Ok, first things first:
Technically this blog should be called ‘Cooking With The Undomestic Boat-wife-to-be’ Since I currently live on a 64ft sailboat. But I will be married in 9 days and I won’t be living on a boat forever. I’m just keeping one step ahead of myself. Number 2: I am not a professional! At anything for that matter. And especially not at cooking. HOWEVER, I can sympathize with the housewives subjecting their boyfriends, husbands and god-forbid: children to Burnt hot dogs and store bought macaroni salad. Ladies (or men), if you cant cook a hot dog, or macaroni and cheese– from a package: this blog’s not for you. I would suggest getting a solid membership with numerous fast-food chains.
But I’m getting off the point. I’m here to tell you that I started this blog so that I can pass along tried, tested and judged (quite honestly by my husband to be) recipes that seem to be a little bit above average. I love cooking and I get honest and welcome feedback from my fiance, friends and family. I enjoy reading recipes and finding ideas, but I LOVE making them my own. The only time I follow a recipe to a ‘T’ is when I’m making bread– no that’s a lie too, I’m constantly adding extra things whether it’s cheese, olives or cinnamon.
I previously worked along-side top chefs on private yachts. I’ve learned a lot of cooking techniques, ideas, and the fact that I am not as meticulous in preparation as they are; I don’t need to grate the cheese into a bowl before I sprinkle it over the lasagna. Just grate right over top of that sucker. Or better yet: buy packaged cheese. If a lasagna pan isn’t hard enough to clean, the last thing you need is more dirty dishes to wash. I thought about becoming a chef, but despite all the school and Gordon Ramsay-like tutors, I didn’t want or need the ‘I’m-too-good-for-everyone’ and ‘you-want-me-to-make-what?’ attitude that seems to spread like H1N1 around the culinary school. One thing that I will not skip corners around is sanitation and keeping bacterial growth to a minimum. I don’t take ‘Best Before dates’ to heart, but I do with unfrozen meats and keep separate cutting boards for Meats, Veggies and Fruit. If you can, have a cutting board for fish, chicken and beef– but lets get serious; we don’t have the budgets of a multi-millionaires, so a good soap and a hard scrub will have to do.
I might sound contradictory in alot of things, ie. preaching nutrition, but eating processed cheese and yogurts with high fructose corn syrup. I do cut corners and I’m not a spokesperson for healthy lifestyles. I’m just trying to help my fellow domestically challenged persons with cooking, tips and info.
I once saw a TV show about a restaurant in Spain that cooked everything over a grill– I also heard grilling can now be considered a cause of cancer because of the coal–but that’s not what intrigued me. The owner said that they don’t cook things for a specific time; they cook until the smell is right. I believed that it could possibly work so I tried it. IT WORKED! I cooked my lasagna and when the galley (I was on a boat) started to smell of the perfect mixture of cheese, cooked vegetables and pasta, I checked it: it was perfectly browned on the top and cooked right through. Perhaps you might notice that when you bake something and the aroma drifts finds it’s way to you, your baking is almost done. I say this with caution however; this will not work if you’re in the other room, or cooking something on the stove or in the microwave. It’s always best to keep an eye on it. Besides, packaged french-fries tell you to bake for _?_minutes, but I like mine extra crispy and with seasoning salt– they don’t tell you that one either.
OK, so getting started. I have a few ingredients that I always have around the house/boat they are as follows:
- Lettuce- for sandwiches and salads
- Red/Green/yellow Peppers-salads, grilling, pastas
- Broccoli &/ asparagus- stir-fries, grilling, salads
- Chickpeas aka. Garbanzo beans, as they’re stealthily named at Von’s. These are a good addition to any salad. They also take care of that craving for carbs.
- Chicken (usually breast, but I’ll let you know what kind at the beginning of the recipe–which makes me realize, don’t go out and buy all this stuff unless you need it 😉 )
- Beef (sometimes steak/ ground beef)
- (sometimes) Shrimp
- Canned tuna- for sandwiches or salads
- Pasta (whole grain)
- Cans of diced tomatos (or paste) and corn- tomato for soup/chili and the corn for salads as well.
- Whole grain rice
- Carrots and celery
- Goats cheese- excellent addition to any salad or meat, also a healthier option. It’s a two-fer!
Ok that’s enough of that, I will obviously tell you what you need when you need it. These ingredients may seem overwhelming and a lot, but if I don’t use up all of the veggies right before they go off, they end up in a very delicious soup. There is a few things that I like to have around for myself, I’ll give a brief list:
- Most Important: Chocolate–as discovered recently, a must have for any woman. Chocolate abstinence can create an extreme mood-altering situation.
- Close second: Coffee– hazelnut is my favorite. There will never be a mug big enough.
- Ginger tea- helps digestion and upset stomaches.
- Ginger chews- especially the peanut ones by The Ginger People. You can get them at most any health-food store. They help with motion sickness as well as the above. BONUS< they are low in calories and made with natural sugar and ginger– that’s it.
- Chai tea- made with honey and enough soy/milk to put it on the verge of cold. (Thanks Ming)
- Peanut butter- crunchy with sliced apples or on rice cakes with honey. mmm mmm.
Well, that’s enough. I hope you all look forward to my recipes, ideas and nutrition information. And by all means, if you have any recipes to share so I can make them my own, I’d love to hear!