Hurray! We're back to normal this week now that Little Man has come home. We started off the week with steamcleaning the carpets (our yellow lab Sandy has a sensitive stomach and I let Little Man drink juice in sippies that he carries everywhere) and an experiment with a recipe from Food Network magazine.
I love cooking. But if you'd asked me five years ago what my favorite hobby was, cooking would never even have made the top twenty. When I first showed up to college, my best friend had to teach me how to peel and dice an onion. I burned grilled cheese. It was terrible. There was an entire year where I ate nothing but Stouffers mac n' cheese meals and pickles for lunch. Alright you got me, it was almost two years. And then for dinner it was Taco Bell. It was awesome.
Some time after college graduation and my marriage to Ex I got interested in food. I had decided I wanted to be a good housewife... and I looked up recipes I could make in the crockpot as a starting point. Of course then I started working in the restaurant and cooking was the last thing I wanted to do, so that never really happened the way I wanted it to.
But working there did teach me how to use a knife and how to feel more confident in the kitchen. As a manager I was forced to make my own lunches every day with just the ingredients available in the restaurant. After a few months of being laughed at by my kitchen staff for having pathetic skills in the kitchen (a LOT of microwave quesadillas), you can bet I was going to work hard to find recipes I could make quickly and easily.
Then after my divorce from Ex, I finally got my own place and my cooking obsession took off. I would constantly read recipes online and try them on my friends and family. The little crockpot meals I made evolved into some serious stovetop cooking and today I feel pretty comfortable in all aspects of the kitchen. I even have a couple dishes that I get requests for from Hubs and the fam over and over again!
Last night was my first venture into using the broiler, and since it worked and nothing exploded or burned, I'm super excited to try all the recipes I've been putting off for fear of failure. If you get the Food Network magazine, the recipe I tried was the polenta and sausage skillet meal and it was pretty good! It makes me feel like a real cook when I can take a recipe and note that there are a few things I would change to make it perfect for our family - we like hot sauce, maybe too much - and then when I tweak it it becomes a family favorite.
Well there goes the laundry buzzer. I have about 4 more loads til I'm caught up again and then can get to work on the rest of the disaster area... err... house. Its good to be back!