Day 2 Cooking Challenge report: the quiche that ruined my day #Food#cooking challenge May 1 2012 | Megan Finley Horowitz meggyfin Today is Day 3 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! The quiche that almost broke my spirit. Homies, I have to be honest here and say, I let y'all down, I let Cat down, I let myself down, I let The Empire down… I only cooked ONE meal on my own yesterday. But I did manage to stay away from all packaged foods! I made breakfast, then had a big home-made lunch with friends on their last day in the country, and then, by the time I returned from dropping them off at the airport, it was past 9pm and I was too exhausted to make dinner or even eat. BUT! I do have reports from Day 1's dinner and Day 2's breakfast. This is how nerds cook -- keeping an eye on the sauce AND Twitter at the same time. Photo by 2people1life Dinner Day 1: Spaghetti with red sauce and parmesan-roasted broccoli I'd heard that onions "make you cry," BUT NO: they sting the very core of your eye ball sockets until your eyes submit to its stingy superiority and leak salty offerings to appease the onion god and make the pain stop. My friend Alex (previously mentioned during my shopping expedition) told me to hold piece of bread on the roof of my mouth. It kind of helped, in that I stopped wanting to die and went on to be barely comfortable. Seriously, fuck onions. Related Post Cooking challenge final results: Lasagnes and lessons learned In which I give y'all the breakdown of my last few challenge meals, including a video with a special guest star. Then I break down... Read more Anywhoo, the rest of spaghetti time was a success! I made my first NOT-from-a-can red sauce and it was delicious! I even liked the whole wheat spagetti that Cat made me purchase. When I first picked up the package I thought "Aw man, this is gonna taste like cardboard." But no! Barilla's whole wheat spagetti noodles are actually tasty. And my husband, whose diet is even WORSE than mine, even liked it. I felt accomplished after last night. The next morning was different story… Breakfast Day 2: Breakfast quiche I woke up feeling hungry and wanting so badly to just pop in a few pieces of toast and be done with it. But no, I had to make a quiche. I was even excited! I freaking LOVE quiche (quiches?), but not-so-much excited when I realized the first thing I had to do was tango with Mr Onion again. Seriously, fuck onions. The rest of it went something like this: After 40 minutes I opened to oven to find this: I tweeted "Oh no! I don't think it's supposed to rise up out of the crust like that!" And immediately was assured that it was normal and it would settle down. When it finally settles down and was cool enough for me to it… it was BAD! I was starving enough to originally think, "it's got great, but it doesn't suck." Then two more bites into it I realized, nope, it sucks. Cat suggested maybe it wasn't salty enough — that was true. I thought that it was because I used Swiss cheese, which I normally like, but I feel it didn't taste right in a quiche. Looking back on it later today, I relized, I like fluffy light quiches and this one was DENSE. Anyone have any reason why that was? What I could do to make it fluffier? Less cheese perhaps? More half and half? By the time I admitted defeat on my quiche from hell, it was time for lunch. Lunch today was a special date I made with my friends Lisa and Alex who made roast beef and yorkshire pudding with green beans and carrots. YUM! And I didn't technically cheat as it wasn't a pre-packaged meal! Still eating healthier here, people. And that's the whole point (aside from Cat trying to mentally break me down). I'm ready to kick ass on Day 3! Did anyone else cook along with me yesterday? Did anyone else have quiche troubles? 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 Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Megan Finley Horowitz When Megan's not writing, traveling, and sleeping, she's eating like the fate of the world depends on it. (You're welcome, world!) You can snoop into her personal life over on her website The Dash and Dine! @meggyfin @thedashanddine @meggyfin PREVIOUS Day 4 recipes: oven-baked macaroni and cheese NEXT Protect yourself with a kitty cat keychain… with claws Show/Hide comments [ 84 ] I too love me some quiche. I actually have three of them prepared and uncooked in my freezer. I don't usually do this, but I've heard that separating the egg whites and giving them a little beat will