Culinary deja vu

[Insert self pat-on-the-back here.]  In tonight’s meal, I used a jalapeno!  I’ve never even liked jalapenos.  Just the word “jalapeno” once made me cringe.  But since my recent realization that I do indeed enjoy onions in my food, I decided to give jalapenos a whirl.  Dinner tonight was chicken jalapeno quesadillas.  They turned out pretty tasty.  And I actually enjoyed the jalapeno!

However, my pride was short-lived.  While I tried something new tonight, I feel like it wasn’t new enough.  Part of my keeping this blog is to inspire myself to step out of my comfort zone and do things I don’t think I’m capable of.  But tonight, dinner was nothing more than tossing together some chicken breasts and jalapenos, slapping them on a tortilla, burying them in some cheese, and sticking them in the oven.  I’ve known how to make quesadillas since I was a child.  There was nothing about tonight’s dinner that challenged me or tested my abilities.  As an aspiring chef, this is one of my biggest faults.

Over the past year, I’ve tried dozens of new recipes and I’ve failed to understand how I still just plain suck at cooking.  Now I’m realizing, I’m not going to make any progress if I try the same things over…and over…and over.  Almost everything I have made involves pasta, chicken, cheese, tomato sauce, or beans.  If the ingredients get more complex, the steps themselves sure as hell don’t.  Any recipe that requires more than tossing ingredients in a pan and stirring usually sends me running for the hills.  Just the other day, I read a recipe that sounded delicious and I didn’t even bother to bookmark it because I didn’t think I was capable.  I doubted myself.  And as long as I keep doubting myself, I’ll never be anything other than a girl who tosses ingredients in a pan and stirs them.

My goal for next week is to find a recipe I’d imagine is “out of my league,” so to speak, and I’m going to cook it.  It may burn, it may taste like baby poo, it may make me cry and hate myself for a day or two–but no matter what, I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing I tried, and that trying eventually leads to succeeding.

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