Kind of an odd topic to talk about today, but cooking has been on my mind a lot lately, so that’s what it’s going to be.
Ever since I studied abroad in Italy during college I have loved to cook. I really went there to study food and wine (at the time I was working towards an event planning degree) so I could have a knowledge of pairings for events I planned, but I left with learning so much more. I learned about different ingredients and how they can come together to create something delicious. As a nineteen year old, I had no idea about any cooking techniques, so I learned a ton of those. I learned to try new foods (I was a super picky eater, and actually a vegetarian at the time). I learned to drink wine for the taste of it and not just for fun, like most college students do. And most especially I learned how good cooking makes me feel.
Sure, it’s really nice to have someone else cook for me – whether that is in a restaurant or at home. But there is not much (other than yoga or reading or literal sleeping) that relaxes me like cooking a meal does. I love pouring myself a glass of wine, putting on some good music, and just pulling out a ton of ingredients and making something delicious for myself and my loved ones. It brings me such a sense of accomplishment to know that people are enjoying something I made. I don’t always feel like there is a lot I can do for other people, but if I can feed them, that’s something!
So last night I decided to make risotto for Chris and I. This was the first thing I learned how to cook while in Italy, and although it is a daunting first dish, it’s really quite simple once you get the hang of it. I have only made it a handful of times over the last few years, which is a shame because it is so good and pretty cheap to make, too. I also love that there is a base to it, but other than that you can pretty much add in whatever “extras” you want.
I already did a post on making the recipe I made last night (from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook), but I mixed it up a little bit this time. I didn’t add in any mushrooms, so I just used the peas, and we added some sautéed shrimp on top for a little extra protein. I feel like it came out way creamier than it did last time, which I was not mad about one bit. And I use way more cracked pepper than she recommends.
I really mean it when I say that I don’t think there is a better smell in the world than onions and garlic cooking in butter – it is so delicious that I can barely handle it. I really think I could eat that mixture with a spoon and be totally content.
I love making recipes for the second, third, fourth….etc. time, because I get to play around with them and make small additions/changes that fit my taste buds. It kind of is like an experiment for me. I am not a creative person at all, but this allows me to be creative a little bit without going too crazy 😉 Chrissy’s recipes are written so well that she makes it possible for anybody to follow them, and she totally leaves room to play with, too.
But anyway, the risotto came out great and we enjoyed it together while watching (you guessed it) Desperate Housewives. Pretty soon we are going to be done with this show and I am not going to know what to do with myself!
I was in a great mood after dinner last night, and we had plans to go meet my uncle and cousin (who are in town for just a couple days) for a drink, that turned into two plus wings and fries……. How could I say no? We definitely shouldn’t have eaten dinner before meeting up with him, but oh well. It was a one-time thing…maybe, but probably not. We really enjoyed just sitting and talking and catching up for a few hours, so it was totally worth it.
And I made sure to go to the gym first thing in the morning with my uncle and Chris for a good, sweaty workout, so I’m not feeling so bad about it now. 😉 This is my second morning in a row getting up early and going to the gym before work – I am so proud of myself! Although it hasn’t been the easiest to physically get out of bed, I have loved exercising in the morning and just getting it out of the way. It allows me to set healthy intentions for the day ahead and makes me feel really productive first thing in the morning, which in turn makes me more productive all day long. Fingers crossed I can keep it up!
Do you like to cook? If so, what is your favorite thing to make?