fluff-ify your quiche. And while I love swiss in a quiche, I sometimes put in some sharp cheddar (or another stronger cheese) along with it for some added flavor. I also find the spinach is an ingredient that lends a lot of flavor…for some reason. OH and if you're making your own crust, don't forget to add a pinch of sugar into it or it'll be blaaaand. Don't give up on that homemade quiche, Megan! Reply I agree on don't give up! Quiche is one of my favorite weeknight meals, because it's quick and easy (once you get the knack), and you can pretty much put anything in it. Leftover chicken? Sure! Shred it up and throw it in! Those last few veggies hanging out in the freezer? Welcome to the party, veggies! Reply Also, you don't even need a crust. I think it's called a fritatta then, but basically it's a crustless quiche and is the easiest thing EVER. Beat eggs, add leftovers, bake. Voila! Reply Although fritatta is often called a "crustless quiche", they are NOT technically the same thing! Though they are both awesome! To make a fritatta, you sautee your vegetables in a skillet, pour eggs over top, let the bottom set on the stove, scatter cheese on it, and finish it off under the broiler. To make a crustless quiche (AND I DID THAT LAST NIGHT AND I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW ABOUT MEGAN'S QUICHE YET) you make quiche filling, pour it over veggies in a pan, and then stick the whole thing in the oven and bake it like a quiche and it makes this yummy browned crusty thing around the top. Fritatta doesn't have the fluffiness of a quiche because you don't put milk in it/beat egg whites (if you are obsessed with beaten egg whites, as I am. Because they make everything better.) Fritattas are faster and easier. Quiches take longer and are more fiddly. But they are both grooooood. Reply You know, I forgot to mention this in the post, but I DID end up using spinach instead of broccoli because I ran out of broccoli at dinner. And now I'm just bummed that I used all my spinach up. 🙁 Reply I also hate dense quiches. As I understand it, the trick is all in how much you beat the eggs. The longer you beat them, the airier they get. I usually beat them until I am too bored/my arm is too tired to do it anymore. Then I rest for a second, beat them a little more, and call it done. 1 agrees Reply Awww…sorry about your quiche fail. It might have been that you overbeat the eggs, or maybe too much cheese/half & half. Again I think Cat threw you under the bus here. Quiche is not a simple thing, imo. It isn't as hard as souffle but it isn't as easy as scrambled eggs and salad (which is an awesome dinner!) Or a western scramble (which makes a great breakfast) Reply It's not called a cooking CHALLENGE for nuthin'! If Megan can build the confidence to make a quiche, then scrambling eggs feels like an easy gimme. Reply I just believe in taking baby steps when somebody has so little experience. If slicing an apple melts you down a little, making a quiche is for day 7! Sometimes you gotta start at the beginning, ya know? But trial by fire can be good too, if it doesn't break the subject down so far that when you start to build them back up, they HATE you. Reply I would consider myself a pretty skilled cook, but I am not making quiche for breakfast! Nor egg salad (mostly bc 1. Boiling eggs and peeling them and 2. Don't like egg salad ;)) I think there should be a difference between "learn how to cook" and "cooking challenge" — challenging a person who doesn't COOK seems like the surest was to discourage them?? Reply Yeah, I'm totally okay with being "thrown under a bus" in this challenge because part of the entertainment value is failing. I'm doing an easy day today and I don't have much to write about yet. So bring on the busses! 4 agree Reply NEXT WEEK: Megan must cook all her own meals WHILE BEING CHASED BY RAMPAGING BUSES!! 6 agree Reply AND THERES A BOMB ON THE BUS. 2 agree Reply hee hee. I thusly stop my constant feeling sorry for Megan. I will relish her discomfort in the name of entertainment and personal growth. 