Friday, July 10, 2009

pizza made and more culinary ramble

Pizza is what we had for dinner last night. It was quick, a total "go to" recipe. As I was making the pizza I thought to myself "hey let me grab my camera and take a picture of this pizza creation" -but as I thought more about it, I realized that maybe I wouldn't talk about making pizza specifically, but rather what items/staples I find helpful in my everyday cooking.
I spend alot of time in the kitchen, whether its washing dishes, loading the dishwasher, cleaning counters, prepping food, making food, putting food away-you get it. If I am to be found, the kitchen is a good place to look. My family is also a family of eaters-we all like to eat and eat well. In fact I would rather spend money on good food than on fancy clothes, is that strange? If so that's ok-I'm not really striving for total "normalcy" (:
So here I'm going to list a couple of things I find so very helpful in my daily cooking life:

~some type of acid-vinegar, lemon juice
I use vinegar/lemon juice for a multitude of things-to make vinegarettes, marinades, as a rinse agent in my dishwasher, and I use a capful of vinegar in a big bowl of water to help clean off really dirty produce.

a pinch of salt is great for just about everything, It brings out the flavor in veggies and just the right amount can work wonders for stews and soups, however too much salt, you know- is hard to remedy. I usually use Real Salt or Morton's Kosher Salt.

In most of all my cooking I add some type of fat. If I'm sauteeing veggies or scrambling eggs I add a small amount of olive oil or butter to the pan . Olive oil is also used for salad dressings, pasta, and meat marinades. For baking I either use coconut oil or butter. I don't like butter substitutes. Butter makes life better.

Our staple cheese is feta. Its stinky, salty, but so, so good, I add it to salads, pasta, pizza, eggs, salad dressings, believe me I'll find an excuse to add feta to something. If you don't like feta, just keep a good quality cheese around in the fridge-it can really help out a meal.

~my messy recipe notebook
I have so many recipes crammed in this folder. Sure I could probably digitize/organize this paper mess, but I like having recipes that I can hold in my hands. When I want to make something and can't exactly recall the steps-this folder is where I go. Perhaps one day I'll at least organize it by recipe type (main course, salad, dessert, etc.)-but that would just be too easy.
So as I tackle each dish, I rely heavily on these above items and know that if the food is good, then we're all good.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I know you are an amazing cook. And it sounds like your family probably has some good "around the table" excitement. Is your family vegetarian or just health conscious? I'm striving to change how I eat, different from how I grew up, so I just wondered. Thanks. You'll see what I mean here:

  2. Oh Libby thanks! You know some dishes come out pretty good, and I have those times when some of the dishes I make become permanent residents in the fridge(: but the key is just to keep on cooking. We are not vegetarian-we eat meat, but not pork (for religious reasons). We attempt to eat well, but believe me we also eat our share of not so healthy stuff too. Really in last couple of years I've become more aware of eating more local, fresh foods so thats part of the reason I'm so interested gardening and supporting the local farmers market.
    One thing I know about diets and change is that it is easier to add something than to take something away. So if I want to eat more healthy during the week I try to increase my intake of veggies and fruit, then rather telling myself to eat less of something. Eating right is a journey and we are just taking it day by day like alot of people. A good book that got me interested in the whole foods movement is Nourshing Traditions by Sally Fallon, very interesting book. I don't follow everything in that book word for word, but she has some interesting perspectives on modern eating versus
    and the way people ate back in the day.
    Thanks for the link to your food blog!