Cooking, Humor, Life Lessons

Cooking Challenge Conclusion — A Messy Work in Progress Learns to Cook!

2022 Cooking Challenge (24 Easy Recipes, with links to each one) “I can’t believe I cooked it!”

Mary Chang Story Writer
9 min readNov 23, 2022


Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

I’ve completed my 2022 Cooking Challenge — and made 24 different meals for my 3-person family (that I’ve never cooked before)! You can read my initial cooking challenge here. This conclusion is a breakdown of my goals and outcomes, recipe successes and failures, my son’s funny taste test ratings for my dishes, and my own selection of which meals worked well for me with my work/family/life schedule.

Note: Links to all 24 recipes are at the bottom of this article.

My Cooking Challenge Goals & Outcomes

  1. Goal: To improve the nasty, love-hate (love food/hate cooking), messy relationship I have with cooking and TeeKay (The Kitchen.)

Outcome: My relationship with TeeKay improved over the year. I experimented with new recipes on average twice a month, started to enjoy the process of cooking, and developed a rapport with her. I got into a routine and organized my grocery shopping with meal planning for the week whenever I tried a new recipe.

But our relationship suffered when I slacked off and took a 3-month break over the summer.

Being away from TeeKay triggered my cooking anxiety — I fell out of the routine and struggled with time management, food shopping, and organization. I slipped back into burning, overcooking, and cooking store-bought frozen food or dining out.

I spent more money and wasted food because I’d let it rot because of my disorganization, lack of motivation, and my on-and-off relationship with TeeKay.

What to improve going forward: Work on being consistent because inconsistency takes its toll on any challenge. It’s like when you hit the gym for the first time in three months —…



Mary Chang Story Writer

Finding shine through exercise, nature & people stories. Fueled by cartwheels, open water swimming & grit. Kid at heart, embracing & defying middle age.