One of my favorite ways to cook is while sipping on a nice glass of wine and having one of my favorite candles lit.
I love cooking and I find such satisfaction in making a dish that taste delicious; warming the soul and tummy. The way I cook, though, is one that I don't know if I've ever seen anyone else do, I cook by smell. I have never been a person who uses recipes. I cook off the top of my head, and with the items I have on hand. I believe that God gave us the sense of smell, taste, touch, hearing and sight for a reason; and what better reason than to cook?
As long as you know your spices, just by smelling your dishes, you can typically tell if it needs a little salt, garlic, basil, paprika, etc; something sweet or savory. You can tell, while stirring, if they are too thick, too thin or soupy, or just right (when working with soups a simple way to thicken them is with a rue, but that will be another blog). Making your dishes beautiful is much more difficult than it sounds, and this isn't necessarily an area I've conquered with great success. As long as it looks good to you, that's all that matters. There is a very good chance that our meals will not make it to the table with the same presentation produced at Mesa Grill. Hearing the sizzle of bacon, the bubbling of soup or searing of a steak all indicate that a fantastic meal is nearly finished. While, the blaring of a smoke alarm lets you know that a quick trip to McDonald's is probably in order. The great part of this is that, since we tend to 'eat' with our eyes and nose first, you know you can trust your senses while cooking. The not-so-great part of this, for me at least, is that there are no real recipes you can give your friends, if they ask. Maybe it's because I don't start with recipes and everything is a little of this, a bit of that, a touch of this, a dash of that.
Tonight I made, for the first time, a creamy potato soup. We were wanting grilled cheese sandwiches and a creamy soup because it is so cold and windy here right now. So, instead of Campbell's soup or making (another) batch of Chicken Noodle Soup, I decided that I'd put to use some stock that I've had simmering all day.
Tonight we dined on Oh So Gouda Cream of Potato Soup (yeah, it's a cheesy name...ha ha ha.....get it) with sliced, toasted french bread that was topped with cheddar, fresh basil and finished off with fresh slices of tomato (for me and Molly anyway....we are the only ones in the house that like fresh tomatoes). It was delicious!