2 agree And Megan has to cook at 55 miles per hour or Keanu's gonna blow up! 2 agree You succeeded at spaghetti sauce! This is excellent. Spaghetti sauce looks easy, but getting a result that one actually likes is significant. For the quiche, I'd probably use an electric hand-mixer and work the eggs/h&h into a froth. Lots of air should make it lighter. You can do this with just a whisk, but it takes more time and muscle. BUT — big, big but, I cannot lie — the broccoli is a heavy ingredient. In a light, fluffy quiche, it's likely to sink like a green brick unless you cut it very small and toss it with a light coating of flour before adding it. Even then, it might still sink. Reply My favorite onion-chopping/no-cry trick: Suck on an ice cube while you chop. It totally works to keep away the tears. Reply Wait…so not beating the eggs enough can make the quiche dense, but over-beating the eggs can make the quiche dense? How do I know what the right amount of time is?! :-/ Reply Beat until fluffy and filled with bubbles and light in color. If you beat too little or too much, it'll still be food. 🙂 2 agree Reply YES! Which is why quiche isn't necessarily and easy peasy thing. It's not hard to make it edible, but it is easy to make it less than stellar. Reply Hells yes! Yay for it still being food. (Although one time while making some coconut pecan frosting for a german chocolate cake, I didn't temper the eggs well and wound up with cocunut pecan scrambled eggs. It took 3 times to figure it out. SRSLY! Coconut Pecan frosting is hard. Totally put me off german chocolate cake.) Reply I have totally done that. Cut open a cake and found scrambled eggs. oooooops Reply Who was it who said that the only way to ruin food is to burn it or oversalt it? Julia Child? Anyway, those are the only things you really can't recover from. thirded on the cake with scrambled eggs inside. Wear sunglasses while you chop onions. Seriously. Then take a pic to include the next day lol Reply This is actually a very good suggestion. As dootsiebug pointed out, your delicate eyeballs and nasal passages suffer the most from onion gas. So anything that blocks them from contact works the best. When I was in college I had a lab mask that covered my eyes and nose and it was AWESOME for chopping onions. After years and years of chopping onions, my eyeballs have toughened up and I don't use one anymore. But when I have to chop a lot of onions, my trick is this : just cry. Don't wipe away the tears. Let me them flow because they will both rinse and protect your eyes. I think your quiche looks awesome! And I bet I would have wolfed it down if I were there.. maybe with a little sprinkle of salt. 3 agree Reply I knew I saved my lab goggles for a reason . . . 1 agrees Reply Swim goggles. You'll look ridiculous, but it'll keep the gasses away. But the most important thing is to use a very, very, very sharp knife. The gasses are released when their little cell walls are punctured, and the sharper the knife you use, the fewer cell walls release their noxious burdens. Dull knives = cell wall mush = much crying. 5 agree Reply Also, sharp knives cut tomatoes better, and your fingers less. You put less pressure on the knife if it cuts neater, and are less likely to slip and cut yourself. 2 agree Reply The only scars I have from knives are from dull ones. 2 agree Reply I will admit to having only scars from sharp knives, but that's because I used to do dumb stuff like dropping the knife and trying to catch it, or not realizing I had my little finger wrapped around the blade when I was using my left hand to press down in the blade. Protip: don't do that! I'll agree OH SO MUCH with the comment upthread about sharpening the knife before cutting onions! I had that demonstrated to me last night, when I grabbed the sharpest knife we have to cut an onion instead of the one I usually cut with and my eyes had no irritation. 2 agree Yeah, swim goggles were recommended to me, but I don't have a pair. Bummer. Reply And since you're a fellow glasses-wearer, take your glasses off while chopping onions! The lenses trap the tear-producing nastiness next to your undefended eyeball. I realize the hazards of taking off the equipment that enables you to see BETTER while handling KNIVES.. part of the challenge, man. 🙂 Happy cooking! 1 agrees Reply The gases react with the water in your eyes (essentially), causing the burn. If you can get the onion to react with *other* water first….no crying! Try cutting the onion in half then soaking or at least rinsing in cold water. 1 agrees Reply YES. GOGGLES. I'm highly sensitive to raw onions (I get a bad reaction if I eat more than a few of them, even) and swim goggles are the ONLY thing that works for me! Reply Yes this! Swim goggles are the way to go. Ours are bright green and orange and have holographic skulls on the glass bits. Reply I wear contact lenses and onions don't bother me! (unless I'm not wearing them). This is probably no use to anyone but it's one of the great unsung benefits of contact lenses so I like to share. 