Keep a list of what’s gone right: Chronicles of the Inexperienced Cook

I decided to write this post today because I found myself sitting at the kitchen table, wondering what meals to make next week. The great thing about living with other people is that you can share meals. The not so great thing about sharing meals with someone is that, well, you might get a little self-conscious about your half of the meals being contributed to the cooking schedule.

Don’t get me wrong, I can hold my own (kind of) on the cooking front. The problem isn’t that I can’t cook. The concern is that I can only cook a limited number of dishes before my flatmates realize I’ve run out of things I know won’t catch fire if I’m in charge of making them.

I suppose that I feel fairly confident that I’ve gained some skill points in cooking this last year, and I feel slightly more comfortable testing some of my recipe experiments on other people. However, it’s still nice to have a back-up plan. It’s also nice to keep track of those experiments that go right, which is why I’ve kept a list of things I have made this year that I know are safe for flatmate consumption. All of these successes (and I use that term lightly), have ended up on a little list I like to call:

All the recipes (or meals) that didn’t go horribly wrong

  • Sweet potato and black bean quesadillas (but also quesadillas in general. Also tacos. And burritos. Enchiladas. Fajitas. Anything that involves a tortilla shell and cheese, basically).
  • Chickpea sandwich filler  (I mean. It was edible).
  • Haloumi and roast veg (because noms).

    Recipe over at
  • Fish and veg or mash (not really a recipe, but close enough).
  • Soft-boiled eggs and toast (breakfast!)(also see microwave egg on toast. Also see egg thing below).
  • Egg muffins, omelettes, and all other egg things I know how to make (which, now, is most of the egg things. Recent accomplishments include Spanish omelette, over easy, soft boiled, and scrambled).
  • Roast veg and rice – except instead of being fancy, just use korma sauce from Tesco, throw some ground peanuts on top and call it good
Recipe on Cookie and Kate
  • Pasta (see every college student cookbook ever).
  • Jacket potatoes in all of their forms (i.e. tuna and sweetcorn, beans and cheese, sweet potato and goats cheese, etc.)

If you’re a university student or you’re living on your own for the first time, I really recommend starting a list of your own. I know I’ve made other successful meals this year, but I didn’t start keeping track of which ones weren’t terrible until halfway through summer.

Not everything you try is going to go well. And even if you do everything right, you still might not like a lot of things. That’s okay. The fun in it all is trying new things, learning what works for you, and maybe coming away with a few fun stories about how you nearly burned your flat down about your misadventures in cooking.

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