I have a few pieces of advice to share with you that I have learned over the past 21 years as head chef and bottle washer in this household - nothing earth shattering just a few things to keep in mind as you are in the kitchen:
1. RELAX-if a recipe doesn't turn out IT IS OK-most likely no one will starve, the world won't stop turning and the human race will go on mostly unfazed! And if you keep your kitchen stocked with the items listed below, you will always have a handy dandy back-up plan!
2. SIMPLE-good food is simple, it doesn't have to be complicated-some of the best food is simply flavored with salt & pepper and cooked properly.
3.FAT IS FLAVOR-I am not kidding, you need the fat on meat for the moisture and the flavor-at least while cooking-one doesn't have to eat the fat but you need it on the meat while cooking. Everybody wants lean meat and then they want to complain it is dry and tasteless-don't get carried away trimming all the fat off your meat before you prepare it!
Moving on - there are a million blog posts out there on how to stock your kitchen properly- basic items that should always be in your pantry, items you can't live without if you are to feed your family properly-so here is my list:
- Milk-good to drink (we go thru at least 2 gallon a week), cook with, and can even substitute as a late night meal if your kids are tired enough
- Sugar-always have sugar, life will just always be sweeter
- Coffee-there is nothing worse than trying to get a 10 year old on the bus if he hasn't had his coffee
- Refrigerated Cookie Dough-that's right! Boughten, prepared, in the refrigerator section cookie dough, any flavor you wish but smart people choose chocolate chip
- Frozen Pizzas-a variety of brands and topping choices
Keep these things on hand and you will survive any crisis that arises-recipe disaster, late night last minute meal, pop-up potluck - you name it with these items on hand I can make it thru any 'food' crisis!
Last but not least-I always keep my Longaberger Basket, a cute (clean) dish towel, a pretty bowl and serving spoon ready. So that, if need be, as we are walking out the door to something that requires me to bring food, a quick trip to the grocery store deli will provide me with a tasty and pretty bowl of potato salad - because presentation is everything!
I truly enjoy cooking and baking and truth is I am pretty good at it, I don't use too many recipes and I am really bad about exact measurements so blogging recipes could be an adventure-but then like everything else I attempt I won't let details worry me too much-so relax and I promise not to post anything I haven't already tried and written down as close to exact measurements as possible!
Oh and the whole avoiding the dishes thing - I just ignore them until they get so bad that we are drinking out of measuring cups! If you have anything better I beg you to please share with me!
I so wanted to add a cute picture of me wearing an apron, smiling while preparing a family meal but a couple of things prevented me from doing that:
1. I don't wear an apron.
2. My kitchen is a mess so taking a pic of me in there would most likely turn you all off from wanting to try my recipes.
3. Cooking meals are most often a frantic job with 3 kids running in and out-STARVING-and no idea what time Chris will be in to eat!
4. No one takes pics of me!