3 agree Reply Yup, I have the same thing. If I'm wearing my contacts, no problem, wearing glasses, well, I'm cryin! 1 agrees Reply Same thing for me too….while wearing contacts I have zero reaction to onions but if I'm wearing glasses then OMG….tears and pain! Reply Holding your breath works too! Because the onion acid gets in your mucous membranes, and actually most of it gets there by breathing. So if you want to be TOTALLY safe, you have to wear goggles and a mask. Or you could wear sunglasses and a bandana over your face and pretend to be a burglar/cowboy. 1 agrees Reply My comment went away! Wah wah. Anyway, as everyone is saying: More beating = fluffier eggs, in every egg format. There is no overbeating of whole eggs. More beating = more air mixed in with the eggs = fluffier, more voluminous egg food. However (COOKING 201 ALERT), beating egg WHITES alone can quickly go wrong. Heavy beating of egg whites = meringue. Adding more egg whites could also increase the fluffiness of your quiche, actually. Separating egg yolks from egg whites is cooking 201 (at least!) but you can totally buy whites only in a carton. Reply To separate egg whites from yolks, just hold one hand over the bowl and crack the egg into that hand. Let the white run through your fingers into the bowl while the yolk rests in your palm. I was terrified to separate eggs until I learned this trick from some professional chef-type site. Reply Onion science: when you cut them, they emit an enzyme that reacts with the flesh of the onion to create a gas, which reacts with water to create ACID. That's why your eyes burn. 1.) Put the onion in the freezer for 10 minutes before you intend to chop. 2.) Use a SHARP knife 3.) Breathe through your mouth, which keeps the gas in your mouth where it's mostly harmless instead of all up on your delicate nose and eye nerves. 5 agree Reply Put your onions in the freezer for a few minutes before you cut them. The liquids/vapors that escape and sting your eyes as part of cutting will be frozen in the flesh of the onion and not be able to hurt you any more. Reply I have previously resisted buying whole wheat pasta on the same "cardboard" premise but if YOU tried it and liked it, then I'll give it a whirl. 1 agrees Reply Whole wheat pasta is boss…or some other less-dated positive slang. Definitely give it a try! The only difference is the color, at least for me. Texture-wise, it's almost identical-to-just-a-little-firmer-than-normal. Love, love, love it. 1 agrees Reply I'm actually that much more fond of whole-wheat pasta BECAUSE it's a little firmer than normal. It's so much harder to overcook it! (You know . . . in case you get distracted by twitter.) 1 agrees Reply I'm sorry for your struggles… but the video seriously made me LOL. "Yay, cooking!" 1 agrees Reply Oh good! I was hoping to at least get some comedic value from all my fails. 🙂 2 agree Reply Agree, that video was amazing. I totally love you, Megan. 🙂 Reply Um, AWWWWWWWWW!!!!!! Way to make me feel all special like. 😉 Reply More onion help! Cut the root end off last. As far as salting food goes, you should still use salt even if you use something that's already a bit salty like swiss cheese. When you salt food you actually make it taste more like itself. So eggs taste eggier, steak tastes beefier, watermelon tastes more watermelonier. (Salt basically makes your taste buds superconductive.) So if something tastes a little "bleh" then add a bit of salt. Now for a story that will make you feel better: Many moons ago, my aunt asked my mother for her Quiche Lorraine recipe and my mother happily provided it. A week later my aunt accused my mom of sabotaging her because the quiche turned out absolutely disgusting. My aunt only made a few tiny substitutions: Dried onion flakes instead of fresh onion Kraft slices instead of swiss cheese and BacoBits instead of bacon. So you really aren't that far behind the power curve Megan. 🙂 Reply "a few tiny substitutions"… Ha ha! That's great. 