Graduating from “Cream of Whatever” University

When I first started cooking, every meal that I made included some sort of soup.

Tomato soup. Cream of Chicken. Cream of Mushroom. Bless my families dear heart for eating my first attempts at cooking!

I was the casserole queen. When I looked for recipes, if it didn’t call for some sort of soup, I didn’t even consider it!

More than 6 ingredients was too much of a stretch. I wanted fast and easy and full of preservatives. Sometimes, we even paired the cream of whatever soup with a little bit of burnt edges, delish.

This way of cooking continued for me until pretty recently. A year and a half ago, my little man was born. While I was rocking in the chair and breathing in that sweet newborn scent, I started watching Food Network shows. They chopped up herbs and roasted chickens and their recipes didn’t have any soup in them!

Intimidating as it was, I decided it was high time I learned how to cook.

Well after I had been on the Food Network train for awhile, I decided to do my first Whole30. That’s really where my cooking skills livened up.

The Whole30 requires you to make everything from scratch. There is so little you can buy from the store that doesn’t include some filler of wheat, dairy or sugar. Those three things get you kicked off the Whole30 team.

I bought this handy little cookbook when I started the Whole30 and it really was a crash course in how to make good food from scratch.

They teach you how to brown the perfect hamburger and how to make the perfect chicken breast and how to sear a steak. They teach you how to read labels and which kitchen tools are nice to have. I bought a food processor and a garlic press and became a domestic goddess. 🙂

Since then, I’ve mostly graduated from “Cream of Whatever” cooking school and I’m taking a masters class in cooking with real ingredients.

I’ve even started ordering and reading cookbooks. I’ve spent the last few days pouring over “Against All Grain – Meals Made Simple” by Danielle Walker and I’m excited to try so many of the recipes in her book.

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We tested out some herb chicken thighs with carrots, potatoes and onions last night and it was ah-mazing!

I used to look at cooking as one of those menial tasks I had to do because this family of mine insists on eating every. single. day.

Somedays I still don’t enjoy cooking but most days, I turn on Pandora or Netflix and make it more of an event than a chore.

Slicing and dicing vegetables is methodic and even relaxing.

I love peeling garlic.

Herbs and spices make me feel like a kitchen badass. Chopping up a little cilantro makes me feel like I really have this cooking thing figured out! I even made my own chicken bone broth the other day.

I’ve cooked up some real stinkers but I’ve also become more adventurous in the kitchen and I’m not afraid to cook without a recipe anymore.

This is a pretty significant step up for the girl who was always in charge of chips or punch for gatherings! 🙂