Progress at cooking!

I had microwaved the chicken and slathered on barbecue sauce when I
realized something important: I was out of cooked-and-frozen rice. I
was out of potatoes, too, and I didn’t think the chicken would go well
with hurriedly-thrown together spaghetti.

Then I discovered the wonders of couscous. Once you get the water
boiling, it takes 5 minutes to get nice, fluffy couscous. Instant
carbohydrates! Yes! Another staple for my diet!

Feeling emboldened by my couscous success two days ago, I tried doing
something equally fancy for breakfast today. Besides, I had run out of
oatmeal, and I needed to work on finishing the tomato sauce I opened
for last night’s 6-bean mock chili (can of 6 types of beans + tomato
sauce = quick meal).

I took two hamburger buns out of the freezer, opened them up, and
popped them into the oven. When I eventually remembered them
(accompanied by requisite panicking and reflections on whether or not
burnt food was really as carcinogenic as my sister said), I was
pleasantly surprised to find out that they were… umm… only
slightly burned. I spread copious amounts of tomato sauce onto each
half-bun, topped it with sliced cheese, put a little more tomato
sauce, and added pineapple chunks. Then I spread some foil to catch
any spilled cheese, popped the buns back into the oven and set the
oven to cook for 2 minutes, watching the buns vigilantly. When the
oven beeped, my very own pizza buns were wonderfully warm and yummy.
Whee!

The Great Tomato Adventure continued at dinner. My roommate bequeathed
to me half a bag of fusilli, and I knew spiral pasta would be just
fantastic with tomato sauce. The question was, what should I put on
it? Adobo? Err, maybe not. Roast chicken? Maybe if I covered it in
cheese, but not really…

AHA! I had bought fresh mushrooms on a whim two weeks ago, and they
were starting to make me wonder whether or not mushrooms get moldy
(err, well, moldier). I fetched a saucepan, cut off a generous portion
of butter, melted the butter, washed and sauteed the mushrooms (by
which I mean I hovered about the pan wondering whether or not I was
burning the mushrooms already), and had six nice, big mushrooms nicely
browned just as the pasta finished cooking. I drained the pasta and
added it to a large bowl together with the mushrooms. Because this was
an exercise to get rid of the tomato sauce, I poured a lot more sauce
than I thought I needed. Turned out to be just perfect: the noodles
picked up the taste of the sauce and the mushrooms provided delicious,
buttery contrast.

I arranged the other mushrooms on a plate, added more butter to them,
and put them in the oven with the timer set to 10 minutes. I still
need to figure out how to properly grill vegetables, though, as they
came out tasting cooked but a bit bland. Hmmm…

Progress! I feel like a sliiiiightly better cook. Yay!

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