As a dietitian, I understand the importance of cooking meals from home more often than eating out—both from a budget and health perspective. However, I am willing to admit that I am just not a natural when it comes to cooking. In my younger years I didn’t spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen, but as I’ve gotten older and knowing the benefits of cooking at home, I have been pushing myself to give new recipes a try.
This past weekend I was in the mood for some type of chicken and noodle dish, so I googled “easy chicken and noodles recipe.” I always add “easy” when googling recipes to increase the chance that I can get through the cooking process smoothly. I found a recipe that looked tasty and simple with just a handful of ingredients and minimal prep time, so naturally I chose that one. The directions began with whisking chicken broth and corn starch together. That was easy enough, and now I was ready for step two: add chicken, broth, and other seasonings to crockpot. I added the chicken and poured the broth into the crockpot. As I was finishing pouring the broth, I noticed it was seeping out from below the crockpot all over the counter and into the drawers below. How was this happening?! I suddenly realized I had been adding all of the ingredients straight into the heater part of the crockpot, and the actual pot that sits inside of the heater (where all the ingredients are meant to go, of course) was sitting on the other counter!
After 30 minutes of cleaning the counter and drawers and many dishes/utensils that had been affected by my mistake, I was ready to try again. This time, I added all of the ingredients into the actual pot, plugged the crockpot in, and went about my day, feeling happy that the mess was behind me and dinner would be ready soon. A couple hours passed and I came back to check on the cooking progress. I noticed the crockpot was cool to touch and found that I had accidentally plugged the toaster (which was sitting right next to the crockpot) into the outlet instead of the crockpot! The recipe should have been nearly ready to go at this point, but instead it had been sitting at room temperature the whole time. Clearly this “easy” chicken and noodle recipe was just not meant to work out…
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I am not a natural when it comes to cooking. This recent experience shows that quite well. But truthfully this experience made me excited to try another recipe again soon and continue to learn more about cooking so one day I’ll feel more confident in the kitchen. I also want to continue to add to the variety of nutritious recipes I share with clients, and especially recipes that are simple for people with busy schedules and individuals who, similarly to me, may not have the most confidence in their cooking skills. Whether it’s cooking healthier recipes, adding in a couple days of exercise, eating more fruits/vegetables daily, or whatever it may be that doesn’t necessarily come “naturally” or easily to us, it’s important to be patient with ourselves and keep persevering.
Oh, and my story has a good ending! I ended up not following the exact recipe, but I made some tweaks to create a similar end result that still tasted great! Plus, I learned more about cooking in the process and I will never make these same mistakes again….and I did get some laughs out of it. 😊
By: Julia Blackford, RDN, LD