Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's Your Food First?

So I mentioned a few of my 'food firsts' last week - things I had NEVER done before blogging, but as I went down the rabbit hole into cooking they've happened. A few I noted were cutting my first butternut squash for fries, working with grains like quinoa, couscous, arborio rice, etc., making dishes like risotto and lasagna (these used to terrify me), and cutting (and eating) my first avocado. Here are some more food firsts I've gained (so far!) thanks to blogging. And yes, I too realize what a sheltered, sad little kitchen I must have had before blogging... :)
  • Using (and buying and even growing thanks to Austin!) fresh spices like basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, mint and oregano.
  • Visiting the Indian grocer (and eating/making Indian food).
  • Stuffing chicken.
  • Eating veggies like squash, spinach, arugula, zucchini, sundried tomatoes, anaheim chilis, serrano and pablano peppers.
  • Eating blue cheese and cranberries (all for a salad... now I use these items in other things!).
  • Making soups and chilis. (thanks, Monica - you always said i'd love these!).
  • Making sauces like pesto, tzatziki and sweet & sour.
  • Preparing meatless dishes (this had never dawned on me... dishes were to have chicken & fish. See above. :)
  • Buying (and using) items, including: Rice vinegar, cider vinegar, fish sauce, chili paste, minced ginger, wasabi powder, hoisen sauce, tahini, coconut milk, evaporated milk, frank's cayenne pepper sauce, honey, light brown sugar, siracha, white wine vinegar, etc.
  • Making hummus, guacamole and "dips" in general.
  • Eating cottage cheese. Granted, I ate it in a pasta but still, I used to hate that stuff.
  • Using dough to make my own pizzas and calzones.
  • Making quiche. Also a first time using a pie shell and making one out of shredded potato!
  • Using a slowcooker. Yes, i'm the proud owner of two now... this is how much I love to cook... slowly. Other items purchased to assist in cooking include: good pots and pans (thanks, Austin!), food scale, a lemon zest grinder, good slotted/solid spoons, cheese slicer (thanks, Devon & Zach!), meat tenderizer, and I think that's it. Now the list of things we got for our wedding and used for the first time is MUCH longer (you know, we dusted off the salad spinner, garlic press, electric chopper, etc.).
  • Making a pie.
  • Mixing up salad dressings. It's amazing how much more flavor they have than bottled!
  • Precooking. I mean really, this has made such a huge impact on my life!
In case you're wondering I did eat before blogging. LOL Just LOTS of chicken, fish, rice, pasta, sandwiches, french fries and store-bought items/frozen foods. I was a creature of habit. Austin was not. He requested we "not have chicken and rice every single day." (I thought I had him fooled with it being 'lemon flavored' one night and 'chinese flavored' the next night and so on... I was wrong). He cooked for a while, but I missed cooking and decided to mix it up. Have I ever! You know what the best thing about this list is? There are still SO many more things to try. There are veggies I haven't touched, desserts I haven't attempted, ingredients I haven't cooked with, etc. It's SO exciting.

So, on to yesterday! I just worked, walked 4 miles during lunch, worked more and then headed straight home to continue working on my Kitchen Business Center Project. I'm LOVING it so far - hope to finish it tonight. :) After an hour or so, Austin was back from the gym so we hung out, had dinner and chilled. Great Tuesday night for sure!

Q: So, go on and tell me, what are your food firsts? What are you eating now that you never dreamed of eating before your blog?

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