cuties, and a few things i’ve learned about cooking

so it’s been a little over a year since this happened, which is really the thing that pushed me into learning how to cook. and in looking over the past year i am amazed by how much has changed for me in the kitchen.  here are a few of my thoughts…

- this seems obvious but i hadn’t thought about it: cooking is like everything, you get better with practice and the more you put into it the more you get out of it.  ANYONE can learn to cook and can develop their creativity in the kitchen. i was intimidated by what i didn’t know and learning to cook seemed like a daunting task. but like everything, one foot in front of the other…

- i used to envy people that could just throw together a meal with whatever they had in their fridge, but now that i’m {closer to being} one of those people i understand that it’s not a talent you’re born with. since i didn’t have the first clue about cooking, i used recipes for every meal. but with each new recipe i gained a few new tricks {understanding about what flavors work well together, different cooking techniques, new ingredients, etc}.  all of this knowledge allows me to be more creative in the kitchen and that’s where spontaneity comes in.

- recipes are a starting point that need tweaking and adjusting. i used to believe that if i followed a recipe word for word, i’d be guaranteed delicious results. but now i understand that flavors in ingredients can vary depending on the freshness, brand, age, quality, etc so i make sure to taste and tweak along the way! i read somewhere that if you’re still hungry when you sit down to eat you haven’t done your job- and i totally agree! 

- you can’t succeed without failing first. this is my mantra in the kitchen. i’ve cooked so many bad meals. i’ve had to scrap entire dishes.  we’ve eaten our fair share of so-so dinners and over-something meals. but without this willingness to fail, i never would have invented up some of the things we love most! messing up in the kitchen is a necessary part of the learning process and something that should be embraced. laugh it off, order take-out and move on to the next one! *just make sure you’re not experimenting on nights when you’re having guests- i’ve done that and it’s a recipe for an anxiety attack!

i hope this helps inspire some of you who are new to cooking to be a little less intimidated and see it as something fun! if you have any tips for those who are just learning to cook, please do share!

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Reader Comments

  1. shelley|

    I love this! this holds true for me too. when I went GF, I got more experience in the kitchen than I've had in the past 18 years. I'm not comfortable making my own dishes yet, but I hope to do so soon. your story with Chron's is also very inspiring. I'm glad that you went the natural route and are doing better! :)

  2. Kate|

    I couldn't agree more with the point you made about failing first…cooking is a fairly new thing for me as well, I've made some good meals and some truly funky ones. I have to admit that I rely heavily on recipes but I feel more and more comfortable making substitutions and improvising the more practice I get. I also noticed that my dishes come out much better when I am in a good mood and feeling relaxed as opposed to feeling rushed or frustrated. My rule of thumbis Don't Cook Angry :)

  3. Design Thoughts~Kim|

    ohhh I am TOTALLY the girl who envies people who can just "throw" together…I am so tired of my typical go to menu each week! Thank you for inspiring me to take a leap…maybe 1 new recipe per week..hmmm ;)

  4. sarah yates|

    thanks everyone! kate i love that rule about not cooking angry! it's totally true, dinner tastes better when you've put love into it. and kim, 1 new recipe a week is how i started! and it quickly evolved into more because i was enjoying it so much… but that 1 per week wasn't too overwhelming and is a great way to start!

  5. ethaney|

    hello! you should really take a peek at…her husband was diagnosed with crohn's and she changed their entire eating habits to suit him. it's really great, i think you'd enjoy it! xo