My main problem was the fact that I was trying to cook everything on a hot plate with only one side working... the smaller side. This made boiling water and cooking the noodles pretty difficult. I added some salt, because I'd always heard that adding salt makes things boil faster, however the only way I ended up getting it to boil was by leaving the lid on the pan. Anytime I removed the lid, even for a few seconds, the boil would stop. Eventually, I WAS able to get the fettuccine cooking and from there, I was on my way!
Well, I started cutting and realized: #1 I might need to invest in a larger cutting board and #2 making circular slices was probably not the best way to dice. I adjusting my cutting methods and it made things a lot easier, however, I now see why someone might want to invest in one of those Chopper things that they sell on infomercials.
As I started putting the diced pieces of zucchini and squash into a bowl, I realized that I probably had way too much. Even so, I figured I'd go ahead and cook it all up anyway. Then came the next problem....
I didn't buy any lemons while shopping for ingredients because I knew we had some in the fridge. Well, I grabbed one and started trying to grate it and NOTHING would happen. I tried pushing as hard as I could, rubbing it faster, nothing would work. My guess is that the lemons were a little old and the skin was too soft. After a few minutes of struggling, a gave up on that one and grabbed the firmest one I could find. I WAS able to get some zest out of this one, albeit with some difficulty, but in the end, it was done.
About 20 minutes later we got back from the airport and he immediately knew from the smell that I was up to something. I told him about my plans to start cooking at home everyday and asked if he wanted to help. I was so happy when he replied that he LOVED the idea and was excited to try the food and learn how to cook with me :)
Like I said at the beginning, even after all the troubles I encountered, the meal actually turned out pretty good! My boyfriend liked it (or, at least he says he did) and we were able to eat a dinner costing only $5.58. We even had some leftovers that he took to work with him the next day. All in all, I can say I'm pretty pleased with my first run.