I'd like to start out by saying that I felt REALLY good about my chances of making something fantastic this week. I carefully selected the recipe from the pool I've been collecting on Pinterest, and the image of this dish looked so mouthwatering I was sure it would be a hit. And it might have been. Except it didn't end well. Jeff Heil, I'm holding you responsible for this catastrophe. You see, Jeff teased me about my first go at this cooking business last week, alluding to the fact that my boxed pasta and sauce was perhaps not much of a cooking effort. So, this week I decided that I'd show him and swing for the fences, using only fresh ingredients and hand prepping everything.
Now, let's start at the beginning. I am a single mother of 3, the youngest of whom, as I've already mentioned, is only 8 months old. And he's a Mommy's boy, which means if I'm home, he wants to be in my arms. So, even getting to the grocery store to purchase fresh ingredients for specific meals is no easy feat. For this particular meal, I ran in quickly on my way home from school on Wednesday with recipe in hand (on my phone) and grabbed everything like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep before rushing home to pick up the baby and then rush to pick up the twins from preschool. So, I pulled off Step one: getting the ingredients...barely.
Here's the recipe that I found on Pinterest. Note that it emphasizes just how EASY this dish is to make. Clearly, it's easy for everyone except for the Mom's who think boiling pasta from a box is real cooking!:
"The easiest one pot recipe ever. Simply throw everything in and that’s it! No cooking, no sauteeing. SO EASY!"
PRINT RECIPEYIELD: 4 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 8 HOURS 5 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 8 HOURS 15 MINUTES
I spent all day thinking about how much my kids were going to love this dinner. I even convinced myself that the chicken was going to be so delicious that I should try a bite (reminder: I'm a vegetarian). I walked in to the house after school, and the house smelled delicious. And then I approached the Crockpot. I've included the images below to illustrate what happened next. The image on the left is the one from the recipe, the one that the meal was supposed to look like. The image on the right is what my masterpiece actually looked like.
Crash. And. BURN. I don't really know what went wrong. Obviously, it cooked too long. But I followed the recipe! Needless to say, I was heartbroken. And the kids went out for hamburgers with their Grandpa.
So you see, this is all Jeff's fault.
Here's the part where I throw my hands up in the air and declare that "I quit, I'm just not cut out for cooking!" But alas, a Mother is never allowed to quit. So I will persevere. Next week I'll have to recalibrate and find another "easy" recipe, hopefully one that is actually easy and doesn't result in take out.