Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cooking fresh

So it's not really a secret, I like to cook and love to bake. I'm not super talented in the kitchen department, but I'm fairly competent. I've been cooking for myself and Brendon for a while, and over the years I've built up a decent arsenal of cookware, spices, and general knowledge of preparing food, including the ever important cooking lingo.

When I moved into my first apartment and was away from my mom's home cooked goodness (and dorm food) and I started cooking on my own, I made a lot of quick and easy frozen/boxed dinners. A lot. I mean we're talking fish sticks and frozen pizza. This was progress for me, because somehow I got it into my head as a young adult that I couldn't cook. That idea was completely ridiculous because I had grown up cooking along side my momma, thank goodness. I was mostly just lazy I think.

As the years went by I ventured into the wide world of recipes. OH RECIPES, how you changed my life. I found that hey, I could make the same stuff that came prepackaged and it would taste better! And it was better for me! Home cooked meals became my bread and butter. At first we had a standard variety of meals that we rotated through, nothing too fancy. Not everything was from scratch, but at least the main dish was. Then I got sick of our normal options and was forced to get creative. I subscribed to a few cooking/home magazines and tore recipes out like crazy, and I still do. Thank you, Martha.

Yours truly, in a pot.

I'd say these days whenever we (and I mean we, because Brendon has been a champ in the kitchen lately) cook (which is almost every night of the week), 85% of our meals are made from scratch. We still supplement our meals with a canned veggie or packaged rice to save time occasionally, but the fresh stuff is just so much better. And we're re-doing the way we grocery shop. Usually we'd make a massive trip to the store to last us for a few weeks, but this doesn't work so well when you're cooking with fresh ingredients. So lately we've been doing a little menu planning and shopping more often for what we'll need that week or so, using our recipes as our grocery list instead of just getting the same old batch of stuff. This is, unfortunately, a bit pricier. Fresh veggies are not as cheap as canned or frozen, plus you're going shopping more often. BUT, it tastes so much better. And we're eating new things all the time! Sometimes they're good and sometimes they're not. You live, you eat, you learn. And then you throw that terrible recipe out.

Of course, cooking from scratch is time consuming and there are definitely some nights when we're absolutely beat from work (after working on your feet all day, cooking is not always appealing) and neither of us have the energy to cook, so we grab fast food or get Chinese delivered, which is never ever good and we always regret it. But I think for the most part we've radically changed the way we eat. We're eating fresher, healthier, and better quality food. And they say, you are what you eat! I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be fresh than preserved!

But because I don't want you to take me too seriously, you must know I still drink a whole lot of these:

Yaaaaay-uhhh. Guilty pleasure. That and, of course, desserts of all varieties.

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