Friday, January 14, 2011
As much as I love food, cooking has never been my forte.  I've always been much better at consuming it than preparing it, hence the reason I am where I am right now - over weight and with zero cooking skills!  Yesterday I decided I needed to make a change.  It's about time I learn to cook at least a decent enough meal that my family would not only enjoy but also something healthy.  I vowed to rely less on fast food and take-out, a big source of my problem, and make more home cooked meals.

Last night was my first real attempt at cooking outside the box.  No prepackaged food (with the exception of some canned ingredients, but that doesn't really count as "prepackaged", right?).  I went shopping for all my ingredients to make creamy white chili, a recipe a friend had brought to a recipe swap I held a few years ago.  I have attempted to make this recipe before with some success.  I left out what I now know to be a key ingredient, onions!  For those of you who don't know my eating habits very well, I hate onions... correction, I LOATH onions!  I don't really know why, my dad hates them more than I do and I guess as a kid, I saw how much he hated them so in turn I hated them too.  I can spot an onion a mile away in my food.  I've picked them out in the past, refusing to eat food that contained onions.  It was bad, really bad!  As I read through the ingredient list at the market yesterday, I came to a sudden stop at the dreadful word, "onion".  I shuttered at the thought of having to cook with onions, but I was determined to use every ingredient this recipe called for.

By the time I got home and was ready to start cooking, it was already past 9:00.  The baby had already eaten, which was my intention.  I didn't really want her to eat the first real thing I've ever cooked.  I'd rather the hubs and I be the test dummies for this experiment.  I'll leave the safer foods for her to eat, at least until I get the hang of things or I make something that we both like.  I started by chopping up some garlic.  I was pretty surprised I still had some good chopping skills.  I had taken a cooking class back in high school in an attempt to learn to cook.  Baking was more my strong point, but my knife skills had impressed my cooking teacher enough to have me assist her in teaching a class on proper knife etiquette.  I still had it.  I was able to mince the 2 cloves of garlic to perfection!  Next came the dreaded ONION!  I had to brace myself for this one.  Even in my cooking class, I couldn't handle having to chop an onion.  I remember paying my partner to chop it for me, I didn't even want to touch the thing.  A little over exaggerated, but what can I say, I really didn't like onions.  So there I stood in the middle of my kitchen, knife in hand and my worst enemy placed front and center on the large white slab.  Before making any attempt to dismember my enemy, I had to prepare myself.  I moved the cutting board over by the sink and turned on the faucet.  Then I reached the highest shelf in my cabinet for a bag of lollipops I keep hidden for melt downs and bribes and stuck the sweet treat in my mouth.  I wasn't going to let my enemy overpower me!  I was determined to concur my fear and I'd use every trick in the book to do it!

To my surprise, it worked!  Well, until the very end.  By the last few chops my eyes couldn't take it anymore and I could feel the tears welling up.  But I had survived.  On my cutting board the onion lay perfectly peeled, diced and ready to cook.  After cubing the chicken, I threw the garlic, onions and chicken into a large sauce pan with a little vegetable oil and let it simmer until the chicken was no longer pink.  Once the chicken was ready, I threw in the broth, white beans, and spices and let that simmer some more while I chopped up a jalapeno.

Word of advice, after cutting a jalapeno, wash hands immediately!!!  I can't stress this enough!  Take it from me, scratching your nose after cutting a jalapeno is not a pleasant feeling!  And if you are like me and forget to wash your hands, rest assure that I now know the remedy.  Rubbing Alcohol!  Yes, you read that correctly, rubbing alcohol.  Thanks to google and my iPhone, I was able to find out a remedy in seconds and within a few short moments after applying the rubbing alcohol, the burning sensation had diminished and was soon gone.  (This is because the rubbing alcohol is able to dissolve the oils that cause the burning sensation!)

After adding the last ingredient, the jalapenos, I let the mixture come to a boil then set it to simmer for 30 minutes.  Once ready to eat, I added the whipping cream and sour cream and viola, dinner was served!  Here is the end result...

An absolute success!  Even the hubs loved it!  Yay me, I made an edible, tasty and enjoyable home cooked creamy white chili!  I have to say, I did pat myself on the back for this one.  Who knew that my first dish would be such a success, not me that's for sure!!!


macylee36 said...

You should give yourself some more credit, that dish looks great! Also a hint for things like jalapenos, onions and garlic - I just use disposable gloves :)

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