Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

What a flashback! Right when I started this blog, I picked a healthy recipe off of Pinterest and gave it a try. I consider this to be the first delicious meal I ever made. Yes, I forgot an important ingredient, but I cooked this all on my own. My first triumph: this Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet.

I forgot to buy peppers at the grocery store. I scrambled to defrost the meat. I remember struggling to chop vegetables. My very first attempt was a complete mess, disorganized from the start. Remaking this dish really gave me the chance to measure my progress.

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lbs. extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet potato, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • a pinch of red chili flakes (I left this out because I’m a wimp)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • parsley for garnish

DSC_0663

Something to note about the ingredients. Be sure to defrost your meat before you get started. If it’s been in the freezer for a while, place the whole package in a bowl or bag and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. It should be thawed by dinner time.

Instructions:

1) In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

DSC_0662

2) Add the ground turkey and garlic. Use a spatula to break up the turkey while it cooks. Stir occasionally, cooking for about 5 minutes.

DSC_0664

DSC_0668

3) Add the onions and yellow peppers. Cook until the onions are soft.

DSC_0670

Both vegetables will look translucent (see-through) as they soften.

4) Add the sweet potato, chili pepper, salt, and pepper.

DSC_0675

5) Cover the skillet and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

DSC_0677

At this point I drained much of the fat off. I used more meat than the recipe required, so there was quite a bit of leftover fat. I didn’t drain it before hand to let the fat flavor the dish as it cooked.

Here the recipe offers 2 options. Either:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the cheese to the skillet and place the pan in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. OR

DSC_0684

Add the cheese to the hot skillet. Place the lid back on the pan for 5 minutes.

Personally, I am terrified of the broiler so I sprinkled cheese on top and covered the pan.

DSC_0685

I was actually disappointed by this. The food was plain despite multiple attempts to season. I think it would have packed a better punch if I hadn’t accidentally minced my onions. I still love the sweet potatoes, but the turkey seemed like it would be better if it had been marinaded prior to being cooked, or if it was served with a sauce. Still, this is a healthier dish and, provided there isn’t extra salt in your turkey, a low sodium option as well.

 

 

 

3 Ingredient Tomato Soup with Pasta

At the front of every issue of Food Network magazine is a calendar with suggestions for simple meals that don’t really require a recipe. One of those recipes has become a staple for days when I’m tired and don’t really want to put that much effort into making dinner.

I used to be suspicious of 3-5 ingredient recipes because I assumed you were giving up something in order to make the dish easier to cook. This is not the case. Often getting back to basics brings food back to life. And sometimes, fewer ingredients means less work and less time consumed cooking. It’s the perfect answer for lazy nights.

DSC_0651

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of tomato soup
  • Pasta
  • Cheese

DSC_0588

The original recipe calls for three items: 1) a can of tomato soup, 2) orzo pasta, and 3) goat cheese. I have tried this with multiple cheeses, brands of soup, and types of pasta. It really is a combination that can be changed in any number of ways to suit your preferences. My favorite is Campbell’s tomato soup (I tried organic soups but found them too sweet), gnocchi, and goat cheese. The goat cheese really adds an extra creaminess so I would really recommend you give it a try!

On a lazy weekday night, I grabbed some gnocchi and a can of soup from the pantry and some shredded cheese. The pictures are here, but honestly it’s very simple.

1) Cook the pasta according to the package.

DSC_0622

DSC_0626

I made gnocchi. You boil water, add the gnocchi, then remove the pasta with a slotted spoon when it starts to float. For 99% of other pastas, you’ll boil water, cook the pasta, and strain it.

2) Drain the water from the pot (if you haven’t already). Add the tomato soup and pasta.

DSC_0630

DSC_0639

3) Mix in the goat cheese. Or sprinkle cheese into the hot soup.

The heat can be very low or off. If the pot is hot, it will melt the cheese.

DSC_0660

It’s not exactly “cooking” per se, but it is marginally more challenging than making a box of mac & cheese. Plus it gives you the chance to experiment. Add spices, try different cheeses, and different pastas for new flavors and textures. First, I’d really recommend the original orzo, tomato soup, and goat cheese combo if you’ve never tried it. Then make it your own! Share what you’ve added and I’ll try it on my own!

