I get wonderful, flattering comments from y’all: “I could never do that!” “That looks amazing!” “I wish I could bake/cook like that!” I read and am honored by every one but it also feels like I’m getting away with something. Because here’s the dirty truth: I’m not a professional cook, I’m not a trained baker. I’m not precise and I burn things all the time. I’m a busy mama with a full-time job who finds joy (and sometimes frustration) in the kitchen. The point being: I’m just like you. But over the years I’ve found a few tips and tricks to help me tip the scales in favor of joy over frustration. So this year-long project is my way of sharing what I’ve learned with you while also honing my own kitchen skills and hopefully burning fewer dinners and taking on my own challenges (yeast breads, anyone?!).
I get it-the kitchen can be intimidating and recipes long and intricate. That’s the other goal in this project: challenging myself and you to be fearless, to try new things, to push boundaries and refine what we already do. It might turn out to be simpler than we think. And if it’s not, then maybe we’ll have crafted something beautiful that we’ll never do again. I’m not a professional chef; I don’t have an iota of proper training and really don’t know what I’m doing. So take all of my advice with a grain of salt (no pun intended). I don’t do everything properly or perfectly; I do what works. Real cooking for real people. Cupcakes where toddlers are in charge of sprinkles, meal plans that don’t make you grocery shop every day, and dinners that are well-rounded and sound impressive but take less time than pizza delivery.
So, how does it work?
Each month we’ll take a theme and run through the basics: from kitchen tools (what are braising tongs and do I actually need them?!) to easy meal planning (especially for busy people!) to demystifying techniques (blanching?!) to making frosting frustration-free (how do you get it fluffy?!). Kitchen 101 for people with lives outside of food. We’ll tackle things where I’ll share what I know and other things where I’m the one doing the learning.
With any luck, we’ll all learn at least a little something, take the fear out of cooking, probably make some messes, and hopefully make some yummy things.
(Best part: there are also giveaways for some of my very favorite kitchen stuffs.)
Follow along here, on the blog, (don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest posts in your inbox) and on social media. (#culinapractica) There will be a new topic posted every month but the real fun is in seeing where it goes from there. Ask questions (here or social media, or both!), share successes, share failures, and I promise to do the same.
Together, let’s making the kitchen practical and fantastic. Beautiful food for real people.
So what should we talk about first?!
PS – I actually do have all 12 topics picked out but please send your suggestions! I’d love to add in ideas from y’all!