I’ve been struggling to choose a recipe to share for my first Tasty Tuesday post, but I’ve decided to go a slightly different route. Today instead of giving you the standard recipe/picture you’d see on a typical food blog, I’ll be giving an introduction to what I love about cooking, how I got into it, and I’ll show you a picture of my kitchen (so you can see exactly what I’m working with).
When I was growing up, I never cared about learning how to cook. My mom offered to teach me some basics numerous times, but I always turned her down. I still have no idea why I was so against learning to cook. I guess it was just one of those things that didn’t really interest me.
I went away to a small liberal arts school about 6 hours northeast of my hometown when I was 18. I avoided starvation by relying on the dining hall and convenience foods (ramen, anyone?) that could easily be made in the on campus suite I lived in throughout my four years at college. After I graduated, I moved back home for a couple of months until I found a full-time job. As soon as I secured a position, I rented my first apartment and started living on my own.
You’d think at this point I’d want to learn to cook, right? Nope! I spent nearly two years living off of takeout and other fast food, prepackaged dinners, cans of soup, and pasta with jarred sauce. (Feel free to judge me for this.)
It wasn’t until I’d been living on my own for around two and a half years (in a completely new city and state several hundred miles from all of my family and close friends, I might add!) that I started thinking, “Maybe I should learn to cook.” I mean, really … A girl can only eat like complete shit for so long!
I mentioned that I wanted to start learning to cook to my then boyfriend (now fiancé!). One of my Christmas gifts from him that year was a Betty Crocker cookbook featuring simple four ingredient recipes. After receiving that cookbook, I started making an effort to at least try some of the recipes. And you know what? It was actually kind of fun!
Now, several years later, I’m constantly trying new recipes and I’m becoming a lot more confident in the kitchen (though that doesn’t mean I don’t have an epic fail from time to time!). My fiancé and I live together, so having someone else to feed is an added incentive to get creative with meals … Especially since I never really liked cooking for just myself.
Cooking has quickly become one of my favorite hobbies. When I make something that tastes great, I feel incredibly accomplished. I love making dinner for my fiancé, treats for my coworkers, and snacks for girl’s nights in … I always feel so good when someone says, “This is awesome!” as they scarf down something I made.
I love the fact that cooking is a hobby that allows me to continue learning (new techniques, new ingredients, new recipes, etc.). I also love that cooking allows for personal growth … I can learn from my mistakes, and I’m getting better all the time! My fiancé, Eric, (I had to name him since I just keep referring to him as “my fiancé”) often makes the comment, “It’s even better than the last time you made it!” when I remake a recipe we’ve already tried. That never fails to bring a smile to my face!
So now I’ll leave you with a picture of our kitchen. But before I post that, a few words about where we live.
Eric and I live in an apartment (we’ve been in the same apartment for a little over two years now, so it feels more like a home to us). Honestly, it’s a nice apartment … I can’t claim we’re cramped, nor can I claim we have noisy, obnoxious neighbors. The apartment was brand new when we moved in, so there weren’t any weird smells or gross carpet stains (I think anyone who has ever lived in an apartment knows exactly what I’m talking about!). I absolutely love our apartment, and I think I love it even more because it was the first place he and I shared together.
One of my favorite things about our apartment is the kitchen. Sometimes it’s not big enough (mostly when I’m trying to make large quantities of food for parties or work), but most of the time it’s great. I love the look of the kitchen (definitely not the typical apartment kitchen!), and I love that there’s a lot of cabinet space (hough I will admit that we could always use more!).
I took this picture right before we moved in. I’ll have to take another picture soon (maybe once Eric and I have done a little cleaning/organizing because I tend to throw my junk mail across the kitchen counter until it becomes a massive pile). Anyway, here it is … The place where all the magic happens!
I wish it always looked this clean! Personal photo.