I decided that I needed some inspiration. I have no idea what I should cook! So I googled what the best cookbook would be for a beginner. How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman came up as a common recommendation. I ordered it and then ordered some takeout.
When my new cookbook arrived I was excited to look through it, but I was disappointed to find there were no pictures, but I suppose I can use my imagination.
I picked two things from the book to attempt. One was a mushroom risotto and the other was a panko crusted chicken. Risotto because it seemed fancy yet manageable and the chicken because it seemed like it would 'go' with the risotto.
I invited a friend over to give a second opinion on my endeavor. She observed that I seemed a bit scattered when preparing the meal. NOTE TO SELF: Read the recipe before you start cooking. I noticed that I was hurried and my timing was off because I did not realize how long each step would take.
Risotto is one of those things that even the contestants on Top Chef have trouble with so I was pretty happy when mine came out edible. It was a bit undercooked, but overall, it had good flavor. My boyfriend and my guest were impressed.
The chicken is a different story. It was so bland it was hard to eat. It wasn't dry, but the panko made your mouth feel dry. The recipe did not call for any real seasoning so the chicken had no real flavor. It was a failure, but my two 'testers' salvaged it by adding creole seasoning to it.
Not a terrible first effort, but left a lot to be desired. For my next meal, I will take pictures as I go.