Day 6 & 7 Cooking Challenge report: off-roading and Star Wars picnics

By on May 8th
I bought a spatula!

But it's not animal shaped :(

Over the weekend my cooking challenge came to an end. Here's a quick rundown of my experiences from Day 6, with a menu all planned out, and Day 7 with no menu and the instructions to, as Ariel put it, "go off-roading."

Day 6 Lunch: Eat some more turkey sandwich!

And I did! I had the smoked turkey sandwich with paprika mayo that I didn't get to attempt on Day 5. Guys, it was SO good. I'm NOT a fan of mayo. But, again, in the spirit of the challenge, I tried it anyway. Mayo + paprika = DELICIOUS! That is all I have to say about that.

Day 6 Dinner: Fried black bean tacos

Black bean tacos
I'd like to point out a few things about these:

  1. There was some question as to whether this Lifehacker method of making taco shells would work. It does! It totally does. But…
  2. Make sure you have cooking spray. I didn't have any, so I quickly Googled an alternative and used margarine applied with a paper towel. It worked just fine and I TOTALLY made my own taco shells!
  3. The mixture of black beans and diced potatoes is a REALLY good option for vegetarian tacos. Sometimes the potatoes even fooled me into thinking that they were ground beef chunks.
  4. This was one of the easiest things Cat had me make and one of the most delicious.

Day 7: Breakfast

As you may or may not have noticed, the seventh menu hadn't been posted. So I backslid! I had my beloved sourdough toast. After chowing down on my favorite easy breakfast, I checked in with the Home team, and Ariel informed me that she'd like to see me go off-roading — feed myself — and see what I come up with.

Day 7 Lunch: Picnic time!

Star Wars picnic lunch
I, Megan Finley, made a freaking picnic meal from scratch… after Googling "easy picnic meals" for a couple of hours straight. But I finally came up with something on my own. Here's what I whipped up:

  • Cheese sandwich (shaped like the Millenium Falcon optional)
  • Panzanella Bread Salad using this recipe. I didn't even know that this was a thing! I realized that I had a LOT of tomatoes and cucumbers that hadn't been used, so I looked up "tomato and cucumber salad" and found this panzanella recipe that includes bread. I love bread!
  • Strawberries with sugar and mint for dessert.

Day 8 Dinner: Quesadillas and margaritas

My spinach tacos from day 6

It was Cinco de Mayo, so I thought, since I made tacos the night before, I'd make quesadillas. Cat's original recipe called for mushrooms, but, as someone who also hates mushrooms, I've been getting really sick over EVERYTHING having mushrooms in it. So I begged her for a mushroom-less evening. She suggested adding spinach. Which I did! And it was delicious. I served up a quesadilla to my girl Coco, who didn't really want spinach in hers, but decided to give it a go. She commented that she couldn't taste the spinach at all. So it seems that this is a good option for those of you who want to sneak in a little healthy into your cheese-y meal.

And OF COURSE they were good! It's kind of hard to fuck up quesadillas. I'm not saying that I haven't, though. ;) Oh and I also got to use my brand new spatula to flip 'em on the skillet. I = totally professional chef now… right?

So there ya go. I successfully navigated the last day of the challenge ON MY OWN and, except for the sourdough toast, I kicked some ass. I'm particularly proud of my picnic.

Tomorrow, I will have the update on how the entire experience was for me, and the answer to the question that EVERYONE has been asking: Do you think you will keep this up?

In the mean time, do YOU have any specific questions you'd like me to also answer in my results post?

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About Megan Finley

Megan Finley is the Associate Publisher for the Offbeat Empire. When she's not slaving away for the Empire, she's sharing her dork side on her own blog, Twitter @meganfinley, and Instagram @meggyfin.