Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Day 1261: Flavorful

In going through my pictures, I've come to realize that I take a lot of pictures of food. I also spend ridiculous amounts of time watching Food Network (every piece of canvas art I've ever made was created while watching Food Network...and that barely touches the surface of my viewing time), and the highest priority when planning for our townhouse, and now, apartment, was the kitchen. We wanted a full stocked kitchen with everything we might ever need, and while things are definitely still being added, like the EVOO container I finally broke down and bought, we can make pretty much anything in our little kitchen.

And I really do love cooking and baking. Like doing the dishes, which I also normally don't mind doing, cooking is like scheduled free time. If I'm planning on making stir fry, I can set aside a half hour to make it and a half hour to eat it. That's an hour break from whatever I'm working on that's probably much needed in the first place.

I've also been made aware recently though that I'm apparently fairly decent at cooking. I just kind of know what pairs well together and what's going to taste good. Because I'm lactose intolerant and have active food allergies, I'm always making an effort to find flavors and meals that will be healthy for me, which often meals dairy free. I look for a balance of meat and vegetables, and lately I've been loving rice as a side and a base for a dish. In fact, stir fry in general has been my go to these past couple of weeks. And of course, as we all know, I'm pretty decent at making desserts, especially cupcakes, although I actually haven't made any in months. That's strange. I should probably fix that.

Either way though, the point here is this: I got to thinking about where my own inspiration for cooking came from. I cooked a lot with my mom when I was younger, and aside for things I've picked up from Alton Brown and other TV Chefs, most of what I know I learned from her. We absolutely have different tastes in food, as I'm more like my Dad in that regard, but she still will correct me if she sees me doing something wrong and we love going to cooking classes at a local cooking store.

Beyond that though, I'm absolutely certain that a lot of my experience comes not from cooking the food itself, but from eating it, and there's no where in the world I eat more food than Walt Disney World...or at least in a very short about of time. We're talking volume per day here, not overall. Obviously I eat more food at home than I do in Florida, but after growing up trying various flavors, cuisines, and foods, I'm more adventurous and confident in my cooking here at home. I know for a fact that if I throw some cut up steak ready for stir frying in a pan and, over time, cook it with rice vinegar, soy sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes, and a blend of other vegetables and then serve it over rice that it's going to taste good. Sometimes the balance will get off, but that's all part of the game. I highly doubt whoever came up with Zebra Domes did it right the first time, and I'm positive the salad in the top picture, which is from Skipper Canteen at the Magic Kingdom, took more than one try to perfect. I will say though, the light dressing on that salad (the "A Lot at Steak Salad") is spectacular.

Have a magical day!