My Journey in Cooking
A Foodie's Journey to learning how to cook
Cooking has never been my strong suit. There I said it. I come from a long line of established home cooks. Cooking is in the blood so to say, as we are all West Indians. As a rule, West Indian's are always in the kitchen cooking a vast amount of dishes almost all of them on the suicide side of spicy.
My mom for example has been known to cook four pots and make them all perfect. I can honestly say that I am not on that level and may never be. Cooking has never come easy for me. Despite the fact that I spent most of my childhood and teenage years assisting my mom in the kitchen.
My sister has now taken over my mother's role in the kitchen. Being able to make food almost as good as my mother's. While I have, occasionally made the same West Indian foods as both of them with A LOT of assistance. I think it's safe to say, that my talents lie elsewhere.
In my years in both middle school and High School, I spent a lot of time in the kitchens of my schools, learning the skills and techniques of chefs. I've always loved the technical aspect of cooking, even though, it has often shown that while I'm good at following recipes, what I lack is the experience of cooking. This is something I learned by making the many different breakfasts I've made over the years. I've redefined and perfected my french toast recipe, something that was the first thing I learned in home economics class, back in my middle school days. While French Toast has come easy for me, I've opted for using the pancake dry mix. What I did however differently from the recipe is adding different varieties of toppings. My favorite among them is my chocolate pecan pancakes and blueberry walnut mixes.
Unfortunately, while I'm good at adding eggs to recipes, or making a mean egg salad, my omelet skills fall short. While some months I have found myself able to make the perfect western omelet with cheese. There are other months where it becomes less an omelet and more of an egg scramble. One thing I weirdly excel at cooking is grilled cheese, or any kind of sandwich really. I think this is because I used to eat sandwiches as home lunches for both school and work.
Dinners of Grilled Meat and Pasta
Unfortunately, where I can make gourmet breakfasts, dinners have been more of a challenge. Before this year with Quarantine lasting for so long, and wanting to eat out less and less as the winter months, I started recreating meals that I have always loved but always been hesitant to try. First Chicken Fajitas, and then grilled chicken and grilled Salmon.
I've done green beans successfully, Cajun rice, fried rice, and ramen chow mein, with sauteed veggies. Pasta made with mozzarella cheese, green pepper, and pesto. Tomato-based pasta and alfredo pasta fried with cheese and veggies. Pasta baked with cheese, and tomato, and on the odd occasion Alfredo red pepper, spinach lasagna. I've made different variations of shrimp alfredo, chicken parmesan, and a spicy veggie linguini. My favorite at the moment is my bow tie pasta tossed with veggies and cheese, with grilled chicken on top.
Once I could make apple pie back in high school but because of my lack of experience, and mostly because I have since lost all the recipes I once had, so I have done desserts mostly by buying through the grocery bakery or the frozen type that you heat up yourself. One of my favorite things to do, for dessert, is home-baked cookies with ice cream on top, occasionally as a sandwich. Of course, nothing beats salted caramel brownies with french vanilla ice cream. Though with someone who is trying to do an abbreviated version of a keto diet, it helps to stay away from dessert anyways. The fruit has been my main source of after-dinner snacks, and occasionally cookies and tea.