YOU’RE making dinner?

I know. It’s shocking. I’m kicking Todd out of the kitchen and putting my culinary skills to the test. It’s only been 2 years since I had a kitchen of my own to cook in on a regular basis. I shouldn’t bee too rusty, right?

Rather than see if my French Toast recipe is still immensely life-altering – as I’m sure it is – I’m jumping into the deep end, attempting recipes for food I’ve never even tasted, from countries I know very little about (which is most countries, if you know my track record with geography and world history). There’s a whole world out there that I’m chomping at the bit to experience, and until we make enough money to become international travelers, I’m going to have to experience different cultures through the recipes I gather.

Fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad in Andorra la Vella, Andorra.

Aside from wanting to view life through a wider lens, I also want to expand on an idea that I picked up while honeymooning in Andorra. (I’m not going to link to a Wiki article every time I reference a country. I think you’re all familiar enough with Mexico and China that you don’t have to consult the all-knowing Wikipedia for details. However, I’ve had to prove to several of my friends and family that Andorra is in fact a country. Just thought I’d save you the trouble, because I know you were about to open a new tab.) In Andorra, we consistently ate fresh, locally-made products. Yes, I know that’s easy to do when “local” includes brie from 20 minutes up the road in France, but the principle remains the same: a meal prepared with fresh ingredients will always beat Easy Mac.

As I gaze into the depths of my kitchen cabinets at the mix of ramen noodles, fruit snacks, and generic bulk cereal, I often think this view belongs back in the dorms of the University of Wisconsin or in a home with small children. We have a lot of “short-cut” foods. Things that save us the prep time, but that provide very little satisfaction. At the end of a long day of class, work, and more class, it’s easy to grab something, well, easy. We become very disconnected from our food when we aren’t cooking it. (No, use of the microwave does not count as cooking.) It’s time that I step up to the plate (get it?) and start pulling my weight in the kitchen.

Now that you know the WHY, you’ll just have to stick around for the HOW. I’m going to dive right in this week with a few recipes I’ve never tried before. I don’t want to regurgitate (sorry… not a good word to use in a food blog) repeat recipes that can be found elsewhere, so I’d love it if you would send me your authentic family recipes to try. I want to experience every type of cuisine that’s out there, and I can’t do that without the help of everyone out there.

Until the next taste,