Chicken with Lemon Cream Sauce

Starting Foodie Learns to Cook Version 2.0 doesn’t mean that I want to completely abandon the progress I’ve already made. From 2015 to the end of 2017 I’ve cooked and baked dozens of recipes. With my boyfriend’s photography skills and a little more experience under my belt, I’ll be re-visiting those old recipes and moving them here to the new blog.

When I first made this I only barely managed to make the pasta and chicken. At the end of my old post, I noted that I would have liked to have some vegetables with it. I made roasted asparagus this time, but I won’t share that here right now. If you want to make a full meal, you can use bagged steam-able vegetables or even canned vegetables.

DSC_0300

This recipe comes from Kevin & Amanda, a husband-wife cooking team. Check out their website for the full recipe and their instructions for Crispy Lemon Chicken Pasta.

This is a simple meal to put-together, but it may not be the healthiest of all recipes. The chicken is “dredged,” meaning the chicken is coated in flour prior to being pan-fried in butter. This creates some texture contrast between the pasta and the thick, creamy sauce.

DSC_0320

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. angel hair pasta
  • 1 lb. chicken breast, pounded to about 1/2 in. thick
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 5 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

DSC_0278

Some notes about these ingredients. I don’t think it really matters what kind of pasta you use. If you have shells or bow-ties in your pantry, they’ll work just as well. I love angel hair, so that’s what I used, but even fettuccine noodles are an acceptable substitution.

Also, you will need a way to zest the lemon. Zesting means taking either a zester or cheese grater to the rind of the lemon and grating off a bit of the peel. I didn’t realize my boyfriend didn’t have one so I had to make due. Trust me it’s much easier to just use the zester.

Directions

1) “Cook your pasta according to the package.” Boil lightly salted water. Add the pasta and cook as directed. Drain and set aside.

2) Pound your raw chicken flat. You can do this with a meat mallet or rolling pin.

DSC_0286

If I remember correctly, I actually used a hammer the first time. It was all I had.

3) Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic salt on both sides.

There are measurements in the ingredients if you’re not sure, but this is fairly simple to do without measuring. Pour a little into your hand and rub it directly onto the chicken. I completely forgot the garlic salt, but it didn’t drastically change the flavor of the chicken.

4) “Dredge” the chicken. Pour some flour onto a plate. Once the chicken has been coated in spices, place the chicken onto the flour and coat it thoroughly.

DSC_0319

5) Heat 2 Tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. When the butter is hot and starts to turn brown, add the chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes. Then flip the chicken onto the other side and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Do not clean out the pan!

DSC_0331.jpg

I had my heat higher and still needed longer than 3-5 minutes per side. I ran into this problem the first time I made this chicken. My chicken may not be pounded thin enough. When I first removed the chicken, it was still underdone. (I don’t care what the Internet says, there is no such thing as “medium rare” chicken.) There’s no shame in putting it back in the pan to finish cooking. Add extra butter if you need it.

DSC_0339.jpg

6) In the same pan, add the remaining 4 Tbsp butter. Once the butter is melted and foamy, add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cream and bring to a simmer (meaning it should be bubbling).

7) Add the lemon juice and zest. Whisk to combine. Reduce the heat. Add the Parmesan cheese and whisk until smooth.

DSC_0347.jpg

Here’s another part where you can take the recipe as a suggestion. Add cheese a little at a time. Taste it! If you think it needs more cheese, add some more. If it tastes just right, then it’s ready to serve. It should be slightly thick, creamy, and have a light lemon flavor.

DSC_0353.jpg

8) Serve hot!

You can lay the chicken on top of your pasta, then drizzle the sauce. It’s up to you!

Cooking my lunches every week had gotten to the point where cooking seemed more like a chore. Going back to one of the first recipes I ever made, then cooking it all over again really shows the progress I’ve made. A good photographer doesn’t hurt either.

DSC_0360.jpg

What I Learned:

My mise en place was a mess. I was cooking in someone else’s kitchen with ingredients that someone else purchased for me. I didn’t have garlic salt and nearly forgot to put pepper on the chicken. I love garlic so I think it would have put this dinner over the top.

