Since I've had a rough time with my pregnancy and have had so many issues, my doctor decided to put me on medical leave since the middle of March. As a result, I definitely have had A LOT of free time on my hands! At first it was really difficult for me to stop working as I'm the type of person that is always checking my phone to answer emails and calls no matter the day or time. In fact, the day I was placed on leave I worked until about 3:00 AM the next morning to ensure that I got as much work done as possible so that I didn't have to burden my co-workers too much (I even took calls during our honeymoon and I am still taking calls here and there even though I've been gone for about 3 months now).
Anyway, after about a couple weeks, I needed something else to occupy my time and attention. Sadly for the hubs, I am not even close to being domesticated. I'm completely lost in the kitchen (he is the chef in our house), I hate to clean (even though I can't stand a messy house), and during my working days, I was typically too tired or stressed to even worry about stuff having to do with the household. Yeah, in a nutshell, I basically suck. So when this leave came about, I decided I needed to spend more time trying to do things that weren't so natural to me. ;)
To start, I became an organizing maniac - so many things had been neglected in our house so this took a while to tackle - the fridge, freezer, pantry, nursery, etc. Organizing the mess that we called our closet took me a good part of a work day - that's how bad it was! After I ran out of things to organize, I decided to take David's not-so-subtle hints and spend some time in the kitchen. If you follow me on Pinterest, you will find that I tend to pin things that are either super easy or some type of dessert. Since I'm literally a disaster in the kitchen (think: cutting vegetables with bread knives, my refusal to touch meat, etc.) I made an arbitrary goal of taking on 3 desserts before attempting to make an actual meal. Note that the caveat being it had to be 3 successful desserts. Needless to say, it has taken me quite a while to get to that desired level of success. It is seriously so depressing to find a recipe you're excited about, spend all this money on the ingredients, take the time to follow the recipe to a T, only to end up with a piece of crap! Story of my life!
Getting to the actual point of this post... this last weekend, I was finally able to produce something edible! Woo hoo! :) Instead of forcing it down and later supplementing the meal with something better, David ate what I made and even had seconds! (WHAT?!) Granted, what I made was super easy compared to what other people make (I am seriously SO jealous of people that can whip up anything in the kitchen with ease) but it was definitely a nice feeling. Here are the recipes that lead to my eventual "success" in the kitchen:
- Key Lime Meltaway Shortbread: Fail
- Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies: Fail
- Peanut Butter & Nutella Cookies: Fail
- Lightened-up Hummingbird Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting: Not the best, but edible
- No Bake Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars: So, so
- Reese's Peanut Butter Banana Bread: Success
- Buttermilk Brownies with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese: Success
- NY Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Winner: Success (I made this last Friday and David has officially dubbed them as his favorite ever cookie I've made - I suppose this isn't hard to achieve given my history! The batch is almost gone! Yay!)
As for my attempt at a "meal"... Layne had recently blogged about a delicious BLT Chopped Salad she made and so I decided to give it a try on Saturday. I was a little intimidated by the number of ingredients but I decided to go for it. I even used a real knife to cut everything up as opposed to my usual bread knife. ;) Although it came out looking a little soggy, it was still delicious! I'm sure I'll be making it again sometime soon. Seriously, give it a try... if I can do it, anyone can! :)
I'll be out of the office through the balance of my pregnancy and maternity leave so that means I have until October to improve my culinary skills. That's enough time to add a few more successful dishes under my belt, right?! Wish me luck (gonna need it)! :)