Common Sense Philsophies: Getting Started Cooking

Some things come to my attention that I stop for a second, tilt my head sideways, and wonder how in the world does so and so not know “this.” Thankfully, I’m old enough to know that not everyone has the same interests, or life experiences. I love to talk about cooking and cooking has always been a part of my life. I haven’t always prepared supper, but I remember watching my Aunt Linda peeling tomatoes and other veggies on her kitchen bar while I sat across from her and watched. Kiddos need entertaining? Pull out some veggies folks.

It is probably safe to assume, that if you found this blog you were probably looking for recipes, tips or tricks, or advice on cooking. Well…I may not be the most experienced, but this is a great passion of mine and I spend plenty of time reading, researching, experimenting, and of course cooking. So, here we go. My philosophies on cooking. I will probably break this up in random posts. I don’t want to spam your inbox’s every day, but I may make these monthly or weekend posts.

Getting Started. In my head I hear a cheesy 50s announcer saying, “So you want to learn to cook?”

Now, I’ll leave out paleo philosophies till a later post…That’s a whole different can of worms. Let’s just start with fresh, home cooking from scratch. There is nothing better than meals made at home and I read earlier today that someone says cooking is the most dangerous thing we can do to the food industry as it is. In truth, this is so true. When you buy from the store, buy organic, buy from local farmers and growers, you are putting your dollar towards products that matter to you. With local, you are more likely putting those dollars into people who actually care about what you are feeding your family.

You’ve got your groceries selected, recipes ready, and you’re ready to cook. What’s first? Cleaning. Yes. Cleaning.

Counter and Kiddos Within Eye Sight

Start by making sure everything you need is clean and that your counter is organized. I love my island and the great deal of space that I have. I also have my kiddos occupied, in sight, so that I can keep an eye on them while cooking.

Counter Top Setup

Some of you may have noticed, I have gotten into Pinterest. ( I use my laptop to refer to recipes. I have my knives, paper towels, seasonings, utensils, measuring cups, garbage bowl, food processor, and my trusty glass bake dish. This night I was making Pesto Prosciutto Chicken Roulad from Against All Grain. (Review to Come Soon.)

This is something I have been trying to focus on lately, knowing that I want to one day go into the food industry. The standards of cleanliness are crucial to a healthy kitchen. It is also a great benefit to gather your ingredients so you don’t have to walk back and forth to the fridge, pantry, or cabinet. The garbage bowl was my first step in this direction. It’s so handy to peel an onion, or other veggies and toss the trimmings in the bowl instead of moving or running back and forth to the trash can.

As I cook, I try to put things up as I’m done. I throw dishes I’m done with in the sink or rinse them . If you’re a busy mom like me, it’s a crucial step to clean as you go.

Keeping the Kiddos Occupied

Another thing to consider is rules for your children and your kitchen .I am lucky to have an island. An easy, recognizable barrier where they can identify the line where they should not pass. (Any one else picture Gandalf in their kitchen?) They must ask politely, “May I pass the island?” This is usually only allowed for them to take their bowls, cups, and plates to the kitchen. Mark, my youngest, is allowed passed when he is helping with loading and unloading the dishwasher. When I am cooking, and usually zoned out, enjoying not worrying about much of anything because cooking is my therapy, I try to make sure the kiddos are occupied. Today, I let them sit at the kitchen table to enjoy some coloring. We sang ABC’s and discussed what letters and numbers looked like what. If I ever have something interesting, I’ll let them smell or taste. If I have something they can mix, I usually give them turns. Nothing brightens my heart like one (or all) of my kiddos sayings, “ooo, Mommy, that smells good!”

So there you go. A beginning to my Common Sense Philosophies. I love that my husband helped me decide on the name of this series. I hope you enjoy. If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask! It’s about my most favorite subject to talk about, and I love discussing and hearing feedback and incite into others opinions. It’s what’s made me the Common Sense Cook that I am today.

I’m sending warm dishes and happy cooking from my kitchen to yours.

-Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

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