How Not To Cook: My Romantic and Undercooked Valentine’s Day

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How Not To Cook: Post 4

Valentine’s Day. The day where everyone tries to come up with the cutest idea for a date to rub into their friend’s faces, that and the day to show someone how much you love them I guess. I honestly didn’t know what I was thinking when I thought that cooking together for Valentine’s Day would be a good idea (probably why I’m not still dating that person, whoops). It was 2016, the year I was just starting to cook/bake and try new recipes. I wanted to make something different, and I was slightly disappointed I wasn’t going to Olive Garden, so I wanted to make some type of pasta (my weakness). Of course, I went into my saved Facebook videos, where all my dream recipes go to die, and found the perfect recipe to try. Healthy Easy Baked Lasagna Rolls. They even looked like a perfect fancy meal for Valentine’s Day, so me and my unfortunate partner put on our nice outfits and started the chaos.

One of the first steps to creating the lasagna rolls is to cook the lasagna noodles. Essential, this meal is a spinach mixture rolled up into a lasagna noodle and covered with tomato sauce and cheese. So I threw six lasagna sheets into a large pot and began to cook them while I grabbed a bowl for the spinach mixture. The mixture was pretty simple, no problems there, yet the real problem was the noodles. I had no idea what “al dente” was, and was too lazy to bother to look it up at the time. I didn’t want to overcook the noodles, because then they create a weird and unpleasant texture (this is an observation I’ve made based on every time I try to cook pasta). So, assuming the noodles would continue to cook while they were also baking, I decided to take the lasagna noodles out when they weren’t quite done yet. Apparently, I was technically right because the definition of al dente (I’m just finding this out) is slightly undercooked pasta. So I forked out a noodle, felt it, them figured they would be alright to take out. This part frustrated me the absolute most. The lasagna noodles were tearing apart while I was taking them out, and most all of them came out with some deformation. I wasn’t very satisfied, but they were still edible (well at the time I thought they were) so I wasn’t going to try and redo the noodles. I laid out the noodles and cut them in half, which some noodles had already done themselves, and spooned the mixture onto the noodles. I should have known to throw the noodles back in then, because they weren’t just slightly undercooked, they were barely cooked. Yet, I kept shrugging it off and continued to struggle with the mixture, which kept spilling out during the rolling process.

Finally, I had finished rolling up the lasagna noodles and threw them in the oven. In my fridge, I found Pillsbury crescent rolls (like, the best roll of all time) and decided they would be a perfect side for lasagna. To this day although, I still don’t know how to probably roll the triangles, and make the weirdest “crescent” rolls of all time. I attempted to make them look as decent as possible, then threw those in a convention toaster oven.

After the timer went off for the lasagna, I pulled the pan out of the oven, drooling over the smell of what I thought was perfection. Then looking over at the rolls, I took those out too, because I hate how I always burn crescent rolls and ruin my favorite thing in the world. I served up my plate and sat down to eat, so excited because of how perfect everything seemed to have turned out. Then, I bit into the lasagna noodle, and it was like I took a bite of a raw noodle with sauce. The noodles tasted like I threw them in the pot just to cook them until they could bend. They were still okay, but the weird crunch-but-not-crunchy threw the whole roll off. At least I still had my amazing crescent rolls, which when I was only one bite in seemed okay, yet the next bite I literally tasted the raw DOUGH. I had undercooked the entire meal. I couldn’t be too disappointed with myself, because I knew I would probably goof something up, but I still felt bad as my then-boyfriend struggled through the meal. So, don’t end up like me. This should be a lesson that even if you have a history of burning anything you touch, it doesn’t mean that purposing undercooking the food will make it turn out perfect.

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