My boyfriend’s house is still something of a bachelor pad. He didn’t have a zester. I’m so used to having one that I didn’t think to ask until it was time to zest the lemon. We ended up using a vegetable peeler then essentially mincing the zest.

Cooking the chicken all the way through seems to be a recurring issue with this recipe. I would err on the side of caution and cook each side for 5 minutes at least, then cook more if needed.

I’m very proud that I was able to balance everything and cook a full meal. All of the food finished around the same time so I could serve it hot. This isn’t the first meal I’ve ever made for my boyfriend, but it is one of the most put together. Looking back I never thought I’d be able to make a real meal for my boyfriend. It may have taken a little longer than expected, but at the end of the day we got to sit and share a tasty meal.

DSC_0357

Give this recipe a try! What mistakes did you make? Did you change anything about the recipe? Comment and share the pictures of your food!

Gooey Grilled Cheese

Most American kids grew up on grilled cheese. It may not be a part of the most balanced diet, but it is easy (and cheap) to make. Though the concept is simple, it can very easily be customized and dressed up with different breads, cheeses, or even adding extra ingredients. For now we’ll be starting with a very basic plain grilled cheese. Once you’ve mastered the art of grilled cheese, try mixing it up!

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of sandwich bread
  • 2-3 slices of cheese, room tempera
  • Butter or margarine, softened

You can use virtually any kind of bread. I’d recommend starting with large pieces of sandwich bread. You can also choose any kind of cheese. For this blog post, I chose Havarti, and my boyfriend chose smoked Cheddar. Most often, I use gouda.

Instructions:

1) Spread the butter or margarine onto your bread. I only did one side (because there’s less mess), but many people I’ve met prefer to butter both sides. You’ll want to thoroughly coat the bread.

DSC_0471.jpg

2) Heat up a skillet over medium to medium-high heat.

3) Place one piece of bread butter side down in the skillet. Place your cheese on top of the bread. Add the second piece of bread, butter-side up.

DSC_0477

Some people like to add extra butter to the pan, but I find that makes my grilled cheese soggy and greasy.

4) Let the one side cook for a bit (depending on how dark you like the bread). I usually wait until the cheese droops and I can smell the butter. Using a spatula, quickly slide it under the bread and flip the sandwich to the other side.

DSC_0478

Don’t worry! You can flip it over as many times as you need to get the right done-ness.

5) Make more and serve!

Optional: Get creative with your grilled cheese! Add a condiment like mayo or mustard on the inside of the sandwich. Use mulitple kinds of cheese. Add bacon! Or even try different kinds of bread. We bought some garlic bread and made smaller grilled cheese packed with buttery, garlic, cheesey flavor!

DSC_0485

Now I realize that grilled cheese is not a full meal. I’ll be making tomato soup from scratch soon, but for now open up your favorite can or carton of soup and heat it up on the stove. Or even go buy some from the local deli, grocery, or restaurant (like Panera).

DSC_0487

Got any favorite unique additions to your grilled cheese? Comment your suggestions below!

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Every year I’ve made cooking goals for myself. There are always new recipes to try, new techniques to learn. I’ve posted a list of goals in 2016, 2016, and 2017. With my new blog, I figured I’d keep up this tradition, even if I haven’t met all of my goals in the previous years.

Before I started this blog, my repertoire was limited to pre-made foods that could be boiled, microwaved, or toasted in a toaster. I started Foodie Learns to Cook in July 2015. By the end of the year, I could make some basic breakfast foods, including eggs, bacon, smoothies, and coffee. I could also make some simple meals like grilled cheese and mac and cheese from scratch. It was also around that time that I discovered my affinity for baking. Even though I could barely fry an egg, I could bake cakes from scratch without much trouble. My crowning achievement was a completely homemade pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

Starting in 2016, I was looking forward to expanding my abilities beyond breakfast. I learned to make some classics, like hamburgers, roasted veggies, and spaghetti with meatballs (well, sauce). I tried more complicated dinners like spaghetti carbonara (one of the first notorious foodie fails) and spaghetti squash. Meanwhile, my baking continued to improve. I’m now pretty famous at work for my Nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies.

