Day 3 Cooking Challenge report: Megan gets her groove back

By on May 2nd

Today is Day 4 of Offbeat Home's Cooking Challenge, wherein we see if Offbeat Bride's Managing Editor Megan, a complete non-cook who lives off of cereal and frozen meals, can go an entire week preparing her own meals.

Each day, Megan will recount how yesterday's cooking went, and we'll share the next day's recipes prepared by Cat Rocketship (who SWEARS you can afford better food!). Feel free to cook along with Megan, if you'd like!


I'm smiling because I don't have to make a quiche.

Cat, in her infinite kindness, gave me a lighter cooking day for Day 3 of the Offbeat Home cooking challenge.

That bagel, goat cheese, and apple breakfast that took me an hour to make on Sunday, took me about 30 minutes to make this time. I'm getting better!

Most of the difficulty is because my knives are really dull. Thankfully part of my homework yesterday was to learn how to sharpen knives. I do not have a whetstone or a sharpening steel, but my neighbor, who's a professional chef de cuisine, DOES. He's bringing home his materials tonight and is going to give me an in-person lesson. I'm spoiled, I know.

But even though it's dull, check out how cute my paring knife is!:

But look how cute my paring knife is! He's smiling. :)

Since you already saw me go through making the goat cheese and apple bagel (complete with apple slicing anxiety), let's jump ahead to lunch, shall we?

Lunch Day 3: Asian turkey sandwich with hoisin sauce

My turkey & hoisin sandwich. I learned that hoisin sauce will leak thru bread. #obhfood

I had NO IDEA what hoisin sauce was until I went shopping for it three days ago. Fortunately my buddy Alex knew exactly what it was, or I'd probably STILL be roaming the aisles of the grocery store asking Siri "where can I find the hoisin sauce in the West Hollywood Ralph's?"

I have a turkey sandwich almost every day with lettuce, cheese, and mustard, so I was not too sure about ditching my beloved mustard and bringing in this Asian saucy interloper. I seriously knew so little about it that I actually asked Cat where I should put the sauce. She recommended on the turkey. What she didn't warn me was that there should be some kind of barrier between the hoisin and the bread. That shit leaks. I had soggy sticky bread, until I created a nifty cheese barrier.

And how did I like my mustard switcheroo? I LOVED IT! And that's a good thing, because I was forced to buy a pretty big bottle of hoisin sauce.

Anyone else try that sandwich? OR have any more ideas on what I can use the sauce in? Because seriously, I have a LOT of it.

Dinner Day 3: Parm-mushroom-spinach risotto with a salad

This is what my husband had for lunch… and dinner last night… and lunch and dinner the day before:

For comparison, this is my husband's lunch!

It's what he would have had on Day 3, if he hadn't come home in time for my risotto dinner. And it went a little something like this:

Oh! And I forgot to include the salad in that vid. I made the salad AND the salad dressing (since Cat didn't put salad dressing on the shopping list and OF COURSE I didn't have any). Thankfully Offbeat Home reader Lady Brett left a super helpful comment about how to easily make your own. So I did it, and it was one of the best salad dressings ever. So thanks for that Lady B!

Now I have a TON of risotto left over. Anyone have any ideas if there's some kind of crazy good risotto and hoisin sauce recipe? Because I totally have an influx of both. ;)

Hell yeah, risotto dinner! #obhfood #soproud

All in all, Day 3 was a success. But it was, admittedly, an easy day. Day 4 brings with it all new challenges, PLUS something I've always wanted to learn how to make on my own — macaroni and cheese!

So, who's been virtually dining with me? What did you think of day 3?

While Megan will do full posts each day, you can see photos and follow her Offbeat Home cooking challenge adventures real-time, too: @meganfinley #obhfood

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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.