That all changed when I actually sat down to watch my first cooking show a couple years ago. I even remember that it was a recipe for mini meatballs! I was teaching at that point so my work schedule was finally predictable and routine. I could spend my evenings preparing a meal and eating at a reasonable hour if I wanted. Watching someone else cook was such an amazing thing to watch. The colors of fresh produce, the sound of a knife chopping through vegetables, the smell of garlic and onion cooking (okay, I couldn't smell through the T.V but I could imagine!). Cooking is really an activity that incorporates all five senses. I needed to try it. So, I began watching the Food Network to see what other recipes I could find. I was immediately drawn to Rachael Ray.
I saw so much of myself in Rachael. She was goofy, and not afraid to make a mess in the kitchen. I guess I always thought you had to be the perfect five star chef in the kitchen. She made it okay to have fun and play with your food while cooking. I started making many of her recipes, and most are good, but I have to admit, I've had some that are not so great (that could be my fault, though. Who knows?)
My taste in chefs has developed over the last couple of years, and I have now come to regard Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) as my favorite. Her show is my favorite to watch. It is so incredibly soothing after a long day. I love how she incorporates the entire process of cooking. It's not just about making the meal, but the setting, the mood, the presentation, and the effective entertaining techniques she uses that really make it special. She really gives the entire package. Her style is always so elegant, yet simple at the same time. I have always been blown away at how beautiful her meals look, but she's really not lying when she says that they are simple. I have been able to prepare all of them with ease, and every single recipe has turned out great every time. If I can do it, anyone can! With a new house, I look forward to using her entertaining strategies to host elegant, yet comfortable meals. It's fabulous making people happy through food!
Photos from fromscratchradio.com and fodors.com