Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Putting the passion back into cooking

There's a girl that the Mr and I are friends with that I just love.  She's an ex of a family member and she's such a good person, I made sure we stayed friends with her because she's one of those people who is always smiling, looking for the good in life and those are the kind of people you want around you.  The last time she was here, I mentioned the different things I buy at Trader Joe's and she laughed and said "I want to go there with you.  I have no idea what to buy there!"  We laughed and before she left she said "I'm serious about Trader Joe's!"  I told her to let me know when because I'm always down with sharing some TJ love.

Yesterday was that day.  I told her we could go midday because it probably wouldn't be as crowded.  HA!  I don't think there is such a thing.

She is so cute.  She wants to learn to cook and save money, both of which are up my alley.  She came over and I had her try several of my favorites and I asked her if she wanted something to eat.  She politely declined and I said "I've got chicken done in the crock pot, I can easily make a chicken wrap."  She smiled and said "okay!"  I quickly threw together a quesadilla on the panini press using a low carb wrap, chicken breast, enchilada sauce, a little BBQ sauce, 1 tbsp of chipotle hummus, thin sliced cheese and arugula.  Almost all of it was from TJ's.  She raved about it.  She said she wanted to cook like that and was asking all kinds of questions.

It was like throwing me square into my element.  I love sharing my knowledge of cooking especially to people who don't think they can or are basically a clean slate eager to learn any little suggestion you throw at them.  We got some of the things she tasted as well as a few extras.  I know people were getting irritated with us because you TJ's peeps know how it is, even if you're trying to get out of the way, you're still in the way.  She wants to make Brussels sprouts (squee!) and her excitement and enthusiasm was rubbing off on me big time.  I think it's just what I needed to kick me out of the food rut and reaffirm that yes, I do know what I'm doing.  She jokingly said she wished I taught cooking classes.  I told her if she wanted to learn, I'd be more than willing to teach her.  She said absolutely and she would bring over food she wanted to learn to make and have me teach her how to prepare it so she and her boyfriend could still eat well at home and save money.  I can't wait to begin teaching her stuff and I hope it'll get my creative wheels turning so I can make even better stuff to share with the Mr.  (And of course, you guys!)

It was such a fun time and I am really looking forward to teaching her how to cook and how to stretch meals to make them last for multiple meals.  Yay for sharing the culinary love!

Does someone else's enthusiasm about something you take for granted help reignite your passion for it?

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  1. My girlfriend recently remarked that I should be a MaryKay rep or something like that because she was so happy with the way I did her makeup for her wedding. Although I was happy she was pleased, my real passion is helping people lose weight. I think I sometimes lose sight of the value I bring to the table in that regard. I can relate to the cooking skills also. Sometimes I think that the things I do in food preparation are so second nature to me until I find out not everyone pays as much attention to what and how they eat. I love looking at the creative things you do with food. I know you've been in a bit of a slump, but maybe this situation came up to drag you out of it.

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  3. Oh yeah was so much fun to try and teach my Dad to cook after Mom passed. (not the reason why, but the process was).
    (Romney3-from Spark)
    So glad I found you new blog.

  4. Could you give me a call the next time you go to Trader Joe's??? That sounds like a great idea, but the trip would be pretty far I fear. We do have a TJ's here in my town and I love it, but like your friend, I don't know what to buy. I always end up picking out a few items that look tasty and they always are, but you have so many great recipes and dishes that you make from the stuff you get there, and I don't know where to start. Maybe you could post a typical shopping list from TJ's???

  5. That sounds like a wonderful day, and it's always good when you can share your talents with people who are interested! Yay!

  6. Fun!!! That's super exciting! I frickin' love TJ's. Best.store.ever.

  7. It makes me so sad that we don't have a TJ's close by so that I can just run out and pick a few things up to try. Glad to see your creativity is gearing up again!

  8. *sigh* For the love of Trader Joe's...

    I really wish we had one nearby, but we don't even have one in state. Drives me absolutely batty and I've contacted the company to relate my NEED for a TJ somewhere within driving distance. The closest one to me is 2.5 hours away!

    Glad you're feeling that cooking spark again...it will mean yummy goodness for all of us, I'm sure! ;)

    1. My closet TJ's is 2 hours away too so I only get there every couple of months. It's so sad - I remember when I had one on the way home from work - one of the very few things that I really miss about the city :)

  9. I've never been to a Trader Joe's, mostly because there has never been one close to me. But I do like the 'typical shopping list' idea...if one ever comes close, I wouldn't have to get in the way poring over nutrition labels...I'd look like a pro!

  10. sound like a lot of fun. i am that way with sewing. i have taught a lot of my friends and family to sew. teaching others does put the Spark back in to your passions.

    a great business, if a person were looking for a job, would be to go in to a persons home and teach them to cook with the foods they have in stock and with the tools they have on hand.

  11. That's really awesome that you have her as a friend! I don't really feel like I am that good at anything, but people are always so amazed with my running, and that makes me want to keep up with it.

  12. Absolutely... one of the bonuses to having children, I think (compensates for the times you wnat to pinch their little heads off), LOL!

    YOu know me.. I'm alweays an eager beaver (not unlike YOU) to 'help'... I probably would not not still be on this journey otherwise.

    I hope the two of you have many wonderful hours solidifying your friendship over a mutual interest... nothing is better than that!

  13. We don't have a Trader Joe's anywhere near - but we have cooked brussel sprouts for guests and they RAVE about them (steamed & then tossed with salt & pepper). Beets also get a bad rap - we LOVE them!

  14. You should do a post about a typical shopping trip there! I'd love to see that. I think Trader Joe's is hard because there are SO many tempting things. I always end up forgetting about the healthy stuff and getting a stockpile of dark chocolate instead. ;(

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