Why I Learned to Cook

Heidi HeadshotI cook because it brings people together. Eating makes people happy. And when the food is good, people are even happier. Eat, drink, love, laugh and live well are essential ingredients for a good life.

I share my cooking techniques and ideas because I want people to experience good food. And the love and laughter that eating and drinking together brings. Or the simple action of self-care of feeding one’s self well. Good food is about feeding the soul.

So many of us aren’t taught to cook. We just bumble through it the best we can, working to feed ourselves. We eat fast food; we buy the processed food at the store. All because it makes life easier and we don’t know any better. But it’s time to take it back to the basics.

Just something as simple as changing the order of how you add the ingredients to the pan, can and does make a huge difference in how the flavors of a dish can come together. Or using local ingredients straight from the garden. Cooking is not hard. We avoid it because we don’t know any better.

I want to change that. I want you to enjoy the beauty of simple good food, made with a few ingredients and lots of love. I want you to love and care for not only your body, but to nurture your soul with beautiful flavors. And in the end, if you share with others, you’ll be passing along lots of love, making the world a better place. I truly believe if more people ate together, the world would be a more kind, loving place, with less violence.

Reasons Why I Learned to Cook

I learned to cook because I love good food. I also saw how it brought people together. All my family would show up for Christmas at my Grandmother’s house. They would talk, laugh and enjoy her cooking. It was always a beautiful time of joy. I love that feeling.

I also wanted to get healthier. I started realizing I was poisoning my body. Reading the food labels is an eye-opening experience, once you realize many of the ingredients are added chemicals, fats and salts. Even something as simple as orange juice, is pulled apart and put back together so that each container tastes the same. I was shocked!

Finally, I love the beauty of the food served in fine dining restaurants. We eat with our eyes as well as our stomachs. It is always so beautiful to look at and then to feel those delicate combinations of flavors sliding around on the tongue…yum.

My First Cooking Experience

My first cooking experience, came when I was around six years old. It was a disaster!

I wanted a fried egg. My parents didn’t want to be interrupted. My dad told me to go make the egg myself and leave them alone.

I remember going into the kitchen, tugging one of my mom’s heavy cast iron skillets onto the stove, with the help of a stool. Standing on the stool and my tippy toes, I turned on the burner and poured oil into the pan, the way I had seen my parents do it. I tapped the egg against the side of the skillet, breaking it into the smoking oil. Egg shell floated on top, I removed what I could and flipped the egg. It was so charred and blackened, it was inedible. And by that point, my parents were in the kitchen yelling because the place was filled with smoke. I got sent outside…still hungry.

My parents never did teach me to cook. I learned a few basic things by watching them, before I turned to my mother’s cookbooks for learning. Unfortunately, she only used cookbooks like the famous Betty Crocker and those type of books. It wasn’t until much later in life that I turned to the Internet for more research on learning to cook outside of using those horrible cans of cream of mushroom soup and packets of flavoring to coat the outside of food with.

People already thought I was a good cook. My friends and family loved to eat at my house. But I knew better. I wanted more. I wanted to create the beautiful food I ate in restaurants. I wanted better food at home.

Since then, I’ve been on a learning expedition. I’ve learned from professional chefs, home cooks and by traveling. In fact, I’m still learning. I believe learning is a process that never ends. And now, I want to pass along what I’ve learned to you.

I want you to experience food in a magical way. And to know it is possible to eat tasty food at home without huge effort. Some of what I’ll share will be complicated for those days you’re feeling up to the challenge. And the rest will be easy dishes that take little time or effort for those days you just don’t have time.

And please don’t be afraid to ask questions or make requests. I want you to get what you need from this experience. If I’m not sharing what you need or want. Then please let me know. After all, this is not just about me, it’s about you as well.

So let’s get to enjoying life and food together. Let’s get to living well.

