HOme Cooking vs eating out

If you’re new to cooking, you may feel like it is easier and more fun to just eat out, rather than being ambitious and trying your hand at ‘Kitchen Chemistry’. Perhaps you have inhibitions, harsh critics or just self doubt. Food science, whether self-taught, or otherwise, is plain old simple fun and it will become very rewarding! Even when mistakes are made that make you feel like you might never catch on… don’t give up!

Don’t let this temptation of eating out fool you into believing that you’ll never be able to create your own ‘barbacoa’ or flambeed bananas with homemade ice cream. There’s a fundamental difference between the two types of dining and that difference is what makes home cooking so much healthier, less expensive and fun to do!  

Basics

Think about the kind of food that you like the most. Research it, peruse a dozen online recipes and combine an amalgamation of your own wants and tastes, ask a friend or a family member to share their recipe, or better yet, ask them to give you a tutorial on their methodology for the meal you would like to make. You can then take things a step or two beyond that. Now, you are able create, morph, and make the recipe your own!

For example, when you try your hand at something like Pork and Tofu, (a family favorite in our house), you might not have tofu on hand and you really would like to proceed without leaving the house for the grocery store. Well, that’s where a little creativity and self courage will light the path for you. Substitute with scrambled eggs!  I had this exact thing happen to me. My husband and daughter were a little sad looking when I explained we had no tofu to go into our “Pork and Tofu” dish. They dug in anyway and were pleasantly surprised! Scrambled eggs are now a staple in our Pork and Tofu, even with the tofu included. 

 

Think outside the box

Now take a moment to think of your favorite dessert. Possibly, a new bakery has this over the top decadent chocolate orange cake that you would be overly content to just purchase- so buy a slice. Enjoy it, then tell yourself, I can do better. Much better. Trust me, you can! Then, you get creative, with orange essence, grated orange peel so fine you can barely see it, or some Orange Cointreau and a deep, dark lush cocoa or chocolate bars with make you feel like the new king on the cover of Food & Wine magazine!

When you get creative, and love your results, it might not be your final version. You will be learning by trial and error, just as all cooks do. You might absolutely love the first version, which may inspire you to a second and third version with yet more flavors and options. Life in the kitchen is great fun!! Especially when you have a family of grateful, healthy, happy, non-picky eaters. I have cooked for those other eaters too, and it can be a challenge. But do not give up for your own sake!  Get you some goodness going!

If you are like me, and your kitchen is your sanctuary, then just keep on trying new and different foods. American food is great, but it’s so tiny in this big old world’s great ethnic and culturally diversified food options. You will soon be onto a new comfort level in the ‘cucina’! Next you’ll be pairing your dishes with wonderful sides and beautiful wines.  When done well, utilizing your senses in this way can help you build a more engaging experience for you and your friends and family! 

My two favorite cake flavors are incorporated here in my favorite childhood bread: lemon, blueberry skillet cornbread!