Monday, January 3, 2011

Giada, You're A Vicious Liar and We Are Not Friends.

I successfully menu planned for the first week of my life of the new year. It's all part of the plan to embrace life outside of my comfort zone in 2011. Granted, I'm no Paula Deen, but I can cook. Despite the sole fact that I detest any sort of kitchen capers, my husband and I clearly need to eat. Therefore, I cook. That's my philosophy. And truth be told, I can successfully cook about 15 delectable dishes. I have cooked these aforementioned dishes so much so that I'm surely able to cook them now with my eyes closed. That's how I knew it was time to venture outside of my "trusty 15" and find something new to cook. 

Where else would I turn other than FoodNetwork(dot)com? Early this morning with my blank grocery list patiently sitting next to me waiting to be filled, (unfortunately I couldn't say that same thing about my impatient son, freaking out in his high chair because all the bananas were gone) I zip onto the great world wide web and find the first dish that sounds appetizing. Chicken Tetrazini. Prep time? One hour. Skill level? Intermediate. I glance at the ingredients list, jot down what I'm missing and it totally looks doable.   

I arrive home from the grocery store a mere 60 minutes later, which is a-mazing by the way when you're toting around a five-month-old, and get to setting up the kitchen. C is playing merrily in his "office" in the middle of the kitchen and in between measuring out ingredients I play defense for my son whose sheepdog is viciously trying to lick-attack his face. In case you're wondering, "office" is the term we've given to Carter's activity jumper.

Not one to miss any sort of cue for a NAP, at the first sign of Carter rubbing his face, I quickly scoop him out of his "office" and whisk him into the living room. At this point, I've managed to successfully saute and wonderfully brown four chicken breasts, shredded them and sauteed the mushrooms, onion, garlic and thyme in butter and one cup of white wine. The house smelled delicious as I bounce and sway Carter around the living room to the sound of the vacuum. (No judgies, ladies. Desperate times call for desperate measures and I needed C to fall asleep quickly so that I could start on the sauce). As soon as those heavy peepers started closing, I lay C in his swing, flip that baby on "high" and hightail it back to the kitchen. I leave the vacuum running because i'm no fool so that I can bang around in the kitchen without disturbing the little prince.

Into the pan goes the butter, whisk whisk whisk. Some flour, whisk whisk. The milk, cream, broth, nutmeg, whisk, whisk, whisk. And a dash of salt and pepper. Whisk whisk. Following the damned directions to a "T" I bring the sauce to a boil, cover it and then turn down the heat (read: turn the oven nob from 9 to 5) to let it simmer for the noted 10 minutes.

Being the little diligent chef that I am, I listen when Giada tells me to start the salted water a' boiling for the linguine. I grab my pasta pot, I fill it with water, I salt it and I place it on the cook top to start boiling. I glance over at my angel of a son who is still passed out in his swing.


Within seconds, my sauce, slightly reminiscent of what a melted StayPuff Marshmellow man would look like, is literally POURING over the sides of my saute pan and all over the freaking cook top. Thank goodness for quick thinking, I immediately turn off both heated burners and throw the entire pan of disaster sauce into the sink. Upon hearing all of the commotion, Sheepie comes a' wandering into the kitchen to take a lick of the nuclear hot sauce that is now pouring over the lip of the cook top, down the front of my oven and onto the wood floor. For the love. Giada, you FORGOT TO MENTION THAT THIS WAS A DISTINCT POSSIBILITY.

Remember those two super hot burners? Well, the sauce is now inextricably adhering itself to them in a smoky, slightly fiery mess. I throw open the sliding glass door, the kitchen window and the front door to catch the slightest hint of a cross breeze.

The smoke alarm starts going off. Sheepie is losing his ever-loving shit (pardon my French) and barking like a madman. In between vertical jumps in an attempt to turn off the smoke alarm, I'm pleading with him not to run out the front door.

Let me remind you, the vacuum is still running.

The smoke clears and I spend the following forty minutes alternating between using paper towels, kitchen towels and lysol wipes to clean off the cook top. I'm scraping at the burned sauce with a spatula and using the scrubby side of a sponge to clear it away. If you're thinking that I probably made it worse before I made it better? You're probably right.

