Rachael Ray, I'm not
More on the resolutions front later with Swish-O-Manic '07, but in the meantime, a sample of the rollicking times on the self-improvement bandwagon so far ...
I thought it might be a fun (ha) thing to try to make something new every week. As in cook. As in real food, not cookies or cakes or brownies (those, I do just fine). Just to broaden my horizons. This is not one of my for-real, drop-dead-serious resolutions. The for-real ones, I keep. This is one of the half-hearted ones that I'll keep up as long as I can. Which, since I value what precious little is left of my sanity, I'm guessing won't be long.
I got my little brainstorm reading USAToday.com. I clicked on the New Year's recipes thing in the Life section and this chicken marinara thing jumped out at me. It looked yummy and healthy and, most important, super-duper easy. It WAS easy. If you're not a complete IDIOT. Like, apparently, I am.
Mistake No. 1: Deciding to cook something new on a night when I'd agreed to pick someone up from the airport. I go straight from work and end up waiting an hour while the plane taxies around waiting for a free gate. So I don't end up getting started until, like, 7:30.
Mistake No. 2: Being the aforementioned idiot. I get home and start heating some oil in the skillet. I get the chicken out of the fridge and go to sprinkle some garlic powder over it ... and OOPS! No garlic powder in the cupboard! Onion powder, yes. Garlic powder, no. Could I have used the onion powder? Probably. But there were principles at work here, principles that demanded I DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME, principles that inexplicably propelled me out the door to the grocery store to get freaking garlic powder. (And yes, I thought about checking to make sure I had everything before I went to the grocery store LESS THAN 24 HOURS EARLIER, but of course I thought, "Ohhhh ... I have a million spices. It's fine." Because, yes, I am an idiot. Have I mentioned that yet?)
Mistake No. 3: Being born a complete spaz. By this point, it's after 8 p.m., the stuff has to simmer for 20 minutes after it cooks, and I still have to make a little bit of angel hair pasta. AND I have to leave for the gym by 8:45 at the absolute latest so I can work out (for-real resolution No. 2). I'm beyond aggravated. I just want to GET DONE already, and I start rushing around in a pissed-off frenzy. You can guess the rest: I knock over an open container of basil, which spills all over the floor. I lean down to scoop it up and in the process knock into the fork-y thing that's in the sauce, flinging tomato, oregano and heaven knows what else all over the walls.
I did not think it was very funny at the time, so there are no pictures of my spice-and-sauce decorated kitchen. I did, however, take a picture of the chicken when it was done, so you can see just how simple this all should have been. I didn't think it tasted that great, but I might have just been too pissed to tell. At that point, the last thing I wanted to do was give it the satisfaction of tasting good.
Thankfully, I've done much better so far with my for-real resolutions. Like, for example, this one: