If we’re going to get along in my kitchen and cook together, I have just a few rules:
1. Moderation is Queen. My firm belief is there is no end all diet that can replace a healthy lifestyle… and a healthy lifestyle begins with moderation. This means watch your portion size and create a balance between guilt foods and fresh foods. Eat the things you like, but if the things you like don’t include fruits and vegetables, find a way to mix them in or include them in your foods. Diets don’t work because they cause you to not eat enough or not eat the things you like and you end up breaking them and giving up. Creating a lifestyle of moderation when it comes to food, I believe, will help you more in the long run than any diet can.
2. Enjoy mealtimes. Look forward to supper. Food was meant to be enjoyed. That’s why we have tastebuds.
3. Don’t be afraid of salt (unless of course your doctor tells you to be). Salt should always be used in moderation, however it is a powerful flavor enhancer and when used moderately, it will kick up the flavor of your foods. I can always tell when chefs or cooks are afraid of salt… and I describe their food as bland.
4. Don’t be afraid to indulge. You’re always going to have those times when you really just want a piece of something… Cravings strike, and that’s OK (at least according to me). What’s life without a little bit of sweetness. But try and find ways to make your guilt foods (or buy your guilt foods) in smaller portions, so that you don’t constantly have them around the kitchen. I’ve found that after falling into a consistent schedule of opting for home cooked meals instead of drive-thru/carry-out meals and home baked sweets instead of constantly having sweets around, has significantly lessened my desire for those foods anyway.
5. Sometimes I’m not going to give you exact measurements, and that’s OK! I know that philosophy isn’t going to be super popular with everyone, and I know that it can sometimes be frustrating to hear the term “to taste” (or other variations of that). I used to get frustrated when my mom would give me family recipes in that fashion, myself. BUT! It taught me a good lesson. To be a good cook, and to enjoy the food that you’re making, you have to be free in the kitchen. Don’t tether yourself to strict measurements and recipes when cooking. You may like the flavor an ingredient adds to the dish in greater quantity (or lesser quantity) than the recipe creator… and that’s OK. You might mess up a few times, but that’s really how you learn how you like to cook your food. I’m not going to be offended if you use my recipes as starting off points. That’s how I generally use recipes I find online. Make them your own. You’re not cooking for me… you’re cooking for you! BE FREE IN THE KITCHEN!
6. Be nice. If you feel compelled to comment on one of my recipes, respond to another commenter or ask a question, please keep it kind. I welcome your feedback and will respond as best I can, but if you’re rude or profane, I will delete it!