Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Simple Surprises and Inspiration

This was a nice surprise for me when I got home from a long day.  
Dinner (Bombay Sloppy Joes and homemade oven fries!) and 2 food magazines.  
Food Network Magazine and Martha Stewart's Everyday Food April issues.

What's better was that Mark Bittman was smiling from the pages of Everyday Food.  This is a great quote...

"Knowing the fundamentals of cooking is infinitely more important than following recipes or using 'chef-y' techniques.  Not everyone wants to dedicate themselves to cooking all day, but we should all be comfortable putting together a simple meal.  That's how I cook, and that's how I like to eat-- I think the basics are where it's at.  What's better than roasting a chicken or side of salmon for dinner?" 

I wholeheartedly agree with this.  The food I make on a regular basis isn't super-fancy and I don't use difficult techniques (remember those delicious pork chops I wrote about last week?).  I know how to do a few things well, I understand what I like and what tastes good.  Learning to cook has been one, if not the most, empowering thing I have yet accomplished.  It lets me be creative.  When I cook I am intentional about what kind of food I put into my body.  I take pride in my cooking.

The fact that I enjoy being in the kitchen helps too.

The article goes on with a little Q&A:
Q "How does cooking better help you eat well?"

A "When you cook for yourself, you have more control over what goes into your body; few things are more important.  Home cooks are far more conscious of the quality of the food they eat than people who get take-out most of the time" 

On eating well, home cooks can even go a step further and really pay attention to the quality of the food and ingredients.  For instance by replacing quick mixes and making food from scratch you are aware of exactly what is in your food (and you'll probably be able to pronounce the names of the ingredients).  It's not difficult.. it just takes time, effort, and believing in yourself. 

If you want to learn more about Mark Bittman, here is a link to his website. I will not be shy to recommend, yet again, his wonderful reference style cooking book:  How to Cook Everything. 


  1. Yes! Cooking is empowering, because you decide what goes in your body! It doesn't have to be complicated, simple is often most delicious. And it's creative; when I feel stuck in a project, I get cooking in the kitchen. And usually, I cook up a solution to my creative project while I'm at it.

  2. It's amazing how cooking can change my mood or outlook on life. There are days where I come home from work/school just wanting to lay on the couch, but then when I force myself to get in the kitchen and make dinner, I end up usually feeling a lot better.