Learning to Cook, or How to Not Mess Up a Meal


I’m by no means a cook. I may have mentioned it before, but my sister has seemed to have absorbed all of those genes. She’s the one who is always in the kitchen and loving it. My collective memories of experiences in the kitchen have been less than stellar.

In sixth grade, I had to prepare a dish for a class project. Something went slightly awry and it didn’t turn out quite right. And I never tasted it, which is probably cardinal sin #1 when it comes to cooking. But hey, I was twelve, give me a break.

In eighth grade, although I went to Catholic school, we used to have a Seder Meal at the time of Passover, which was usually right before Easter break. I remember volunteering to make the Deviled Eggs. Who even knows if I made “traditional” Deviled Eggs that would appear at a legit Passover meal, but I do recall adding A LOT of cayenne pepper for color. Again, I didn’t taste these goodies either.

In high school, I took a “Creative Foods” class my Sophomore year, which was an elaboration of the quarter of Home Economics we had Freshman year. I vaguely remember making Stroganoff and some kind of cream pie. Yeah, they were that memorable, like not at all. Not show-stopping. Not mind-blowing. I think I was just happy I didn’t completely ruin the dishes.

Cooking is not my forte. In fact, I think that the above experiences probably sealed the deal on my lack of motivation to cook. In college, I got by making a lot of pasta and a lot of salads. Oh and chicken. A lot of chicken in Shake ‘N Bake. Cooking, because I had to. I obviously didn’t starve. But I just haven’t had the desire to cook anything. Not because I can’t (because I can follow directions), but because I’ve chosen not to. And yet, here I am, soon to be married, and I’m totally a novice when it comes to cooking a dinner from scratch. Cooking motivation has arrived.

Enter my friend Beth. A couple of months ago she asked me how I felt about exchanging some cooking lessons (for me) for crocheting advice (for her). I jumped on the deal. Yes, I can crochet. Beth can SERIOUSLY knit. Her work is amazing. But for her crocheting was trickier – only one hook, different stitches, new technique. We finally got our acts together and set up a date to barter our respective talents. Thanks to Beth, I successfully completed two pizzas and a red velvet cake, from SCRATCH. Even the pizza dough and frosting. HOLLLLA!

On the menu: Pizza with Chicken and Pesto, Pizza with Mushrooms and Banana Peppers, Red Velvet Cake and Vanilla Frosting.





So I’m kind of a Red Velvet Cake-a-holic. I look for it when I can and eat it when I find it. After a few conversations with Beth and Dianna (who couldn’t make it), we decided to make Red Velvet cake from scratch. It’s supposed to take a whole 2 ounces of red food coloring, but we only had one little bottle, so we rolled with it. The frosting was pretty good, not overly sweet, complimenting the cake just right. Don’t judge our cake by the looks of it. It was delicious. I’m just glad I didn’t mess it up.




Happy Tuesday! Here’s to future cooking endeavors!

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  • Reply faye 05.05.2009 at 7:38 am

    crap, i shouldn’t have clicked on your link via twitter an hour before lunch. (>.<) everything looks sooo good!

  • Reply Jess 05.05.2009 at 7:39 am

    mmmm you are making me hungry!

  • Reply Bethro 05.05.2009 at 7:46 am

    So I knew you were a good photographer, but not this good until I saw how good you made this food look. I know what it looked like in that kitchen after our adventures.

  • Reply Kate Harrison 05.06.2009 at 5:39 pm

    I’d like some cake, please! yum!!

  • Reply Lisa 05.07.2009 at 10:47 am

    OH, too cute! I love that the cake is all lopsided looking – that just makes it seem more homemade and delicious :-) And hey, as long as it tastes good…

    Where did you get your recipe? I’m thinking of baking something someday, and if I do, it’s gonna be a Red Velvet Cake – Mmmm….!!!!

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