Don't worry, it won't take you 3 days to make it (if it does, it's your own fault - just like this was my fault). Though I will warn you that when I got down to cooking, it did take a long time to actually make this. Preston joined in and it took us 2.5 hours and 1 bottle of wine. Somewhere in the midst of it, we both agreed that this was not at all worth it and we would never make it again... but that was before we tasted it.
Day 1: Grocery store trip to get all the ingredients. Initial excitement at the idea of another successful kitchen venture wearing off after a long night of trying to cut out one of Baby M's night time feedings, and a long, busy day at work. Got home to discover I only had half the things I needed. (When exactly does Pregnancy Brain wear off?!) Definitely didn't have the energy to head back to the store; conceded defeat and heated up leftovers.
Day 2: Stopped at the grocery store on the way home from picking up Baby M at daycare. Didn't think in advance about the fact that we just switched M out of his infant car seat and I would have to carry him around the grocery store (he can't sit up in a cart yet!). Grabbed what I needed with my right hand while trying to keep a sleepy baby upright with my left. Tried not to cry in the checkout line when Baby M decided to balance himself by grabbing a huge wad of my hair.
Started cooking at 7; realized around 7:01 that I should have pre-cooked the rice; let Preston join in at 7:15 (after putting M to bed); poured wine around 7:16; caved in and had sandwiches for dinner around 8; finished the bottle of wine around 9; finally finished the casserole at 9:30, crashed on the couch and watched "Top Gear" while letting the casserole cool; wrapped up the casserole, stuck it in the fridge, looked at the dishes piled in the sink and the rice, flour, and cheese on the counters and floor, sighed and went to bed at 10.
Day 3: Today. Rejuvenated casserole excitement due to its already prepared status. Tossed casserole in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 per the recipe. Realized 10 minutes later that the instructions were meant to immediately follow preparation of the casserole. Stuck cold casserole back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Enjoyed the actually-quite-delicious and well-worth-the-wait casserole.
While the end product was delicious, I'm going to consider this one a loss since I left it feeling frustrated and disheartened with this whole cooking thing. My next attempt will have to be a guaranteed "easy" recipe!
|Before the Oven|
|The Finished Product|