We had so much fun with our super guests for the Superbowl, (the fiery Red Cardigan and her lovely family), and I have to say that the dessert disaster below turned out excellent! (I'll need to ice my shoulder after all that reaching around to pat myself.) I admit it, I am proud of this one only because I don't exactly have the best track record when it comes to "MacGyvering" in the kitchen. I am the kind of cook who can usually make really yummy things by following a recipe exactly. I have, on occasion, tampered with or tweaked a recipe and still produced good quality food, but I think most of that has to do with a knack for choosing very forgiving recipes.
The times in which I have tried to "create" on my own, flying solo with nothing but my limited knowledge of chemistry and the experience under my belt...well, let's just say that Husband definitely earned his "new husband stripes" that first year of marriage! That is not to say that I got better over the next 10 years, I mostly just gave up trying. (You're welcome sweetie!) So, if I have any advice to offer a newly married, sweet, young, bright eyed optimist whose mother didn't teach her the finer arts of domesticity it would be this:
1. Start with a good cookbook that has a lot of basics in it. Save the gourmet ones for your first anniversary.
2. When you get the itch to create completely from scratch, stick with desserts: cake, cream, fruit and chocolate rarely ever fail you. It may not look pretty, but it will probably taste great!
3. If you think you can make a veggie pot pie using frozen vegetables and the left over clam chowder in the fridge, save yourself the trouble and toss it in the trash before you even dirty a bowl. This way, you not only save the electricity you would have used to bake it but also the time spent cleaning your oven after it bubbles out of the pie crust!. Just grab your guy and head to your favorite restaurant for a quiet dinner for two. Stay out late because you are enjoying yourselves instead of waiting for the smell to vacate the apartment.