So, you want to impress that special someone with your culinary skills, except…well, you don't really have much cooking in the kitchen department? No worries -- YourTango has your back. We sat down with reddit sensation Tyler Capps, whose new book -- Cooking Comically: Recipes So Easy You’ll Actually Make Them -- is out now. It's chock full of advice for kitchen novices and recipes that are simple and straightforward, even you can’t screw them up. And hey, even if you do somehow manage to botch these Sexy Pancakes, it's the thought (and effort!) that your date will remember.
YourTango: How did this project begin?
Tyler Capps: Cooking Comically started back in 2011 when I made a silly comic about my chili recipe and, at the behest of a friend, put it on reddit. I didn't expect anything to come of it, but it ended up at the top of the front page and it got a lot of response. I decided to try another one with The Bananarama and it did fairly well too, so I launched the site and I've been going ever since.
YT: What first sparked the idea for Sexy Pancakes?
TC: Well, I had been trying to come up with a good pancake recipe when a girl I was seeing at the time looked up the name "Tyler" on urban dictionary. One of the definitions listed was (and still is) "A very very sexy pancake." It was completely random, but it just clicked as a good direction to take the pancake recipe I was already trying to figure out. It all came together pretty smoothly from there on.
YT: Why are Sexy Pancakes a good choice for guys who need a little help in the kitchen?
TC: I like to think the recipe rides a really nice line between being just difficult enough to provide some practice in the kitchen and still just lenient enough to not be terrible if something goes awry. Also, deliciousness.
YT: What tips do you have for guys with no cooking skills when it comes to impressing a lady in the kitchen?
TC: The absolute number one tip I would give is to make an effort. Honestly. Whether you're an amazing chef or you've never ventured outside of easy-mac, showing that you're willing to make the time, put in the work and really care about doing something nice for another person, says everything.
Optimally, though, you do still want the food to be good.
In case it isn't, have a backup plan: Have a specific restaurant in mind or a specific place for take-out. Don't be indecisive.
Now, if you don't know how to cook at all...learn one recipe. Just one to start with. Think about your favorite meal. Look up recipes for that dish and learn to make it well. Cook it once or twice a week until you don't need to look at a recipe anymore. This should be what you cook for someone first. That way you'll know the process well enough to still be able to hold a conversation while you're putting everything together.
And once you've gotten to that point, pick another food to learn. Eventually you'll have an entire menu in your head. It's not a quick process by any means, but a worthwhile one.
Lastly and perhaps most importantly: Don't take any of this too seriously. Shit happens and if the person you're trying to impress is really worth being around, they'll be able to laugh with you.
YT: How would you rate yourself as a chef?
TC: I wouldn't. I don't consider myself a chef. Partly because I don't have any formal training in the culinary arts and partly because I know I would absolutely fail any kind of Iron Chef battle where the key ingredient wasn't like...onions or beef. At most, I'm an amateur cook.
YT: Is there a special lady in your life?
TC: Not at the moment.
Scroll down to learn Tyler’s spectacular recipe for Sexy Pancakes (emphasis on the sexy!). Join us at 2pm EST for a special appearance by Tyler Capps. He will be on reddit answering all your most burning questions!