1 agrees Reply I saw Alton Brown suggest lighting the eye on a gas stove while you chop onions nearby. The flame burns off the nasty gasses before they can get around to their attempted eyeball murder. But yeah, be careful near an open flame… Reply Megan, I love you. 1 agrees Reply I love you too! Reply love your video! there are many onion-chopping devices in the world, and many tricks to avoid stinging eyes – my fav is burning a big vanilla candle close by (be sure to tie long hair back) for fluffier quiche, beat your egg whites separately until peaks form (use a whisk or electric mixer), mix other ingredients separately, then fold in egg whites. – your spaghetti sauce sounds wonderful! Reply I too have f'd up quiche. For me it was remembering the pie dough recipe but forgetting that it made enough for top and bottom crusts. Eggs with half cooked pie crust anyone? Also, chopping onions makes you cry but sticking your face over a food processor full of chopped onions leads to shrieking and then swearing nonstop for the rest of the meal preparation. Just thought I'd share. Reply My mum can cut onions for love nor money, and she's tried EVERYTHING! But she's found a solution – pre chopped onions! You can get them frozen too! Sometimes you just have to. I'm good with onion but I buy frozen chilli cubes because we never use chillies quickly enough to warrant buying them. Well done for all the effort so far *applause* :o) Reply This could be considered to be cheating but I usually use dehydrated minced onion or onion powder in place of real onions. It gets the onion flavour in there but without having to deal with a whole onion. Reply hmmm, my mum used to make quiche when I was little and I can't remember whether I liked it or not (I have a lot of food/texture issues) maybe I'll have to try your recipe – but no brocoli, broccoli is yucky in my mouth. my onion tip is that I chop them in a mini food processsor (one that attaches on the end of my hand whisk) so it's all sealed inside and reduces the effort of chopping and my tears. I also chop more than I need so I can freeze it and then have days when no onion chopping is needed! keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!! Reply Onions are the devil. They make most people tea up, yes, but for me they actually shut down my tear production, especially if they are being sauteed. It is not pleasant. Also, I hate their texture, so I just sort of avoid them or use onion powder/minced dried onions instead. But if you do have to chop them, burn a candle nearby, it will help burn off the gasses before they hit your eyeballs. Reply Onions are the devil. They make most people tear up, yes, but for me they actually shut down my tear production, especially if they are being sauteed. It is not pleasant. Also, I hate their texture, so I just sort of avoid them or use onion powder/minced dried onions instead. But if you do have to chop them, burn a candle nearby, it will help burn off the gasses before they hit your eyeballs. Reply Yay Megan!! It's super impressive to attempt so many new things in a week. I love to cook and am pretty good at it and I only attempt one new dish in a day. I still mess up quiche too. Reply Oh, another weird onion-y tip: if you wear contacts, were 'em while you chop. I always thought I was just immune to onion-tears until I tried to chop one with my glasses on instead — OWOWOWOWOW! Contacts are like little eyeball condoms, keeping nasty stuff out. 1 agrees Reply Oh I know! My friend just told me today about her eyeball condom situation. Lucky jerks. 😉 1 agrees Reply The open flame tactic is your best bet for onion chopping. I always do this and I never tear up. If you have an open flame gas stove, put your cutting board on an unlit burner or the counter beside of a burner with a flame and chop, keep your head near enough to the heat that it is warm, but not burning. If not, like myself, burn a candle in a glass jar with a tapered opening. The smaller the opening the more concentrated the heat will be. Just keep your head near it. You don't have to burn your face and hair off, just get close enough to feel warmth. Reply The pain of chopping onions always killed mewas always terrible for me until I learned to light a candle. Totally helps! Reply I think the yuck factor was probably the Swiss cheese, like you said. Some cheeses just do NOT mix well with [a] cooking, and [b] onions or garlic. I personally only like Swiss when it's cold. I usually beat the eggs WITH the cream until bubbly and fluffy. I don't know if that's how you're supposed to do it, but it works well for me. Cooking is definitely one of those things that gets easier as you do it. Hang in there! And after this challenge week is over, you'll probably discover that there's a lot simpler stuff you can make and be satisfied with. My favorite breakfast is still eggs, bacon and