Secret #2 on Delicious Cooking: A Tasty Five-Course Series

3211175826_1bab9ec1ba_nIf you’ve been following my blog, you already learned secret number one on delicious cooking. As mentioned, better quality ingredients = better taste; and remember, knowing what NOT to cook with, is equally important. Today we’re moving onto the next secret, so in case you missed the first post on this series, don’t forget to catch up and read it.

Secret number two: Believe in yourself.  Now you may be scratching your head wondering what in the world does believing in yourself have to do with cooking a delicious meal. Maybe you were anticipating a secret ingredient like a pungent spice loaded with antioxidants. Surely I should tout the flavorful health benefits of thyme, fenugreek, and turmeric, right? Not so fast. First, you need to just start believing in your ability to whip up a delicious meal.

Why? Here’s the deal. Believing in yourself is a secret ingredient! Having confidence in the kitchen is a secret weapon to battle any cooking demons you might encounter. Think about it. Whenever you’re preparing something for the first time or learning a new recipe, there’s always a cause for concern. This anxiety could be experienced even by individuals who enjoy cooking; but for those who don’t, it can become entirely daunting. Unless you’re eating patterns lack any sort of diversity, you’ll find that preparing a variety of healthy and delicious meals does require some time and effort.  Aside from the grocery shopping, prepping and so forth, there’s also a learning curve to contend with.

So what typically happens when you make a valiant effort, but fail? Well, if you lose faith in yourself, you’re tempted to hang-up this entire cooking notion. Consider Joan and her new fiancé Bill. Several months before their big day, they decided to start eating clean and healthy. One of the changes they agreed to make was to replace their white rice with organic brown rice. In hopes of making a stir-fry dish, Joan called Bill on his drive home from work. “Hi honey, I followed the directions for the brown rice and it turned out to be a pile of mush. I dumped it out and attempted it again by backing off some of the water, but apparently it cooked too long. Sorry, the second batch is burned! Cooking sucks, let’s order a pizza instead.”

Modifying our eating patterns isn’t always easy because most of us tend to be creatures of habit. Even if our eating patterns aren’t healthy, it’s what we know and let’s face it, sticking with what we know (like ordering pizza) is a lot easier than improving our culinary skills. However, when you start believing in yourself, there’s still a good chance you can turn even a flopped dish into something healthy and delicious. Joan learned the hard way, but for many others here’s a newsflash: Following the directions for cooking rice doesn’t guarantee success. Depending on the type of rice grain you choose, more often than not, the amount of water and cooking time will vary from the actual instructions. It seems ironic not to follow the instructions; yet growing up I used to watch my mom make rice regularly. Never once did I see her use a measuring cup, yet time and time again, her rice always turned out perfect.  The best way to make rice is to practice with one healthy grain as many times as necessary, until you get it right! Be brave, throw out the rule book and trust yourself. In the meantime, Secret #3 will help you to make the most out of your not-so-perfect cooking attempts, so be sure to stay tuned!

Matthew 17:20  “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

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