Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Simple Mac 'n Ham

Recipe #8: http://www.kraftcanada.com/en/recipes/simple-mac-n-ham-87293.aspx

I've hit recipe rock-bottom. I made something with Kraft Dinner. It was Spongebob Squarepants KD if that's any consolation. Not because I'm a Spongebob fan, but simply because it was on sale at Target the other day. I hang my head in humiliation.

Today was another rush-rush day so I needed a quick recipe that would not require a trip to the grocery store. I was also looking for one to help use up the sour cream taking up space in the fridge without having to make more pea soup which was the reason I bought the sour cream in the first place.

I really need to stop doing so many things at once. Everything was going well until the Word document I was working on suddenly decided to type my work in red with underline. What the heck? I hit something by accident, but without any idea what exactly I'd done, I wasn't able to fix this problem on my own. The person receiving the document is UBER finicky about formatting so I couldn't suddenly hand in something that had 1/3 red underlined text in it. What to do? Quick email to cousin Jenny, a bit of searching in Word, and suddenly my problem is gone. Thanks Jenny! You saved that one.

In the meantime, while my computer was rebooting (first attempt to fix Word problem on my own), I decided to maximize my time and start the KD Disaster as I call it. Haul out the trusty pot, take ingredients out of fridge and freezer. Minimal counter space that I have looks like my fridge vomited on it. I didn't have the ham that the recipe called for so I took some suspicious looking frozen chicken sandwich meat thing-ness out of the freezer and jerry-thawed it in a bowl of hot water. Desperate times call for desperate measures and some improv.

Back to check email, try the suggestions from Jenny, heave large sigh of relief that document is no longer buggered. Now that I've no time to keep working on it, back to the kitchen. Here's where I run into some stress. I'm trying to make a recipe that says to make something from how the box of it tells you to make it. That's cheating. Now I'm making two recipes in one. I bet those sly Kraft people had a good laugh at that one.

So while making the KD on the stove (uber slow method for me), I'm trying to figure out what I need to prep for the rest of the recipe. Oh, I can add broccoli instead of peas? Heck, I have both! More vegetables are better for me, right? So now I'm hacking broccoli and trying to figure out when to add it to the water. Ok, 4 minutes from the end of cooking. Wait. When's the end of the cooking? Damn. Minimum suggested cooking time is 12 minutes, minus 4 is 8 minutes which is what I set the timer for.

Back to computer, mess around some more, return to kitchen and finish trying to get rid of mess on counter. Timer goes, broccoli goes in, reset timer for another 2 minutes for peas. Why are you setting the time for 2 minutes, you might ask. Did I mention I'm easily distracted? Enough said. This time, I only dropped 3 peas on the floor. It's an improvement, especially over the rice that landed there last week.

Drain green and noodle mess, now which recipe am I on? Still need to add the milk, fake cheese, and close-to-a-raincoat-according-to-some margarine. Lucky for me, I figured out without the help of the above recipe that I had to drain the pasta sludge before adding everything else. Ha! There's no fooling me anymore. Slop in sour cream, dump 2 cups of mostly thawed, hacked up, scary-feeling chicken product and stir. It's not pretty but it's what's for dinner.

Overall, not too bad in taste. The chicken meat stuff has an odd rubbery, slightly firm texture that I'm not completely fond of, but if you eat it quickly and read something while eating, you probably won't notice too much. The recipe is also kind of bland but I'm not good enough yet to suggest anything beyond black pepper to fix that. I used skim milk too which may or may not have influenced taste and texture. Like I said, eat it fast with distractions...

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