Last year, although I made many many new dishes, there were several dishes I didn’t share with my readers. They were edible, but they weren’t the kind of food I wanted to be cooking. I got a bit ahead of myself. I was so proud of my progress that I started getting grandiose in my goals. I made a list of nineteen foods to bake and cook, mostly requiring more advanced kitchen skills. I only ended up making six.

Once I started cooking this year, I realized that I still make plenty of mistakes. I’m still learning and my goals should reflect that. For 2018, I have compiled a list of fifteen foods committed to the basics, as opposed to rushing to make as many dishes as I can. It’s my hope that I’ll be able to cook through the fifteen basics and these goals before the end of the year. Fortunately some of them overlap:

  1. Pulled Pork
  2. Roast Chicken
  3. Sourdough
  4. Quesadillas
  5. Scones
  6. Trifle
  7. Madelines
  8. Quiche
  9. Cocktail
  10. Salad with Homemade Dressed
  11. Cinnamon Rolls
  12. Steak and Mashed Potatoes
  13. Frittata
  14. A Homemade Condiment
  15. French Press Coffee
Have you made a goal list? Are you hoping to learn your favorites or challenge yourself? Comment with your own goals!

Eggs Three Ways

Enough reviews and lists! Let’s get cooking!

Many of us eat breakfast at home. We make some toast or a bowl of cereal, something low effort. Some of us may head to Starbucks for a coffee and a morning coffee, just to avoid stepping foot in the kitchen.

Breakfast is supposed to be simple, a daily ritual that most people partake in. Breakfast can also be special. On Sundays, we get brunch. We pay for the food someone else made us. On Valentine’s Day or anniversaries, people make their significant others breakfast-in-bed. Mothers make their kids big breakfasts before important tests or sports games.

It seemed like a good idea to start with breakfast. We start our days with breakfast, so maybe we should start learning to cook breakfast first.

DSC_0432

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs are pretty hard to mess up. It’s the easiest way to cook eggs.

You will need:

  • A few Tablespoons of butter
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • A frying pan & spatula

1) Break the desired amount of eggs into a bowl. Whisk with a fork to break the yolks. Keep stirring until you get a fairly consistent yellow color.

DSC_0434

Add some salt and pepper now or after they’re cooked. It’s up to you. I tend to flavor both so I get enough flavor.

2) If you want, add a few splashes of milk. You can add 2-3 Tbsp if you’d prefer a specific measurement.

DSC_0437

This supposedly helps make the eggs more fluffy. It’s how I’ve always eaten them, so that’s how I’ll be cooking them. Of course, you can omit the milk. The eggs will cook the same way.

3) Heat a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Once it’s warm, add a few Tablespoons of butter. Melt the butter in the pan.

DSC_0443

4) Pour the egg mixture into the pan. Let it sit for a minute. When it starts to solidify at the edges, gently push the eggs around the pan with a spatula.

DSC_0449

5) Continue pushing the eggs as they cook. Cook until the eggs are the desired consistency.

DSC_0450

The consistency depends on how much moisture is left in the eggs. If you can press down with a spatula, you should see some Eggs scrambled hard have less moisture. Master these and maybe we can try them the way Gordon Ramsey makes his scrambled eggs!

DSC_0463

Fried Eggs

These are “sunny side up” eggs or eggs “over easy.” You will need:

  • A few Tbsp of butter
  • Eggs
  • Skillet with a lid & spatula

1) Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 2-3 Tbsp of butter.

DSC_0404

Medium heat is a pretty important detail. My heat was cranked a little too high, so I ended up with burnt edges and browned butter.

2) When the butter stops foaming, crack an egg into the pan.

DSC_0408

It’s a habit for most people to crack an egg against a bowl or pan. Most chefs and recipes that I’ve seen recommend using a flat surface like a table or counter.

3) Cook for about 4 minutes. You can put a lid on the pan to help set the white quickly.

DSC_0418

Bonus: Over-Easy

Over-easy eggs are a type of fried eggs. Most recipes recommend flipping a fried egg with the yolk down. I’ve read something that makes it less dangerous and more accessible for those of us afraid to flip an egg.

DSC_0424

The technique is apparently called “blasting.” Use a spoon to scoop some of the hot butter from the pan onto the yolk.

