Friday, February 8, 2013

Cooking out of my comfort zone

Mike and I have a joke for what most of my meals were like before we got together. My typical dinner was a veggie burger or burrito with tater tots. It was just me so no need to go crazy. I also would make beans and rice once in a while, with instant rice of course. And on a crazy day I might add spinach or kale just to make it a little more nutritious. We refer to this as "a Dan meal". Whenever one of us doesn't want to cook and we really don't want to go out, Mike will say "let's have a Dan meal".

Over the years I have gotten a lot more comfortable in the kitchen. Mike is the main cook in the family but I certainly enjoy it. I also have found that I love to bake.

The other day I was on Twitter and someone I follow had posted a recipe for an African Peanut Stew. I had always wanted to try this type of stew and I had the whole day. What the heck, I thought. The recipe didn't seem too difficult, and we had most of the ingredients in the kitchen. The process to make the stew seemed lengthy, but not too complicated.

Off to the market I went to fetch the ingredients we did not have. When I got home I re-read the recipe and also read all of the comments so I would be as informed as possible while making this.

I seldom take a recipe off of a blog or recipe website and make it. I have thought about it many and usually give up before long.

Not this time. I had the ingredients, I brought my lap top into the kitchen, the dogs were settled, my Colombian Vallenato music was playing and I was good to go.

The recipe ended up being a lot easier to follow than I had first thought. Speaking with folks who have made a lot of recipes from blogs I realized that this is often the case.

Mike was on his way home and it was time to do the finishing touches. I did those and then set the table, lit a candle and I was good to go.

Dinner came out perfectly. It was delicious on many levels. So many flavors. A great comfort meal.

Lesson learned. Getting out of my comfort zone is easy, fun and delicious! Try it. Grab an online recipe and run with it. Let me know how it goes!

Here is the recipe if you would like to try it:

Thank you for reading!


  1. Oh I liked the sound of that recipe when you posted it the other week and saved it. I'll definately try it now! I'm terrible at being disciplined enough to follow a recipe, I'm more of a "eat something, guess what's in it and try making it yourself" sorta cook. Don't think I've ever followed a recipe in my life, but I'm going to make myself now that you've inspired me!

  2. Jim! I can totally relate. Definitely try this recipe. It's a lot of fun and SO delicious!