Experimenting…

I have always been hesitant in the kitchen.  Perhaps it derives from the fact, that I tend to have perfectionist qualities and like with most things, cooking needs practice in order to be perfect.  Early on in life, I accepted that I wasn’t a cook.  One of my best friends is an awesome baker (check her out at misspetitesweets.com), my future sister-in-law can make treats of all varieties and my mom’s cooking sustained me marvelously for the first 23 years of my life.  I figured that I had all these cooks around me, I didn’t need to be one.  Cooking just made me nervous.  I went to a small school for college where it was the norm to live in the dorms until your senior year.  Therefore, the first time I really had to cook and fend for myself was when I moved into an apartment with 7 other girls my senior year of college.  Due to being busy and not really knowing what to do in said kitchen, most of my meals consisted of frozen pizzas or leftovers with the occasional baby cupcake on the side.

Though this may have been acceptable for a college student, when I moved to Boston this past August into my first “grown-up” apartment, I realized that I couldn’t survive on frozen pizzas alone, no matter how delicious they may be.  I was thinking about how in June I would be getting married and to me that meant that I needed to get over my fear of the kitchen.  One of the first things that helped me was a George Foreman grill.  My George Foreman is a plus for many reasons.  First, growing up, grilled chicken was a staple in our household.  My mom would grill a bunch at a time and we would have it in the fridge for salads, sandwiches etc….  Since I do not have an actual gas grill outside of my apartment, the George Foreman is the next best thing.  Secondly, cooking meat was always intimidating.  The George Foreman allowed me to grill chicken in a healthy, easy and quick way.  This enabled me to build my confidence.  The second thing that really helped me was joining Pinterest.  It may seem crazy, that something as distracting as Pinterest could help me become more productive, but I got really excited about many of the recipes on there.  So many of them seemed so much more real and doable than those in traditional cookbooks.  For example, I have been trying out different versions of these Two Ingredient Cookies that I found on Pinterest.  My favorite one so far is:  2 cups of Fiber One Original Cereal, a spoonful of peanut butter, 2 bananas, and cinnamon to taste baked at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

My mom is an excellent cook and until I started cooking on my own, I never realized how much I picked up from her.  I do not, by any means, mean to say that I am anywhere near as good as her, but by watching her cook for years I have been able to pick up quite a few things, especially in the vegetable preparation department.  She is always cooking vegetables in new ways, and I have learned to use the ingredients that I have and make it up as I go along.  I will never be Wolfgang Puck, but at least I can now sauté a breast of chicken without worrying that the fire department will have to come.

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