Dear “I need some serious help with my kitchen creations,”
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 04:02
I am not going to lie to you—I am very comfortable in the kitchen and would go as far to say that I have worked up quite the culinary inclination. I owe about 50 percent of this talent to the genes I got from my amazing Italian and Portuguese mother who has incredible cooking abilities and taught me everything and anything I need to know about chopping, sautéing, preparing, plating, baking and eating great food. The other 50 percent can be divided evenly between having a boyfriend who loves to eat and genuinely appreciates everything I make and working to become as good as my mother was and still is. And while my townhouse kitchen has more than adequate space for practicing everything she taught me, it is not quite the same as cooking at home. This is not due to the fact that she is there in our kitchen, always ready and willing to offer little tips and trips as I make my way from the cook top to the oven and everywhere in between (though I do love bonding with my family through food and cooking with my mom)—rather, it has to do with the differences in equipment and the differences in ingredients. Equipment is something I will just have to accept until I can afford all the wonderful William-Sonoma cookware mom has built up in her culinary repertoire, but I should not have to settle for mediocre ingredients. And in my food-filled journey that began almost 17 years ago with plastic cupcakes and synthetic spaghetti in a Playmate kitchen in New York, I have found that one of the simplest ways to enhance your recipe constituents is with fresh and flavorful herbs. This might seem easier said than done, and up until a couple months ago it most certainly was—that is, until I decided to create a windowsill herb garden of my own. It is so wonderful being able to add some fresh chives to a spinach and goat cheese omelet in the morning, have some pesto-tossed pasta with sundried tomatoes for lunch and make fresh mint tea at night. And as long as you remember to water your pants regularly and give them plenty of sunlight, from the comfort of your own kitchen you too can create palate-pleasing meals, drinks, spreads, and snacks, almost as delicious as the ones mom makes.