To overcome my biggest fear of failure, I have decided to cook! I rarely ever cook and since I have not been living with my mom since I was 18, she never really had a chance to teach me how to cook. I am such a terrible cook that I even once failed to even follow directions to bake brownies… Which made me really disappointed in myself and then I never had the desire to cook anything else.
But I will never learn unless I take chances and learn from my mistakes. So I have decided to try and cook one of my favorite dishes, baked ziti! Although it may be a foolproof dish, with my tendencies to make mistakes, I was extremely nervous to tackle this task. My boyfriend’s mother kept telling me it is going to be easy and simple since it is just making the pasta, sauce and just stirring it all together, but everything is unpredictable for me, so a mistake can definitely occur.
I’ve tried to re-create two different types of dishes, one was predominately red sauce and the other one was red sauce and pesto, which I found extremely interesting. The first one that I attempted to cook was the red sauce recipe, although at times I was getting frustrated because chopping the onions was extremely difficult and not thinking of boiling water for the pasta while I did everything else, I did not want to ask anyone for help because I wanted to say I did it all on my own. Even though I did not want to fail, I had too much pride to ask anyone!
Since I live with my boyfriend and his family, I had them be my guinea pigs to try what I have attempted to cook. Although they were hesitant, they agreed to eat it and let me know what I could improve for my second recipe. I was extremely nervous to let them try it because I did not want them having terrible stomach aches and spending the rest of the night constantly running to the bathroom.
They ate my first dish and surprisingly they really enjoyed it! A couple of things they mentioned that I could change were to not cook the pasta as long as I did and putting less salt into the sauce! After I seen them enjoy the dish, I was a lot more excited to try and cook my second dish the next day since it was different and it would be a new challenge.
The second recipe was definitely the same concept, just called for different sauces, not as much meat and used different pasta. I also was a lot more comfortable to multi-task, which saved me a lot more time! They tried my second dish and enjoyed it a lot more than the first one because I didn’t season it as much as I did for the first one and the pasta was not over cooked.
I learnt a lot about myself after cooking two different dishes, which actually surprised me a lot. I’ve learnt that I do not give up easily and I have too much pride, my boyfriend kept teasing me that I’m going to fail and he is going to end up cooking it for me, but I was able to put it in his face that I was able to complete my tasks and at that, I did it on my own! After making 2 successful dishes, beside the fact that I never cook and I have no background experience in cooking, it made me want to try to cook more often and learn! I’m happy with both recipes and will keep them so I can cook it again in the future since we’re pretty pasta-ed out from eating it for a couple days straight…
Baked Ziti #1 Recipe
Baked Ziti #2 Recipe