I love to cook-it's for sure one of my hobbies. I get excited by new recipes. I actually read cookbooks. Not just glance through them-I read them! I study them, I read ingredients in recipes, I try and put it all together in my mind about what it will taste like or look like. I've even been known to dream about cooking-specifically new recipes that I'm excited to try. So the past 6 months or so, I've been stretching myself. I've been cooking through one of my favorite cookbooks, Simply in Season. I've tried some things I never would have tried without the resolution to cook the recipes in that book. I've also been getting really into vegetarian cooking and my prediction is by the end of this calendar year I'll (and my family by default) will be a full-fledged vegetarian. One of my favorite (maybe only) authors is Nava Atlas. She is amazing. She puts together such tasty, beautiful, hearty dishes. I have cooked at least 2 dozen of her recipes and she has yet to have one that hasn't been stellar. So my time in the kitchen has been exciting (at least to me). The past week I've tried out two dishes that have stretched me-as in these are things that you usually only can buy and not make-and both have turned out great!
The above picture is homemade strawberry ice cream! Made without an ice cream maker! It tastes so yummy! It has a bit of a crystallized texture, but if allowed to melt a bit that disappears. You truly cannot tell it's homemade-the taste for sure equals the best brand you can buy at a grocery store. Best part-I made it and I know exactly what was put in there. And I can assure you, I don't have chemicals and high fructose corn syrup or trans fat lying around my kitchen!
The second thing I've made is homemade bread. Not in the bread maker but actually made with my hands! Okay, I am lying a bit. I did let the KitchenAid do the kneading for me. Next time I'm going to do it myself. But other than that, it was all me! I actually had to let it rise twice, punch it down, shape it into a loaf...I felt like I belonged with Ma Ingals on the prairie! It smelled so much better than bread machine bread while it baked and there was something so special about making it by hand. I have almost a dozen recipes in Simply in Season that call for making bread by hand so now that I know I can do it, I'm so excited to try more! And guess what? The bread is super tasty too!
I am excited to see what else lies in store for me in my adventures in the kitchen!