I began dabbling in cooking as soon as I married my husband (Hubs). After the wedding, and the ensuing wedding registry gifts, I felt I owed all those relatives and friends to learn how to actually use all those random trinkets I scanned in at Macy’s and Target. I was in school full time and Hubs was part time school and full time work. I took it upon myself to make sure we had a home cooked meal everyday.
Yes, I know this sounds pathetically patriarchal. Didn’t those women in the 60’s burn their bras to get away from stuff like this? Well, those ladies didn’t have to deal with student loans, rising gas prices, and the threat of no job when you graduate. I get a lot of slack from my single girlfriends about me cooking every night and actually being excited when I find a new recipe. I guess it is what I get for living in a liberal college town.
Yet, there is more to cooking at home than just falling into a stereotypical housewife. I have learned to completely budget our grocery costs to where we are down to $140 for 10 days of meals (or $7/day/person or $2.30/meal/person). It takes a keen eye on sales and diligent coupon clipping, but we are making it work. I’ll get into how I achieve this feat later on.
Most of my meal creations come from Cooking Light, like the pizza below with had provolone, pears, arugula, and prosciutto. I used turkey bacon because it is cheaper, and a heck of a lot healthier than prosciutto. I’ll show how a laymen like myself can create pretty nice food presentations as seen below. These images are taken right off my dining room table, so excuse some of the quality of the images.
Another awesome recipe from CL was their Spicy shrimp and grits. I had never cooked, or even tried, grits before. *Gasp!* A girl from the south has never had grits! It must be a crime somewhere in Florida. However, I might be sold on this recipes addition of Parmesan cheese. This recipe is a five alarm ringer due to the addition of cayenne pepper at the end. Uber hot!
A forgotten veggie is fennel. I have come to love this anise tasting veggie in all aspects– sautéed, raw, and steamed. I tried CL’s Pita salad with cucumber, fennel, and chicken recipe, and it did not disappoint.
Advantages to cooking at home are that you control the amount of fat and salt that get added to your meal. I know as a 20-something, my generation tends to think that nothing will bring them down, but good health does not start when something bad happens. You have to take care of yourself now in order to enjoy everything later.