July 6, 2010

new cook in town

I would like to take this moment to provide a fair warning to Giada, Bobbie Flay, Cat Cora and the rest of the Food Network chefs -- there's a new cook in town and, if I do say so myself, she's good. Real good. Oh yeah, and it's me. That's right -- I can cook. Who knew?

As I type this blog entry, I am concurrently enjoying my latest concoction -- braised swiss chard with currants, pine nuts and goat cheese. Um, yeah, and it's delicious. In all seriousness, I believe I have found a new hobby.

It all started a few weeks ago when I began browsing recipes for ideas on how to prepare some of the produce I had received in my Door to Door Organics delivery. The first day, it was baked kale (yum) and, it has spiraled into me spending hours in the kitchen, concocting dishes and enjoying every bite. To be fair, I have relied on the assistance of recipes for most of my creations. But, I'm not only improving on cooking techniques, but also beginning to recognize which flavors work well together and have begun playing around a bit outside the recipe book (or internets, as the case may be).

It's a bit ironic that I used to watch cooking show after cooking when I had cable. And, only after I joined the HD-antenna/non-cable community (re: I only receive 8 channels, three of which are in Spanish and zero have anything to do with cooking) am I actually putting all I learned to practice. Best of all, because I'm taking the time to cook (and really, really enjoying it), I haven't been eating out nearly as often, which is saving me calories and cash. I've also making an effort to cook/eat whole foods and am finding myself relying less and less on processed items. Unfortunately, I still need the occasional Healthy Choice meal to get me through the day, but ultimately, those frozen "delights" are making fewer and fewer showings in my lunchbox.

Below are a few of my recent creations -- they may not look like much, but they sure were delicious.
Fresh tomato and mango salsa. Cucumber, tomato and greek yogurt salad. Braised swiss chard with currants, pine nuts and goat cheese.