22 Comments Add yours

  1. I loved the story about your first cooking! Very lovely!

      1. Such a lovely cute story!

  2. Thanks so much for your feedback on my blog the other day! I do want to return the favor and tell you that your blog most definitely makes my mouth water just looking at it. It’s simple to get around, and I love the ‘simply sophisticated’ touch. It seems like something actually attainable!

    I really connect with your ‘mission’, too. I had a step-up that most people didn’t – my mother made sure I knew how to cook, but she isn’t necessarily the most skilled cook, either, so there’s a lot of things that fell by the wayside, like bringing out flavors.

    But I can at least say that by the time I was 7, I could put dinner on the table. From scratch. Even if it wasn’t super tasty, at least it didn’t taste BAD, and that’s a lot more than some 20-year-old’s can do these days.

    1. You are very welcome. I’ve had plenty of help getting my blog to where it is and try to return the favor since I am also still learning. Thanks for stopping by and checking things out. And yes, you are right about a lot of people not being able to cook but I think that is changing with the next generation of upcoming kids. After watching MasterChef Junior, it sometimes boggles my mind as to what those kids can do. Some things I don’t even know how to do at this point. It does keep me striving to improve though.

  3. I love your blog! I’m thankful you liked my post so that I could see your blog. You have great vinagertte recipes that I definitely will be using. It’s so hard to find salad dressings that do not contain unhealthy ingrediants. Thank you and many blessings to you!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing my recipe! You have a wonderful blog! …I am going to take a look around! 😉 By the way, love your pictures!!

    1. heididmedina says:

      Thank you and enjoy checking out my recipes. I have enjoyed your blog as well 🙂

      1. I am glad 🙂 Have a nice week

  5. Lovely blog, glad to have found you today! 🙂

  6. Bobbi says:

    I enjoy your tasty, eclectic recipes so, I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award. Visit my blog for details. http://daileydelights.com

  7. I have nominated your blog for the Liebster Award. Please go t the site to participate. Much love and Sunshine! http://lauralovinglife.org/2013/04/18/lauralovinglife-considered-a-liebster/

    1. heididmedina says:

      Thanks so much 🙂

  8. Teresa says:

    I’ve recently switched my food blog over to be self-hosted which I hope will make it more user-friendly in the future. As a result, if you were following Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen via email, WordPress, or using RSS feeds through Google Reader or some other way, you are no longer subscribed. If you wish to continue receiving future posts from my blog you will need to re-subscribe. Sorry for the inconvenience, Teresa.

    1. heididmedina says:

      Will switch one over. I’m looking to do that myself soon!

  9. Chef Randall says:

    Hi my name is Randall and I just posted over at my blog here on wordpress and I linked it to one of your posts. You are invited to my blog to check it out. Sign up to follow. It’s FREE of course and take the FREE survey also. Here is a link to my post and blog http://savorthefood.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/favorite-desserts-made-quick/.
    Also I will be following your blog. I seen you have a agrdening blog, I will be checking it out. I love to garden. I will be referring others to your blog if they don’t already know about it, it is really great

    Again you are invited to check out savorthefood.wordpress.com
    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Chef Randall

    1. heididmedina says:

      Hello Randall. Thanks for checking out my blog, I must admit I’ve had little time to work on the gardening blog lately but the food is coming. I’ll stop by and see what you’re up to 🙂

  10. I wish I could learn to love to cook. Sigh. But it’s easy to be lazy when my husband has such stellar culinary skill. He has taught me how to make a few things – “real” Italian sauce, guacamole, and “real” nacho chips from white corn tortillas. Oh, and “real” microwaved popcorn (kernels in a brown paper sandwich bag without all of the preservatives from the off-the-shelf variety). So, basically, I have some basics I could survive on if it came down to that. 😉

    1. heididmedina says:

      I love “real” popcorn, used to eat it as kids. I’ve been meaning to try it again.

      1. It’s so good! I just haven’t really found a way to keep it from popping out of the bottom of the bag (not enough tape, I suppose!).

      2. heididmedina says:

        Larger bag? Maybe then roll the top down, I don’t know just a guess 🙂

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