I have actually started branching out in my cooking. I am MUCH better than I used to be but I still tend to stick with the things I am comfortable making. Some examples would be tacos, Hamburger Helper, spaghetti, eggs & bacon, and some crock pot meals.
A few things I have ventured outside of my comfort zone to make with some success was french toast, sliders, and most recently, a baked spaghetti. I have to share my story with you on the making of the baked dish becuase it was a doozy.
I was at work the other day trying to decide what I wanted to cook that night. I was in the mood to try something new so I was checking out recipes online for hamburger meat, something I knew I had at home. I was also paying attention to the ingredients the recipes called for because I didnt want to have to go to the grocery store. I ran across one for baked spaghetti and after scanning it, other than the sauce I had everything at the house.
I stopped at Walgreens because it was right on the way home and grabbed the sauce and as soon as I walked in the door, I began to prep because it said it took 45 minutes to bake and I didnt want the kids to have to eat much later than normal. Now I must tell you that this was the first recipe that called for so many steps. Usually the dish I make may have a lot of ingredients but they tend to all go in one pot or pan. This had me browning meat, sauteing onions, boiling noodles, and also whipping together some other ingredients in a bowl. A lot of steps and things going on for this beginner cook.
I had the meat defrosting in the microwave and went to the pantry to get the noodles out. Now I have to tell you, we always have 2 or 3 bags of pasta. Always. The reason is everytime we go grocery shopping, we grab another bag or two just because. I look at the shelf and there is little left in 1 bag and that is it. Turns out my husband had used the rest the other day when he had made spaghetti for us and another batch for a benefit we were having at work. I toss the pasta that is left and ask Claire to go and see if she can borrow a bag from a neighbor.
She comes back with a box that looks a little old but I figure it will work. She is standing there with me and telling me who she got it from while I open the box and pour them in. Immediatly the water turns cloudy and I see little brown things floating on top of the water. I look closer and see that they are shells from roaches. Nasty.
I ended up throwing all of that out and running up to the gas station to buy the last two boxes pasta that they had. So needless to say, on top of the stress I was already feeling from the steps of the recipe and then having to recover from the bug pasta, I was so proud of myself when it turned out good.
If you are interested in the recipe, sans bugs ;), let me know!