Poached Eggs

This may be the most complicated technique for some people, but it is my favorite. I’ve posted a live video on my Instagram. For me, it’s easier than frying eggs, but I guess that’s up to personal preference. You will need:

  • A pot of water
  • Eggs
  • Small glass bowls

1) Crack an egg into a small bowl, preferably glass. Be careful not to break the yolk.

2) Bring a saucepan of water to a light boil. You can add a small splash of vinegar to the water if you’d like; it’s an old Julia Child trick.

3) As soon as the water boils, lower the heat to low or simmer. Stir the water gently to create a swirl.

4) Take the bowl of egg and gently lower the egg into the water while the water is swirling.

DSC_0382

You’ll want to get as close to the water as possible to avoid splashing or breaking the yolk. I find dipping the glass bowl into the water makes it easiest. The glass won’t break either.

The swirling will help the egg white wrap around the yolk.

5) Let the egg cook for 4-6 minutes at the low heat.

DSC_0384

You may need to experiment with time. Less time means a runnier yolk.

6) Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the after once they’re done.

You can put them on a towel or paper towel to help them dry. If you use a paper towel, the white may take on the shape from the texture of the paper.

7) Enjoy!

DSC_0397

Eggs may not be a complete breakfast, but it’s a start! Serve some eggs on top of some toast for a small meal for one. If you’re cooking for two or more, try microwaving some bacon. If you’re feeling confident, fry or bake some bacon instead. I can post instructions for cooking bacon if any one is interested.

How did your eggs turn out? Do you have any helpful tips? Post your progress, questions, and comments below!

How to Read a Recipe

When I was young, my mother attempted to force my sibling and I to learn how to cook. We selected a recipe from Kraft magazine, checked the ingredients, made a grocery list, and cooked the dish.
I was quite a picky eater as a child. I avoided fruit, vegetables, and most foods that weren’t pre-made. My favorite foods included hot dogs, Kraft mac & cheese, apple juice, and corn dogs. At one point, I even persuaded my mother to start buying TV dinners.
You can’t build a table without the instructions. Many famous chefs encourage amateurs to pursue their passions in the kitchen without recipes. I’ve begun to embrace this philosophy now that I have more experience. However, most of us must start with the basics.
Mistakes I Used to Make When Reading a Recipe:
1. Ignoring Adjectives
Ex: Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
Ex: Beat 1/4 of the white thoroughly into pumpkin mixture; gently fold in the rest.
Why This is a Problem:
In the specific examples, the size of the skillet may affect you as you add more ingredients. Using a skillet that’s too small crowds the pan (which affects the cooking) and/or won’t fit everything. The level of heat is important too. If it’s too high it can curdle or burn ingredients; if it’s too low it can take longer to cook or not heat ingredients properly (for safety). In the second example, gently folding in egg whites affects the consistency of the dessert.
In short, ignoring the details of the recipe can affect how your food turns out. It’s important to follow the instructions fairly closely. Cooking, unlike baking, does allow for some leeway, but experimentation comes after experience.
2. Taking Out Ingredients “I Don’t Like”
Ex: I remember once trying to cook a recipe for taco bowls. I took out all the foods I didn’t like, including the peppers, onions, and tomatoes. This was nearly all the vegetables (and ingredients) in the recipe.
Why This is a Problem:
You might be able to take out a few things (especially if you’re allergic). Still, you should recognize that by removing ingredients, you change the flavor profile of the dish. If you remove too much, the result will be bland and flavorless. It’s best to choose recipes without too many things you dislike in the first place. Even better, you can find ways to eat things you dislike. This was the best way for me to counteract my picky tendencies. Once I found a way to eat my least favorite foods, I welcomed new flavors and textures.
3. Not Reading Through the Recipe
Have you ever started making a recipe, then realized halfway through that you’re missing an important ingredient? Or you’re missing the fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth you need for your recipe? The issue with this is pretty obvious. You can’t make the recipe if you’re missing vital ingredients or equipment!
I’m sure many of my readers have made similar mistakes.
1. Choose a suitable recipe.
Search for a recipe online or on Pinterest. Consider your source. Don’t pick the first recipe you see. Two recipes for macaroni and cheese may have different kinds of cheeses. A recipe for one dish can be more or less complex. A recipe for pumpkin pie can use canned pumpkin or made from pumpkin that you roast first. Carefully think about your personal preferences, the equipment you own (or can get), and the level of difficulty. All recipes are not created equal.
2. Read the recipe through once.
Familiarize yourself with the recipe. Make sure you understand the instructions.
3. Compare the ingredients and equipment to what you have.
Run down the list of ingredients and make sure they’re in your pantry or fridge. If it helps, pull out everything you’ll need. It’s important to note the amount of each ingredient you need. For example, if you’re going to make onion soup, you may need four onions. If you check your fridge and there are only three onions, you’ll need to buy another.
Some equipment may be difficult to buy, while others you may be able to pick up at the grocery store. A strainer or whisk is easy to find for cheap, if your budget allows. Large machines like a food processor or a Kitchenaid may take some time. Be realistic about what you can afford.
4. Go Grocery Shopping
I always walk through my kitchen to check for ingredients listed in a recipe. As I tend to by in bulk, I usually have leftover ingredients or spices I can use for multiple recipes. Write everything you need in a list or put it in your phone. If you have the list in front of you, you’re less likely to forget something.
5. Before you start cooking, read the recipe again.
I usually write it down, but you have to make sure everything is the same as the original! Make sure you haven’t missed anything. Reading it again may seem annoying, but it will ensure you remember every step.
I hope this helps! Paying attention to your recipes will prevent a lot of problems as you learn to cook. Don’t be afraid to try different recipes until you find the best ones.

