14It is no secret that I haven’t really ventured outside of my cooking comfort zone since the kale salad fail. My confidence took a serious hit, but when I saw the OSG recipe for Enchilada Casserole I thought, ‘How hard could it be to cut up some peppers and toss a can of beans into a baking dish?’ The answer: not super hard. Even with having to make the enchilada sauce (and homemade taco seasoning!), it was a pretty painless endeavor. Perhaps my new kraken-clad cutting board had something to do with it. Best Christmas gift everrrrrrr.

Note to self: buy a whisk. Buy a whisk so that you will be prepared for the the next time you make a sauce using a recipe that mentions the word ‘whisk’ nine times. And buy a whisk because it is especially ridiculous that you somehow have a cooking blog and yet do not own a whisk.

Even though I didn’t use a whisk (let it be known that I keep typing ‘whiskey’…), doubled the onion powder because I own zero garlic powder and accidentally bought one plain tomato paste and one garlic herb tomato paste, the sauce came out pretty good.

Next up: cutting vegetables. The last two times I’ve cut vegetables, I thought to myself, ‘I really need to Google how to do this because there is no way I am doing this right.’ Real paddle. However, I decided to forgo the Google search for the time being and seek answers to a more pressing question:

scallionsPerfect.

Scallions, done. Jalapeño, done. Onions, done.

I cut the top off my gorgeous yellow pepper only to reveal what looked like several yellow pepper fetuses growing inside. I was immediately repulsed.

5But chopped it anyway.

4Once the veggies were done sautéing, it occurred to me that I didn’t peel any of the stickers off any of the peppers. I promptly decided it was OK to ingest a small amount of melted plastic as part of my meal and continued to combine ingredients, adding the beans and the enchilada sauce like the recipe said.

At this point, my biggest pan is feeling pretty small.

2I stirred slowly and purposefully, keeping most of the contents in the pan. Success! Except that the next step called for adding the pasta and cheese.

Right.

Remember that time I made enchilada casserole in a giant stockpot?

Because I do.

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10I need bigger pans. Or a saute pan. Or to hire a personal chef.

Still, the stockpot was a genius move.

I used veggie pasta because #veggies but also because I’m pretty sure that 85% (or roughly 17/20) of the items consumed during my trip to SF last week were bread-related products. Veggie pasta seemed like the best alternative until my brilliant girlfriend one-upped me by substituting quinoa. She is the smartest.

I emptied the contents of the pot into a baking dish that was way too big for the amount of casserole happening and covered the whole thing with an entire bag of cheese (lactose what?).

8Contrary to popular belief, setting timers is not for losers. I set a timer and let that puppy cook until the top turned golden brown.

The verdict? Pretty damn good. Though I think I’ll go with quinoa next time.

dish