I am excited to welcome Megan from The Adventures of Noble and Pond today. She is going to share about something that I can’t really help you with… learning to love cooking!
Hello everyone! I am so happy to be guest posting today for A Savory Feast. Today, I wanted to talk about my love/hate relationship with food. I love to eat. I love trying new food, and I love snacking on old favorites. But I’m not a fan of cooking. I’ve never really had a passion for making my own food. And it’s not that I don’t like eating (we’ve already established that I do, in fact, like eating). I just don’t have a love of cooking.
My love of cooking is very much a work in progress, and as I make positive progress in the right direction, I wanted to share a few tips on how you can learn to love cooking also.
Practice for Passion
One of my favorite analogies for learning to love something has to do with golf. Do you golf? I don’t. I’m sure that if I did, I would hate it, because I have no experience with it. But that’s the thing. I’m not golfing on a regular basis, so I can’t improve my golfing abilities. I’m golfing just enough to hate golf.
The same goes for cooking. I’m cooking just enough to hate it. I hate cooking because I find it to be a chore. It’s not something that I’ve had a lot of experience with, but if I keep practicing I will eventually develop an appreciation for it; which will eventually turn into a passion.
It will be the same for you. The more you practice, the better you will get, and the happier you will be with your cooking abilities. Set a cooking schedule and stick to it. Setting a cooking schedule will give you time to practice your newfound hobby. You’ll learn new techniques, try new flavors, and experience varying results with your experiments.
To set a cooking schedule, you need things to cook. This is where inspiration comes into play.
In order to cultivate a love of cooking, you need to be inspired by beautiful food. A great place to start is Pinterest. Tons of food bloggers, A Savory Feast included, have curated beautiful Pinterest Boards dedicated to a love of food. Learn to appreciate the various colors of the garnishes, the texture of the sauces, the layers on the cake. See every detail as a work of art, and you will soon be very inspired by food.
Another way to become inspired by food is by watching cooking shows. One of my favorites is Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey. While this is technically an intervention-type show, the end result often features beautiful new dishes that are easy to prepare, and taste phenomenal. The restaurant is saved, and the customers are always coming back for more. But my favorite part is how refreshed the chefs and servers are when they try the new recipes. This is how you will feel when you become inspired by food. You will have a desire to cook, and create beautiful appetizers and entrees.
Also, you need to eat at new and/or upscale restaurants. Not only is this a phenomenal opportunity for an exciting date night, it gives you the chance to try new flavors that you might not get at home. The gourmet meals that will be set before you are sure to spark the flame of inspiration in no time.
Keep It Simple
Try new recipes that are simple, yet satisfying. I know it will be tempting to try that salt-crusted flounder with lemon-butter artichokes and cranberry-imbued acorn squash. But maybe, let’s just stick with a simple chicken casserole that everyone will love (for now, at least). As your cooking skills increase, you can try more complicated cooking techniques and flavor combinations. But in the beginning, it will be more satisfying to stick with recipes that you are familiar with. You’ll know what they are supposed to taste like, and you will be able to understand if you need to make adjustments to the recipe or your techniques the next time you make it.
Start with something familiar. If the recipe you are trying to create has complicated steps or uncommon ingredients, you are only going to get frustrated. Start with something you know, like a simple mac n’ cheese recipe, or your grandmother’s meatloaf. These recipes are often relatively quick to throw together, and you will almost always be happy with the results.
Expand Your Knowledge
Broadening your culinary expertise can be a huge benefit to your love of cooking. You don’t need to enroll in a fancy institute to learn new or improved techniques. Many local community programs host cooking classes on a regular basis. You can often choose from a variety of options, including cooking basics, French culinary techniques, or how to craft the perfect Mediterranean inspired meal.
Most classes have a nominal fee attached, but often include cooking utensils, ingredients, and expert instruction from a professional in that field. All you need to do is contact your local community center to inquire about available programs.
You can also expand your knowledge by talking to friends and family about their cooking techniques. Grandparents can provide a wealth of information on cooking techniques, since they didn’t always have microwaves or frozen dinners to keep them satisfied. Your Grandma or Grandma-In-Law can be an amazing resource for recipes and inspiration.
While talking to Grandma about her recipes, ask her if she can help you with a recipe one afternoon. This will be an amazing bonding moment for the two of you. She will have the opportunity to share her knowledge with the younger generations of her family, and you will be able to effectively pass on her legacy. Believe me, there is nothing worse than letting your family know that you made Great-Grandma Christine’s potato soup, and then seeing the grimaces on their faces when they slurp down the slop that was set before them. And just an FYI (to uphold my good name), I was not the one who made the soup, I was on the receiving end of the slop…. not pretty.
Now is the time that you start looking at Jenna’s recipes here at A Savory Feast! Jenna has some phenomenal recipes to try out, and they are great for even the most inexperienced cooks to try. I recently tried her Chicken & Asparagus Casserole: LOVED IT. So good. Hubby was a big fan too :). And it was so easy. That was my favorite part.
I hope you guys found these tips helpful. How do you cultivate a love of cooking? I would love to know in the comments below!
Thanks again to Jenna for the opportunity to guest post!
A big thank you to Megan for guest posting today! She is one of my sponsors this month, and I hope you have had a chance to stop by her blog. If not, be sure to visit The Adventures of Noble and Pond and check her out on social media.