So what is probably my favorite resolution of 2012 is to cook&bake more, which translated into learning at least 3 new recipes a week. There are many reasons for this, but aside from just enjoying everything about cooking and baking, from the grocery shopping, to the prep, to the actual process, to (of course) the end result, my main reason for wanting to do this is the nutrition class I took over the summer.
Nutrition was a class I took solely for the science credit, however it turned out to be an amazing class that I learned a lot from. In fact, it completely changed my view of food and of eating. One of the things my professor continued to stress was variety. Eating a wide variety of food not only helps to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your body requires but it also helps eliminate the possibility that you’ll end up consuming a lot of toxins coming from the same food source. In addition to that, it makes eating more enjoyable, because when you know how to use all the fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, etc. that you find in the grocery store you’ll be able to make tastier, budget friendlier, and healthier decisions about what you’re consuming.
The first step I took to accomplish this resolution was to buy a lot of cookbooks and magazines, so that I would have a lot of recipes to choose from. Because I’m doing three a week, they can’t all be time consuming, they can’t all be dinner items, and they can’t all require a ton of ingredients (because I’d go broke fast). One of the books I was most excited about was Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I was attracted to it because I have a lot of French blood; my mother and I are both “francophiles”; I’ve always wanted to try French cuisine; Julia Child is an established resource; and the book contains a large quantity of quality recipes with easy to follow instructions.
Of course, I went right for the eggs. One of my morning rituals is to eat eggs with toast and drink tea while catching up on some reading. I adore eggs “sunny side up”, where I can dip my toast into the yolk, but sometimes I like something different. Scrambled eggs have always been good but lately I’ve become lazy, turning the heat on too fast and even sometimes breaking the eggs open into the pan and scrambling them as they heat. I wanted to go back to basics and re-learn how to scramble eggs, I wanted to break myself of my bad habits. So the first recipe I tried was scrambled eggs, which brought back memories of my grandmother and my parents. Because they tasted like my grandmother’s eggs and the process of making them reminded me of learning how to scramble eggs as a child, forking them in the bowl with the milk and then watching my parents making them on the stove. Success!
The second recipe I tried was poached eggs and handmade hollandaise sauce, because I love love love eggs benedict (sans ham). The recipe took me far longer than the book said it should (approximately 45 minutes), but I’m chalking that up to the fact that it’s the first time I’ve ever made poached eggs or hollandaise sauce. The sauce was interesting; I had no idea that hollandaise consisted of egg yolk, butter and lemon juice. It was fun to make and it turned out pretty decent — not amazing like hollandaise sauce I’ve had before, although I’m sure that was my fault, not the recipe’s. The poached egg I cheated on. I bought one of those little egg poacher boats at a kitchen store and used that, but the egg turned out fine. Next time maybe I’ll try it by hand.
In all, off to a pretty decent start.