Yes, You Can Cook, Dammit!

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I love Jenn’s FBG post about complaining. It has a “no guts, no glory” theme, with the gist of the piece being that those who do not try, do not succeed. Which brings me to the subject at hand — cooking.

Each of us is a little different. A lower center of gravity and innate flexibility might make you a natural at yoga, or an abundance of slow-twitch muscle fibers might make it easier to enjoy an endurance run, but no matter how you are wired, you can be a success in the kitchen. Seriously.

Cooking is a skill that everyone can master. Any honest chef will tell you that it’s not difficult; it just takes practice. Trust me, once you’ve added too much spice to the jambalaya and are forced to throw the whole mess out, you will never do it again. (It took me years to get over my fear of cayenne.)

If you are old enough to responsibly handle a knife and can follow instructions, you’ve won half the battle. Here are a few recipes to try!

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This vegetarian entrée works for breakfast, lunch or dinner and was super easy to make. All I had to do was sauté a few leeks and stir some ingredients together. Use a store bought pie shell to guarantee success or go crustless.

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Don’t let a long ingredient list scare you; Ina Garten’s Easy Lobster Paella requires sixteen ingredients, but the recipe couldn’t be more straightforward. Sauté a few onions and green peppers, stir in the good stuff and pop the whole thing in the oven. Chunks of lobster and kielbasa make for an interesting meal that will serve a crowd.

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Take advantage of the recipes that celebrity chefs have to offer. These restaurant-quality pork medallions from Marco Canora’s A Good Food Day had my husband Bill raving. Cook time: under 10 minutes.

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Another chef-approved meal from A Good Food Day! These recipes aren’t rocket science. If you can boil water, you can cook  pasta.

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Baking is my forte, but a total novice could handle this easy cheesecake cupcake recipe. Cheesecakes are fun, versatile and take the guesswork out of portion control. Your guests will love them!

It’s possible to get through life without ever riding a bike or running a race (although it would be shame for you to miss the thrill and experience), but everyone has to eat! Unless you want to subsist on smoothies, salads and pre-packaged food for the rest of your life, get to cooking. I promise it will change your world!

What’s your best resource for recipes? I pick up cookbooks from my local library and always read online recipe reviews for handy tips and ingredient substitutions. —Karen

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