At this point, I'm not sure whether I should laugh or cry. Somehow, by the grace of God (or the vacuum) Carter is still asleep in his swing... and the front door.. HOLY SHIT I LEFT THE FRONT DOOR OPEN.

Is wide open. And there's Sheepie. Sunning himself on the front lawn. Watching our neighbor take down her Christmas lights.

In one morning, I manage to nearly burn the kitchen down and lose the dog.

For. the. love. 2011 is shaping up to be an interesting year already.


  1. LOL just breath! I am not laughing at you I promise but this was quite humorous!!! You are not the first and surely not the last ;) Hang in there girlfriend and happy Monday!

  2. wow, that sounds like *most* my cooking experiences to a "t".


    cheers 2011, freakin' cheers.

  3. I'm sure none of this was funny for you at the time, but this story is hysterical! Maybe it's a sign to just order our tonight!! I'm glad Carter slept through the whole thing for you at least....and Sheepie didn't run away!

  4. Sorry this happened to you, but you did make me LAUGH OUT LOUD again! Thank goodness that little prince of yours slept through the whole mess!

  5. Oh yeah - will you post a list of your 15 favorite things to make. We're looking to spruce up our menus a little this year too!

  6. try They have wonderful recipes and the reader comments are helpful in order to avoid such SNAFU'S...

    I'm glad that everything worked out though and that the dog, house, and babe remained in one piece!

  7. Hahaha I totally love this post. SO funny! You really crack me up. So sorry your recipe didn't work out, but Giada is just really too good to be true on all accounts. Hate her for being so pretty, too! Thanks for cracking me up :)

  8. Now that makes for an interesting day! So glad you didn't burn down the house or lose the dog. And thank goodness for vacuum sleep pacifiers. Do y'all have a noise machine? I swear by our little Graco noise machine. GG's slept with it since we first brought her home nearly 18 months ago! Love it!

    Happy 2011! Hope it gets a little less exciting, but then again, where's the fun in that!?

    (Following from Brandy's blog by the way---Jumping Jack)

  9. Good Lawd...I was already following...shesh! That only proves what I've long suspected---I'm officially losing it! :)

  10. Hahahahahahahaha!!! Oh boy... I have definitely had situations like that in the kitchen - minus a baby and pooch. LOL

  11. Hilarious and totally something I've done before. Some of those recipes don't give you the important deets.

  12. Oh. My. God!!! I normally love all your posts but this was by far THE funniest! I second AllRecipes dot com, I use it for everything and always read the comments!! You are the greatest, Ash!


  13. lol!! You're such a great story-teller. i HATE it when milk sauces do that! I made potato soup a couple weeks ago and had an overflowing pot-o-cream sauce all over my stove too. Ugh. Its the worst. At least Carter was sleeping peacefully! It's amazing what they can sleep through.

  14. Don't you just hate when they leave out tiny details like " it might boil up quickly proceed to your stove top and cause your smoke alarm to go off" same thing happens to me as well.. I open all the doors and turn the hood on and the stinking alarm still goes off! But my sweet one will always wake up and my two dogs will end up half way across the neighbors yard before I catch them! :)

  15. Oh my gosh! Things like this happen to me ALL of the time!!! First, when I read you were making that recipe I thought you were going to be greatly disappointed in it. HA! This story was much better than that! However, I have made that same recipe and was not impressed, if its any consolation! Maybe I should try it again?

    Please do post your 15 faves! I'm doing menu planning also and trying a new recipe a week! :)

  16. hahahah AMAZING story!! Sauces terrify me...

  17. OH man! I know that our cooktop is notorious for making things boil over, it's fault-not mine.

  18. This happens to us fairly regularly. Any time you boil milk, it's a possibility - at least, that's how it works in our house. One second it's barely simmering, but as soon as your turn your back it's at a rolling boil and is bubbling out all over your cooktop! You need to invest in a pack of razor blades. Once you wipe up the mess, just let it cool, and it will scrape right off!

  19. Seriously hilarious. My cooktop always makes things boil over. Drives me nuts!

    Glad Sheepie is okay and the house is still standing!

  20. Um are you me? Because that totally just sounded like I was in your kitchen!!

    I don't trust skinny cooks. So I don't cook what Giada says. This is why! ;)


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