You know, those things that make life a heck of a lot easier? Like tights. Why shave your legs if you’re going to wear snuggly tights over them anyway? And Taco Bell. Why bother turning on the oven when a cheap great meal is already made? Then there's actual shortcuts. Like cutting through the parking lot to skip having to walk an additional three minutes to the bus stop. I mean, it’s a no-brainer.

Take, for instance, pasta. Whoever decided to mass produce pasta, stick it in a cardboard box, and fill up an aisle in the supermarket was really onto something. Why would anyone want to make it from scratch when it comes so nicely prepared and proportioned? 

Unless you just happened upon an episode of MasterChef Jr. and saw little 10 and 12 year olds banging out pasta like it ain’t no thang and decided, psssh, it can’t be that hard (this may or may not have been my afternoon).

Being upstaged by little 10 and 12 year olds doesn’t necessarily bother me. I mean, these are the best 10 and 12 years olds in the country; if they’re good enough for Gordon Ramsay, they’re good enough for me. What bothers me is the fact that I had this idea in my head of fresh pasta and Italian country sides and all that materialized was fresh defeat and flour permanently ingrained all over my kitchen.

My dough was all right, after I added a shit ton more flour to make it an actual dough like consistency. Cutting out the raviolis was actually pretty fun. And when I folded the edges over the ricotta and sealed those suckers, they actually looked pretty legit. 

But somewhere along adding all that extra flour, skipping three of the cheeses for the four-cheese blend, and drinking all the wine I had for the red wine sauce, the taste was a little off. Who'da thunk?

Dessert didn't come together like I was envisioning, either. Brent suggested banana cream pie; we both love it and his mom recently showed me her amazing recipe. I’ve been on a cupcake binge and wanted to add my own spin, so banana cream cupcakes seemed only natural. The cakes were moist and the whipped cream was crazy good, but note to self: banana cream instant pudding is not a shortcut, it's a disaster.

I want to say I’ll work on my homemade pasta recipe, but the wound is still too fresh. They're called shortcuts for a reason; so you don't spend half an hour cleaning up the flour bomb that is your kitchen.