Friday Feast: OMG Please Tell Me There Is No Mayo In That

I avoided it as long as I could. This week is my turn to cook for theΒ Friday Feasts.

I laughed and laughed when Ashley couldn’t keep the can lids out of any of her bowls or pans…but look who has the last laugh now? (Hint: it isn’t me because I’m too busy squeezing lemons and preheating ovens)

Pinterest Pin for Tilapia Parmesan


When I was praying for death excitedly going through our Feed Me, Mom Pinterest board in search of a recipe to make, I came across the delicious looking Tilapia Parmesan! SOLD!



The bonus to this recipe is that tilapia is actually something that every member of my family will eat! We always grill our tilapia (and by “we” I mean my husband), and I thought this would be a good chance for me to find my own way of preparing it. I don’t want to be left out of the tilapia action! (I TOTALLY want to be left out of the tilapia action. Ashley is actually forcing me to do this entire project.)

Pinterest Pin for Roasted Ranch CauliflowerBut I didn’t stop there. NOPE. I wanted to tackle something that we DON’T normally eat. I wanted a vegetable side dish to add to our rotation of broccoli, broccolini, peas, green beans, and corn. Because I absolutely detest cooked cauliflower, I chose to make Roasted Ranch Cauliflower. I am nothing if not up for a challenge.

For me, cooking is always a series of semi-emergencies, followed by a couple of disasters, that generally ends with children crying and being carted off to McDonalds. Thus, begins my cooking adventure.

Cauliflower Mishap #1— This happened when I opened my wall oven door. There was some weird looking charred pan in there. WHAT? Where did that come from? Why is it there? How LONG has it been there? NOT an auspicious beginning. (and kind of gross to boot)

Cauliflower Mishap #2—Β I needed the juice of half a lemon. I thought I had one of those old- timey plastic things you twist a lemon on to juice it, but it turns out I don’t. I must have been thinking of the one in Cookie’s kitchen in St. Louis. I didn’t think I had the wrist strength or desire to squeeze enough juice using just my hand. I considered omitting the lemon altogether, but what if lemon juice was the one ingredient that would make me not want to hurl while eating this dish?

I asked Robert to squeeze the lemon half for me (Hey, he’s stronger than me, likes to cook, and walked in the door at just the right moment!). He suggested I use the fancy lemon press thing we got from Williams-Sonoma. OH, YEAH! I’d forgotten we even owned that! That is the hazard when you don’t use the items in your kitchen much. Crisis totally averted!

Putting it all together, my spirits lifted. This is basically cleaning cauliflower, tossing some stuff in a bowl with it, and shoving it in the oven. I can do that! How did I not know all these years I have the makings of a master cauliflower chef?

Cauliflower Mishap #3— This is not so much a mishap as an occurrence. The entire time it cooked it smelled…burn-y. Yes, decidedly burn-y from the first second it went into the oven. Maybe that’s the heinous nature of cooking cauliflower. Hell if I know. I was irritated because I had to keep checking on it every few minutes. I am not down with high maintenance vegetables. Once I decided to just leave it until the timer went off, I was much happier.

Cauliflower Mishaps

Moving right along despite the fact that there was the scent of burn-y cauliflower in the air and the sound of the children fighting in the playroom…

Fish Calamity #1— I decided on a hybrid approach to this recipe: baking the fish for the first part of the recipe then switching to broiling when I got to the the cheese/mayo/butter/seasoning sauce step. Pale looking fish will not be eaten by my kids. I needed the golden crusty appearance that only broiling would to bring to the table.

As I took out my Β Pyrex 13 X 9 pan I saw these annoying words: NO BROIL stamped right on the bottom. Oh, FFS. That was the pan I was planning to use. I have to hand it to the Pyrex company, though. They know I will take the first opportunity to explode their glassware in the broiler the minute they turn their backs, so they chose to stamp it right there on the pan for my protection.

Nice, but that still left me without a damn pan. I then looked through the rest of my drawers. I found two Le Creuset small baking dishes I got as a gift one Christmas. Maybe they would work? This question lead to…

Google Inquiry #1— I rarely get through a cooking session without having to Google some piece of information most people already know. This was to be no exception. Google assured me that Le Creuset was enamel covered cast iron and could be broiled. Yay!

