Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cooking.... ramblings and a question or two.

I love cooking. All of it. The prep, the seasoning, the tasting. I LOVE it. However, the cleanup is less than happy for me. Usually Donnie will take care of the dishes and mess I tend to make all over the place when working my culinary magic.

At the moment I have an enormous pot of homemade veggie soup on the stove cooking away. And by homemade, I mean hand diced tomatoes, garlic, carrots, cauliflower, onions, green beans, spinach and potatoes all bought yesterday from the veggie market downstairs.

Which brings me to my next point of interest. Even in America, I preferred to make things from scratch. I did use canned beans and tomatoes mostly because the convenience and in the case of tomatoes, the PRICE. But I ALWAYS chopped my own garlic and onions and potatoes and season things myself rather than by the "kits". Here, all veggies are dirty cheap and there is no such thing as canned beans so I've gone totally old school down to soaking dried beans overnight to cook them most of the day the following day.

Often, people who eat my cooking ask for a recipe. This is a tricky question. I am not a cook by numbers sort of gal. I totally just eyeball measurements and add random ingredients that strike my fancy and season to taste. I like not being constrained by a set of instructions, but I know it is frustrating for others when they want to duplicate something I made at home.

So my questions:

Do you use dinner kits?

And are you a recipe vixen or a fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants chef?


jenn said...

I LOVE to cook! Which is weird because I am not an adventurous eater. But if I am making it I will try it because I know everything in it- make sense? I know- I am strange!
I don't really use recipes after the first go around- I always end up tweaking them anyway since there are ingredients I don't like or don't have.
I will use canned stuff every now & then- but the kits or boxed... not a big fan!

Larissa said...

I don't use a dinner kit. I come from a European family, so women knowing how to cook is a important thing. Also if you ask for a recipe, you'll get the general ingredients, but measurements? Not so much. Like you said, everything is eyeballed. I love that type of cooking though, it makes every dish unique.

Sarah R said...

We do not use dinner kits at all because we avoid processed foods.

We don't used canned goods, and haven't, ever since we found out that the cans contain BPA (yet another thing, ugh).

My hubby is the cook, not me--and he loves to cook from scratch. We have homemade pizza all the time, and he loves to play around with various soups. His spaghetti is really good as well (we use the whole wheat noodles, which I am very used to now--I prefer them over the white ones).

He also soaks his own beans and today is actually making a batch of baked beans.

Sarah R said...

Oh yeah, and we garden, so a lot of that goes in the freezer for future use! :)

CanadianMama said...

I'm a from scratch kind of girl. My mom always made homemade everything (there were no cans or bake mixes ever in our house) and I guess I picked it up from her.

I just started using dried beans because of the price and it's not that much more work. I typically work from a menu plan so it's easier to do the prep.

I'm more inclined to follow a recipe but I'm trying to branch out and trust my skills LOL!

Kickin' Kari said...

I'm really good at making my own dishes and I too love cooking with fresh ingredients and will be more then willing to cook everyday of the week but PLEASE dont make me do dishes!! LOL
I like to make my own soups, and different inventions. I can make the most delicious pico de gallo and I used to take it to my co-workers back when I worked and EVERYONE LOVED it and wanted my recipe. But like you I dont measure squat!!! I season to taste everything and its a handful of this and a palmful of this...always. Thats how I learned...The only recipe I follow to a T is my Mom's snickerdoodle recipe.
Cooking is a lot funner when you make it your own.

Beautiful Mess said...

I used to be TERRIFIED of straying away from the recipe and ALWAYS used a kit or something. Never ever, EVER would I attempt to try something on my own. Now though, I'm getting braver and I'll tweak a recipe here and there. I am not, and doubt I'll ever be, as talented as you are though.

M said...

Yes, I use dinner kits sometimes... *blushing*

I am NOT a confident cooker. I agree that homemade usually tastes wayyy better but seems so much harder to make. Your whole fly by the seat of your pants cooking style impresses and intimidates me :)

Kate said...

huge NO to recipe kits! fresh is a little pricier than canned, but cheaper than "kits" & soooo much better! i also plant a big garden in the summer, so alot of our stuff is home grown, which is about as cheap as it gets. i even make all the boys baby food... it just plain tastes better & this way i know what we're all eating.
plus, i like cooking. its only the past couple years that i've learned to cook, so often i start with a recipe & "doctor" as i go. i'm just getting confident enough to forego recipes altogether, which i have to say is pretty fun. (for me at least. sometimes the experiments are better in theory than in reality. but N never complains, bless the man!)

Christina said...

I don't use dinner kits because I have a weird thing with eating food that comes from a can, I cannot do it! It's just too gross.

I have to have a recipe in front of me in order to make it. I'm not good at just winging it.

JAIME said...

all from scratch all the time. why would i want to buy a pre-packaged pie crust when i can make one that is way better all by myself. and I did it.

i cook like you. a little of this, and a little of that. i love freshly chopped garlic and herbs.

Iiri said...

I am totally with you. I will use kits when I'm constrained on time, but usually I am a make it from scratch type seems just so much easier, because i can just wing it, and how ever it comes out, great...if it sucks oopsie!

I totally hear you on the tomatoes and beans. I use the canned versions for chili, it's just easier...

Birdee said...

I'm not sure what a recipe kit is. Like "Hamburger Helper?" if so. Then big fat NO. I hate prepared boxed food, even Mac -n - cheese I prefer to eat something a little more home made.
I do like to try new recipes, and I've been known to not have everything on the card so I just make it up and add what I want or feel would make a good substitute.
However I do like to consider myself to be more like Sandra Lee as a Semi-Homemade Cook.
I'm a "Can of this and a Can of that" kind of girl. I really LOVE fresh, but time, money and lack of true chef talent play a part in my cooking.
Now.... if only I could drink like her =D