, slapped that on and tried to pass them off as some kind of finger-food treat for the birthday party. New name: Cake Bars. Pretty clever, I thought. Well, since not one of them was eaten at the birthday party, I took them to work and tried to pass them out there. A co-worker took one bite, asked me if I would be offended if she threw it in the garbage, and then suggested that I follow suit with the rest of the plate. Bold? Maybe. But apparently people need to be bold with me when it comes to their taste buds.

Fettechini Alfredo
necessary ingredient: parmesan cheese
(but we did not have any parmesan cheese. And why go get some when we can just use regular cheese? After all, isn't cheese the same any way you slice it? My point exactly.)
substitution: cheddar cheese. And lots of pepper
outcome: Disgusting. Literally, it tasted like we had poured butter and cream cheese over our noodles. Probably because we had actually poured butter and cream cheese over our noodles. Down the drain it went.

Macaroni & Cheese
Now right about now, you are thinking: How can you POSSIBLY mess up macaroni and cheese, Shannon? Well, read on, my friend, and I will tell you a tale.
necessary ingredient: milk
(but, Ryan and I ran out of milk that morning. And why ask the neighbors for a 1/4 cup when I have a form of milk sitting right here in my fridgadaire?)
substitute: cottage cheese
What. I thought it was brilliant at the time.
Outcome: Not half bad. Not half good, either, though. And it looked like we had regurgitated in our bowls only to eat it again. Not kidding. Wish I was. Down the drain it went. You sensing the pattern here?

I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am not one of those people who can create something on a whim. In fact, my family is probably reading this while breathing a sigh of relief; for they know all too well that my concoctions are usually put to the test on their naive little palates. I have strict instructions to follow the recipe exactly when I cook for my mom. I admit that I used to think this rule a bit harsh, but I have recently come to terms with the fact that not everybody wants to be in on my experiments.

However, in my defense, I know that DEEP down, there is a master chef waiting to come out. And you know the saying as well as I do: If at first you don't succeed...

Anyone want to come over for dinner?

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At March 1, 2010 at 12:51 PM , Blogger Brittany@Love Stitched said...

LOVE this post! Shannon is such a great writer and this post was full of whit and charm! SHANNON - I will brave dinner with you anytime ;) lol

At March 1, 2010 at 7:48 PM , Blogger Sarah said...

This made me burst out laughing! I do things like this left and right (love cooking + HATE running to the store for things I'm out of = culinary hilarity). Though my best horrible mistake recently was an honest misunderstanding, not me being lazy. I substituted rose water for rose syrup in a marshmallow recipe, not knowing how much more powerful and alcohol-ly rose water was, and got terrible cleaning-solvent potpourri flavored marshmallows.

At March 1, 2010 at 8:28 PM , Blogger ashley @ little miss momma said...

Sarah, hilarious story about your marshmallows--they sound super yucky! I can totally relate to yours and Shannons culinary hilarity!

At March 2, 2010 at 1:38 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Soooo funny! Best medicine for mac & cheese if you dont have milk-use american cheese the orange kind and if you do have milk you can still add the cheese to make it cheesier-if you like it cheeeeeesy!

At July 21, 2011 at 9:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post, but I just recently found your blog and I am catching up. This was HILARIOUS!!! loved it. Thanks for sharing.

xoxo, misty


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