Monday, November 26, 2012

Still Learning to Cook

You'd think that after about 10 years of marriage, I'd learn how to cook. Nope, not even close! I mean, I've come a long way since Chris and I first moved in together. Back then my specialty was salads and pasta (plain or with a sauce out of a jar). Now I can get an entire Thanksgiving dinner ready without much flipping out. And it'll be delicious as long as I have a good recipe to go by (yeah, I'm shacking my finger at you, Paula "One-Stick-of-Butter" Dean; your cornbread stuffing was a #fail).

And that's exactly the problem - the recipes. I can make just about anything given a recipe. But without one, I can't even make a Russian staple, fried potatoes with mushrooms. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but just a bit. The bottom line is I CAN'T COOK WITHOUT RECIPES.

But this is about to change, I'm telling you! I'm working my way (very slowly) through Tim Ferriss' new book "The 4-Hour Chef". So far I'm loving it. I've just started reading about specific dishes and am yet to try the first one, but my cooking seems to have improved already. Like, we're still dealing with the left-over turkey. So last night I made spaghetti with turkey marinara (what would be a fancy name for this dish?). It was absolutely delicious, both Chris and M requested seconds and thirds.

Today I turned even more leftover turkey into a shepherd's pie. Again, delicious, and I almost didn't need a recipe for this one (I did use Alton Brown's recipe, but only as an inspiration and to know the proper oven temperature).

The nice thing is that so far, not counting the cost of the 4-Hour Chef book itself, it hasn't cost me a penny more to cook better food. But things are about to change as I'm approaching the first how-to of the book - Osso Bucco.


  1. I am a dedicated "cook by recipe" person myself while my husband can cook the same dish in many different ways. Luckily, cooking in the house is shared equally, so we get by with me trying new recipes and him whipping up favorites.

    1. Well, I generally don't follow the recipe word for word (unless it's something totally unfamiliar). I always eye-ball the ingredients and also generally end up substituting a lot. But I do need a recipe in front of me as a starting point. My husband... he's an amazing baker. The breads he bakes - delicious! Pies, cakes, cheesecakes - OMG! But he can't cook at all except for pancakes which I find absolutely hilarious :)