As we begin our month-long journey, I thought it would be good to start with how I approach the kitchen. I’m serious about not taking this too seriously.
The Kitchen Principles: Week One
- If I don’t have something warm for breakfast I feel sad all day.
- Dinner should take no more than 45 minutes to prepare. I count the minutes spent googling recipes against this limit, but I don’t count the minutes spent hanging out on the couch while something is baking in the oven.
- I like to make things from scratch when the homemade version is less expensive, less time consuming, and/or contains fewer calories than the pre-packaged version. Otherwise, we eat processed. Sorry, not sorry.
- We aren’t afraid to drop a little dough on good ingredients because cooking at home is exponentially cheaper than eating out in Chicago.
- In this kitchen we eat meat, dairy, gluten, and nuts. But we like to experiment with alternative styles of cooking and we love people who have allergies.
- I sometimes eat healthy things that I don’t like, but it takes a lot out of me. For example, oatmeal makes me gag, but sometimes I eat it because it is good for me. Even so, I can only really handle steel-cut oats, and I need nuts on top to give it some crunch.
- The crock-pot is that friend that we really love and that is always so great to see once a year at that annual event. We always say we should call and write more, maybe plan a few visits, but then we forget that she is still alive in the back of the cabinet with the bread machine.
- Simple is delicious. No need for fancy things or decorating a plate with three kinds of sauce.
- Mariano’s is the greatest grocery store known to humanity. It is one of my favorite places. They don’t always have the best flavors of chips or varieties of sodas and candy, but they have great selection of the things I am supposed to buy, like fruits and vegetables and alternative grain products.
- The best housekeepers always keep a baked good of some kind in the freezer to serve for breakfast just in case surprise house guests stop in. But that chocolate chip zucchini bread is too delicious to leave in there for long, so you’d better surprise visit us quick.