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My Experience Learning How to Cook

Updated on March 12, 2012
Challah French Toast
Challah French Toast
Pineapple Fried Rice
Pineapple Fried Rice
Tortellini Soup
Tortellini Soup
Bacon and Cheddar Quiche
Bacon and Cheddar Quiche
Deviled Eggs
Deviled Eggs
Broccoli and Chick Pea Salad
Broccoli and Chick Pea Salad

Unlike most women, I did not learn how to cook from my mother. My mom is not big on cooking. When she does cook, she tends to only makes things that come from packages with directions printed on them.

When I lived on my own I would cook occasionally, just simple things like meatloaf, spaghetti & meatballs, turkey chili, and roasted vegetables. When I first met my husband he lived in a condo. He had an outdoor a patio from which we could hear the music coming from a nearby bar. He bought a grill and in the Summer we'd sit on the patio listening to the bands play, cook and enjoy a bottle of wine. We'd grill steaks, chicken breast, king crab legs, asparagus, and potato slices. As the weather got cooler we had to move inside, and I missed our nights of leisurely enjoying a good meal over wine.

A friend of mine mentioned Super Suppers to me. It's a franchise where you go for a few hours, prepare meals with friends, and then freeze them at home until you're ready to cook them. I tried it out with a friend. What I liked about it was that all of the ingredients were already out and available, you just had to follow the recipe for measuring them out into the tinfoil pans or into the freezer bags. Directions were easy enough to follow that my friend and I were able to talk and enjoy the music that was playing at the same time. I brought these home, and my boyfriend and I were back to romantic nights filled with home cooked meals.

When we got married we moved into our house, which was a real fixer-upper, and we had to redo the kitchen. We didn't have a kitchen for almost a year. Our meals were anything that could be delivered or come out of a microwave.

During that time I missed having real food and with visions of my finished kitchen in my head, signed up to take recreational cooking classes at the Institute for Culinary Education in NYC. Each class was one night from about 6-11 p.m. I took Greek, Cuban, Mexican, Thai & Filipino cooking classes. But, best of all, I learned how to use all of the kitchen appliances that I received at my wedding shower and were still in storage at my mother-in-laws. When my kitchen renovations were finally finished, I knew how to use my Kitchenaid food processor and stand mixer, and I was comfortable experimenting in the kitchen.

A friend recommended Martha Stewart's Everyday Foods recipe book to me. I love the easy to follow recipes, each with a bright colorful picture so you know what to expect. I subscribed to the monthly magazine and have enjoyed many of the dishes featured within.

Over the Summer we joined a Community Supported Farm where each week we'd receive a share of the harvest. New vegetables like kohlrabi, fennel, kale and garlic snapes were introduced into our diet. I didn't want to waste the food, so I found recipes on-line. I enjoyed it so much that I've already signed up to participate in this upcoming Summer's vegetable share.

I found an amazing iPad app that I rely on called My Recipe App. It lets you import recipes from Allrecipes.com and Foodnetwork.com, and you can even enter your own recipes. It was a lifesaver and invaluable tool when I hosted my first Christmas this year.

I still make freezer meals, but on my own, not at Super Suppers. Every once in awhile I place a big order from the Supermarket and have it delivered through Peapod. When it arrives I cut up all of the meat, season it, and prepare my freezer meals with the ingredients. Then during the month when I'm too tired to cook, we can defrost a meal to cook, or with some of them cook in the oven straight from the freezer. I also like to make ribs and pulled pork in the crock-pot.

My husband thinks that I'm a great cook. I think that I'm pretty good. We've eaten out at many restaurants, and I can honestly say, along with several people who we've had over to eat, that my potato skins, king crab legs, Challah french toast, potato soup, chicken pot pie, strawberry rhubarb pie and three berry pie are as good as they get.

Poll

How did you learn how to cook?

See results

Institute of Culinary Education in NYC

A
Institute of Culinary Education in NYC:
50 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10010, USA

get directions

Where I took recreational cooking classes.

Comments

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    • Muppet Shakspear profile image

      Muppet Shakspear 

      4 years ago

      hi you may see more comments soon. thanks :D

    • CynDwyer profile imageAUTHOR

      CynDwyer 

      6 years ago from Long Island, NY

      My husband isn't that fussy, so he enjoys my freezer meals.

    • CynDwyer profile imageAUTHOR

      CynDwyer 

      6 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Thanks! Yes, please do link this page.

    • CynDwyer profile imageAUTHOR

      CynDwyer 

      6 years ago from Long Island, NY

      While my husband doesn't really cook, we have an arrangement where whoever didn't cook cleans up the kitchen and does the dishes. It works out great.

    • CynDwyer profile imageAUTHOR

      CynDwyer 

      6 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Thank you. I find freezer meals so convenient when I'm not in the mood to cook. It's worth the initial effort.

    • CynDwyer profile imageAUTHOR

      CynDwyer 

      6 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Thanks! You should definitely try a baking class then. You'll probably have fun and may learn a new technique.

    • Crazy Mags profile image

      Crazy Mags 

      6 years ago

      Good article. When I am motivated, I cook on Sundays and freeze food for the week. Unfortunately, my husband will not eat it. So, I tend to get lazy when I am only cooking for myself. But you have re-motivated me!!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      Interesting read on every level. Really, there is no excuse not to learn to cook well these days! The many resources that are available now were not mine as a newlywed and I did not learn to cook from my mother so my kitchen has been a surprising place at times. I love learning from the web!

      Would like to link this hub to mine on cooking with HP, if you have no objection--thanks!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I'm so glad that you answered my question with this great hub! With all of your various cooking classes plus joining that vegetable co-op, I'd accept a dinner invitation to your place anytime! :)) I learned from watching and then assisting my mother and then experimenting on my own...plus my husband is a fabulous cook...so between the two of us, we are a good pair in the kitchen. Up votes plus shared with others.

    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 

      6 years ago from Ireland

      Great hub about your cooking experiences. Yes I also buy in a lot of meat and veg and then make plenty so that it can go in the freezer. The food comes out fresh and tasty.

      Thanks for SHARING. Voted up and awesome

    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 

      6 years ago from California

      That's awesome how you took culinary courses in NYC. I've always wanted to take some courses on baking. Instead, I rely heavily on cookbooks and trial and error. :-)

      Nice article, voted up!

    • CynDwyer profile imageAUTHOR

      CynDwyer 

      6 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I'd love to try canning. Maybe I can get to it this Summer.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      6 years ago from America

      My mother didn't teach me how to cook. She was a great cook but she didn't want me in the kitchen. I taught myself, cooking, canning and freezing food.

      I enjoyed reading your hub and voted up.

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