I've been cooking and baking a lot lately. Mostly because I joined a food co-op, so every month I have 5-10 meals ready in my freezer. It's very convenient and is allowing me to cook things I normally wouldn't attempt. And since all the ingredients are included, it's pretty easy. I go once a month and prepare a meal for about 3 hours. Then we go around and collect the meals we ordered from others. It's been great, and everything has been really good so far.
That being said, the meals are a little more complicated than I'm used to. Left to my own devices, I usually stick with things like tacos, spaghetti, or chili. Meals where the most complicated step is browning some hamburger meat or boiling water. The co-op meals usually involve multiple steps and about an hour to put everything together. This is perfectly ok with me for two reasons. First, my family is probably tired of the variations of Ground Beef Surprise I normally serve them. And I have some extra time on my hands now.
So far, I've made parmesean breaded chicken tenders, turkey sausage stir fry and cheesy Italian meatloaf. I save the more kid-friendly choices for the nights we have the kids (imaginary kids can be picky like that).
Tonight was just the two of us, so I decided to attempt the baked chicken kiev. There was melted butter, breading and tying with string involved, but I managed to get it done and in the oven.
About 15 minutes later, I wanted to flip them so they would brown on both sides. But some of the butter and cheese filling had leaked out and was boiling and popping all over my oven. Being as inexperienced as I am with this whole cooking adventure, I reached in and tried to pull the cookie sheet out. The butter spattered onto my arm, and the kitchen filled with smoke.
You'll be relieved to know that our smoke detectors are in working order.
The chicken actually turned out really well after all that. I was pretty proud of my culinary accomplishment-- even though the majority of it was prepared at co-op, I still risked my life for that chicken.
And I'm sure my arm hair will grow back. Eventually.