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Cooking in Real Life

November 8, 2009

I love to cook. It’s a relaxing thing for me and never really seems like much of a chore. Even when I was in college, I used to love to sit down and watch Ina Garten or Mario Batali while eating my Top Ramen noodles (sometimes all a college kid can afford). I love the beauty of food, the smells, the richness of texture. I love to work over a dish and enjoy it and serve it to others.

But between working, having an almost-sixth month old, having a social life…sometimes it’s really hard to find time to cook. And cook healthfully at that. So I’ve taken to making massive amounts of food about once or twice a month and using that as my storage for the days and nights when cooking just ain’t happenin’. Tonight, I’m making Potato-Corn Chowder (with frozen corn from our summer garden), Roasted Butternut Squash Gniochi, and a Salmon Lasagna which freezes great. I also am making some cookies and a cake for a friend’s birthday. I’ve found that once you start cooking, it’s really not that much more work to do a few more dishes and then you can store them in the fridge/freezer and have dinners for a week or two.

This also works out great because Kyle and I rarely eat a meal together since we have opposite work schedules. I usually leave food for him to have when he gets home from work or during the day when I’m work.

To improve my cooking technique, I try really hard to watch one cooking show a week if I can. I never write down the recipes (I really don’t like recipes actually). I just watch and pick up little tips that are useful while cooking. Even if you don’t like whatever they are making, you can usually learn about a good way to do something and then tweak it to fit your preferences. My favorite shows in the Food Network are Everyday Italian, Barefoot Contessa, Tyler’s Ultimate and Cooking for Real. Of course Nigella Lawson (a personal style and life inspiration to me) and even Martha Stewart have some fabulous shows and lots of tips, but I don’t get to watch their shows as often.

 

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who else but Nigella can make eating ice cream look so sexy?

 

 

Of course, most of my cooking I’ve learned from my mother. She is a fabulous cook and I loved helping her and watching her cook growing up. I still call her frequently for advice and tips. We recently took a cooking class at Whole Foods in Sacramento. SOOOOOO highly recommend it. That’s where I got the Gniochi recipe from. Yumm.

 

me and my mom, Holly. Isn't she cute? Love her. Good cook!

me and my mom Holly. Isn't she cute? Love her. Good cook!

 

 

cookies are ready…..

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2009 8:47 am

    I am starting to do the exact same thing as you and exploring the world of once a month cooking. I try to just make one or two meals (in larger quantities) each month to squirrel away in the freezer for those absolutely insane weeknights when we need our meals to pretty much make themselves! What are your favorite resources for freezer meals? I haven’t found too many things. I checked out a book from the library that I liked and that I got 4 or 5 recipes out of (we are sort of picky eaters, unfortunately). I can’t remember the name of it, or I’d tell you! I think it had the word “Feast” in it, if that helps.

    • November 9, 2009 11:39 am

      I know, it’s actually really hard to find recipes that freeze well. Even recipes that refrigerate well. I sometimes cheat and freeze/refrigerate things even if it doesn’t explicity say to. I also have found really good recipes (very man friendly as she calls them) on Kathi Lipp’s website, http://www.kathilipp.com. It’s under frozen gourmet, freebies. So great!!

  2. November 9, 2009 11:26 am

    I love to cook with you!

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