But I picked it up and just thought it was WAY too light to be cast iron. Is all Le Creuset enamel covered cast iron? This lead to…

Google Inquiry #2— It turns out that this is NOT enamel covered cast iron but rather their bakeware line which is made of…bakeware. How am I supposed to know? I’m not a pottery wizard. Their website clearly stated that it could go in the broiler, though. Whew! Why they just didn’t stamp that on the bottom like the good people at Pyrex, I’ll never know.

Fish Calamity #2— I forgot to put the butter on the counter to soften it. My butter was as hard as a rock yet still had to be incorporated into the other ingredients to form a saucy paste. I decided to nuke it a bit and hope for the best. It worked!

Fish Calamity #3— I was supposed to cut up green onion for the sauce, but the tips of green onions are white. Was I supposed to use that part or only the thin green part? (Do you see why I dislike cooking now? Who KNOWS all this stuff?). This should have lead to Google Inquiry #3, but hey…I don’t have time to Google everything. I’m just one woman. I had cauliflower burning in the oven after all. I made the executive decision to just use the green part. Feel free mock me in the comments if you want.

Fishy Calamities

It was right about then when Bobby walked in the kitchen, looked at the counter, and began hyperventilating, “OMG ARE YOU USING MAYONNAISE?? IS THERE MAYONNAISE IN THIS??”

I wholeheartedly assured him that there was absolutely NO MAYO in ANYTHING I was cooking. It was just sitting out from lunch. (This was a COMPLETE LIE. I’d never leave mayonnaise out on the counter, and there was totally mayonnaise in the fish parmesan sauce.)

The Verdict:

Although I have always hated cooked cauliflower THIS WAS ACTUALLY DELICIOUS. I did burn it a tad, but it was GOOD. Robert and I both gave it a thumbs up. Lucy happily tried it and liked it too! She even heaped two more spoonfulls on her plate. Bobby ate his one obligatory florette, smiled, and weakly said it was “good”. (He is polite enough to know not to wretch at the table). He declined to put more on his plate and immediately drank two cups of water (I’m assuming to get the taste out of his mouth). He didn’t cry or faint, though, so there you go. Β I’m calling that 3 thumbs up out of 4.

I was most impressed with the tilapia. When this came out of the oven it looked fantastic. It smelled unbelievably good. I thought it was heavenly as did Robert. Lucy loved it so much that she GASPED when she took her first bite. I am not kidding. She could not stop praising this dish. Bobby ate his obligatory two bites, and then drank three cups of water in rapid succession. He said it was…interesting. (Damn you, mayonnaise!) This was a very solid 3 thumbs up out of 4.

The Verdict

I actually considered this whole thing a rousing success. I only had three setbacks with each recipe and two questions for Google. That’s got to be some kind of a (good) record for me! Plus, I had the unexpected experience of everything looking fairly good and tasting fantastic!! (except to Bobby and at least he was well hydrated from drinking all that water).

I felt almost triumphant until Lucy said, “I want you to cook every night! Your food is so good! What are you making tomorrow??!!”

Oh, what have I done?


Friday Feast Button


Friday Feast: OMG Please Tell Me There Is No Mayo In That — 64 Comments

  1. This deserves a prize for Cooking Post Doubling As Pee The Pants Funny Humor. Hilarious. I’m a hazard in the kitchen, and sometimes I like it that way. No one complains when I announce we’re having sandwiches (again) for dinner. Everybody’s safer that way πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Tori! Glad to know I have a sister in kitchen ineptitude! You’d never know people like us existed if you look on Pinterest!! πŸ™‚

  2. Ok my family is not big on cauliflower either. But that I think they would eat. I do love cooking, although my mother feared I was doomed when I refused to learn as a teen. I am gonna follow ya’ll on Pinterest because I am all the time looking for new recipes to try out.

    • To my ever loving surprise, the cauliflower was really good. It was “I will make it again” good. And it was SUPER easy. (not that you need it to be, but that’s always a bonus!)

  3. Bravo! That is fantastic – and I must say – looks totally yummy! I love that you Google your cooking questions – I do, too. Also, about the green onions – I am not sure what every one else does, but I only cut off the root part and the ragged-looking green ends at the top. I chop up and use the rest, white part and all. (Also? Now I totally want tilapia for supper.)

    • I am so glad to learn I am not the only kitchen Googler!! And thank you for the green onion advice. I will do that next time!! Now you are like my personal Google!! πŸ™‚

  4. Your fish looks beautiful! And what kind of cooking adventure would this be if there weren’t at least a handful mishaps and calamities.

