This kitchen tip is huge and needs repeating!
Learning to use your senses when you are baking and cooking will drastically change your experience in the kitchen. So many of us, fall into the trap of trying to follow recipes to a “t” in order to reach the pinnacle of a perfect dish, discounting our natural instincts along the way. Venturing out and using your senses to feel, taste and smell food will instantaneously translate to better results.
Here is a great example! I am a die hard junkie when it comes to Ina Garten (aka “Barefoot Contessa”). I own every one of her cookbooks and proudly line them on my kitchen counter. I have read them cover to cover, tried almost every single recipe she has ever put out there, watched every one of her shows and could probably embarrassingly so, tell you just about everything about her, from her trips to Paris to her custom made shirts down to her likes and dislikes. I know, a little scary! I whole-heartedly revere her and her simple cooking style.
You can only imagine my dismay when I first heard her say that she cannot stand the taste of cilantro. What?!! My heart sank. How could this possibly be true? One of my all-time favorite herbs and Ina hates it. Maybe I should hate it too, I wondered. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around the thought and in a short haste of an attempt, I tried not to like it for, I think, a whole, entire day but it turns out I really, really love the stuff and need it in my life.
I love fresh cilantro so much that if you called me every night of a given week and asked me for some, I could run a bunch over! Try it on me sometime and test out my theory!! It’s just always something I have on hand. I throw it in scrambled eggs, I put it on toast. I have even been known to add it to hot water to make flavored tea. I use it for pesto. I put it on sandwiches, add it to fish, nachos, chicken and even sprinkle it on veggies. You name it, I have tried it. Well, maybe not cilantro ice cream but there is a first for everything! Hmm…I may just have to try that. My wheels are spinning….Lemon Gelato with Lemon Balm and Cilantro…Hold the phone folks, I may be on to something!! I’ll keep you posted!
The point of me telling you my “stalker story” is my attempt at repeating myself – use “YOUR” senses in the kitchen and not mine or someone else’s. As much as I want to “be like Ina”, it just is not me not to have cilantro in my life so don’t make the same mistake as I did. Hone in on what it is you love to eat when it comes to herbs and spices and begin to incorporate those things into your dishes even if the recipe doesn’t call for it! This trick alone will allow love to seep into your dishes and it will just taste that much better to you and your family. They may just call you a miracle worker! Really, one of the best tips I could give anyone! Secretly, a part of me deep down thinks I could get Ina to change her mind on her cilantro aversion – just typing that sentence blows my mind how anyone could hate it!! See, I’m a lost cause and die hard fan when it comes to cilantro! Would love to know what herb or spice has you cheering that we need some more of it!