No shortcuts in my cooking

November 23, 2009 at 10:34 am (Cooking, Family, Opinion, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I’ve tried.  Really, I have.  I have tried to use the boxes and cans and the jars and it doesn’t work for me, I can’t do it.  I taste the difference and it just doesn’t feel right to me.  I love cooking.  I enjoy spending an afternoon making a homemade meat sauce for my lasagna.  I think my caesar dressing is better than any I’ve had at a restaurant.  Mac n cheese is so easy to make from scratch – why use a box – same steps, boil, add ingredients, and stir. No need for salsa from a jar when fresh ingredients are readily available.  Cooking like this takes longer, I know that, but it’s also more enjoyable to me.  I guess if i didn’t like cooking then I wouldn’t want to spend MORE time in the kitchen, but to me, it’s relaxing and enjoyable.

I did recently try to streamline my processes in the name of brevity and it did not work.  I made stuffing one night as a side dish.  I got a box of stuffing – very popular brand that is made on a stove top – figuring it must be good b/c this is what people use all the time!! Well – it was inedible.  I could not do it.  I even added some embellishments to it and still the bread was mush and had a processed taste.  Don’t get me started on Mashed Potatoes.  I love mashed potatoes, but can taste a mix from a mile away.  This, too, I can’t fathom – using re-hydrated potato flakes and calling it mashed potatoes.  This is one dish that is time consuming, and a lot of work – peeling, boiling, mashing is labor intensive but so worth it in the end!  There is no mystery meat in my pork dumplings or fried rice.  I know the grocery stores are full of things that make our life easier – the pork and chicken come already marinated, ground beef is pre-made into hamburger patties, etc.  I can appreciate how this does save time and makes it possible for people to make dinner at home every night.  For me, I want to know and choose exactly what goes into a marinade, I want to add the spices for my cheeseburger, I don’t need a packet of seasoning for meatloaf, I have everything I need in my pantry and fridge.

If you were to look in my pantry you will see my attempts – i have jars of pasta sauce, the canister of remaining stuffing mix, and more.  I may use them again one night (not the stuffing) to see how the sauces are, but more than likely they will sit there.   I don’t judge others for their time-savers in the kitchen.  I don’t turn my nose up at jar pasta sauces.  It’s just not my choice.  I cook the way I do b/c I enjoy it.  It makes me happy to have a finished product that people really like eating and I know that it was made by me, the way i wanted it t come out. I also think part of it was how I grew up.  My dad is the same way I am.  He loves cooking and making big elaborate meals, he’s a great cook.  That’s what I was used to.  That wore off on me.  i hope to pass along my love of cooking to my daughter – i would love for her to grow up as my sous chef and use cooking as a way to relax.  It’s true what so many chefs say – you can taste the difference when food is made with love and I like to think that my food is made that way!!

And I don’t mind sharing any of my tips or recipes – feel free to ask!!

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Taking the entrepreneurial plunge

November 20, 2009 at 1:29 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

I know I haven’t blogged in a loooooong time so I’m going to try and make up for that in the next week.  First a short post.  I have started a website and a new business.  While the baking isn’t new, I’m adding to it by doing cupcake decorating parties.  I really really think that this is something that is going to be very popular and will be popping up in the near future so I’m trying to get ahead of the curve.  My long term plan is to make enough money so that i can open up a store and bake and  host parties there in addition to doing them on location.

I’m very excited.  I am also proud of myself.  In addition to actually coming up with the idea and starting the business, I did the logo design and web design myself.  I have definitely learned a lot and now let the real fun begin – getting the word out 🙂

Introducing Painted Sugar

http://www.paintedsugar.com

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