Last week, I took out my newly bought Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook and started psyching myself up to try out some of his recipes. Of all the cookbooks I checked out at the bookstore, I picked Jamie’s because he promised that anyone could learn how to cook a decent healthy meal, and he meant anyone. So that should include me, right? Right? But after I committed to a couple of friends to cook for them, I started to hyperventilate and panic. I started feeling lightheaded as I read through the ingredients and how-tos. Cooking is just absolutely not part of my life. I was panic-bbm’ing Drew and telling him I simply cannot cook. I had a vision of myself in front of a burning stove, harassed around the kitchen and cutting my fingers with nothing but awful-tasting food to show for all the headless chicken effort. I was literally in such a foul mood for a couple of days because I was so stressed at the thought of having to cook a meal. I was dragging myself to the supermarket to buy the ingredients I needed and I used every excuse I could to Drew to cancel cooking and kept saying we should just order pizza instead. Thank God for supportive fiances who don’t take your whining seriously and push you to grow up.
I calmed down when Drew pointed out that I should start with what I’m familiar with. I was making myself miserable by intending to do a roast dinner or one of the (hardcore) meats. I had to pace myself and start from somewhere familiar. Like pasta. And fajitas.
I started preparing my ingredients two hours before cooking time because I knew I was going to take forever chopping things up. I was thankful for the supportive atmosphere of our kitchen while I was self-consciously de-seeding the red bell peppers. It took me a good fifteen minutes to slice those up and my mom patiently but laughingly showing me how to “finely chop” the onions. I started to enjoy the smell of the fresh vegetables I was cutting up and despite my nervousness, started to get into the groove of kitchen things.
And so, with a bit of help from Drew, Mom and Van, I think I was able to successfully pull the two recipes off. And yes, Jamie Oliver, you are my new best friend in the kitchen, too.
Chicken Fajitas with Freshly Made Salsa and Baked Camembert Pasta