Today’s question is: Why do people think cooking is so hard?
Background: I have to admit to being one of the people that thought it was hard. I clearly remember living with friends in my 20′s and eating potatoes as my main staple (that I microwaved no less). I did not know how to cook and I did not know how to shop for things to put together. I did not have a lot of money and so I just bought potatoes, butter and cheese and ate that most of the time. I actually thought it was pretty cool that I could cook a potato quickly in the microwave. I guess that played to the whole convenience food thing. Most people want their food fast, cheap and good. My microwave potato certainly fit the bill.
As time went on I experimented a little. I remember during the time I was mainly eating potatoes, I started babysitting to make extra money. I showed up at this woman’s house one day (who just so happens to be one of my really great friends today), she had a 2 year old and a baby, and in the rush of her leaving she said just make them cottage cheese pancakes for dinner, here’s the recipe, and walked out. I think I almost started to cry. I did not know how to make pancakes from scratch, even with a recipe. I was sick. But being the resourceful gal that I am, I figured it out. To this day we laugh about that day and how I was a fish out of water in the kitchen. Now, however, it’s a different story.
I can honestly say with the proper encouragement and drive you can make anything that a restaurant can make AND you can make it better. I’m serious, you absolutely can, and it is not hard. Do not let a lot of ingredients fool you (I used to avoid any recipe that included multiple ingredients like the plague), you can do it.
A few of my friends keep seeing me post recipes to my twitter account and my facebook page and keep asking me for the recipes. So I’ve decided to start sharing them here. Every couple of days I will share something that I’ve made. Today it’s the vegetable soup I made the other day. Boy oh boy was it good, really good.
Veggie Soup (adapted from an Alton Brown recipe)
3 leeks, (about 3 cups) white part only
4-5 celery chopped (about 3 cups)
4 carrots peeled and chopped (about 3 cups)
2 cloves garlic, diced
3 potatoes, chopped (about 3 cups)
3 or 4 zucchini chopped (about 3 cups)
2 cups green beans cut into bite size pieces
2 quarts vegetable broth
4-5 cups water
6 cups chopped tomatoes
5-7 kale leaves chopped
1T salt (kosher or sea)
1T pepper (fresh ground is best)
In a heavy pan cook leeks, celery, carrot and garlic with enough vegetable broth to cover veggies (about 1/4-1/2 cup). Cook until veggies are soft. Add potatoes, zucchini, green beans, vegetable broth spices and then water to taste (my broth is very thick and flavorful, I like to dilute it a little so the veggies can do some work). Bring to a boil. Add tomatoes and kale then cook on med (or med-low) until potatoes are tender (about 30 minutes). Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Doesn’t that sound easy? This makes quite a bit, enough to serve at least 8 with some leftovers. Freezes well!