Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Kiss your loved ones goodbye...

...because I'm pretty sure that the end is nigh.

People, I have news that may alarm and frighten you.

Are you ready? OK, here goes.

I used my oven three days in a row.

No, I have not forgotten (or worse--somehow never quite learned) what an oven is. This is not like the time when I was three and my mom asked my dad to go put some clothes in the washer, and he stood in the laundry room for a solid five minutes staring at the machines before finally calling back up the stairs, "Which one is the washer?!?" No. I know what an oven is. I have not confused it with my microwave or my toaster or my new printer/scanner thingie. I know how to work my oven; I just don't generally do so more than once a week. And that's actually a pretty optimistic estimate. Twice a month might be more realistic.

Not only did I make something using legitimate ingredients and oft-neglected cookware three days in a row, but I actually planned a meal based on things I already had on hand! I am well aware that many of you people do this sort of thing all the time, but frankly, it's a pretty foreign concept to me--one of those "easier said than done" sorts of endeavors. I never have things on hand that can be made into other things. Aside from my newly acquired leftovers, I currently have the following items in my fridge: milk, cranberry juice, deli turkey, swiss cheese, cinnamon bagels, salsa, baby carrots, and Kozy Shack low-sugar tapioca pudding. You just try combining those in some new and fun way to assemble a proper meal of any kind. On second thought, no. Don't. I don't even want to play that game.

Anyway, since I am far more impressed with myself than I probably should be, I am going to pretend this mild feat of wonder is interesting to other people and therefore explain how this small miracle transpired.

It started with last weekend's quesadilla adventure, which left me with three-quarters of a bag of spinach in my freezer that I decided to use on Sunday to make Darren's spinach, artichoke, and feta stuffed shells. Then I had extra spinach and artichoke hearts left over, so on Monday I went online to seek out recipes by ingredient and came up with a cheesy spinach & artichoke casserole thing that looked like a reasonably good option as well. (Note to self: I am really feeling done with spinach and artichoke for a while.) I had to buy eggs for the casserole's sauce, and since I do not dig eggs on their own, I had to find a way to use those, too. Because the stars are aligning in my kitchen in a most unusual and fortunate way, I also happened to have three overripe bananas on hand, so I continued the cooking madness last night by making a loaf of banana bread. With chocolate chips. (Which I always have on hand.) Yum.

I'm a bit concerned that all this cooking and general domesticity from such an unlikely source may have disturbed some delicate balance, however. Perhaps the world can't bear such a radical shift in momentum. I may be exaggerating, of course; I may be erring on the side of caution; but if it's possible I could in any way be able to affect the fate of the world, then I really shouldn't take any chances. Or, that's what I'm telling myself, anyway, to explain why tonight's dinner was a bowl of Peanut Butter Puffins. Can't be too careful, after all; wouldn't you agree?

18 comments:

abbersnail said...

Good work! I always get a sense of victory from reinventing leftovers. Ten points to you!

steve said...

I dig the peanut butter Puffins. That's a worthy meal, in my book. Throw in a couple of slices of toast and you've got a feast.

Anniina said...

Wow. Donna Reed watch out! I agree with Steve, the Puffins sound delish.

sognatrice said...

Now if I didn't know better, I'd say you were nesting...are you holding back on us here?

Blitz Krieg said...

Be careful, sound like your hormones are trying to get you pregnant. When you are cooking like that, don't even look at a handsome guy.

stefanie said...

Abbersnail--Ten points? Whoo! Thanks. :-)

Steve--I agree. I actually have Puffins for dinner somewhat regularly. I also dig Peanut Butter Bumpers (like PB Cap'n Crunch, but with fewer unrecognizable ingredients).

Anniina--A friend of mine hates them, but I dig the Puffins.

Sognatrice--I am holding back nothing. If I'm nesting, the nest is only for myself. Really I think I was just trying to be frugal, though. (I hate when I buy food and then throw it away because I haven't used all of it.)

BK--Hush you. I assure you, there is NO WAY my hormones are doing any such thing. [*shudder*]

NancyPearlWannabe said...

Peanut Butter Puffins are my FAVORITE cereal! They're like Cap'n Crunch, but mildly good for you!

lizgwiz said...

Yay, you! Everything you made sounds yummy. Though the stuffed shells would probably be better with the addition of mushrooms. Ha! (And, on a side note, I LOVE Kozy Shack pudding, though I usually go with the European-style Rice pudding, myself.)

I go through phases where I suddenly feel like cooking several days in a row. Of course, I'm not currently in one--which is bad, since I'm trying to be all healthy, and cooking at home is really the only way to achieve that. So I'm cooking at home, but grudgingly, and with no real effort. I think my cheese addiction is trying to sabotage me, since I'm currently not keeping cheese in the house, but have decided I'm allowed to have it when I eat out or get take-out. Damn cheese addiction.

Darren McLikeshimself said...

Well, you're one up on me because I don't think I've ever made a meal out things I already had in the apartment.

And that's great about the stuffed shells! Did you like it? Did you follow my recommendations about taking stuff out and putting stuff in?

stefanie said...

NPW--Exactly! :-)


Liz--Ugh. As you know, even if the recipe had called for mushrooms, I would have omitted them. But feel free to modify it any way you wish if you make them yourself.

Also, I should have gone for the rice pudding, too. I like tapioca, but I'm not particularly wild about Kozy Shack's low-sugar interpretation of it. Live and learn.

Darren--Really?? You haven't?? I so would have thought that would be the norm for you. The shells were good but not amazing... I'm going to send you an email about that...

3carnations said...

I was thinking the same thing as Sognatrice...were all those meals just for you? If so, I'm not sure I believe you...When I lived by myself, I never made anything more complicated than spaghetti if I was cooking for one...It's not very rewarding when no one says "Wow! This is delicious!" It seemed gratuitous when I would say it to myself...

stefanie said...

You don't believe me?? I am hurt. I guess I should have provided some photographic proof again.

Or do you just mean you don't believe I made dinner for just myself (not that you don't believe I made dinner at all)? I did cut both recipes in half, since it was just me, but I still ended up with leftovers. Like I said, I am WAY sick of artichoke right about now.

3carnations said...

I completely believe in your ability to cook. I was simply shocked that you would prepare such fancy meals for only yourself. I certainly commend you for it...I must be more of an attention hog - I want applause and praise when I make a fancy meal. ;)

L Sass said...

Wow, I am impressed, Ms. Martha Stewart!!

Although I must admit that Peanut Butter Puffins with a little chocolate soy milk is pretty much the best thing ever.

nabbalicious said...

Mmm, I like those stuffed shells. They were yum! With those Cooking Light pasta dishes, adding more garlic seems to be the trick.

Nice work, though! I'm impressed.

-R- said...

Consider me impressed! It all sounds really good.

stefanie said...

3Cs--Apparently I'm not above wanting praise either, or I wouldn't have blogged about this amazing feat, right?

L Sass, Nabb, and R--Thank you for demonstrating the point I just made. :-)

Also, L Sass--I had no idea so many people had discovered Puffins! When I wrote that line, I thought, "Do I need a link here? Are people going to think I'm eating a peanut butter flavored, previously endangered bird?" I guess not.

The Other Girl said...

I think your theory about upsetting the balance of the universe has merit. I normally cook at least a dozen meals from scratch every week, but for the last few days I've wanted nothing but processed food. I am currently trying to decide whether dinner tonight will be raviolios or Eggo waffles.