Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So lately I have been thinking about food...

Food keeps coming into the forefront of mind and I keep thinking of things I want to say about food and therefore this post came into existence.
Yum. These are the best cupcakes I have ever made. Toasted Marshmallow-Cookie dough-Chocolate cupcakes from the Joythebaker website. 
I love cooking, baking and especially eating food. We need food to survive, but really it is so much more than that. I am not by any means an incredible chef, but I can make some tasty meals. I have been thinking about what it takes to make food taste good and I came up with a list of important things. They are:

1. Buy good ingredients.

I think a lot of people forget about this one and often go for quantity over quality. Is cheaper really better? We obviously do not have much money at all (as recently graduated college students), but you can do it. I don't shop at Wal-mart for ethical reasons, but also I prefer grocery stores that sell organic produce etc. When you can, buy organic produce or even better buy your produce locally from a farmer's market or even better grow your own if you can. Buying good ingredients goes for everything and most especially meat. Not all meat is made the same. Since reading Fast Food Nation I have been really careful about the meat I buy for ethical and health reasons. I only buy organic ground beef, organic or at least chicken without hormones (so important-- the hormonesin chicken are leading to earlier puberty in girls), and I carefully buy my red meats from either the Sunflower Market  (only in UT) and Whole Foods. My mom is the same way and is very careful buying her meat too--which means we all don't really eat that much meat. Point is, when I eat meat at someone else's house or a not great restaurant and it is just regular old meat, Tyler and I both get sick much to our embarrassment. So obviously, no one should be eating that ammonia soaked, e coli studded meat. Yuck. Also, please, please use butter. Butter is seriously so delicious. Margarine is a nasty imitation that is bad for you, does not taste as good, and is a whole lot cheaper. It should be because it really is that terrible. Butter costs more because it is better and worth it. Trust me your food will taste better if you buy better ingredients.
This is a lamb pie I made for Easter this past year, the lamb was locally grown in Lexington, VA (where we were living) and coincidentally was cheaper than the lamb at Kroger.

2. Make things from scratch.

Rose water cupcake made from scratch by myself and my cousin, Julie.
I have had several people's meals who I know could be pretty good cooks if they didn't always take the easy way out. For example, people will not make their own mashed potatoes. Those potato flakes should be for food storage only and used when in dire need. It is really quite easy (and so much tastier to make your own mashed potatoes). What really makes me sad is when people don't make their own desserts (especially cakes). Store bought or box-made cakes give cake a bad name. So many people claim to not like cake but that is only because they have never tried the real thing (rid of preservatives). Cake made from scratch with home-made frosting is really a most delicious thing. So please make things from scratch, it will make all the difference in the taste of your food and it will also be so much healthier.

3. You have to be creative.

To be a good cook you really need to be creative. My mom is the perfect example of this. She can make a good meal out of almost nothing. If there is not much food in the house but a good meal is still on the table, then that is  a sign of a good cook. All you really need is a little creativity. For example, a few nights ago we did not have a ton of food to work with but we did have eggs, milk, flour, a little chicken, some cream, and cheese. Yes, cream is a staple in my house. :) So I made dinner crepes, and I put a creamy, cheesy sauce with chicken inside. I made up the sauce and it tasted delicious. I love making up sauces. I kind of feel like it is my thing or strength  or something. I really am nothing special. I  just learned from my mom who let us cook and bake at an early age ( I think I made my first cake when I was 8). My mom taught us how to cook and gave us ample opportunities to do so and I will do the same with my children. So cook with your kids and get creative!
I loves scones! These are my made from my mom's recipe and are so tasty for breakfast or dinner!
Really, that is all it takes. Ok, you should make sure to read the whole recipe and not forget that your food is in the oven, but besides that this is all it takes. Good ingredients, making things from scratch, and being creative are what makes a good chef.


  1. This was the worst post ever to read when it is almost lunch time I AM STARVING and that didn't help any because it all looked delicious!

  2. Thanks... I suppose... Sorry to put you through that. :)