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A Cooking Year in Review

After spending the past year really trying to learn how to use our beautiful new kitchen properly, I have to look back with a lot of pride and accomplishment. I was looking back on some of our older posts a couple of weeks ago, and smiled at how we started out: simple dishes with new flavors. And through this initial process, we found so many new dishes that we really enjoyed and are excited to cook again! Through the evolution of the year, we took our meals up a notch and started to try new techniques, new equipment and very new flavors. Some worked out great, and some taught us more about our boundaries.

The top, number one bit of advice that I learned this year was to always, always prep all of your ingredients and equipment before you even start the cooking process. Too many times, I ended up scrambling to chop or measure something while I should have been adding it to a pot or pan already. Plus, if everything is at your fingertips, the process is easier and WAY more fun for everyone involved. (Ex: Less yelling or rolling of my eyes during moments of stress...)

The other important tidbit I learned is just not to be afraid to try anything. I was terrified to butcher a duck and to cook lobsters while they were still crawling around! But it was only in my head that it was going to be difficult, and real life is so much easier when you just try. Along the same vein, I feel like we were more willing to try any dish if it had been made in our kitchen. We knew every ingredient in that pot, and it made the flavors less scary to eat sometimes. I know I was amazingly impressed with how much my hubby tried this year, and I know he's excited to keep the experiments going into 2016!! I mean, if he's willing to try dragon fruit when it looks like this in the grocery store, then we aren't afraid of anything any more. hahaha

I'll admit that I feel a little "cooked out" right now. I just cooked my butt off for the last three days straight, and I'm looking forward to a simple meatball sub tonight for dinner. But I know that it will be the best meatball sub I've ever made, because I'm a much better cook than I ever was before, and those meatballs were so delicious the other night...

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