Hey there! I’m Erin Brady (not the one engaged to Steven Tyler) and I’ve just started this blog to hopefully help average people like myself become better cooks…or at least more of a foodie. So I though I’d use my first post to tell you a little about myself and what you can expect from my blog. First of all, I have no formal training. I never went to Cordon Bleu, worked in a restaurant, or spent my childhood watching my mom in the kitchen (she had to work – THANK YOU!). My family DID love food though and as a child I was not the box mac & cheese with hot dogs kid. My grandmothers on both sides were/are AH-mazing cooks. Although I had a wonderful time with my grandma baking as a child I am not much of a baker today. I’d be more likely to hit someone over the head with my rolling pin rather than roll out a pie crust. I have always loved cooking shows. Food Network and Cooking Channel are my porn. When I moved out of the house at 18, I had to cook my own dinner – WTF?! I have spent many a weeknight releasing a stressful day at the office watching Rachel Ray (I am so over her now), Giada DeLaurentiis and Ina Garten. Little by little I started to try to make their recipes, some with flavors I wasn’t used to. I have fucked up many dishes (I cuss sometimes. Get over it). But I learned, practiced and got better. And braver. I learned I could take a recipe and create something totally my own. I got to know flavors to the point I could usually correctly guess ingredients by taste. Most of all though, I learned that the more I RELAXED, the more I enjoyed cooking. AND, oddly enough, the better my food tasted. Cooking truly can go from being a chore to an outlet…sometimes even a form of meditation. It has become a way to say “I love you” for me. It can be a fun challenge instead of a hassle.
This is my message. You can do it if you get out of your way. I’m a wife to a Dodge/Chrysler Finance Manager who works 70+ hours a week, the stay-at-home mother of a terrifyingly genius 4 year old beauty, a full-time college student, and a resident manager. Needless to say I have a lot on my plate, who doesn’t? But finding enjoyment in cooking and food has been a daily saving grace. It’s off the chore list and on the fun list now. Stop worrying about failing at making a certain dinner – cause if you try you will at least once. Who cares? Redemption is only a take-out menu away. And you will learn from that failure and do better the next time. If I can do it you can do it (cheesy but true). Perfect is boring so stop trying to be and just enjoy the journey.
I have a lot of little tricks that I find extremely helpful, necessary even. Like salt, for example. I now have a salt obsession and have at least 7 different kinds in my kitchen but I digress. For beginners, all you need is KOSHER SALT. It is usually cheaper than regular and comes in a HUGE container. A little does not go a long way so over-salting is unlikely. Plus, it’s softer flavor brings out the flavor of your food instead of just making it salty. Knowing the correct times to season and how much makes a huge difference. Another one is cheating. A lot of recipes are simply basic recipes with a certain flavor theme. Take a cheese sauce. This is simply a white sauce or beschamel with cheese. So take out the cheese and you have a basic recipe you can add any flavor to or incorporate into any dish. I will try to add tips pertaining to the recipes I show along with pictures. I will also probably rant about my opinions pertaining to such. Keep an open mind and you’ll learn a lot. I am always wanting to try new things so fellow foodies and cooks please feel free to throw in your two cents, advice, criticisms, etc. I am happy to answer anyone’s questions. I want to know what you want to know so I can give it to you.
I included a gallery of dishes I have made. I am the girl who puts food pics up on Facebook (dork!). Anyways, as you can see sometimes I have a beautiful platter to put stuff on sometimes I don’t. Hopefully nursing school will eventually pay for a chef’s kitchen but until then mine will have to do. You don’t have to have the entire Williams Sonoma catalog to be a good cook. Don’t get me wrong I want all that stuff and do have some of it but that stuff’s expensive and it can’t all be bought at once. I have an electric stove (which I hate) but it doesn’t stop me. Don’t let any of that stop you. I hope you come back to read my upcoming posts. I still haven’t decided what my first dish should be. Any suggestions?????