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Monday, July 15, 2013

The Hungry Teacher

I looooooove cooking and usually cook dinner for my husband and I five to six nights a week. Sometimes I even impress myself with some of my crazy recipes I decide to try out. 

I really have been cooking my whole life because of my parents and grandparents. I have learned two very different kinds of cooking because of my parents and how they were raised and taught to cook. 

My dad is Italian and my Nane is your typical amazing Italian cook. This woman can make a meal for 47 people in a matter of minutes. I honestly don't know how she does it, because I have been to her house when she isn't there and I can't find a s.i.n.g.l.e. thing to make for myself. It's seriously like she creates meals with some kind of italian magic that I'm not aware of.

Over the years my dad has picked up some of my Nane's amazing cooking skills along the way. He isn't really the type to make homemade gnocci or bread, but I learned everything about homemade marinara sauce from him and he has an amazing ability to create things (like Nane), which is why he has the best green chile ever. Mine never comes out as good as his, and my attempts at homemade pasta and bread, and especially gnocchi, never come out like my Nane's. 

Here are some pictures of me attempting to be the great italian cook I aspire to be. I usually attempt these types of recipes on a Saturday or Sunday when I know I will have a lot of time to figure out what I'm doing. The other day my friend, Erin, asked me if making homemade pasta is easy and my exact words were, "Making homemade pasta is easy. Making good homemade pasta? Not as easy." My husband loved it, but I just kept thinking of how it wasn't anything like Nane's. Oh well, I guess I will just have to keep practicing. 



This is the homemade bread I made.  It wasn't quite like my Nane's, but it was pretty good for a first try.



This is a picture of my beautiful red kitchenaide mixer that my wonderful Godmother got me for a wedding present. I love it and it made making bread soooo much easier. I use it for everything and it's just so beautiful in my kitchen. Thank Aunt Pam! :)


I have talked a lot about my dad and his mom, but my mom and grandma have given me a whole different set of cooking skills. My mom is seriously superwomen. No.... seriously.... For as long as I can remember, my mom has always had amazing dinners for us to eat. Not to mention that she has done this while being the vice-president of a bank and having four kids who were 2-4 sport athletes their whole lives. My dad can cook, but it was really always my mom who was making dinner for six to seven people most nights of the week. Being the superwomen that she is, I don't really know how she did it either. We always had a large variety of meals and they were always ready within minutes of us being home. 

I think my mom got her cooking abilities for her mom as well. My grandma doesn't really cook much anymore because it's just her, I do know that she used to cook three meals a day for a for her four kids and husband, and also for all the farm hands that would have been on their farm on any given day. They both are extremely practical and resourceful with the meals they make, and extremely good at making meals balanced. I think this is really where I got my ability to cook. I am still learning to cook those complicated italian meals, but I have learned a lot from my grandma and mom in making meals that work for the average person (ya know, the ones who haven't perfected a three-day marinara or know how to make homemade gnocchi just from the way it feels in their hands). 

These are meals I have made just on a regular weekday night for my husband and I.

There are times when we make this meal every week. We just put a little olive oil and some lemon slices on some salmon, wrap it in foil and bake it in the oven at 350. Then we just put salt, pepper, and olive oil on a pan and roast it all while we make some boil-in-a-bag brown rice. It's so easy, and so delicious. 

I know I rambled on and on about cooking, but I love it. It's really like my therapy after a long day at work. I hope I can continue to show you my love of cooking and inspire you to try things out of your (and my) comfort zone.... like that homemade gnocchi :). 

 My goal is to post all my meals I make this week. Fingers crossed!

~Martina          

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