culinary delights (or not)

I like to cook. I have since before I was diagnosed with celiac, and even more since. I love cooking food that my friends without allergies will genuinely love, instead of sympathetically tolerating it to make me feel better about my restrictions. This weekend I had a blast cooking all kinds food I didn’t have to purchase (best thing about being at my parents’ house!), like taco salad with fresh guacamole, tomatoes, and cilantro; middle eastern bison meatballs with cilantro-yogurt sauce, fresh hummus, and minted vegetable salad; gluten-free/dairy-free chocolate cake by Pamela’s with chocolate chip & coconut milk frosting; and Andean bean soup with quinoa and butternut squash. Yum. Oh, and I also made orange-clove pancakes from a Glutino pancake mix. Also yum.

With the exception of the taco salad ensemble, frosting and the orange-clove part of the pancakes, everything I made this weekend had a recipe that I followed closely, with minimal adaptations. The recipes were just that good that they didn’t need modification, and I didn’t want to mess any of them up. I usually prefer following recipes, at least the first few times I make something, especially if it’s a particularly complex creation, or one that has a tendency to be difficult (any gluten-free baking recipes). Occasionally I’m able to make something up and have it turn out okay or even really good (like the orange-clove pancakes…wow), but usually I prefer to follow a recipe.

This morning, I got ready faster than usual and had some time to kill before needing to leave for work. Knowing I would be getting back late this evening, I decided to throw something in the crock pot. Now, crock pot recipes are usually easy: throw in some meat, vegetables, & a sauce, let simmer on low for 8-10 hours and you’re good to go. In fact, some of the best meals I’ve ever made have been crock pot recipes; I love the way the spices infuse themselves through the meat and veggies, and everything comes out falling-apart soft. Yum. This morning, however, was an exception to my previous successes. I didn’t have a computer around, which meant I couldn’t look up a recipe to go with my limited ingredients, which also meant I’d have to make something up. So, I grabbed some frozen chicken breast, the last two potatoes and the remaining half an onion, and threw them into a crock pot with some vegetable broth. Not wanting to leave out my green veggies for the day, I also threw in some Swiss chard that had been in my freezer since summertime.

You see where I went wrong. If anyone knows anything about Swiss chard, they know it has a very strong taste and takes some getting used to. Well, I think it ruined my crockpot dinner. The smell when I walked in the door was ambivalent at best, and the taste wasn’t much better. Will I throw it away? Absolutely not. Will I enjoy it wholeheartedly? Probably not. This is one tale of an on-the-fly recipe gone completely wrong, but it’s still my dinner for the night. You can’t win ’em all, I guess.

About LynnaeEtta

I'm an Usborne Books & More Independent Consultant who loves reading, exploring nature and the city with my kids, cooking, photography, and spending time with family and friends.


  1. Oh well can't win 'em all. Besides the bison meatballs with cilantro-yogurt sauce really kind of makes up for anything that goes wrong for a long, long time. Oohhh cilantro-yogurt sauce.

  2. hi! I just saw your facebook link and thought I'd check out your blog and say hi. I'll admit I only skimmed most of the posts, but they were interesting!


  3. yeah. the Chocolate cake pardons you too. So crazy good.

  4. LynnaeEtta

    Dad & Joel, thanks for your pardon, it's so generous of you. 🙂 Just wait 'til Christmas… *sigh*

    Amanda, good to hear from you! I'm glad you stumbled on my blog.

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