Joy of Cooking
In a sheer twist of fate, within two short weeks I have not only become fond of – wait for it – chopping vegetables, I have turned into a downright foodie. I will admit, had one been keen enough to observe the changes in me over the past few months: my change to veggie-dom, my obsession with food blogs, my being home for the summer; one would have realized that this change was, indeed, inevitable. Since I’ve been back, I’ve cooked dinner with my mother almost every night. I’ve made myself snacks that were not just taken out of the refrigerator and reheated. I’ve had wonderful food photography sessions (the best subject, for sure). I’ve just made blueberry pancakes for breakfast! I’ve fallen in love with cooking.
It doesn’t hurt that I have deliciously delicious food/photography blogs to read, which serve to egg on my love for food, and provide both inspiration and motivation. My faves are:
- Cupcakes and Cashmere (sometimes)
- Sprouted Kitchen
- Cannelle et Vanille
- Honey and Jam
- Seven Spoons
- So Good and Tasty
- The ones mentioned here
- Many many more, I’ll share as I explore.
What are your favourite foodie blogs?
I have a few simply marvelous cookbooks:
Literally, simple cooking for culinary simpletons (aka, me). I’m not joking when I say that boiling water (for pasta people, I wasn’t that stupid) confused me. This cookbook covers everything from how to choose produce to how to cook a Thanksgiving day meal. It covers basic skills for the kitchen, how you should stock your pantry and how to cook simple, delicious dishes easily. Add in a generous helping of beautiful photos and a pinch of funny guidelines, and you have one wonderful cookbook.
This book has everything. Conversion charts, basic skills, simple recipes, difficult recipes, wacky recipes. It contains both classic and new recipes, makes use of a very wide range of ingredients, and puts it together in a simple-to-understand way.
Such a great cookbook. It does have the disadvantage of not containing any photos, but it doesn’t really matter, the recipes are so simple and so college-focused. The cookbook’s focus is on really student-oriented dishes, and each recipe only requires a microwave to cook (although I’m sure if you were so inclined, you could use the stove). Tasty treats like dips, sandwiches, study snacks, meals; and they’re all vegan! Woo! Easy, yummy, vegan. Yay.
What’s your favourite cookbook? What are your favourite recipes?
I’ll admit it. One of my favourite things to do is dream about living in my apartment next year, cooking up a storm with the most gorgeous of kitchen tools, from Williams Sonoma, Anthropologie and, of course, Ikea. I probably will end up with very basic versions of all these beautiful pieces I’m picking out online, but a girl is allowed to dream. Here are my top picks for kitchenware.
- Ikea Dessert Measuring Cups, $5.99
- Sur la table Victorinox Swiss Army Chef Knife, $94.95
- Chef’n Switchit All Purpose Spatula, $9.95
- Anthropologie Perennial Mini Colander, $14.00
- Ikea Kalvakad Saucepans, $14.99
- Anthropologie Sewing Basket Apron, $28.00
- Williams Sonoma Multicolour Ceramic Mixing Bowls, $199.95
- Modcloth Heart of Wood Cutting Board, $19.99
- Ikea Chosigt Grater, $4.99
So I’ve become deliciously obsessed with food, which is always good for a person. Here are a few things I’ve learned that make cooking more fun for me:
- Accept that there will be dishes. Instead of trying to avoid making dishes dirty, which is inevitable, and makes more mess, just accept that you’ll get a cutting board dirty, some measuring cups, a spoon and saucepan. If you go in with this attitude, you’ll be able to relax and have more fun chopping.
- Practice chopping. Get your mom to show you how, then practice practice. I’m still not amazing, but I’m good enough that I actually like doing it. I love cutting up green onions, tomatoes, celery. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to do it, and then it’s a breeze.
- Take your time. Make the food the way you like it, at the pace you want. At first, I was very, very slow. I didn’t give myself enough time, so my family ended up eating at 8 whenever I wanted to cook a big meal. Now, I just start earlier. Don’t worry if at first it takes you a couple hours to completely finish making a meal, you’ll be making mistakes and learning from them along the way. That way, the next time you make that dish, you’ll be quicker.
- Be inspired. Read foodie blogs, cookbooks, magazines. Watch Ratatouille! Watch the Food Network, surf Epicurious and Tastespotting. Get excited about food! Once you do, you won’t be able to stop cooking. :)
Okay well that’s all I have to say on the subject. Cooking and baking have become a source of fun and happiness for me, and they always have been for my family. We love to cook, we love to eat! Stay tuned for more posts about food, because they’ll be coming. :) Happy eating.
ps. What are your favourite recipes? What do you love about cooking? Tell me!