Jul 15, 2012

How to Boil Water: One Year

It has been one year since I made the decision to teach myself how to cook. It has been one year of ups and downs. It has been one year since I started the, sometimes daring but always exciting, adventure of learning to cook. And it has been quite a year.

I was pretty clueless when I started. I was even a little afraid of the kitchen. The only thing I could do with any confidence was bake cookies. Otherwise I was terrified of the damage I could cause to myself or the kitchen. I could barely handle the basics much less anything more than that.

But I decided to start down that path of learning. I decided it was time to face my faces head on and take the plunge. And I have learned a lot. I have learned the basics, tips and tricks. I have learned how to cook.

So in honor of the past year of cooking, I thought I would invites some of my favorites and least favorites and everything in-between:

Favorite Recipe:


This one was so easy and so delicious. Just throw everything into the crock pot and let it do its magic. It is delicious the first time around and just as good leftover. Seriously a good meal. If I can recommend any one meal for you to try, this would be the one.


Least Favorite:


This one was actually pretty gross. I don't know what I was thinking. From what I figured I thought Rob likes meat loaves and he likes cheese so this one is one he'll like. I was horribly mistaken. There was nothing good about this one. It was not good. But without the bad meals you can't know which ones are great.


Best Winter Meal:


This one is a major yum recipe! It takes a little bit of time because it has to cook away on the stove for about an hour or so. But you can always make a good chunk of it ahead of time and stick it in the crock pot if you want. It's warming and delicious. I'm looking forward to fall when we can have this one again. I know I was surprised I liked it too. 


Best Summer Meal:


If you have your air off and it is really really hot, you probably won't want to make this meal because you have to broil the fish but otherwise this meal is great for summer with all the fruits and it is light. It's always great to have meals that aren't overly heavy in the summer. 


Most comforting:


This quickly became one of our favorites almost right away. It was delicious. It took a little bit of time but it beats any soup out of a can. The hubs also swears it is just as good leftover. It really isn't that hard and it is definitely good. 

Most disastrous:


We ended up having pizza by the time this meal was done because it was one thing after another and I am still not sure the fish was cooked all the way. I had the pepper spill all over the place then the dill fell to the floor. I struggled with the paper. And of course, there was the whole question of if it was actually done all the way and safe to eat. It was a major disaster from start to finish!

Easiest:


This is actually a toss up between the Broccoli Cheese Soup and this one because the soup is just putting stuff in a crock pot. But this one is equally as easy. Get a pizza crust - in this recipe I used the refrigerated kind that you roll out, but I recommend using a premade one. It holds the whole thing together better. I brush some olive oil over the crust then use a clove of garlic and rub it over the crust as well. Then cut up some tomatoes and basil and toss it on top. Top with cheese and popped it in the oven until the cheese melts (or read the instructions on whatever crust you got). Super super easy and delicious. If you want pizza without all the grease, try this recipe. Trust me!

Most challenging:


I don't know why I struggled with this one. Maybe because it was the first one I did like this. It was first time I had ever cut into the chicken like a book. It was the first time I was going to stuff chicken. It was probably only challenging because it was new and different. But regardless it was a bit of a challenge. It turned out to not be so good but I tried it and at the time it was the hardest thing I had done and the fact that I had actually was able to complete this recipe and not have the oven explode was huge for me. I don't exactly recommend it but perhaps pick your own challenging recipe to complete. You'll definitely be feeling proud of yourself. 

Bonus Eat Dessert First Favorite:


I made a double-chocolate cheesecake that was pretty good. But you can't go wrong with my cookies. I make pretty dang good cookies. And I enjoy making them. Milk and cookies sounding good to anyone else right now? 

I have come so far from where I started. And there is so much more that I am still learning and still need to learn, and I'm excited. I'm excited to be able to challenge myself and find new ways to do things. Easier ways to do things. I look forward to challenging myself further and trying new things. I never thought I would say that I enjoy cooking but I do. It is a challenge and sometimes I have a love-hate relationship with cooking but mostly I do enjoy it. It's very rewarding to see what all my hard work achieved. I am extremely proud of myself and how far I have come. 

So go on and start cooking. Learn something new. Be inspired. Have fun. Learn how to boil water...


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