Saturday, October 2, 2010

I'm not a good cook

My kids will tell you I'm a great cook... they're wrong.  I can read.  That's my *secret*.  I am constantly amazed by tv shows, like Iron Chef, that give people an ingredient, or several and they make these amazing things.  If you were to give me a dozen ingredients... or even 1 I would be searching for a cookbook to tell me what to do with it.  I have a large slab of beef in my fridge now, I think it's a chuck roast, that I got at the grocery store when they had a special... buy the meat and get carrots, potatoes, and celery for free.  FREE?  That's one of my favorite words!  So, now this meat is sitting there while I scour through cookbooks trying to find out what the heck to do with it.  From what I have gathered, being that it is under 3 lbs, it doesn't look good.  All the recipes I have found include a crock pot and about 4 lbs of meat.  See... now I'm stumped.

I love reading cookbooks - although they always make me very hungry, so I have to read them on a full stomach.  It makes me feel like an artist (or an inspiring one) where I am given a color by numbers painting that will be hanging at the Louvre.  It will proudly have my name on it and I get all the credit.  Only I know that I'm actually not talented enough to create a masterpiece by myself - everyone else is fooled.

To take my cooking to the "next level", I invested in a subscription to Food and Wine Magazine.  I felt this would inspire me, challenge me, make me feel like I am more than an average cook.  A few months ago I found a recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Moon Pies, I had to try it!  It said that it would take 3 hours to make.  I figured I know my way around the kitchen, I am sure I can do it in an hour.... 3 1/2 hours later while I was making my own marshmallow to put inside the cookies that had WAY too many ingredients and steps, I realized I was in over my head!  I love to look at the pictures, and read the articles of far away places and gourmet food that I will never taste (or probably never see), but I'm not sure that any of those people are stay-at-home mom's.  And, I can't imagine my kids eating "Pork Chops with Barberry Compote".

So, I'll be content with my trips to the library to scour over cookbooks, time on the internet looking over what seems to be a gazillion recipes and enjoying my Pampered Chef cookbooks.  (By the way, I love how the Pampered Chef cookbooks have a picture of EACH recipe - this way I know what it is supposed to look like when I am done.)

I plan on blogging my upcoming recipes, successes, failures, dilemmas, struggles and hopefully you'll share your feedback on how YOU make it work. 


  1. Food and Wine magazine? I'm reassured to hear that didn't work out for you. I also LOVE to read cookbooks. And watch cooking shows. Today I watched Jacque Pepin whip up some pastry cream in three seconds, while explaining the difference between pastry cream, creme anglaise, and creme brulee. All involve cream, eggs and sugar and taste really good. Otherwise I didn't follow.

    Still waiting for the chicken taco deal with jicama and mangoes. Company coming next weekend... hurry up! :)

  2. First of all, I agree with your kids that you are indeed, a good cook. I have loved everything you have ever made me. Second of all, I think getting a magazine for inspiration was a great idea, but maybe you chose the wrong magazine. I love food magazines too, but not fancy hoity-toity ones. My faves are Food Network Magazine and Taste of Home. I have grown a lot as a cook in the last few years, and I have learned that you have to take it slow. I get most of the inspiration for my recipes from those magazines and Food Network and Cooking Channel (you've got to get yourself a DVR!)

    I can't wait to read about what you have been cooking!

  3. That roast will still be good at under four pounds. Cook it in some beef stock low and slow. I prefer the oven to the crock pot for roasts, or even on the stove top in a dutch oven!

    I'm guessing that you are a much better cook than you give yourself credit for!