From Panic to Pride – My Slow Shift in the Kitchen

4 Oct

Vegetables - My New Kitchen StapleI’ve been scolded in the kitchen. I’ve cried in the kitchen. I’ve been labeled the “little salad maker” (and not in a complimentary way). The whole cooking thing for me is an emotional issue. My being a bad cook has become part of my identity, which actually is fairly sad.

My recent interest in wanting to learn how to cook has really been about an overall wellness path. (And let’s not forget the wake up call when my son called and asked, “Can I Order a Pizza and Put it on Your Tab?” Preparing healthy, tasty food is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. Some of it is vanity (I’d like to shed a couple of pounds). Some of it is that I really enjoy fresh and interesting dishes. I’m also completely bored of eating out and paying restaurant prices for food that doesn’t help me stay lean.

In addition to the health piece, the other big motivation comes from panic because my son will be leaving in a year, and I haven’t taught him well about food.

Enter My Social Media Community

What started as snarky little comments about food, cooking, and my lack of skills on Facebook and Twitter, has resulted into a wealth of support and information from my social media community. In the last few months, I’ve embarked on several daring (relative term of course) kitchen experiments, gotten immediate support when something is on the grill, received help identifying a mystery herb, and guidance on various kitchen gadgets. (Remember, everything is an experiment for me because I am THAT inexperienced.)

What I’ve Learned

  1. Nuts make everything better – pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans – they’re crunchy and flavorful and they make me feel like a gourmet.
  2. Ditto for cheese – goat, Parmesan, feta, ricotta – just a sprinkle or dab and VOILA! I now own a little grater and grated my first hunk of Parmesan this summer sans injuries to my knuckles.
  3. Even when I’m dead tired during the week, it doesn’t take that long to throw a couple of chicken breasts into a pan with some peppers, onions, and tomatoes, then finish with basil, squash, and of course, nuts & cheese. For me, energy (or lack of it) is a real barrier. So it’s critical to have key ingredients handy – onions, garlic, lemons, red peppers, tomatoes, chicken, spinach, balsamic, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, fresh herbs, broth, and veggies.
  4. I love caramelized onions – even though some would call me a cheater (I add a smidge of sugar and balsamic) – I don’t care, because I used a pan, a knife, and 4 ingredients.
  5. I am not a bad cook – I’m just inexperienced, uneducated and untrained. There is a BIG difference.

I’m still essentially an assembler. But I’m using knives, pans, grills, pizza stones, and my new chopper thingie – so I’m pretty sure I’m cooking too. I’ll catch up soon with my cooking/assembling posts.

In the meantime, do you have any tips? I really appreciate having everyone’s support!

Related Posts:

Advertisements

16 Responses to “From Panic to Pride – My Slow Shift in the Kitchen”

  1. Heather @ Not a DIY Life November 5, 2010 at 4:30 am #

    Yes, you are only inexperienced. Most people CAN learn in the kitchen while a little practice. Good for you for not scraping your knuckles on the mini-grater!

    Having key ingredients on hand is a huge time & sanity saver. Also having your key utensils & cook ware within arm’s reach. I have a tool caddy right next to the stove so I don’t have to step away from the stove.

    Keep up the good cooking!

    • Kris O'Connor @Krazy_Kris November 5, 2010 at 6:37 am #

      Thanks Heather! Seriously, not grating my knuckles was huge LOL And having the right food around is key. I actually ran out of olive oil and thought, “Huh? I used that big bottle already?” Shocking I know… But for me, it wasn’t that long ago that I NEVER fixed food that req’d olive oil. Ha! Thanks so much for stopping by Heather!

  2. Aaron November 6, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    I have always enjoyed cooking and grilling, my challenge this past year has been learning how to do it in a healthier way. I’m so glad you’re beginning to enjoy cooking. It’s a ton of fun, especially when it turns out well.

    • Kris O'Connor @Krazy_Kris November 6, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

      Ah thanks! What are your tricks to doing it healthier? I’ve been discovering herbs… just a few… but they make me feel like a gourmet LOL. Would love to know some of your favorites – thanks so much for stopping by!

      • Aaron November 7, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

        My current favorite comes from a thin kitchen recipe book distributed by beachbody. It’s actually suppose to be a appetizer but we usually serve it with sauteed green beans and it works well as a main dish. It’s called Cerveza-Marinated Chicken Skewers. Shoot me an email if you want the full recipe, it’s really good.

      • Kris O'Connor @Krazy_Kris November 7, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

        Aaron! I would love it! I’m always trying to learn and try new things. This week? A pork roast and mangled butternut squash that became mashed goodness 😉 Thanks again for stopping by!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My First Stuffed Squash — Happy Dance! « The Heart & Humor of Being Human - October 24, 2010

    […] Of course the apples are great right now and I had several. I always have nuts (one of my favorite staples.) And my new favorite treat is pomegranate seeds from TJ’s (If you haven’t had them, […]

  2. 10 Clues That I’ve Adopted New Healthy Habits « The Heart & Humor of Being Human - November 7, 2010

    […] do one day at a time. I’m smart enough to know that I’m not going to swap a pizza for a cooking habit overnight.  On that one, I started by committing to cook 2 days per week (up from zero).  […]

  3. How the Power of “More” « The Heart & Humor of Being Human - November 21, 2010

    […] What I’ve Learned in the Kitchen […]

  4. Can I Order a Pizza and Put It on Your Tab? « The Heart & Humor of Being Human - November 23, 2010

    […] From Panic to Pride – My Slow Shift in the Kitchen […]

  5. My Top 5 #FoodThanks List – What Are Yours? « The Heart & Humor of Being Human - November 23, 2010

    […] From Panic to Pride – My Slow Shift in the Kitchen […]

  6. 8 Grain Muffins – Yummy and Tasty! #foodthanks « The Heart & Humor of Being Human - November 24, 2010

    […] From Panic to Pride, My Slow Shift in the Kitchen […]

  7. Bacon Wrapped Rumaki Recipe « The Heart & Humor of Being Human - December 22, 2010

    […] From Panic to Pride – My Slow Shift in the Kitchen […]

  8. Healthy Coffee Cake Recipe | Bob’s Red Mill 8-Grain Cereal « The Heart & Humor of Being Human - January 1, 2011

    […] Jan The body snatchers are lurking, and the result is another baking experiment from this non-cook. This time it’s healthy coffee cake with Bob’s Red Mill 8 Grain Hot Cereal. I used […]

  9. Lessons Learned and Unexpected Treats at #Fitbloggin « The Heart & Humor of Being Human - May 23, 2011

    […] myself a blogger, let alone a fit one! After all, I’m just learning how to ride a bike, don’t know how to cook, and ended up in the emergency room with chronic dehydration. But that makes me an expert on ME and […]

  10. Healthy Chicken Salad | The Assembler’s Kitchen « The Heart & Humor of Being Human - May 27, 2011

    […] From Panic to Pride – My Slow Shift in the Kitchen […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: