First off, being type A, goal-orientated (and bit perfectionistic) can be a great thing, but also a drawback especially when it comes to gray areas like cooking. Although I want to follow a set of rules and learn how to do it just "right," I'm learning that cooking is art. There isn't one right way or wrong way to do it. It's about exploration, fun and trial and error!
Even though I have no formal cooking education, I can cook! I'm realizing I don't have to have a culinary degree or use all the right techniques or know the ins and outs of game -- none of those "hangups" have to stop me. Cooking is a process, not a destination. It's really just like painting. Any one can paint. Sure some people might use fine paints while others prefer finger painting, but regardless of your ability, the point is you're painting! You are creating art. I'm beginning to believe anyone can cook. It starts with desire and a willingness to learn and experiment.
One thing I really enjoy doing is using ingredients on hand. Like today when I was cleaning out the frig, I put all the ingredients that needed to be used within the next couple days on one shelf. Then I made the dinner menu using those ingredients. It was a challenge, but so much fun! I've seen many people's kitchens and pantries and the average person has enough food to last a few months. It's ridiculous when people say, "I have nothing to cook." Really?! Maybe you need to start getting creative! Imagine yourself on one of those cooking shows with a limited number of ingredients. What can you do with x, y and z?
Appetizer: tomato mozzarella caprese (large heirloom tomatoes with a slice of fresh mozzarella garnished with some basil, drizzled with olive oil, balsamic reduction and sea salt).
Entree: baked salmon (seasoned with coconut oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic). Baked vegetables (cauliflower, squash, zucchini, asparagus, sweet corn off the cob, carrots, onion and garlic drizzled with coconut oil, lemon juice, pepper and sea salt).
Dessert: carob cake (thanks to my sister for bringing a great mix from Australia -- had minimal ingredients with zero preservatives) topped with fresh whipped cream flavored with some vanilla and sugar. The cake was delicious and super moist. This is my first time eating carob -- great stuff!
- 3 cups hot coffee (this was for 6 people)
- 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
- 1 heaping tbsp coconut oil
- 2 oz vodka
- 2 oz Kahlua Midnight Black coffee liqueur
- 1 tbsp stevia
- Put all ingredients in a high speed blender (i.e. Vitamix); blend on high ~1 minute.
- Pour into dessert glasses
I must say it turned out great. The coffee was sweet, but not too sweet. You could taste the liqueur, but it wasn't overpowering. Paired with the cake and cream, it made a beautiful combination.
We live and learn. So don't be afraid to live AND learn.
As you can tell, I'm getting ready for my Mary Poppins' adventure to start next month where I'll be doing the grocery shopping and a good amount of cooking for the family. Let the fun begin!