Where Do I Start?

Walking into a kitchen can seem pretty daunting. People use fancy words like saute, blanch, and braise. Chefs use machines and tools that look like medieval torture device. A recipe may seem simple, but then you run into new problems, like whether you should use a shallot or a leek. And what is an inch of ginger?
For some people, even getting started seems impossible. I’m talking about the kind of people who joke that they can “burn cereal.” Supposedly, the secret to cooking is getting in the kitchen and throwing something together. Well that doesn’t feed me an edible meal. Plus, it doesn’t seem to work for my brain. I end up overthinking and panicking about whether I’m doing everything right.

First thing’s first: Learn to read a recipe. (Don’t worry I’ll update this with a link once I pull the article over.)

Next, you should decide on a recipe or two to try. If you’re not sure what to choose, I’ve gone through several posts about what millennials “should” be able to cook by the time we turn 30. I’ve cherry-picked some simple classics to get started. I have already made some of these, so I’ll redo some of my old blog posts. Others are goals even for me!

  1. Eggs Three Ways
  2. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
  3. Roast Chicken
  4. Roasted Vegetables
  5. Brownies
  6. Macaroni & Cheese (Not from a box)
  7. Steak
  8. Spaghetti & Meatballs with Homemade Sauce
  9. Hamburgers
  10. Chocolate Chip Cookies
  11. Pancakes
  12. Pulled Pork
  13. Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes
  14. Salad and Homemade Salad Dressing
  15. Cake with Homemade Frosting

Are these good options? Are there foods you would like to change or add? Should I cook them in this order or are there recipes you would rather start with first? Comment below and let me know!

An Amuse-Bouche

You’ve seen it on Instagram, you’ve seen it on Buzzfeed, you’ve seen it all over the Internet – trendy, stylish foods that toe the line between disgusting and impressively creative. Yet we can’t get enough! We line up for hours to try rainbow bagels and cookie dough served in ice cream cones. We “do it for the ‘gram.” We are foodies.

I am one of these foodies. I watch Food Network, I follow more food Instagram profiles than anything else. I’ve made lists of restaurants to try. I can name exotic foods and spices, and I yell at Chopped contestants like I’m watching football.

But I also have a secret… I never actually learned how to cook.

I was a picky eater as a child. No one in my family ever seemed to be particularly excited about food. Growing up, I saw cooking as more of a chore than a hobby. Once I got into food, I found myself wanting to make the dishes I saw on Pinterest or practice the skills I saw on TV. In 2015, I started this blog on another platform. Now I’m continuing that blog here as of 2018.

The point of this blog is to document both my pre-med journey and my culinary exploration and share it with my readers. I hope to share the lessons I’ve learned, as well as my successes and many failures. I feel learning to cook is not only a great hobby, but a way to encourage a healthy lifestyle while I pursue my dream of being a physician.

“…no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”  -Julia Child