toast 🙂 A word of warning, though: I've spent the last few years sloowly transitioning from frequently using prepackaged foods to practically all homemade stuff. Which is AWESOME except now I couldn't go back even if I wanted to, because all that prepackaged stuff tastes hella nasty to me now! 1 agrees Reply You're doing fine. Not everything we cook tastes great. I have had quiche disasters that went beyond poor taste… even had to throw away one once, it was beyond repair. You might try a sharper knife, sometimes it helps with onions. And: You'll get used to it. By the way: Do you think you will keep this up after the week? Or at least part of it? Reply You know, I'm curious about that too. I think everyone's getting down on Cat for "throwing me under a bus" by making this so difficult. They're worried I might get FOREVER turned off my cooking. But I'm starting to think that I just might keep it up, because it'll NEVER be THIS hard in normal life. I know the draw of a sticking a frozen pizza in the oven for 10 minutes and then eating will win out most nights, but I just might do this now and then… because I can! Reply I agree, you're doing great. And, if you end up cooking four meals a week on your own, that's four frozen pizzas you're not eating. Slowly you can up the number of home-cooked meals and then YOU'LL be the friend that's an awesome cook. 🙂 Reply And we can all keep cooking together, because we're going to have a ton of awesome "so easy even Megan can make it" recipes being submitted as guestposts from all y'all in the comments, right guys? RIGHT, GUYS!? Reply You can also rinse the onion before you start chopping, that helps too. Cut it in half, rinse under cold water, commence chopping. My method is to just almost never consume onions other than green onions. I'm just not a big enough fan to suffer through the chopping. Reply I sell Pampered Chef items. We have a food chopper that is a lot like the slap chop but ours doesn't break! I'm terrible with cutting onions and this is the only thing that helps me! Reply As a general note in terms of cooking your own meals, it really does get easier over time. And no matter how good you get, you will always have an epic fail somewhere, someday. I still can't talk about the brown rice quiche crust without getting a little misty eyed. The dog wouldn't even eat it…seriously. But honestly I've spent a lot of time just finding easy, quick and super healthy recipes that I like (along with some tough ones…like homemade bread, without the bread maker). But now that I'm a few years into it, its only getting easier (most of the time). Keep it up!! You will find what you like and enjoy and want to cook! Reply I was thinking yesterday that the quiche recipe she gave you was awfully complicated (and definitely not my kind of quiche – I like cheddar and bacon, and that's about it)… My mom gave me her recipte for quiche, and it involved pre-shredded cheese (because, really, screw grating cheese), crumbling bacon, whisking eggs and cream together, and tossing everything in the pie crust. It's pretty easy, and no pan-frying of the onions or any such nonsense. I feel your pain in that regard. I made this recipe just recently for the first time (and trust me, I am just like you when it comes to cooking, everything takes several hours more than it should), and I was able to do it quickly and it turned out really delicious! Yay mom's recipe! Oh, and I learned how to tell if a quiche is "done": stick a toothpick in the center and if it comes out clear (no eggy residue at all) it's done. 1 agrees Reply Onion tip- buy sweet onions Seriously, they are less potent than other kinds and I don't need any special tricks while cutting them. Reply In my opinion, on of the easiest meals is roast chicken. It's not under 30 minutes, but it's SO FRIGGIN' EASY and GOOD! This has a lot of steps because I'm probably over-explaining. Decide when you want to eat. Start cooking 2 hours before (don't worry – the last hour you don't do anything but smell the chicken cook, and look at it every once in a while). 1. Buy or unthaw a whole chicken (you can also do chicken pieces, just shorten the cooking time to about 40 minutes). 2. Turn on your oven (make sure anything you're storing in there is out) to 400ish degrees F. 3. Pull out a roasting pan, or if the chicken is small enough, a large oven-safe frying pan will do. Wipe out any dust, and drizzle some oil on the bottom. 