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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Bye, Daniel!!

July 19, 2008 at 11:03 am (Cooking, Family) (, , )

I’m going to a going-away party for my cousin tonight.  He’s leaving this Monday for NY to start a job in the real world! It’s an awesome job that uses his UF Finance degree wth a big company so we are all very proud of him! And of course now we have someone to visit in NY!

These are cupcakes that I made for his going – away party.  You can see more pics of them at http://toutesweetcreations.wordpress.com

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