Sunday, November 6, 2011

Come Sing & Cook in my Kitchen with Me!

Well, I have been thinking for a while, “Maybe I should start a blog...but what do I know about that I'd want to write about?”  I sing but you really can't enjoy that via the written word, and you may not like how I sing – I like show tunes...BUT what was I passionate enough about, besides music, that I could share with you and encourage you to be passionate about too.  Something we can all do with just a smidge of effort.  FOOD!  

We all love food – I consider myself a foodie.  As a foodie in a normal world I have many challenges.  Don't get me wrong – I love me some Paula Dean, Barefoot Contessa, Rachel Ray and all of them but I did say “ in the real world”.  In the real world a foodie cook has challenges, real people we love, calories, TIME...oh my!

My beloved life partner, Darren.  I love him, he loves me and I think my foodieness is both the joy and bain of his existence.  He says he isn't picky but he is like my version of Goldielocks – it's too rich, it's too many flavors going on at the same time, the texture is too odd – and on and on.   So, I try to find new things that I can make and he will like – that they are “just right”.  The good thing is he will try anything once.  Thank God for Darren.

Another challenge is, my weight (I think a lot of us can relate).  I LOVE good food, food made with REAL butter and cream and all those fabulous flavors!  However, due to the blend of my Italian genes, my day job at a desk, and busy life as a woman handling a lot extra time is as elusive as my waistline   I have to lay down on the bed to zip my jeans up!  So I am a Weight Watcher member (I do endorse them as a healthy lifestyle behavioral change program to lose and keep weight off but I know everyone is different – so you must work with your doctor and your life style to pick something that works for you).  I have to take into account what I put in my mouth – but the good part of that is I am continually striving to eat the best tasting healthy food.  I had a Weight Watcher leader in Long Island who's name escapes me but she always said two things.  One, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels” - which most of the time is true and when it's not, two, “Is what you are going to indulge in worth the calories you are going to spend on it.  If the answer is yes, write it down, eat it mindfully.  Then embrace and own your decision.”.  To this day I keep those things in mind when I eat and now cook.

My third challenge is time.  Again, you can probably relate.  Who has time anymore?  I work full time, I teach music after work 2x a week and I take care of my small family.  I try to make it to my student's & friends'  theatre productions and performances to support them.  AND I want to sing myself every now and then, outside my kitchen, and be social.  OY!  When you don't even start thinking about dinner until 7pm, who has time to cook?  and at that – Who had time to cook something that tastes good and is worth the calories and the time to sit and eat it.

I think we all have the above issues – surely I can't be alone (I am not alone – AM I?! Hopefully I will get some readers who will reaffirm that I am not alone!)  I call the above “challenges” but really they are blessings...Darren is supportive of my cooking adventures and he is willing to try anything.  So – I make things that sometimes we both look at each other and say the only thing good we learned from that is that we don't want it again (you won't see those recipes or restaurants here – I don't even know you but I like you too much to do that to you!).  Sometimes, however, I hit on something he claims is, “his new favorite!” and that is the BEST!  The great thing about being a Weight Watcher is that it forces me to be mindful about eating and cooking, it provides me support of friends in a healthy lifestyle journey, and new recipes to try! (if I have the Pts+ value I will post!)  All that and sometimes, when I am on track, I actually lose weight.  I have a ways to go but we will do that together too!  And lastly, time.  The ever elusive time to make something that is fabulous, impressive, lovely and healthy. (at least mostly healthy)  

There is time, my friends.  I grew up in an Italian / Irish heritage where food is the Sun that we all revolve around.  My grandparents grew their own tomatoes to make “the Sunday Gravy” (tomato sauce).  Now not only do I not have time to do that but I live in a condo – I have very little space for a garden.  I grow my basil & tomatoes in pots.  There is a way though and I will share it with you here.

Some other things I will probably share with you that revolve around food, restaurants that I find that are FABULOUS, party etiquette as both host(ess) and attendee, table manners, hosting a formal dinner party (who even does that anymore? I do and it is EASY and so much more fun!), and any other idea I may have.  Some posts may be short, others long but hopefully always interesting and useful. I will also share my recipes, friends recipes, and some cooking secrets to make things easier all the way around.

I didn't study cooking formally other than next to my grandma, my aunt and my mom (and sometimes my dad when he would be creative).  I hope you enjoy it and I thank you for joining me in my journey as a foodie!  Come sing in my kitchen with me while we cook up somethin' good!

Love & Hugs 

PS – Have a favorite recipe?  Email me.  Maybe, I will make it and share it here!

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