Thursday, July 22, 2010

Top 5 Cooking Epiphanies, 2010 Version

5.  In my kitchen, cookbooks just take up space (don’t shoot me)!  I rarely use them and prefer tried and true recipes from friends or highly rated recipes at  Now that I realize that, I’ll stop carting them around the globe! 


Here are a few of my favorites from All Recipes: JP’s Big Daddy Biscuits, Jay’s Signature Pizza Crust, Baked Teriyaki Chicken, Rhubarb Strawberry Jam (my kingdom for some rhubarb right about now!) and One Bowl Chocolate Cake.

Bottom Line: I stick with the tried and true and that is ok!

4.  Grating an onion doesn’t make you cry like chopping one does.  I am also less likely to injure myself with a grater than I am with a knife.  :) Not to mention the fact that my kids and onion hating brother-in-law are less likely to notice onions in this form!

Bottom Line: Am I the last person on the planet to figure this out??

3.  I can make it!  Whether it is rolling out a flaky pie crust, frying up some down home chicken or making Crispy and Creamy Donuts, it’s possible.  To me those foods seemed complicated and like they took special skill, but I finally just tried them!  Sure I’m not famous for any of these things (yet, lol) but but no one is complaining!   

Bottom Line: No more saying, “I don’t know how to make that!”  Just give yourself plenty of time and try it!

photo credit

2.  General Tsao’s Chicken made at home tastes JUST as good as the restaurant!  My husband and every single person I have made it for wholeheartedly agree!

Bottom Line: You want the recipe, right?

1.  Cooking is holy work!  My new mantra is “I don’t feed bodies, I feed souls!” and I think I’m going to paint that on the wall of my kitchen for those times when I forget that the heart of my work in the kitchen is NURTURING and LOVING my precious family and friends! 

Bottom Line: If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some souls to feed!

What have you learned about cooking in 2010?  I’d love to hear! 


Jenn DeAtley said...

I'm coming over for some good cookin' and soul lovin'!! Really though, it was encouraging for me to remember not to give up b/c it's just tooo hard (yup, I do that) but to give myself time and try!

Brenda said...

Dearest Shilo, if you weren't my friend yet, you would be after this delightful post for sure! I agree with almost all of your statements, except the first: I love collecting and looking through cookbooks! You are a great cook and a great mom and a great friend! Love you!

Tim and Susan said...

I chop onions super small for that very don't notice them.

I feel I am a better cook becasue we have lived overseas and if I want, I have to cook-bake it! It's really stretched me out of my kitchen comfort zone.

I'll have to try the yummy Chinese chicken. Thanks for the recipe ideas.

Tim and Susan said...

Thanks too for the reminder that we are feeding souls! I feel that is the hardest part of being a mom of 3 big, hungry boys (now 16, 13, 11)...they are always hungry. They are sweet though and so appreciate meals, snacks and cookies that I make for them. That IS a big part of my job as mamam right now, to feed my family heathy food on a small budget!

Java with the Johnsons said...

Great post, Chilo! These are things that I have been thinking about lately! I also gave up hauling my cookbooks around...I downsized to just a few...that I know have fantastic recipes in them...or that have recipes for basic things that I want to make a new recipe for! Now I get recipes from friends, family, and allrecipes.
Also, sooo been thinking about feeding people isn't just about feeding their bodies...but their souls. Good food makes everyone happy! I don't have time to make things that take a long time...but seriously, it makes people sooo happy when you make things from scratch...and not store bought or from a box! Besides...I can't get those things here. haha
I would say that investing in GREAT ingredients is key...there are just certain things that you shouldn't skimp on...or use a light or low fat verson. If you are on a tight budget...figure out what is worth the price...or if you are worried about calories...just eat a little... In my opinion...just a little of something way better than a lot of something that is just mediocre!
I love cooking! My kids are really too young to appreciate it right now... But I sure do miss my mom's cooking! And maybe someday they will too. :)
Love you Chilo!

Java with the Johnsons said...

Oh, and I made your mom's oatmeal cake recipe a little while ago...made me think of you guys and your family...and that time i got to go to their home. Such good memories...see Good for the Soul!!! And such a fantastic recipe!

Julie said...

Each year I learn new things in the kitchen. I can't believe that I just learned how flavorful celery leaves are in homemade soups. I also learned that rubbing my hands on stainless steel after cutting garlic and the odor disappears. I put my onions in the frigde and they don't make me cry!

The most important lesson I'm learning is to be okay serving simple meals...made with love. When people come over, the point is not to impress, it is to refresh!

Manuela@TPOH said...

I love your mantra! I'm like you, I preter TNT recipes from others or I use recipe sites that have reviews. Often people will leave a review that tweeks the recipe or tells you what can go wrong and I appreciate that.


Paul Smith said...

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