When I was first married, I had a handful of recipes I could make, and little experience. While my wonderful husband, who is also a wonderful cook, taught me many things and inspired me in the kitchen, the truth is you simply cannot learn how to be a great cook without a little trial and error. Baking especially has always been something I never did much of and found myself over the years constantly intimidated by most cooking and afraid to venture beyond what I was accustomed to making.
There are many reasons to feel intimidated when it comes to creative creations in the food department. For one, browsing through new recipes can oftentimes find you already discouraged before you begin, due to cost. Let’s face it, most of the time you get what you pay for, right? If you want a chef’s delight, you usually need more than just the coins from under the couch to make it happen.
Here are a few simple suggestions;
1. Think about and start with basic ingredients necessary. Eggs, milk, flour, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder, vegetable oil, shortening and butter. These ingredients are inexpensive, and when combined in different ways can make dinner miracles!
2. When you’re stocked up on items, as you are browsing recipes to make, try typing in a title sans the ingredient you can’t afford or don’t have on-hand, i.e. “cornbread no milk” recipe.
3. Never be afraid to experiment. Research and learn from your mistakes, and always praise yourself for any success! It may not seem edible the first time around, but you will find that with time you won’t even need to follow the recipe exactly! A pinch or a dab here or there and adding your own “spice” to the dish will make it your unique creation and soon become a family favorite as you experiment!
Here is the quiche I made for my family tonight. Having four children, none of whom like eggs, this was a delicious way to “hide” them and get the children the protein they need! They all loved it! Remember, don’t fear, use trial and error and most importantly – enjoy!
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt;
Mix with a fork.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine:
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. milk;
Whisk until thick.
Poor the thick mixture into the flour mixture, mix well with a fork.
On a well-floured surface, gently knead and roll flat enough crust to fit into 9″ pie dish.
With our high altitude here in Albuquerque and an oven that runs very hot, I baked this with the quiche filling added at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. You may need to alter oven temperature and baking time based on your location.
Put 2-4 cups of your favorite cheese(s) in the bottom of the pan on top of your crust.
In a clean mixing bowl, combine:
2 c. milk
Seasonings of your choice; I used sea salt, ground black pepper, parsley flakes, ground red pepper and onion powder.
Whisk until well blended.
Pour over cheese.
Serves approximately six.
I hope you enjoy your home-made creation!
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