Do you know somebody that fancies to prepare food? Do you know anyone that can take ordinary ingredients and create an extraordinary dinner? I love to cook. In the past I concentrated on preparing foods just like my mother did, I imagine it would be known as wholesome home cooking. A couple years ago I discovered the food network and this is when my cooking changed. I started using exotic ingredients, like dried ghost peppers, to improve my dishes.
Oh that lovable laughing cow. In the early 90's, when I was residing in Spain, I fell in love with what I thought was a strange product. It was a processed cheese which came packaged in individual aluminum foil pieces.
Until eventually I began watching the food network and many of my favorite chefs I used the same type of tinned herbs and spices that my mother used in her food preparation. My mother did not know the particular names of spices or herbs that were not common place. She used salt, pepper, sage and cinnamon. Once I started watching the chefs I noticed that there was a whole world of herbs and there were many names of spices I had never ever heard of, let alone utilized in my cooking. I found out about amazing things like ghost peppers, the world's hottest pepper. I started checking the produce section of the store and found that there were many fresh herbs which were available instead of using dried. I could not believe the big difference having garden-fresh herbs and spices can make in the taste of a dish. By making some minor changes in ingredients and techniques I have become an excellent cook.
If you wish to offer a nostalgic ambiance to your kitchen and reminisce about the good old days of elegant services, vintage salt and pepper mills are good items to collect.
Last year I planted several herbs in pots on our deck. The pots provided a wonderful spicy aroma to the deck. I even bought seeds in order to start growing my own ghost peppers. Using herbs that were picked minutes before use made a huge difference in the taste of the dishes I was preparing. I have started learning the names of spices and what types of foods they are used with. My teenage daughter began taking an interest in cooking because she was enjoying the new taste of the food items I was putting on the dinner table. She began helping me in the kitchen with the chopping and other preparations. For Christmas last year she made a simple chart with names of spices and herbs or in with the kinds of foods they are used with. She made the chart on the PC and then had it laminated. We have it hanging next to the spice cabinet so it can be used for a quick reference. I have started buying my dried spices at the area food cooperative. I can buy them in what ever quantity I need so that they are always fresh. It makes a big difference by spices differently and using them differently. I now grate my own cinnamon and nutmeg. It is amazing how even these common spices come to life as they are grated right into the recipe rather than shaken from a container which has been sitting in the cabinet for years. Also the use of fresh lemons can make all dishes taste like they come from the finest restaurant. I enjoy cooking even more now that I am producing higher quality dishes.
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