(Proudly showing off the first turkey I'd ever prepared. Thanksgiving in our rental house, 3 years ago)
I want to take a minute to explain my style of cooking. Let's back track a couple years ago, 4 to be exact.
We had just had our first child, Colin, and the days of going out to dinner on the weekends pretty much felt behind us at that moment. We were also lacking in family helpers, both grandparents lived out of state. Instead of spending a fortune on takeout from our favorite restaurants (and that sad semi-warm takeout temperature that came with it) I decided to start making my favorite dishes at home inspired by a lot of the places we loved to eat at. They didn't always turn out awesome. It took some time to perfect but I was willing to try.
Tradition was to go out to a beautiful fancy dinner for our birthdays every year and when my husbands birthday rolled around and we had this tiny little baby who we entrusted no one with we forgoed our beloved tradition and I got creative. Seared filet mignon, steamed broccoli and gouda mashed potatoes. It's my husbands favorite birthday dinner and by golly, he was getting that dinner! Guys, I didn't just wake up one more with magic cooking hands, no, I researched and watched tutorials and had many trial and errors. Once you learn certain techniques you can apply it to a lot of different meals. Eventually it just starts to click. You may not be Wolfgang Puck, but heck, you don't have to be!
When I cranked up my pan to hotter than haiti (or at least that's what it seemed like haha) I was sure I was going to be burning dinner but after a little pep talk, you know like, hey girl you got this, I took my time and told myself it will be amazing. Let me tell you, my $20 (FOR TWO) filet mignons were the best thing I have ever tasted in my life. Perfectly pink throughout, with a nice seared crust on the top and bottom, with the most luscious buttery/salty flavor. I couldn't believe we'd been spending almost $100 on the same thing at a restaurant. And it was so simple. It dawned on me at that moment that I could be making some amazing things in my own kitchen but was limiting myself because I felt intimidated and it looked like it probably took a whole day to prepare, but in truth, it doesn't.
(The very filet mignon on Mike's Birthday)
My point of this story is that you can have those delicious, incredible meals that you treat yourself to at the restaurant at your own home! It doesn't have to cost you a fortune and as a bonus it's probably going to be easier on that waistline. I promise it's not as complex as you think, I know you can do it! I thought the only way I was going to get the delicious seared scallops in a wine sauce was at our favorite upscale restaurant. Wrong. So wrong. How could I be so wrong I thought!
My favorite dishes to make are ones that you could get a restaurant, or at least taste like they do. There's always a time and a place for a crock pot but I'm here to help you expand and have those amazing dinners you dream about.
Time, time, time. I see you, checking out that recipe for an oven roasted chicken thinking "how the heck do I have time to make this?". Well you do. Most, if not all, of these recipes take less than an hour from start to sitting down to a beautiful dinner with your family. I should mention, a whole oven roasted chicken is seriously the easiest recipe on this planet and takes an hour.
It's my pleasure to share any amazing recipes with you that I whip up. Try giving it a shot and truly enjoy the dinners you make. You don't need fancy pots and pans, expensive utensils or knives, you don't need to be a master chef or a wiz in the kitchen, you just need some basic know how and a desire to try it out and take a chance! Set your sights high because chances are you can do it.
I hope this helps to give you a little insight as to my point of view as a cook and how this all started. You guys are in for such a treat!
(The broccoli and gouda mashed potatoes)