For many years, the only thing I could cook was breakfast. I could make an excellent wrap and the odd time I would try really hard to replicate my grandmothers chili and/or spaghetti sauce. Pretty much, that was it. I never even brewed my own coffee. I worked as a server most days, so I could count on something delicious at least ONCE a day. I told myself that I would cook when it was for more than just myself and that perhaps if I ever found my one true Love, I would then start fixing up dishes. Therein lies a BIG problem, I mean WHAT is the problem for cooking for one? Upon looking back, I KNOW it was pure laziness and that, I too, was caught up in the fast food world.
I know, sometimes you don't have the time to prepare a meal and/or the inspiration to do so. I totally get it. When that is the case, I usually pull out a pre-made pizza with only cheese and tomato sauce on it, then I add whatever toppings I have. You would be surprised at what one can find to decorate a pizza with; any left-overs will do! My favourite adds are olives, artichoke hearts, onion slices, tomato slices, mushrooms and MORE cheese (to your taste of course but it is SURE to be delicious, it's pizza after all.) A super easy meal, and not quite fast food but almost. I try to have a pizza "shell" in my freezer just in case! Making your own dough is always a fun experiment. Mine never comes out quite as good as anybody else's but I will keep trying....
So fast forward through the years, and I finally met someone worthy of my cooking skills! Hahaa... Actually, I surprise myself with how good some of the stuff is that I create... I must have been learning through Osmosis all those years standing beside the chefs I worked with, asking them of their secrets (on the slow days!) But now (when I am not feeling lazy or uninspired) I Love to cook! My husband LOVES to eat and is always complimentary on what I place in front of him. Except for potatoes. For some darn reason, I can't cook them to perfection, EVER! Never! I swear, they are always too hard, even when I think to leave them in longer, they never work out. Alas, one day, I am sure to make them right!
Okay, so here I will list my top ten favourite things to have in the kitchen!
1) A pre-made frozen (or thawed) pizza crust with cheese & tomato sauce. (details explained earlier!)
2) Sharp knives. There is no bigger pain in the butt then trying to slice food (onions & tomatoes come to mind) with a dull knife. Thankfully my babe has sharpening tools and if I ask nicely, he will get to it! Click here to see a really easy way on HOW TO SHARPEN YOUR KNIVES!
3) Lemons! (Limes will do too.) I LOVE my lemons. They add SO much to SO many different things. Salad dressings, Sauces, Smoked Salmon (or fish of any kind!) I also start my day off with squeezing the juice from half a lemon into a large glass of room temperature water, it's a great thing to sip on after a strong cup of coffee! The health benefits of adding lemon into your diet (daily!) are really amazing. Check it out here!!
4) Sea Salt ... Salt adds flavour to your food. It brings out the flavour. Seasoned food is the only way. Some chefs will say "let them add salt to their food if they want it" but I rather like it when the food I prepare is delicious as is, not bland. Unsalted food is bland. Email me with complaints if you must! I can take it!
5) Whole pepper... My husband could twist a tonne all over his food. He adores the spice it brings. I don't need it as much, but still a few twists over eggs, in salad dressings etc are definitely an asset. Notice I said WHOLE pepper as opposed to the powdery stuff. Buy a pepper mill, it's worth it!
6) A coffee pot. NOT the ones that pre-make coffee from pods. No way! Buy your own beans, pulverize them yourself and brew up some hot black gold! (some folks out there are tea drinkers, totally fine! I prefer coffee, to each their own) A pod coffee machine will never produce the same rich delicious and FRESH coffee as a Moka Pot or whatever you choose to use. We have an old fashioned hand-turning-wooden coffee mill. It has become a ritual for me, my morning coffee ritual... While we are at it, buy a favourite mug!! Support one of your local pottery makers (not CHINA!!) These will always come in handy. Thank you JOVIC POTTERY for our beautiful mugs!!
7) Cucumber. Okay, some of you may hate it! That is okay, but try to get it into you. See, cucumbers are rich in nutrients and vitamins. Most green things are, but cucumbers are SUPER easy to eat! Just grab one, wash it, slice it and eat it. You are getting goodness into your bodies and that is ALL THAT MATTERS!!! They are alkaline forming and in a world full of acidic food, this (as well as lemons) can balance you out a bit.
8) Butter!!! Never margarine!! Ew! Margarine?? What is that stuff?? (I don't really have to go into detail about the PLUS SIDE of butter.) Butter makes Beautiful.
9) Coconut Oil... Oh my goodness this is simply the BEST thing ever. I can use it to cook with, I can use it to condition my hair AND skin with. I even make cream with coconut oil. I should have put this one way up at the top. Oh my goodness really I can not say enough about Coconut Oil.
10) Coconut Milk... this stuff turns sauces, soups and curries into small miracles. Do you always use cream for your soups?? Try a can of coconut milk. Do you always use yogurt for your smoothies? Try coconut milk. So delicious and SO FULL OF GREATNESS. Trust me, I promise!