Recipes, memories and random thoughts from my kitchen
Monday, September 24, 2007
What's your cooking style?
What’s Your Style?
Last week, Susan from ByGrace posted some questions concerning cooking styles. I was intrigued by these questions, which she said could be answered in her comments section or on the blogs of those who have them and are so inclined. Here are her questions (in green) and my answers(in orange).
So what kind of cook are you? Meat-and-potatoes? Gourmet? Or somewhere in between?
I’d have to say I am somewhere in between. I am blessed with a husband who will try any food that I prepare. He is not at all picky and pretty much thinks everything I make is wonderful. I make quite a few meatless meals, but I do some meat-and-potatoes ones too. I don’t really like “gourmet” cooking, personally -- it’s just too fussy. I don’t mind spending time cooking and baking, but I don’t want to spend unnecessary time that I could be doing something else with -- possibly even something more important than cooking!
What's your favorite cookbook/cooking magazine?
This is a hard question, as I don’t have just one favorite. I love Taste of Home and am becoming a fan of Simple & Delicious. I enjoy Gooseberry Patch cookbooks -- they always have great recipes. I love the cooking newsletter Cook & Tell, and the author of that, Karyl Bannister, also has written a cookbook by the same name, which I’d hate to be without. I own hundreds of cookbooks, many of which I truly love and use often. Most often, though, I find myself turning to my own handwritten recipe books.
What is usually in your pantry, your staple ingredients that you can't do without?
Hmmm, good question. There are lots of things I consider necessary for cooking, and I’ll probably forget something vital, but here are a few thoughts:
* A good variety of herbs, spices, and flavorings * Olive oil and canola oil * Cider vinegar and seasoned rice vinegar * Fat-free half & half * Lemon juice and orange juice * Pure maple syrup * Brown sugar * Light sour cream * Neufchatel cream cheese (lighter) * Corn meal * Old-fashioned oats * Canned diced tomatoes * Canned beans like black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans * Shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses (I keep them frozen) * A good variety of frozen vegetables * Evaporated milk * Onions and garlic * Potatoes and carrots * Apples * A good variety of pasta * Converted rice
Oh, and I’m assuming that you are including the fridge and freezer as part of the pantry... the place where you keep cooking essentials.
What is your favorite type of dish to cook: main dish, sides, breads, desserts?
I love cooking and baking just about anything. But I have to say that my favorite type of dish to cook is desserts. I love making cookies, cakes, pies, crisps, whatever. I just don’t do so very often. I make tons of cookies for Christmas and keep them frozen. I make desserts for company or for church dinners, but mostly we don’t have desserts at home. Mr. T keeps ice cream in the freezer to appease his sweet tooth.
Do you have a signature recipe, one that everyone knows you for?
Some people jokingly say that they know the most unusual dishes at a potluck will be mine! I do have a few things that I make quite often and people sort of expect I will bring them -- Hot Pizza Dip, and Tortilla Roll-ups, Creamy White Chili, Cornbread... things like that.
What's your favorite appliance or gadget that you couldn't get along without?
Probably the microwave. I cook frozen veggies in the microwave all the time. It works great for cooking puddings and sauces too, lots less stirring. I prefer melting chocolate in the microwave, too. I will very often use the microwave for different steps in preparing a recipe. But I also adore my crockpot and use it at least once a week. I’ve really been using it a lot lately; it’s so helpful when I have many other things to do around the house, to just know that supper is under control. And I love my bread machine, especially for making dough.
And finally, what is your husband's favorite recipe that you fix? You know, the one that says "I love you - this is especially for you!"
This is a really difficult question because, as I said, he loves basically everything that I fix. His eyes will light up at almost any meal! He loves Snickerdoodles, and he also loves chocolate cake -- either one of those would say “I love you” -- but he would (and does!) read “I love you” into every meal that I make.
How about the rest of you ladies? I’d be really interested in reading your answers to Susan’s questions. So I’ll add -- as she did -- that you can answer these questions in the Comments, or, if you have your own blog, post the answers there. I will be looking forward to reading all of your answers!
I live in scenic northern New England with my handsome husband. We're empty-nesters with a bunch of adorable grandchildren. We love (tent) camping and traveling, but don't get away as often as we'd like to.