Wednesday, January 6, 2010

In The Kitchen

Look, I admit I’m not the greatest in the kitchen.

But I do try.

Take trying to make this gingerbread house, for example. I was all set up to put it together. I had visions of it being this spectacular masterpiece.

But then this happened.

I followed the directions, I swear it! It said to lean the pieces on the top together to form a roof. I did this and the whole thing fell down with a thump.

I tried again.

Same thing.

So I just told Tommy that a hurricane came through and knocked down our gingerbread house. Thankfully he accepted this. (Okay, he accepted this after I assured him that no one was living inside the house when the hurricane hit.)

I made up for the broken house with these:

Our Christmas cookies. Sugar cookies with buttercream frosting. In a variety of colors.

Then New Years came around and I figured one of my goals for 2010 should be to cook more. Because fine, I admit it, I make a lot of spaghetti. And Sloppy Joes. There is only so much Hamburger Helper that a person can eat, you know? So I found a few recipes that I wanted to try. The thing is, I’m confused on what some of the ingredients are.

For example, I came across this recipe:

Chorizo Chili.

What the hell is chorizo? The first thing that pops into my mind is a bunch of Chinese men standing in a line. But that doesn’t make any sense, does it?

Then I found something called Citrus Mangoretto Chicken.

WHAT THE HELL IS MANGORETTO? Why don’t recipes explain this with an asterisk or something? Like this: Citrus Mangoretto* Chicken.

*For the people like Amber, mangoretto is……

I still don’t know what mangoretto is. I tried to look it up and nothing explained it. Is it because everyone knows what mangoretto is except for me?

Wait. A light just popped on in my head.

It has something to do with mangos, yes?

Then why don’t they just call it Citrus MANGO Chicken?

This is why I hate cooking.

This is why I stick to making easy things.

Cooking gives me one big giant headache.

However, I'll keep trying to branch out. Like on Friday, I'm making this beef stew recipe that has over 5 ingredients. I can do it. Wish me luck.

But for tonight, I'm sticking with something I know how to make well.



  1. Chorizo is sausage, I believe. As for mangoretta, it sounds like a small mango maybe? Look at me, trying to sound like I actually know what I'm talking about.

  2. beats the heck out of me...i would just run with the tacos too...yummy!!!!!!

  3. Yeah, chorizo is sausage. I watch Iron Chef America a lot.

  4. I think cooking is fun! And I cook most nights...however. I have never heard of mangoretto.
    Mango and Amaretto?

    I can't imagine that going together.

    Amaretto. Straight up.

  5. Ha! This sort of explains why we had tacos for dinner last night! For tonight's dinner, I let the crock pot handle the duties, however, I stared inside at the frozen lump of meat I put in there and actually pondered far, far longer than I should about putting in a can of soup with it. I'm sure whatever it turns out to be is going to be delicious based on the number of "What is that smell?!" comments I've been getting from the family!

  6. Good grief... I had no idea. I love to cook but I keep it very basic!!

  7. I love tacos, so that sounds perfectly fine to me. My household eats entirely too much "helper."

  8. Tacos are an excellent choice! Love the hurricane story!

  9. Chorizo is a mexican sausage. Kind of spicy though.

    Is mangoretto a type of alcohol prehaps?

  10. Hahaha! We are having tacos for dinner tonight. I am totally not about fancy schmancy cooking.

  11. Love your cute! I will be stopping by again tomorrow to read some more. So sorry about the gingerbread hurricane.

  12. Like everyone said, chorizo is a mexican sausage. It kind of shreds when you cut it. In the south they make tacos with it. I find it where the breakfast sausage is in the store.

  13. Mmmmm....chorizo sausage......

    Sounds much better than the bowl of fruity peebles I just downed.


  14. We made that same house and it did the same thing for us.

  15. I've never been much of a cook. I usually stick with the basics, but I'm also trying a beef stew on Friday. That's funny. If it doesn't turn out, I will never try anything new again.

  16. for the first few years that we were married i made a crap load of tuna cassarole and shepards pie. then i found this great thing called chicken "viola". You open the bag, heat and viola dinner is done!

  17. Sign up for Kraft Food and Family magazine. It is FREE and they have some of the best recipes in there that are so easy. They are all literally like 4-7 ingredients and stuff that you know how to pronounce like "cheese" and "taco seasoning"...nothing that you have to search the grocery store for wondering what it is. I haven't made one thing that we haven't liked. The website is - good luck with your stew!

  18. We tried the gingerbread house thing a few years ago, my 'after' picture looked exactly like yours. Stupid gingerbread houses.

  19. Chorizo is small portions though. I don't know what that other stuff is though. I've only gone as far as buying a gingerbread never got put together.

  20. Mmmmmmmm...tacos!! I'm jealous :) Those cookies look fabulous, though, and I'm sure they more than made up for the lack of a gingerbread house!


