For a similar tagged post i've done, click here
For this edition of the game I am to share 8 random facts/habits about myself. So for a twist i have decided to focus on 8 things to do with cooking/food. Can you tell i am 1 week away from happy salad/veggie eating?
***Though i am not a gourmet cook, nor ever expect to be, i do enjoy eating like one, and if there is a way to simplify some of the great recipes out there, i am on a quest to find out how!***
1. Our Kitchen - we spend a lot of time in the kitchen: cooking, cleaning, art and craft projects, preschool... It's a rather large kitchen, and though we don't need all of the cupboard space, or the two ovens, or trash compactor, it's fabulous for parties and activities of various sorts. The kiddos do most of their creating in our kitchen/dining area. For an article i've written about our art area & supplies, click here. As for me, I also use the kitchen to do my creating and painting. I've even got all of my paint supplies stashed in a couple of the cupboards:
2. Counters - So Carl grew up in a house where the kitchen counters were basically only used for cooking/preparation. Not me. Mine is probably 1 1/2 times smaller and our counters were always full of cooking items, recipe boxes, cd's, pen/pencil holders, toaster... So when we were first married we met one of our first differences over how our kitchen should look/be organized. I had started to set it up and soon found that it was considered a "cluttered" kitchen. News to me...i tried to bend until it came to my KitchenAid Mixer. That was where i broke down. I loved my new, beautiful "artisan pistachio mixer" that i'd received at my bridal shower, and thought it was a symbol of pure domesticity. (I was working full time back then and rarely used it). In the end, mostly everything was "put away," but my mixer has remained on the counter. Since then there are a few other acceptable items, including these canisters below for beans, rice, flour...(i have twice as many on another counter).
The beloved pistachio mixer...if i could do it again, i think i'd buy a Bosch. But the kids and i use this nearly everyday. And it looks fabulous on the counter!
3. Spices/Herbs - I have a fetish for spices and herbs. If I am at the grocery store/World Market/Williams Sonoma etc., and i feel like splurging, I buy a new spice or herb...:) Pictured below are my all time favorites (yes, they do vary, but these are the most constant):
I really don't know if i could live without any of these. I prefer the Spice Hunter, but there are lots of great spice peeps out there.
Along with other great features in the kitchen, there is this handy dandy spice cupboard (with a deep corner cupboard behind it). I think anyone who likes spices should definitely have one of these beauties. Or maybe a couple (i have another spice rack that sits on the counter, as well as a Tupperware box filled with spices...these are the ones i use most frequently, and no, i can't reach half of them without my step stool). I hope to have one of these in our next home as well.
4. Cooking must haves - Pictured below are some more cooking items that i don't think i could do without:
coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, capers, chili paste, olive oil, almond milk, almond butter, fish sauce, Real Salt, and i forgot to include in the photo: coconut milk.
For most of these items i am not picky, but others i prefer certain brands:
Real Salt - So many think that salt is "bad" for you, but i believe that "bad salt" is bad for you :). Real Salt contains more than 50 trace minerals, is found near Redmond, Utah (which is minutes from where my father grew up in Sanpete, County, Utah), my next door neighbor's brother is the owner, and you can buy it on Amazon. There's more to say...if you're interested click here.
Almond Breeze - by Blue Diamond Growers. For various reasons, we don't buy cow's milk anymore. We use almond milk on our cereal, to drink, and i cook with it. It comes in various flavors (vanilla, unsweetened, and chocolate), though we mostly use the unsweetened. I just love it.
5. Cookbooks - When i really want to splurge, i have an itch to buy a new cookbook. (no, i'm still not very good at sticking to the recipes, but the beautiful pictures help me at least try) Here are my latest favs:
Cooking Light's Slow Cooker - I haven't been able to successfully Slow Cook for the past 8 1/2 months, the smell the encompasses the house makes me throw up, or i can't eat it once it's finished. I even tried hiding it in the back bathroom and cooking in the garage, but the smells still found their way in... So i'm excited to get back into the Slow Cooking thing. This is a great book with all kinds of flavors and healthy ideas. One of our favs is the Vegetable and Chickpea Curry. Yum!
The Herb Bible by Jennie Harding - a great little resource.
America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook - when i just need a bit of guidance in trying something new, this book usually hits the spot.
How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson - another great shower gift from the lovely Nancy Wishart in my home ward. I've received a lot of inspiration from this one.
Mary Engelbreit's Dining Out Cookbook - a great shower gift from my roomies: Jenn, Nance, & Amos. It has all kinds of dishes for you to eat outdoors. One of my favorite recipes comes from there, a spicy cilantro pesto covered shrimp pasta dish...yummy
James McNair Cooks Southeast Asian - My favorite in this one so far is a Thai stuffed Eggplant dish. Usually for inspiration...these recipes are complex and require many ingredients, so simplification without losing the taste, is the goal here.
6. Cooking Sites - When i need inspiration cooking-wise, i usually turn to:
Some favorite cooking blogs:
- Delightfully Gluten Free - my sister-in-law's sister in law, Cassandra's brain child of a blog :)
- Smitten Kitchen - some delicious food adventures
- Gluten Free Girl - even has her own cookbook on Amazon
- Lee Lou Ann - just darn inspiring
7. Our One Day Kitchen -
8. Current Cooking Goals - Some of my latest desires are to improve/learn more about:
- wheat free bread making
- more food storage in my daily ingredients
- homemade pesto
- homemade granola
- homemade almond butter
- grinding my own grains
- wheat free cookies that stay together :) (been working on this one forever)
So if for some reason, you're still with me...i'm not going to tag anyone in particular. If you'd like to participate here are the rules that i pretty much broke (sorry, not too good at following recipes or rules):
The Rules: 1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.2. People that are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules.3. At the end of your post tag 8 people and include their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment on their blog to tell them they've been tagged, and to comment back and read your blog for the whole story.
My rules: write on 8 things about you if you want: fashion, laundry secrets, why you think the Lakers should win/lose the championship, guilty pleasures,...whatever!