Saturday, August 1, 2015

Do you ever half heartedly throw an overcooked piece of chicken over some noodles and call it dinner?  Are you finding yourself relying on frozen premade meals that only require preheating your toaster oven?  Have you made the same meal several times and it is hit or miss if it tastes good? 

If you have answered yes, you might be me. 

I long to be a domestic goddess.  I want my family to be excited when I bring dinner to the table.  When I bring a dish to the potluck, I want it to be the first thing people scoop onto their plate.  When my future children are all grown up, I want them to miss their momma's cooking.  I mean, we eat three times a day give or take, don't we want them to be the best?

I don't have time or money to go to culinary school, nor do I have a desire to open a restaurant one day, or cook professionally at all.  I am just determined to be a really good home cook. 

So how does one become especially skilled at being a home cook?  I am going to figure it out as I go.  I am an owner of an enormous collection of cookbooks, so that seems as good a place as any.  I know however, that my instincts in the kitchen aren't great.  I usually find the one weird way to mess up a recipe because the instructions weren't specific enough.  I figure that I will learn as I go, and share what I learn.  If you think you are hopeless, you are just the right reader for this blog!

So, who am I?  I am Natalie Hinkley.  I live in Houston, Texas and am an accountant by trade.  I have been married to my main squeeze Aaron since 2012.  I've been eating food for approximately 33 years.  I love to eat, cook, travel, spend time with my family, and write.  Sadly, I have more kitchen nightmares than success stories, but I know that will change.

They say 10,000 hours is how long it takes to master something.  If I do the math correctly, and take an hour to cook meals 5 nights a week, in 38-39 years I will be a pro!  I hope I still have teeth by then.  Maybe this is why grandmothers are usually such good cooks? 

Even if I don't reach expertise status, cooking from cookbooks with fresh ingredients seems like a no-brainer to me.  Anything from a package is going to be laden with preservatives and likely a higher amount of salt/sugar/fat/chemicals.  I can't wait until the day when I have a few random vegetables lying about and I can whip up a meal from my own brain. 

Before I ramble on for an uncomfortable amount of time, I'd like to invite you to join me.  Try the recipes I post, or grab the cookbook yourself and make a few items that look good to you.  Aaron and I have a taste for the exotic, so I hope I can introduce you to something new and interesting that you will love.  And please, if you do have cooking skills, leave any pointers you have in the comments for myself and the other novices. 

In closing, I'd like to extend a sincere thank you for the time you spend here with me, I think it is going to be really fun.  I feel it rings true for many that food is comfort, it is memories, and it is love.  To me, it is also an adventure into the unknown.  A lot of times I will avoid things that scare me, but I hope to come out on the other side with a lot more knowledge, experience, and confidence in the kitchen.  And I hope to never serve another piece of over cooked chicken again.

Cake is what keeps us together

Me and my darling baby friend

My BFF Katrina and I, reppin' our alma matter, University of North Texas
(those are Eagle talons we have up...it is a Texas thing I think?)

Enjoying a LeBron soda...I don't have a ton of recent pictures of myself.

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