How to pass off fast-casual meals as homemade – Low Calorie Diets Tips

Chili on spaghetti

This chili definitely didn’t come from Wendy’s, no, all homemade…
photo: Sergiy Koval (Shutterstock)

Cooking for someone else isn’t always that easy. If you want to impress her, chances are you’ll be sweating over the details. But when you suddenly feel lazy or time is up after promising someone a home cooked meal, what do you do? You buy food at a restaurant and you’re obviously lying.

In a recent viral Twitter post, someone attempted to pass off a Popeyes chicken dish as their own cooking:

User @ImFrom_Paris posted a photo of Popeye’s bone-in fried chicken, red beans and rice, french fries and a biscuit on a paper plate, writing a caption: “I’ll be a wife one day because I cook.”

Another user, @tamarauniquee, called it out by citing the tweet, saying, “I know Popeyes when I see it.” (Me too.) But that got me thinking seriously about what fast food fare could you take to pass as your own? I’ve come up with a few ideas to help you pull off the greatest culinary deception of your life. Damn, smuggle some of these things into a cooking competition (Beat Bobby FlayI come for you) and you will certainly crush your opponent.

Play around with Wendy’s Chili

Wendy’s Chili itself isn’t particularly impressive. It’s a watery stew of crumbled burger meat, beans, and a tomato soup that doesn’t exactly have much flavor. But it has a harmless homemade feel, like throwing some beef and a bunch of canned shit together. My suggestion is that you drain some of the excess liquid, sprinkle in some cumin and some cayenne pepper for flavor she did it (thanks, Wendy!) and pour it over some macaroni pasta. Top that with loads of shredded cheese and some hot sauce, and your dining companion is none the wiser.

Claim ownership of the Panda Express kung pao chicken

This will involve a psychological strategy. Go to Panda Express and grab a bundle of kung pao chicken and white rice. (If you get the orange chicken and are trying to pass it off as your own, good luck because that was a bad decision.) Kung pao chicken is something you can make at home.

If you have a wok, subtly drizzle in a thin coat of oil and maybe toss in a few small pieces of kung pao chicken to make it look like you are only Cook. (A deep, shallow saucepan is a second-best choice.) Then, take a cutting board and kitchen knife and place it in the sink just where your guest can see it. If you have a rice cooker, plug it into the wall and place it in a spot that shows you’ve recently “used” it.

Congratulations, you just made Kung Pao Chicken!

It’s really easy to lie about homemade pasta with Olive Garden

Olive Garden food always tastes like it came out of a bag, jar, or microwave. So what’s easier than spending your own than his pasta? Choose your battles wisely – just go for something extremely simple like a pasta in a red meat sauce that you may have prepared yourself. Ask for the pasta and sauce separately when you pick it up. Mix the two together and technically you did do it.

If you accidentally serve a breadstick or their signature salad (I can spot the dressing from a mile away), it’s game over Above. Come on, you know better.

Lettuce is your top choice from Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory is an oddly interesting place. Did you know they do everything but their cheesecake from scratch, internally? Buy one of their Cobb or Caesar salads, toss it in a large mixing bowl and, as a distraction, place an open bottle of dressing you’ve plucked from your fridge door next to it. It’s a mind game, you see. Your guest will see that you obviously put a lot of effort into cutting the vegetables yourself, but by presenting your bottle the Hidden Valley Ranchalso use up an ingredient from the pantry that you already had on hand.

Jimmy John’s Cookies

Serve your guest a Jimmy John’s cookie for dessert. All varieties are surprisingly good, although I have a feeling that oatmeal raisins are the most homely version you can offer. But here’s the deal: you can’t just whip out a cookie and tell your guest you made it. Go to Jimmy John’s before your friend comes over and buy a dozen of the same cookies. Then take your largest, most dented looking Tupperware container that you would probably keep cookies in and carefully place them in before removing them. Maybe break one or two, you know, for the sake of realism.

Oh, and don’t forget to hide the goddam wrappers in the trash can. If you’re not doing the actual work, then you’re really going to want to cover your tracks.

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