I do believe I came from a family of fabulous cooks! Both my grandmothers, my aunts and my mom…they all know how to cook! And my sister is the best cinnamon roll maker I’ve ever met. My brothers even bake cookies! Well, if they must, of course they’re happy to leave it to the girls! 🙂 Point is, they know how.
My father’s side of the family has given me inspiration to learn a little gourmet and Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. From moon pie’s and bean soup to chicken soup with rivals…it’s the best! I spent a week with my grandparents and politely insisted that my grandmother walk me through her moon pie creation because never had it been put onto paper. Mine aren’t perfect like her’s but it’s a start!
My mother’s side of the family must be where the beginning of comfort food and “down home cooking” originated! Mashed potatoes, gravy, you know…the whole works…constantly a favorite. BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, cantaloupe from grandma’s garden…a typical summer feast. Casseroles and ice cream where a staple at home and my Mom bakes incredible homemade bread!
My brother continues to challenge all of our cooking skills whenever we’re outdoors. Give him a fire and he’ll cook you a dinner you’d never imagine! Dutch ovens filled with chicken cordon blue, 5 bean chili, cherry cobbler and even chocolate cake! He’s amazing to say the least!
And since I’ve been married, let me tell you about my husband in the kitchen. We have a favorite dish…”Chicken Marsala” and no matter what I do I can’t make it as awesome tasting as he! Seriously, it doesn’t matter what time of the day or month, whether it’s rainy or sunny, happy or sad…it doesn’t taste like his. So, whenever chicken Marsala appears on the menu…you got it…he’s cooking! He’s also the best burger man around. He loves finding the “hole in the wall” burger diners and cafes wherever we go and we’ve had fun laughing and discovering new places. And, it’s ALL about the meat!
And I must mention my dear friend Kathy who has went to be with Jesus. I spent hours with her caring for her and trying my best to encourage her during her sickness. She in turn gave me so many life lessons and a passion for creating food. I didn’t grow up with a TV so the Food Network was completely new and next to Law and Order, it was her first choice. At first I got annoyed with some of the chefs but I started listening and wanting to learn. Kathy shared her stories and many recipes from traveling the country and living in different cultures. I had never heard of “spaetzel” or “bourbon balls” but found great delight in baking and cooking for her and her family. To this day, thanks to Kathy, I’m still watching plenty of food shows when I have the chance.
I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking and learning new things. I’ve attempted many a dish without a recipe and found the experience to be quite freeing and enjoyable. Only one dish I’ve never been able to live down…”Creamed Carrots”. I have to admit, they were quite terrible! My brothers still have to periodically bring the “carrots” up! 🙂
About 6 years ago I began looking at the nutrients in food and much to my dismay found that many of the foods and dishes that I’d grown to love were not all that good for me. We always had vegetables but I found I was cooking them much too long…there certainly weren’t any vitamins left! I began choosing different recipes to try during this time was able to take a college course on nutrition. I also read a book “What Would Jesus Eat” by Don Colbert. MD. which gave insight to how far our food has been removed from its original creation as God designed.
Wow…we do have a SAD (standard American diet) diet! And do you know what “diet” means? “A lifestyle, a regimen, nourishment. ”
We almost always had sweets around, dessert and often a container of homemade cookies in the kitchen. I started looking into different options for sweeteners such as maple syrup and honey. (I will expand on sugars at a later date.) I found that there are plenty of sweets that can be made with natural sweeteners instead of all that terrible processed white sugar!
I started omitting the unhealthy foods from my diet such as, processed sugar, white flour, processed foods (which we never had very much of anyways) and sodas. What happened? I lost weight, I felt better because my focus was on vegetables, fruit and much less sugar but this was just a start. A few years later when I started having healthy issues my diet was reexamined again but in great detail this time. I had to remove gluten and dairy due to food allergies which I had not realized I had and chose to remove all sugar to allow my body to heal more effectively. It’s been over 2 years now and I’m here to say that my food tastes good! 🙂 When I first saw the test results from the blood work I was not a happy camper. I felt I had to learn to cook all over again and in one sense I did, but after I got over the initial shock and a little pouting, it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it may be. My aunt who is also gluten-free gave some great tips and great advice to get me started. One of the most disappointing things to me was that most anything that you could purchase from the store that was gluten-free or dairy free was just a terrible for me as eating processed white flour and sugar! So, I determined to learn new recipes and discover new foods!
You’ll see more about how this all is turning out throughout my blog but I honestly do not feel like I’m missing out. My food tastes good, it’s good for me and I feel I have been given something worth sharing!
Dessert and sweets have become treats as they should be, bread is no longer a necessity nor is cheese. I will admit to missing cheese on my pizza and I just don’t eat lasagna but let me tell you about spaghetti! I discovered spaghetti squash which forks apart in spaghetti-like form and is delicious! Tis our first choice over pasta! See? It’s that easy!
I’m still learning but I invite you to join with me. I test all my recipes out plenty of times before posting them so there shouldn’t be issues but if so, please comment. Also, if you even used a substitution for an ingredient, please share!
Have fun in your kitchen!