Homer's Travels: Chef Homér-Dog

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chef Homér-Dog

One of my goals that I'd set for myself before we moved back was to learn how to cook.  As with many of the goals I had, getting myself started has been more difficult than I anticipated.  
I've really never had formal cooking training.  Growing up I really didn't pay attention or participate in making dinner.  In college I lived in the dorm and ate in the cafeteria.  When I was single my cooking consisted  in burgers, Mac & Cheese, and stuff that came in cans or boxes.  In other words, very limited bachelor cooking.  I think my main problem was I had little confidence in my cooking skills.
Since I got married I've been exposed more and more to cooking.  The main culprit here was the Food Network.  The more I watched, the more interested I was but the confidence still wasn't there.  Then, a month ago, the great motivator of my life, the Wife, suggested that I help her out by making one meal a week.  It was the push I needed.
I started out with a suggestion from the Wife: Pizza.  Homemade dough made in our bread maker, pepperoni, cheese, and Newman's Own Sockerooni sauce.  I didn't really make it but I did help the Wife so that I could learn.  It came out pretty good and I know how to do it now.
The second meal was one I'd made on occasion when I was single: chicken, rice, and peas. A simple meal.  It wasn't anything fancy but it was good and I did it by myself.
At this point my tiny repertoire of meals ran out.  I decided to try something I liked but didn't have very often: Scalloped Potatoes.  I'd only had them once since I got married and that was at a restaurant.  Thanks to the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook they turned out very good.  They went well with the chicken and whole green beans I served them with.
Last night I went for broke and made Beef Stroganoff over homemade noodles.  I used the Wife's new pasta machine that I got her for her birthday.  The noodles turned out great and the Beef Stroganoff was down right yummy.  I just finished the leftovers and, like most prepared foods, tasted even better reheated.
For next week the Wife has requested Lasagna.  Sounds like a challenge and more time on the pasta machine.
Now that my confidence is building, it's time to look for inspiration.  Top Chef Season 5 starts tonight and the Wife and I will be watching.


  1. I've always been a fan of "Good Eats" myself. Plenty of geeky science stuff and the recipes are things even I can cook!

  2. Tres cool HD.

    I cook a lot but it isn't what I am strong at, just a necessary evil.
    Baking on the other hands... :D

  3. GH: I've caught it a few times. I have to admit that I cook like an engineer. My measuring cup and kitchen scales get a workout.

    JaG: LOL! Baking is on my list of things to learn. I've made cakes, cookies, and brownies but mostly from a box. Unfortunately the Wife and I have little self control and any sweet things in the house are often consumed in mass quantities very quickly. We have to limit the amount we have in the house so we don't bake very often.

  4. I have little self control too.

    I tend to bake with purpose; if I am going somewhere or people are coming over. If they are coming over I send the leftovers home with them...