Now that we've lived together for almost two years, and I've been cooking for him that long, I find myself in the supper-rut. You know. I fix the same stuff all the time, and I get sick of fixing it. We have spaghetti, burgers, cube steaks, pork steaks, tacos and chicken. Then we turn around and do it again. Oh we might have a steak here and there, or a roast. I might make fettuccine instead of spaghetti, but for the most part we eat the same stuff all the time.
So I'm always looking for something different to fix that is easy and doesn't require any weird ingredients I don't have. I've added home-made meatballs to our menu, slow-cooker lasagna, and stroganoff (sp?).
Last night I knew we were having chicken. It was the only meat we hadn't had recently, so I laid out some chicken breasts. I had no idea what to fix, though. I could fry them, but that requires mashed potatoes, which we had the night before. I could grill them, but eating grilled chicken every day during my WWL stint pretty much burned me out on that, and hubby doesn't care one way or the other for it.
I got online and started searching recipes. I found a chicken and rice casserole that looked easy, and I had all the ingredients it called for. Score.
I threw it together quickly. I had to use cream of mushroom instead of cream of chicken, but no big deal. I threw in some boullion, the rice and the chicken and let it bake. It smelled pretty good, so I figured it would be a good addition.
Then I checked it. It was supposed to be "done," but when I pulled the foil off I saw a white, soupy mess. It literally looked like something the cat would hork up. About that time Hubby came through the front door.
"Babe," I said in a worried voice, "I did something bad..."
"What is it?" he asked in a tone that added "this time" without him actually saying it.
"I tried to make something I've never made before," I said, crunching up my face, "annnnnnd it doesn't look very good."
He peeped into the oven. "What IS it?"
"A chicken and rice dish," I admitted, though I could have passed it off as just about anything. I was ready to grab my purse and head to town to get a burger.
"Well, let's hope it tastes better than it looks," he said, and plopped in his chair, willing to give it a try.
I let it cook a while longer, then when the rice tasted done, I pulled it out and slopped it onto plates. I was certain Chloe wouldn't eat it. She's going through this 'I hate chicken' phase, and she doesn't want much to do with anything I cook. But, she has to try it, so I slopped her up a little plate, too.
I took a few bites and decided it DID taste better than it looked. It wasn't bad at all. We all worked on our plates, and I tried not to make eye-contact with anyone, afraid of the nasty faces that might be appearing.
"Mom, dis rice is really good. It tastes like chicken soup," Chloe told me. I was relieved. If nothing else I knew she'd eat the rice.
"Thanks, baby girl," I said with a smile.
"I fink I'll try da chicken," she said as she stabbed a bite. As she always does, she nibbled a little off the end. "Mmm. Not bad," she said, and shoved the whole piece in her mouth. "I don't usually like chicken, but dis kind is good. Will you make me dis every time we have chicken?" she asked. I smiled.
I cleaned up my plate and saw that hubby had done the same. I picked up his plate and headed for the kitchen.
"Will you put some more on my plate?" he asked nicely.
"Uh. You want MORE?" I asked, not sure if he was being sarcastic. He will almost always eat one plate of anything I fix, even if he doesn't like it, but it has to be pretty good for him to eat seconds.
"Yes, please. Is there more?"
"Yeah, there's more," I said, still leery. I slopped some more on his plate and put the last piece of chicken on top, and he finished it off.
There was a spoon-full of rice for the dogs when we were done. I had planned on giving them the whole pan and having to buy dinner, but I guess sometimes appearance ISN'T everything :)