  21. See my last post to see how much I agree with you.

  22. If I had a family they'd starve. Sad but true.

  23. I've got a great roasted chicken recipe on my blog, and i can type up the bone in pork roast I use :). I also set up a separate email account that gets daily emails full of recipes sent to it and I store them in separate folders :)

  24. We had tacos last night too!! Bubbie is such a picky eater that we tend to eat after he goes to bed. So, we end up eating frozen burritos and pizzas a lot. Shocking that I need to go an a diet....

  25. I know of a drink called the Mango-Retto
    Bacardi Limon, amaretto liquor and mango puree

    don't think that's what the recipe is calling for though...

    Good luck in your cooking endeavors. Kraft has some good recipes on their site.

  26. Try the Pioneer Woman Cooks, she makes real food and her cook book has lots of pictures of what to do! I love it.

    She also has a great blog with lots of recipes for free.

  27. Spaghetti and tacos are favorites at our house, too. Every now and then I make a salad and call it a day. Don't kill yourself. If you have to spend more time researching the ingredients than it actually takes to cook it then it's probably not worth it. That's my excuse anyway :) Good Luck on the beef stew!

  28. This is why you just hop on over and visit me for ideas. I can tell you one thing, if I do decide to make Citrus Mangoretto, I'll just be calling it Citrus Mango Chicken!:D

    Tacos are always my back up plan. You can't go wrong!

  29. Mangoretto? WTF? All I can think of is Mango+Amaretto? Which sounds really, really, revolting.

  30. In my house, I like to embrace sandwich based cuisine- there are endless options and not a mangoretto in sight. I might go wild and try making tacos at the weekend though. You've inspired me!

  31. Haha Your post made me laugh. Love the cookeis and the um...hurricane house. :)
    Stopping in from SITs.

  32. buttercream and cookies trumps gingerbread any day!

    paula deen has a good (and easy) beef stew recipe that i make all the time.

  33. I agree with Jenn who commented above ... the Kraft Food & Family magazine is awesome. Their recipes are easy and economical.

    My kids love taco bake. You brown some hamburger, mix it with a box of shells-n-cheese, a jar of salsa, and pretty much whatever else you'd put on a taco (I use sour cream, shredded cheese, black olives, green onions). Mix it all together and bake it at like 325 for like 30 minutes. It's a pretty forgiving recipe. :)

  34. I could NOT cook until my mom bought me this book: and now I can cook a lot of stuff that is *delicious*.

    Also, someone mentioned above the Kraft Food and Family Magazine. Don't sign up for it. Just make an account on and opt out of the magazine. All of the recipes are online, and you can browse thru all the back issues of the magazine on your computer. Their recipes are super simple, and they have options for "Meals in Minutes", "Budget Dinners", "One Bag, Five Dinners" (my favorite) and a whole bunch of healthier meals and things to get your kids cooking with you (totally optional...) Good luck!

  35. yes, yes.. i totally get you, i hate all these fancy, smancy recipe names.. it sorta stresses me out!!!

    beautiful little cookies you made though.. i bet they were goooood!!!

  36. Even if you just stick to the sugar cookies - and the frozen pizzas - you'll be tops in my book.


  37. People have it right that chorizo is a mexican sausage and it is delicious!!

    I love to cook and Im darn good at it....which reminds me I seriously need to get back to putting recipes up regularly on my food blog!

  38. Amber, you remind me of my baby sister so much. Despite growing up in the same household I did, she cannot cook. Apparently, I got all of the "good cook" genes. I guess that's why she got all of the "skinny" genes. We used to fear that her babies would glow in the dark because she spent so much time in front of the microwave warming up frozen food. =]

    She now calls me and we log on to together so I can explain what the recipe is saying for ones she wants to try.


  39. Ever since I met Dennis I hate cooking too because I realize how bad I am at it..... or ... how much better he is? Something like that. Anyway ... I have two hot dish recipes that I make in the crock pot that I make a lot! LOL... when I cook, it's either one of those, or spaghetti w/ pepperoni, or meatloaf, or roast in the crockpot .. or... something that comes out of a box and gets thrown in the oven. LOL..

  40. Because I want to helpful, but too lazy to read your comments to see if someone else already said it, Chorizo is Mexican sausage. I imagine it's made from donkeys (I don't KNOW that, it just FEELS like it would be), so I don't eat it.

    I make a kick-ass shrimp fried rice that's pretty easy. Even people who don't like fried rice like MY fried rice. If you want the recipe, let me know.

  41. Oh - Mangoretto - according to the culinary expert in our house, is some crazy term some fool made up. LOL... he says it's probably some combination of Mango and Amaretto

  42. chorizo is mexican sausage. There's so many trends in the food world it's ridiculous and overwhelming. Just stick with the classics, that's what I do for the most part. I've got some good cookbooks I could recommend...

  43. Girl, I'm all about the easy. I'll e-mail you some recipes. :)

  44. I love to cook. My problem is the lack of space in our trailer. And I really make a mess.

    I know that chorizo is the mexican sausage - spicy for me. Never heard of the other word.

    30 minute meals are pretty easy from Rachel Ray.

  45. Dude, cooking sucks.

    Every time I try, I end up pitching a giant hissy and often crying.

    I heat up a lot of soup.


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