Do you remember what you ate back in college or in your early twenties?
For me, it is very vague. Maybe some combination of coco puffs, bananas, baked chicken dipped in barbecue sauce, and enough Starbucks coffee to financially support their rental payments. Cooking was just not on my mind at all. My confidence in the kitchen was basically shaped by the moment my friend saw me trying to put a paper napkin with bread into the toaster and a fork into the microwave in middle school. But here is what I've learned post-college, even though it took me forever to realize: If the recipes and ingredients are simple enough, cooking can become a joy even for those of us who barely know how to turn on an oven.
It took me a long time to understand that if I wanted to make peace with cooking, I needed it to feel more like me. I like keeping things simple. I like trying to brainstorm ways to shorten recipes as much as possible without sacrificing flavor. I like to avoid the immersion blender. I like using colorful ingredients and pretty recipes. When I gave up trying to cook fancy, complicated dishes like I thought I should be doing, I felt less pressure to do it "right" and started getting more creative in the kitchen.
Do you enjoy cooking?? Do you have a "coming of age in the kitchen" journey?
When the kids are napping and I have a little time to put together something to eat, I occasionally like to get a little fancy while still staying very simple. Fancy often just means vanilla greek yogurt with some almonds, granola, and chocolate chips. But if I want to kick it up a notch, I enjoy sauteed spinach, a poached egg on pumpernickel toast (the best!), and some cherry tomatoes with balsamic vinegar.
All I did for the meal below was sauté spinach with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes until completely wilted. I poached the egg for a few minutes in boiling water (use a spoon to gather the egg whites and center them around the yolk while cooking), and added some balsamic, basil, and garlic powder to some sliced cherry tomatoes (a simple, genius idea by my sister-in-law).
So then... what's your cooking story??