In 2015, I cooked my way through an entire chapter of Gratins from The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Well, almost. I have one more to go, recipe coming soon. The process helped me master a few cooking skills, some familiar (making a roux) and some new (cleaning and prepping fresh artichokes). Now I can turn any vegetable, bean, or pasta into a one-dish dinner with just a few simple pantry and fridge staples.
In 2016, I want to help you tackle some of your cooking troubles and goals. Perhaps you don’t have the time or interest in cooking through a cookbook, but if you think about it, I bet you read recipes sometimes and they just skim over a relatively technical skill:
- poach an egg
- simmer until thickened (how thick?!)
- make a bouquet garni
- over moderate heat
- or even…bring to a boil.
Or maybe you want to know how to better plan your week in meals. Or how to eat meatless on a budget. Or how to cook for a vegan friend. Or how to host Christmas for 30 without losing your mind. All excellent questions.
No matter your home cooking skills, I want to know–what do you want to learn in 2016? Hop down to the comments below, and tell me.
It doesn’t have to be about cooking, either. If you have pressing questions about writing a food blog or food photography, include those, too.
Why I Need Your Opinion
When I left my accounting job to pursue a career in food almost two years ago, my big, ambitious idea (and passion) was to teach people who felt like they struggled in the kitchen, or didn’t belong there. A lot of my friends lived alone or with their girlfriend or boyfriend or husband or parent, and I kept hearing how they struggled to cook at home. Compared to takeout, cooking wasn’t quick or satisfying, that they knew of. And when you’ve never made a quick stir fry at home, Chinese takeout does seem like a more convenient option.
Meanwhile, I was working long days at the office and cooking dinner four or more nights a week. I knew it could be done. I never had any culinary training, just a love for nutrition and putting homemade meals on the table (and in my mouth!). Like everyone, I was, and still am, busy with a lot besides cooking. Two years ago I was more busy with going out and socializing, and these days it comes in the form of a new house, a wild and crazy puppy, and travel to visit family all over the country when I can.
It doesn’t matter what keeps you busy (or not busy), I want to help you eat well at home…and love it! Building a business has drawn me to the online space, and in 2016 I want to use this platform which you all have so enthusiastically supported (spaghetti squash pie lovers!) to realize that passion to help you cook more and better at home.
First, I need your input.
Remember? What do you want to cook in 2016? What step in recipes frustrates you? How do you peel a celery root? What breakfast recipes will help cut sugar? How can you eat meatless and healthy on a budget? After I gather some of your responses and a list of my own I’ve compiled, I’ll start regularly posting in the “homemade how-to” category. Along with each how-to, there will be a real life recipe for you (where applicable) to practice your new or mastered or re-mastered skill. The sky’s the limit, so get creative with your responses! I’m excited to start this new series and build our little community of healthy eaters, comfort food lovers, and home cooks (of all levels!) here.
While I get organized and try to get Clarence the puppy to stop chewing on everything in sight, recipe posts may slow down a bit, but they’re definitely not going away. NCK is not becoming strictly a “how-to” blog. On this journey of self-employment, I’ve learned that the best path is sometimes just to hit the ground running, not totally prepared. In this case, that’s not the approach I’m taking. In order to ensure a consistent first few months of homemade how-to’s, I’ll be preparing several in advance, ready to release in rapid succession for your learning enjoyment. And watch for an announcement when the Homemade How-To series is set to start!
I hope to learn a lot this year by playing with some kitchen questions that are new to me, too, and decoding them together.
So, think about it, get set, and fire away below with your kitchen and home cooking conundrums!
To connect and follow along once Homemade How-To is up and running, sign up for weekly emails from NCK (where I’ll include occasional updates on the series), or find me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
After you leave your comment, go feast your eyes on my newest recipe in 2016, healthier caramelized onion mac and cheese!
Note: This page contains affiliate links. It does NOT contain sponsored content. Affiliate links (to products I recommend, on Amazon) offset my ingredient and website maintenance costs, so I can bring you lots of homemade how-to’s in 2016. Thanks!