Why? Because I need more cooking in my life.
sorry, this is the only picture I have of me that is food related. Giant Nachos from Cheesecake Factory.
Photo creds to my friend Jeri
Now, let me begin by saying I CAN cook. Well. And without recipes. I come from a long line of artsy Hungarians who do not follow instructions or use recipes for anything. I am pretty beast at making pasta (mostly because I am beast at eating pasta...) and I can whip up all sorts of other things (I make good soup. Really, really good omelets. Tasty pumpkin cheesecake. Super delicious nacho dip. The very best Chicken Pot Pie. Amazing mocha brownies.). But...I want to branch out. For a couple reasons...
Okay... I'll be honest with my number one reason for doing this. It is one of those "prove it to myself" type things. I have a personality that wants to be good- AMAZING- at everything all the time. Blessing and a curse. Kind of annoying but... I am into over-achieving. If I am not an awesome cook now, I will be soon.
So anyway, a couple weeks ago my friend and I were talking and for some reason it was about baking/cooking. I said something about me making...something (I don't remember the minor details) and she said "WHAT? Whatchyou talking bout, Phillis? (yes, she has nicknamed me Phillis and says this to my frequently...) I thought you said you couldn't cook?" To which I said "Uh...yes. I can. And I never told you I couldn't cook. Whatchyou talkin bout?" Then we lightheartedly argued for a bit, agreed to disagree and moved on. And I went home wanting to cook. Really bad.(Ha. So take that, Mopeeps!)
Reason number two is I live in a big house full of manymuch people (yes. I said manymuch. I think it is a word...according to my favorite comedian Brian Regan). 10 people (and it is a little complicated. One sister is allergic to milk, another to eggs, my mom and I are vegetarians and everyone else is a meathead). My mom is an fantastic (and not recipe followin'. Does it all from scratch and creativity) cook. My sister Tia (11) is also a good cook. And my sister Simenesh (13) is a bangin' Ethiopian chef who one day hopes to own a restaurant. But they cook all the time (and do a great job) but I want in.
So I am starting something new at my house. And I am calling it AWESOMEBELLA COOKS AWESOMEFOOD ON AWESOMEMONDAYS.
Which in Normal People- Speak means I am going to take over cooking on Mondays and make some super delicious food! I'm excited.
This past Monday I made some Italian Minestrone soup (no recipe. It was a little lacking in sodium at first, but I fixed it). This Monday... WHO KNOWS!?
I've been messin' around on FoodNetwork.com and am trying to come up with ideas. Future awesomemonday meals are as follows.
*Chicken Fajitas (with bean or veggie option)- with homemade tortillas (I hope!)
Why? Because fajitas are fun and they remind me of Costa Rica. And that is good. And my 6 year old brother loves all things hot and spicy.
*Linguini with Shrimp Scampi
Why? Because we have a lot of shrimp...and the only way I like shrimp is in Pasta. That and pasta is ALWAYS good.
Why? Because I might as well make that, as it is almost like Chicken Pot Pie, only...potato-y-er. And my family buys potatoes in 50 pound bags (I kid you not...)
*Manhattan Clam Chowder (minus the bacon, or put it on the side.)
Why? Because I love clam chowder. How could you NOT? (ps: I am a fake vegetarian. I eat fishes. Technically we are pescetarians, only I don't tell people that because they think it is a religion...) Choosing Manhattan over regular (dairy-based) chowder to work around the milk allergy.
Why? We all love Chinese food, especially Tia. But everytime I try and fake asian cooking I mess it up horribly. So this time I will use a recipe.
Why? My dad LOVES it. And I have tried before, with no recipe, and my sauce is never quite as it should be. Unfortunately, this is super dairy- based. So I will have to make a red sauce of something on the side...
*Fish and Chips
Why? Because I am a Brit at heart. Fish and Chips are just so lovely...and grease covered! Plus this is a Jamie Oliver recipe, so that makes it even more British. If he says it is good, I believe him. He is my favorite chef...
Those are my current ideas. I will try and blog-document this culinary journey I am going to embark on along with my Sous Chefs Tia and Simenesh (plus 9 year old Gianna, if she'll cooperate). We are gonna blare some music, make a mess, and feed our small army of a family every Monday. And we are we will look fabulous doing it, because that is how the three of us roll.
Anyone else want to be a better cook with me? I dare you!
Or, those of you who are awesome cooks, do you have any ideas for me to try or any great recipes that are your tried-and-trues, I would LOVE to hear 'em.
I CAN COOK! I am just about to get better at it!