    And I don’t know what I would do about cooking without my dear friend Google who helps me to know if I’m going to get seriously ill and/or die from eating the food I worked so hard on cooking and inevitably left on the counter over night. Oops.

    • Good point, Bev! And another kitchen Googler!! Maybe there are more of us than I ever knew!! πŸ™‚ (Oops is a word I use a lot when cooking)

  5. My problem is that I can cook things from scratch, even follow elaborate recipes, and it turns out OK. But if I try to make something from a box I screw up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve messed up Kraft Mac & Cheese, and last week I burned a whole batch of cookies made from refrigerated dough. That fish looks wonderful though. Yum!

    • You’re like an opposite me!! I can do a box thingy, but scratch is a more dicey thing! Together we could make anything.

  6. This looks delicious, and I give you mad props for checking to see if the Pyrex dish was safe for the broiler. I broil things frequently and have never even considered that I wasn’t supposed to use certain cookware.

    The first time I ever made lasagna, the Pyrex dish exploded in the oven. It had taken me so long to put that damn lasagna together, and the oven was such a mess, I cried. Real, sitting-on-the-floor-in-the-kitchen tears.

    I discard the tips of the green part and the root of the bottom part, and use the rest of the green onion.

    • Well, I should just accept your mad props and say thank you….but it was stamped on it. I only know because I was trying to figure out if it was the right size dish so I was reading and examining it intently. (I wanted to do my best for the interwebs)

      POOR THING for your lasagna! I would have sobbed, too!!
      And thank you for the green onion advice. That will be my go-to green onion handling in the future!!

  7. I love that you guys are trying out all of these recipes–it could save me some major “fails” in the kitchen. I have a love hate relationship with Pinterest: love to look, but I usually hate everything I make from it! Thanks for the idea. These both look tasty!

    • We are currently both making something for next week’s Friday Feast and our results….were less than fantastic. So we know the Pinterest curse as well!!

  8. I’m going to pretend you didn’t say harsh things about caulifower there at the beginning of your post. The rest of this is pure genius, and my menu for tonight. thankyouverymuch. can I borrow Cookie’s lemon squeezie thingy.

    • It was REALLY good Christie. And I apologize for being a hater toward cauliflower. I am now a fan!! (anything I can actually cook goes on my LOVE list automatically). That lemon squeezy thing is COOL. It felt like getting a present because I didn’t even remember we had it!

  9. YAY for success!!! πŸ™‚ I did LOL a little, I mean, you are honest and humorous at the same time – a blessed combination! πŸ™‚ Anyway, sounds like you did amazingly well, and (ahem!) I Google, too, when I don’t know the answers to food related (and other) questions and I cook from scratch all the time, so don’t feel bad about that! πŸ™‚ At least you didn’t just wing it and blow up something!

    I’m totally enjoying Friday Feasts! Such a great addition to your site! And, please know that you can email me with any foodie questions, too. I’ll be more than happy to answer them, and I won’t laugh…unless it’s appropriate! πŸ˜‰

    Have an amazing weekend!

    • SCORE!!! I have my own personal Google now!! I don’t even mind if you laugh at my questions!! That is to be expected.
      So glad to know even veteran cooks need to Google something every now and then!! πŸ™‚

    • Yep! My family would starve (or only know take out food) if not for my husband. In my defense he LIKES cooking so I’ve had no real reason to hone my skills over the years.

    • Thanks, Raquel! As someone who doesn’t even LIKE cooked cauliflower, I can tell you that it’s really delicious (and easy which is completely essential to me).

  10. The tilapia looks really good. Your version looks like the one on the recipe. I’ll pass on the cauliflower. I hope Ashley will back me up on this. But, I haven’t made last week’s burritos yet, so I am already falling behind.

    • The tilapia was unbelievably good. I can’t believe it came out of my own kitchen. It’s DINNER PARTY good, and I can’t do anything else that’s dinner party ready. (I don’t blame you about the cauliflower. And it does smell icky when it’s roasting)

      But this is a marathon, not a sprint. There’s plenty of time for tilapia-ing and burrito-ing! (At least that’s what I’m telling myself. I haven’t made the burritos either.)

    • Yay! So good to know I have a sister in cooking disasters!! (besides Ashley, that is. She’s in our club, too)

  11. OMG, I love that you lied about the mayo! This is why I have a hard time trying new recipes…one disaster after the next. And I swear, if I open my oven *one more time* to find some nasty cookie sheet or pan in there, I will flip out! How does this happen??? (It is always my husband’s doing, that’s how.) Also, “praying for death” cracked me up!