4. Cut up some onions, carrots, celery, and (maybe) potatoes in chunks (we're talking 1-2 inches across, heck 3 inches would be ok). Dump them in the bottom of the pan in one layer. Stir it up so the oil covers the veggies. Add more oil if you want. 5. Open the chicken package. 6. Take all that crap out of the inside of the chicken. Real cooks use that crap for broth. Whatevs. 7. Rub oil all over the chicken. 8. Grab some salt, some pepper, and/or (my personal favorite) chili powder. Sprinkle it all over the chicken. Sprinkle some on the inside too. If you're feeling really good, sprinkle some under the skin – YEAH! You're gonna probably use about a tablespoon or more of seasoning. 9. Grab a handful of those vegetables from the pan. Stuff them in the chicken. Stick a lemon up there if you want. Or garlic. Or a whole onion. Totally up to you. 10. Put the chicken on top of the vegetables in the pan breast side down (the butt should be sticking up, legs pointing down). 11. Stick the pan in your hot oven. 12. Walk away for 45 minutes. Go check Twitter or Facebook. Figure out a side dish. Or dessert. If you forget about the chicken, the smell will remind you. 13. Walk back and check the chicken. If you have a cooking thermometer, you want the chicken thigh to be 160 degrees F. If you don't, grab a clean towel to protect your hand, and CAREFULLY move a chicken leg. If it's stiff, close the oven and leave the chicken in there for another 15 minutes. Check every 15 minutes until the leg is loose and almost falls into your hand when you test it. 14. Carefully take the chicken out of the oven. If you're done with it, turn the oven off. Let it sit on the stove top (or the counter, up to you) while you make a side dish or salad or both (the broccoli, the spinach, or really anything will work with this). 15. Serve everything up (if you wanna eat the veggies in the bottom of the pan, you can, but they might be greasy). 16. EAT! Reply An easy dessert recipe: Fake Apple Pie A la Mode You'll need: An apple or two Sugar Apple pie spice or cinnamon and nutmeg Shortbread cookies (Lorna Doone are awesome) Ice cream (amaretto is excellent) 1. Chop up an apple or two 2. Toss the apple in a saucepan with some water, a tablespoon or two of sugar, some apple pie spice, or some cinnamon and nutmeg. If you wanna get fancy, add some ginger and a touch of cardamon. Cook until apples are soft. Taste, add more sugar and/or spice if needed. 3. Crumble up some cookies in the bottom of a bowl (3 is good). 4. Dump a scoop of ice cream on top of the cookies. 5. Spoon some apple stuff on top of the ice cream 6. Crumble a cookie or two on top. 7. Grab a spoon 8. Eat that baby. Reply You guys, rather than waste your recipes here in the comments where relatively few people will see them, SUBMIT THEM! Fame and glory can be yours! Reply I could see warm swiss being a funky taste. I love making homemade tomato sauce. I know what is in it (like…no gluten) and love the taste. My husband hates the chunks, so I put it in the food processor for a few seconds and that makes it have more of a 'jar sauce' texture. Usually for me, 9 out of 10 onions don't cause a reaction. #10 usually makes my eyes implode. Reply I'm laughing so hard at these posts. Poor Megan. I love that you're trying to do this. And Cat, the recpies are yum! I just realized I've never in my life had onion problems SINCE I STARTED WEARING CONTACT LENSES. They're a plastic sheild over my retnas. If you have contacts, put them in, chop 87 onions, and then freeze them for future cooking endeavors. Reply Some really important onion tips: – That onion with the green growing out of it? If that was your onion, it will be way harder on your eyes – they get more acidy as they begin to grow. – How are you cutting it? Make sure you are cutting in half and putting flat side down, to reduce the juices released into the air. Here's a good video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwWRY_8KfxM – White onions are harder on the eyes than yellow onions. Reply I have seriously bad reactions to cutting onions. What helps me , is refrigerating the onion and doing the initial cutting of the onion under cold running water(takes some of the fumes off). If I'm chopping a lot of onions I periodically stuff my head in the freezer, the chill helps the burn in my eyes. But I agree fuck onions, I wish they weren't the base of so many yummy recipes. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Subscribe me to your mailing list No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.