~Read This First!~
Here are a few things you should know about the recipes here, and the cooking process I use!
1) I am not a recipe person! You might be wondering why a woman who doesn’t like recipes is posting recipes. Good question. Blame my friends and family. I had loved ones asking me how I make certain things and I realized that I couldn’t share my ideas unless I wrote ’em down. So I made up my mind to start writing things down as I cook. It has been a hard process, but I’m really glad that I’m finally doing it!
2) The only cooking certification I have is the fact that I love food and am gung ho about learning. I come from a family of foodies. I was eating tons of flavourful ethnic food as soon as I could manage solids… and was always proud to say that there was nothing I wouldn’t try! (Now with the whole treif thing that isn’t true, but the principle still stands.) My brother and I always helped out in the kitchen, and learned good chopping technique early to protect our musician hands. Now that I’m married and am trying to stick to a budget, I find myself cooking every day. My husband lovingly inhales every experiment I make. Thank Gd there have been no major disasters yet! We also cook together often, and I’ve learned a lot from him. I really want to grow to become an amazing cook, because there’s nothing quite like the warm feeling I get from sharing and having others enjoy the food that I give them!
3) All the recipes here are from my head, or ruach hakodesh. I don’t want to take credit for anything I didn’t make up. This is why you will find ideas for sides, soups, and dressings, but no mains or desserts (as of now). I haven’t gotten the bravery to experiment with those yet!
4) Ingredients are fickle. It’s very hard to measure ingredients exactly. For example, garlic cloves differ in size, weight and potency. It is the same with all other ingredients; Produce (fruits n veggies) in the US taste different from Canada and Israel because of varied soil and planting process. Ovens, stoves and pots heat differently. Spices are stronger/weaker depending on freshness. Olive oils taste different from brand to brand, as with vinegars. Because of this, I have learned how to adjust my cooking accordingly, and this requires deviating from the recipe I might be following! So please, experiment and get to know your ingredients!
5) My issue with recipes: they generally don’t encourage creativity. This is why I have difficulty writing them down… because the creative process that made this amazing food feels like it is being limited when I put it on paper. In order for you to get the same results as I did, I would have to tell you EXACTLY how to do things (down to my exact stove, how much each garlic clove weighs and what brand of peanut butter I use!) Since I certainly don’t do things the same way twice, why should you? What I have tried to do is write things down as best as I can, in order to give you ideas and inspiration instead of orders!
So here is some advice!!!
Use my recipes as inspiration and follow them as much as you want. If you tried something different, please tell me about it! If something in the recipe didn’t work, please let me know and I will adjust it accordingly. This is also a learning process for me and I’m grateful that you can help me out with it!
Learn about food and how flavours work! One of the greatest pieces of advice I got was from a cookbook that my dad showed me. It discussed how to adjust tastes when things go wrong. Here is the general principle: if the food is “too much” something, you can fix it by countering that flavour with something different. Too spicy? Add something sweet or creamy. Too bitter? Add some salt or something savory. Too sweet? Add something sour. This idea has helped me countless times!
Aim to buy fresh ingredients. There is no replacement for this. For example, the difference between old and new curry powder is indescribable!
Above all, have fun and enjoy yourself! Don’t be scared to experiment. Put love into your food. Seriously. This is BY FAR the most crucial advice I can give! Whether you are cooking for yourself or a big crowd, put all your heart and soul into the food you make. You and your guests will able to taste and feel it… the love you give to the food you make allows nutrition for the body to become nutrition for the soul.