Food Philosophy

I think of food as a gift of love to my family and friends.  I want to make them flavorful, colorful, memorable food.  You can’t buy food like that in a box.  I think a lot of home cooks overwhelm themselves when entertaining other people with food, which is completely unnecessary.  Good food does not have to be elaborate or expensive to be good.  All you need is a little planning ahead and some time to get comfortable cooking a couple of trademark dishes in your own kitchen.  Mastering these skills will make entertaining effortless, and more importantly, fun!  When I serve friends and family something I created in my own kitchen, aside from the properly seasoned, well prepared dishes, I want them to taste, to feel the love I put into my dishes.  Even macaroni and cheese can be special when you are cooking from the heart instead of just your head.  Obviously you need to be mentally present in order to cook; there are timing issues, sharp objects and major heat sources that you should remain constantly aware of.  Putting your soul into a dish though, that’s what transforms something from just another dinner to an event.  Just as in so many aspects of our lives, it’s the little things that often times make the biggest difference.  Let’s go back to the macaroni and cheese idea I threw out there just a minute ago.  Making macaroni and cheese special doesn’t take a lot of extra work, just a little extra thought and care.  I personally like to use three different cheeses.  Use what you like, or what your family will eat.  I like to incorporate a sharp cheese, such as aged Cheddar, a good melting cheese such as Fontina, Muenster, or Gruyere, then something with a little bite or salt such as Asiago or Parmesan.  I make a Béchamel with a white roux and milk or half and half, add the cheese and its already starting to become a beautiful thing.  Next, consider some special add-ins depending on the people you will be feeding and the event you are celebrating.  Some great choices are lobster or crab, Bacon or ham and green onions…. This is where you really get to start to be creative!  Use your imagination, your sense of smell and don’t forget to taste your food as you cook.

Happy Eating (and Cooking!),

Tonya

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Published in: on January 3, 2011 at 8:07 PM  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well said Tonya! I couldn’t agree with you more. Allot of people who are used to cooking out of a box are too afraid to try new things or use ingredients that aren’t given to them by a recipe. I always tell people that they shouldn’t be afraid to try new dishes or add new ingredients to old dishes! Thanks I enjoyed your post!

  2. For an Italian version, how about Pancetta or Procuitto and Basil? =)


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