  12. Nice work! That looks so good!!

    Lucky you that you saw it said no broil on your Pyrex-once I made fish in Pyrex and broiled it, and when I took it out, some of the juices from the fish were slightly colder than the pan and it caused the entire thing to shatter. Like completely, into a million pieces. All over my dinner. @%&@(#$@#@$%(#

  13. You are too funny! I want to know did you do this last Friday or did you do it earlier this week and just call it a Friday feast? I love cauliflower. I even just eat it raw sometimes. I’ll definitely try out these recipes!

  14. I laughed my ass off reading this! Other than sticking it in the microwave, I don’t have a clue how to cook cauliflower. Ewwww! I even use a stick to move it around – well, I dont really, but gross. Good for you taking this on! And it does look outstanding! πŸ™‚

    • Yeah, the smell of cooking cauliflower is a bit…questionable. I will say it tasted good, though! (and I never thought it would!)

  15. Ok, I hope this comment goes through. I don’t know what is going on, but I haven’t been able to comment since HotSean! Clearly others aren’t having this problem.

    I don’t know about broiling, but once I tried baking a cake in a Pyrex pan, and when I took it out of the oven, it shattered. LIterally, the pieces flew all around the kitchen like shrapnel. I have no idea what happened.

    I loved your daughter’s innocent/dangerous question. Once as a kid I excitedly thanked my mom for cooking dinner and got in trouble!! (She said it made it sound like she never did it.) haha

    • Aw, Xae!! You’re so sweet. The answer is LOTS of things…including cooking almost anything but this. πŸ™‚

  16. Here’s the key to cooking. Read the directions and then open 10 million tabs with all the questions for google ahead of time. Then you just have to flip back and forth. Ha!

    Oh, how many pans have I cooked in the oven. With nothing on them.

    Good luck with cooking every night! πŸ™‚

  17. {Melinda} That Tilapia looks amazing. We eat alot of tilapia around here and I’m always looking for new things to do to it. πŸ™‚ I think this would be a hit — and that’s saying a lot. I house the three pickiest eaters on the planet.

    • Now I feel lucky to have just one picky eater!! Definitely consider adding this to your tilapia rotation!! It was that good!

  18. Oh Lisa this was HILARIOUS!!! I am so glad it all turned out so well though my friend!!! I am SO with you on the whole cooking thing. I laughed OUT LOUD (or lol- hmm…easier to just do that, huh?) when you said Ashley was making you do this! HAHAHAHAHA! You girls are such a HOOT! Oh I wish I lived close to you guys…I would SOOOOOO hang with you!!! Whether you liked it or not- I won’t get your social “cues” for me to go… πŸ˜‰ I’ll be that really annoying “third wheel”…

    • Chris girl, you are invited to hang whenever you want!! You know that! We wish you were closer, too!! (Plus, then Ashley could make you cook instead of me)

  19. You already know I adore you. Did you know I adore cauliflower, too? I only recently learned how to make soup with it and tried to pseudo-mash it the other day. Yum. I don’t do fish or mayo tho, and fyi, next time you can sub Greek yogurt for the mayo. Thank you very much, who needs Google when you got me? πŸ˜›

    • Now that I had this cauliflower success, I am fully on board with trying cauliflower other ways. I think the mash will be my next attempt.

      And thank you SO MUCH for the Greek Yogurt tip! Not being a cook, I never have any idea how to make a substitution. I wouldn’t even consider it because I would surely screw it up. I like mayo, but using Greek yogurt would make it so much healthier. I’m definitely doing it that way next time. (and maybe Bobby would even eat it!!)

    • I am glad I’m not the only one who seems to hide cookie sheets in the oven randomly! The cauliflower is so delicious. Really, if I can do it, anyone can do it.

    • Thanks, Nellie! I think you are being a bit too kind, but I’ll take cooking praise any time I can get it! πŸ™‚

    • Well, come stand next to me, Kerstin. You are my people!
      If the freezer with my ice cream sandwiches wasn’t in the kitchen, I’d hardly ever go in there. πŸ˜‰

  20. I feel so validated and glad to know that I am not the only one who has similar issues when attempting to cook! Cant wait to try both recipes!

  21. I’m really glad you re-posted this. To think I almost missed all the fun. Even with the set-backs and googling…I want to try both recipes. I’m impressed that yours came out looking so much like the Pinterest boards…it rarely happens that way!

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