Everyone in my life seems to think I can't cook.
I think it all started the night I had a little too much wine and attempted to bake cookies. In my hazy, slap-happy state, I pulled out two stacked cookie sheets and started rolling balls of dough out without realizing it. Once my amused audience saw my error, it was all over - and thus, the perception that I can't cook, bake or pretty much do anything of value in the kitchen was born.
Now, although I enjoyed cooking for myself while away at college and in my own apartment, I find myself feeling a bit self conscious in the kitchen, especially when in front of others. Is that the right way to chop an onion? Is there a secret to browning chicken that I'm missing? Is this even the way you're supposed to wash dishes?
So as you can imagine, when I found out a won a cooking class as part of a raffle I entered on a whim, I felt like someone upstairs was trying to give me a little hint. To be sure I truly got the most out of this experience, I took my biggest kitchen critic with me - my boyfriend - and faced my fears.
Mimosa in-hand, I learned to make a variety of unique dishes I likely would have never ventured out to make on my own. As part of the Be Spoke Cuisine group cooking class in Chicago, we made:
- Crab-stuffed mushrooms
- Bloody mary gazpacho soup sips
- Green goddess dip, served with sliced veggies
- Salmon, goat cheese and asparagus frittata
- Banana and nutella crepes (pictured above)
The crab-crab stuffed mushrooms were easier to make than I thought, the frittata absolutely out-of-this-world, and the crepes comparable to some of the best I've had (including in Paris). Plus, I feel like I picked up a few good tips. For example, did you know when you stuff mushrooms, you're supposed to carve out the tentacles and scoop them clean like little bowls? It not only makes more room for the stuffing, but tastes a little cleaner too, since the tentacles are the 'shrooms' natural filtration system.
See? I'm learning. :) And crossing off my 25 by 25 list at the same time.
It was super fun, and I would totally go again - although it's likely a bit out of my price range when I'm not winning it in a raffle.
What's something you need to face? How do you plan to face it?