You can take the girl out of the trailer park....

I cook just a little bit. I mean, I dabble, but I dabble in really complicated stuff. I like to cook, and sometimes, unless it's cookies you're talking, my culinary experiments turn out pretty freaking wonderfully. My kids favorite dinner? Hamburger Helper Stroganoff.


I have explained to them that REAL stroganoff is wonderful. I have made them real stroganoff on more than one occasion, and their response is always the same: "This doesn't taste right, mawm."

It annoys the crap out of me. Thank god I have Josh to cook for.

The problem there is that he works an odd work schedule. He only has coffee for breakfast and is off to work just before lunchtime, and he doesn't get home before 10:30 p.m. for any reason. And so, he only eats with us ever 2 days a week. Those are the days I get to go all out. I make piccatas, stuffed tomatoes, roasts and pastries for dessert. Those two days are mine to shine. Josh's favorite dinner? Shake & Bake chicken.

I am opposed to Shake & Bake at an indescribable level. It takes just as much time to make a breading from scratch and do something amazing with chicken, less time if you have one of these. Me and Shake & Bake? Yeah, we're not friends. And this man, who has a wife who can c.o.o.k., this man who works for one of, arguably, the snootiest, highest end steakhouses in the world, this man who has such a palate that vineyards across North America call him to ask if he'll take the sommelier exams, who knows great food and wine, this man dreams of eating something out of a box. *shudder*

I refuse to cook it for him. Period. I'd refuse to cook it for you, too. If he wants it, he can cook it himself. Now, there are three things Josh will not do: 1) Admit a man-crush (though he totally has one) 2) Wear pink, no matter how flipping good he looks in it and 3) cook. He just doesn't do it. He is more than capable, he just hates it. He has one dish, and it is admittedly good, and that's all he'll do. Not even Kraft macaroni and cheese happens on his watch. And so, last night, after being asked to cook, "Oh, I don't know...something with chicken and maybe something with broccoli", I decided I'd be nice and surprise him with his long-sought-after dinner.

I learned something about Shake & Bake chicken. Though I strongly contend that it sucks ass in a big way, if you take the chicken, throw it on some white bread with a lot of mayo and a slice of American cheese, you will have yourself what may just be the finest white-trash sandwich ever in the history of sandwiches. I think I might try perfecting this. Maybe a chipotle mayo? Maybe sweet potato chips on the side? I don't know, but I want to find out. 'Cause as they say, you can't ever take the trailer park out of the girl.