I’m a fairly good cook, not entirely self-proclaimed. Being a decent cook has its plusses. Friends will happily accept dinner invitations, and nobody orders pizza just before meal time. But it’s also a curse of sorts. Everyone always wants to eat at home. Like my hubby would say it’s your birthday, let’s go out. Or maybe it’s Mother’s Day. He doesn’t use Hon, it’s your whatever day… but often volunteers to peel and chop the ingredients if I put them on the kitchen counter. So I just need to throw them together, easy.
But I like eating out. So I’ve come up with some creative solutions to that problem. First, the freezer is a helpful invention. Second, I can try to have most of my work meetings at restaurants. Oh, I’m sooo booked, back to back, can we meet for lunch? Hmm, but it usually works.
To tell the truth, deep inside I love cooking. The issue is that I’m not into following recipes. I find it booring. Just following a recipe leaves nothing to the imagination, not much room for creativity. It also requires all kinds of measuring devices and mathematical skills. So that’s not for me. I like to shop groceries about once a week, but I don’t plan the meals in advance. No grocery lists based on recipes. And it’s not possible to buy .275 oz, 1/2 dl or 2 teaspoons of anything anyway. So my shopping lists tend to have only a few things on them, items that we don’t buy that often, like batteries or light bulbs. Who remembers to buy light bulbs when they now (finally) last for 2-5 years, if they are not on the list? I know what we like to eat, mostly healthy stuff, so I simply wander around the store and browse what I see. Then I make meals of what we have. That’s simple, and so much more fun. A bit of an artistic challenge, rather than just mechanical work.
Don’t get me wrong, I love reading recipes. I look at them to get ideas, for inspiration. I can sit and browse recipes from the whole world for hours! I particularly like to learn about spices and herbs. If I can’t grow them, and they are not available in the local stores, I can always get them online. So recipes are good, I just can’t follow them.
Last night I had some chicken breasts and made a pasta sauce. In addition to the chicken, I threw together onions, red bell peppers, lemon and then added a little bit of this, a dash of that and a pinch of the other. And a tiny “pour” of cream. It was really tasty with low carb pasta and a fresh salad. But it’s close to impossible for me to remember how I did it…so next time will be a different culinary adventure. I kind of like that.
Today, or maybe tomorrow, I think it might be time to make some pizza. To use some good leftovers. We don’t have pizza very often, maybe three or four times a year, but I like making them. Artistic and tasty toppings on a super thin crust. Like the Kilimanjaro. It has a yellowish alfredo-type mustard sauce and extra cheese to remind us of the surrounding savannah, then small heaps of really thinly sliced beef fillet for mini-mountains, topped with feta cheese for the snow. And a few green bell peppers for bushes and yellow ones for lions lurking around. And some mushroom pieces for other animals. Maybe.
Or it might be time for a completely new one. I’m thinking something like the Red Earth. With a barbeque-tomato sauce and small villages of …say, asparagus-topped chicken and zucchini? Or the Western Farm, with a light tomato-based sauce, just lightly sprinkled with cheese and lots of ongoing activity represented by different veggies? And black olives for tractors in the field?
So that’s what’s cooking.
12 thoughts on “What’s Cooking?”
Did you know you were really describing me? Can’t follow a recipe ever, and can never remember what I’ve cooked before. (Confession: not all of my cooking ventures turn out so well…)
Hi Marsha! I have to admit that I’ve had a few “not so perfect” cooking adventures as well. But when I taste and it’s not quite right, I just continue…trow in a few more things, cook more, and taste again. Usually it’ll be at least acceptable. Happy cooking!
Reblogged this on tiny lessons blog and commented:
Today, again, I found some chicken breasts in my freezer and came to think about this old post from last summer. So it’ll be pasta with a creamy chicken sauce (a new twist of course depending what else I find!) for dinner tonight. What about you? What’s on your table?
Most of the time I don’t know what I will come up with for the dinner table. I do not follow recipes either. The majority of my tries using recipes were flops. I do better coming up with my own concoctions. We rarely eat out but I love to eat out. If I had someone to cook me delicious dinners like yours look and sound I would be happy to eat at home. I get tired of my own cooking…hubby loves my cooking so we eat out very little. Hugs
Our own concoctions sure are delicious most of the time, but we need to use some tricks to get our husbands to eat out more often 🙂 The trouble is that when your home cooking is good, the standard quickly raises for the meals enjoyed out in restaurants…
Wicked looking food!
Cooking with wine is the best…you can even put some of it in the food 🙂
Oh – and I thought the presentation was better than the taste 🙂 But I agree with you, cooking with wine is always bound to be fun!
I’m the same way, I love reading cookbooks but really enjoy being creative with my cooking. It works…sometimes! Pizza is a favorite and I love coming up with different topping mixtures.
How fun! Your way is more creative and adventurous! Good for you!! But the chef really does deserve being treated to meals out from time to time. 😉
Thanks Cyndi. I fully and truly agree with the last statement 🙂
Well, delicious drink in a beautiful Iittala drinking glass!
yes, we have lots of them – and they are beautiful 🙂