Friday, December 30, 2011

My New Cooking Blog!

I have thought about doing this for years, so now am actually going to give it a shot!  I don't know how regularly I will be able to post, what with working full time, raising two kids, plus my crafting and keeping up with my crafting blog, Butterfly Garden Creations.  But I'll give it the old college try!

What is the point of this blog?  Well, similar to my crafting blog, I plan to use it as a record of the cooking I do, recipes I come up with, ideas I have, so that I can always have it to come back to.  It has worked so great for my other blog- I use it quite often to refer back to card or bookmark designs I've done in the past.  I think it will work equally as well for cooking.  I tend to get on these kicks where I favor a particular type of cooking or ingredient, do some experimenting, and then move on to something else, and often forget what I did.  A few months ago my BFF Kendra mentioned a recipe I had given her awhile back and that she had made it again and it was so good...the sad thing is, I couldn't rememeber ever having made it!  So, this will fix that!  In addition, I often like to share recipes with friends and family, and sometimes it's hard for me to chase down recipes I haven't referred to in awhile.  I don't always remember where I got recipes, and then spend much frustrating time attemping to search every recipe website or blog to locate them.  No more!  This will be my repository of favorite recipes, and I can always come back and find them or send people here to see them if they want.

I am the type of cook who finds it extremely difficult to follow a recipe to the letter.  There is almost always something I change in the recipes I make, either based on my own tastes, or to substitute for something I don't have.  I view recipes as a guide.  Often, I will take components of two or three recipes and combine them into my own creation.  That is what I love about cooking- you don't have to be precise, and there is a lot of room for being creative.  (This is also why I don't love baking...because it IS so precise!)  I enjoy taking raw ingredients and creating something wonderful that makes people happy.  If I use a published recipe as inspiration, I will cite it here, but what I blog will be my own version.

I find it sad that so much of the food that is popular today would be practically unrecognizable to my great-grandparents.  Processed, shelf-stable vacuum-packed "food" is the reason why we have rising obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and all kinds of other diet-related dieseases in our society.  The amounts of sodium, fat and sugar in these foods are staggering, if you ever take the time to read labels.  There are so many convenience foods that I look at in the grocery store, and think to myself "I can make that at home without all that crap".  Of course, like everyone else today, I don't have a lot of time to cook everything from scratch.  I am guilty of buying some convenience foods, but am usually pretty careful about the ones I do buy.  You will not find frozen burritos in my house, but you will find tortillas and canned beans.  Depending on the ones you buy, prepackaged tortillas are not so bad, and canned beans, rinsed of the salty liquid they come in, are not only delicious but are extremely healthy.

My cooking is not terribly fancy.  I try to balance convenience with healthy ingredients and appeal to my family's taste.  I think a common sense approach to cooking can work well for everyone.  We all know what is and isn't good for us by now.  If something isn't good for us, don't eat it in large amounts.  If something is good for us, figure out a way to incorporate it into your daily diet.  The world is full of things besides lard and MSG that make foods taste good!  Herbs, spices, citrus juices, ethnic ingredients- just get out there and explore!  I don't analyze the nutritional values and contents of what I cook.  I cook by instinct.  When you know what goes into your meals, you can do this and be pretty certain that you have healthy foods.

I will report recipes here, but they might be imprecise.  Measurements will largely be guesses on my part, so feel free to adjust as you feel necessary.  Cook, eat, and enjoy!