Saturday, January 5, 2013

Betty Crocker Wanna-be

I really didn't start cooking for myself until last year. In college there was no sense in making your own food since you (or rather your parents) had already paid the exorbitant price for your meal plan. When I lived with my grandmother for several months, I got to enjoy her delicious Jewish home-cooking at no cost (free rent AND free food?! Who else gets that in New York City?). But, once I moved out on my own, I realized that I could not survive on cereal and PB&J sandwiches. I remember the first night I was cooking for myself at my apartment, I decided to make Hamburger Helper. Well, that was a disaster. I did not have a large enough skillet (or rather a skillet with walls), so once I put the lid on top, cheese oozed everywhere. It was a complete mess, and at that moment I really couldn't understand how people could say that cooking is therapeutic.

But, since then, I am pretty proud of the progress I've made. I discovered a delicious vegetarian lasagna roll recipe that greatly impressed the man I was seeing at the time (I couldn't help smiling when he asked for seconds!). My mother also prepared me with many user-friendly cookbooks, such as Velveeta's Incredibly Easy Recipes and Campbell's Busy Family Recipes. Most of the recipes I have made have turned out very well (I swear I read the directions of any recipe five times before I do anything just so I don't ruin the whole thing) and I especially love casseroles (they make lunch for a week!). Whenever I have an open weekend, I always look forward to making something new to try. Cooking makes me feel like such a grown-up!

And not only do I cook: I bake, too! I have a HUGE sweet-tooth, and cannot resist a milkshake or cupcake. I frequently bake cookies and the like on weekends, and then have to bring them to my co-workers Monday morning just so I won't devour them all myself. And not to toot my own horn, but my blueberry muffins are probably some of the best I've ever had (I'd say they even rival those of Collis Cafe). I definitely recommend checking out any Nestlé cookbook for incredible dessert recipes; you can't go wrong!

So, what I'm saying is, if I can cook, so can you. Yes, it takes practice, but it's always rewarding when you make a new recipe and find that it tastes really good! Cooking is a skill that will last you a lifetime, and it comes in handy in so many situations (when you bring the apple pie to your friend's summer barbeque, you will be everyone's best friend). So get to the kitchen and become the next Julia Child!

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