I first have to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who has recommended the Mark Bittman cookbook to me. I have been cooking sporadically over the past few weeks and some of my attempts have been flops. But tonight, I chose a recipe from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything and I totally scored. I made stir-fried chicken with spinach. But since I am still very much a novice, I have to add one hour to his cooking time estimate. Despite the time it took to prepare, the dish was divine. This recipe rocks. I could've added a little bit more ginger to the recipe, but the chicken came out tender and the flavoring was perfectly subtle, and delicious. All the chopping and grating really wore thin... but just like the banjo uke, it is all about practice, I guess.
A week or two ago, I decided that I wanted to make a pasta dish using some of the ingredients that I had in the fridge. I skimmed through the Mark Bittman cookbook and was able to modify a couple recipes to come up with my own creation of tomatoes and capers and onions! I did it all by myself. This is a major accomplishment for me since a pasta dish in the past has consisted of ragu + noodles. I think it is safe to say that I will never purchase store-bought pasta sauce ever again.
Tonight, I cooked while listening to a mix cd that I am in the process of creating, which was fun, too. Unfortunately, the meal was much better than the mix. I gotta keep working on the mix CD because right now it is BORING. But while cooking and listening to music, I have discovered that I am on a Ray Charles kick. I think I could put him on every mix that I ever make. And I also discovered that I love cooking chicken dishes.
Golly, working all the time really sucks considering all the other fun things that I could be doing. I love cooking to music and making mix CDs. I need to make more time for these sorts of activities.