I’m obsessed with my new project @operationhmchef! My guilty pleasures today are any cooking show on the Food Network or Cooking Channel. My hour of me-time has transcended from Booty Burn to my kitchen while my kids are doing their after school activities. I can lose myself in a new experiment and new flavors while cheesy easy listening blares through my kitchen. Pandora, a candle, and some fresh herbs seem to be my go-to recipe lately and I love it!
I’m on a mission to become the best darn self-taught cook that my family has ever experienced. What is “home-chef” you wonder? Well in a dream world, I go to culinary school, in fact it was one of my bucket list items, but not happening anytime in this decade. Oh-those-kids One day, but for now its all about reading every cook book, trying everything and switching my shopping sprees from fashion to cook ware.
My collection of cooks books are stacked high in a decorative metal corner bookshelf tower. On some days I pull out a random one and tackle a new recipe. I use to lose myself in a sappy sexy novel, but now I’m reading Julia Child’s bible from cover to cover – it’s my take on 50 Ways To Feed A Family before 6pm. I like to keep it simple and quick as my busy work/life balance dictates, but I never compromise flavor or style or quality ingredients. This all started from a little free time and a whole lot of passion for food and pleasing my family.
The good news is that I love to cook and I have never thought of it as a chore. After I drop the kids off at sports and dance, I can steal an hour of me-time in my kitchen, catching up on evening news or just music. I cork a bottle a wine, (yes 1 glass is good for us) and stay open to trial and error. I’m logging it all, taking lots of pics, and ready to share any of my successes. Of course they’re not all great and as usual I will share that too. I am simplifying and changing certain parts of complicated dishes because most meals I need to knock out quickly and often with what ingredients I have on hand. I am trying to create new recipes every night. I get my recipes from cooking magazines and classic cookbooks. I like to think of my style as a modern twist to classic recipes and traditional flavors.
I grew up sharing a 5:00pm dinner every night with my family. My sister and I had many chores and rotated setting and clearing the table every night. My mom worked and my dad stayed home and cooked our meals. We were never invited into the kitchen to prepare food – I imagine that is part of the reason I find myself in my own kitchen so often, so freely and so content. Hardly traditional, but it worked for us. Cooking is like a grown up hobby that I was deprived of as a child. I cook with my kids all the time, because its so fun and I also want them to know their way around the space so they may fall in love with the art of food, too. I love to shop with my kids, and take them to the Farmers’ market to learn about unique produce. We try new things and look for funny looking fruits and veggies. This week we found love in the carrot bin.
Although my father was a meat, starch and veggie kind of guy, it was the time shared that I looked forward to the most. I could count on our family dinners every day, and my mom almost always made it home for dinnertime.
25 years later, after traveling the word, and recently marrying a French Tunisian man, my palate has developed and my love for food expanded. Today it’s all about flavor and my most important ingredient LOVE.
When we moved into our new house, the first room I finished was my kitchen, which extends into my family room. It’s the place we gather as a family to connect, watch TV, do homework and most of all eat!
This stay-at-home- mom stuff is a foreign chapter for me. But such a pleasure and I could really get use to it J. The quality time with my family is invaluable and they would all tell you that most of it happens in my kitchen. Thank God I love to cook cuz they sure love to eat. Their criticisms are honest and uncensored and welcomed during this mission of mine. Come into my kitchen through @operationhmchef. I’ll be posting recipes on ModernMom.