You might be wondering how I've managed to raise a 17 year old, 6'5, 170 pound son without learning to cook until recently. Early on I mastered simple meals such as sandwiches, tacos, salads, homemade mac and cheese, omelets, rice dishes, pasta and soup. Plus as a vegetarian I've always prepared a lot of fresh fruit and veggies. In fact I made my own baby food for my son when he was small! I've very proud to say he never ate anything Gerber, EVER. Now that my son is older and usually grabbing a bite with his friends, I'm entertaining more than ever. For my family, myself and my guests I really wanted to learn how to cook healthy, delicious, sustainable, locally grown meals without using processed foods that included microwave instructions. (In our house we've been happily microwave free for almost 4 years).
Thanks to my cook book obsession I've cultivated a few recipes, tweaked a couple to make them my own and regularly experiment with fresh local ingredients. I also follow a few excellent cooking blogs including:
Elle's New England Kitchen
Great Depression Cooking With Clara
He Cooks, She Cooks (by one of my bestest friends Heather!)
The Left Over Queen
Poor Girl Eats Well
Tamra Davis Cooking Show
A few months ago I took an Italian cooking class and while we were sampling what we made, I was more interested in the chef's cooking tips. My favorites:
3. Keep stocked with pantry staples like olive oil, cans of diced tomatoes, jar of chipotle peppers, chickpeas, whole wheat pasta, canned pineapple, dried or canned beans, tuna, brown rice, etc...
3-4 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese (grate your own, don't waste your time with the junk that is made by Kraft)