Living in Portland, learning to cook…

By : | 2 Comments | On : January 14, 2010 | Category : General

2010 will be a year of  new experiences.  So far, I’ve started with cooking.  I graduated from school and set flight to Portland, OR.  I’m trying to become a liberated chef, now that I don’t have the luxury of family cooking.  Luckily, I’ve moved to a city that encourages culinary creativity and the house that I’m living at now has definitely given me the opportunity to be…creative.  I’m working with a 100-year-old kitchen, so things get a little interesting.  The oven doesn’t work at the moment, so I’m mastering the skills of:  Stove Top Cooking on a Budget 101.  The knobs are tricky little things that don’t have any guide for the level of heat, so part of the fun is paying attention to the flame intensity.  I’ve been primarily using recipes from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.  It works wonders with my novice level of cooking.  The cookbook categorizes recipes by genre of food, i.e. meat, poultry, pasta etc.  This makes it easy to pinpoint exactly what I’m craving.  My favorite part is the little red highlight next to the title of the recipe that says “FAST.”  I’m not at the level of making 1+ hour dishes yet, especially because that usually requires going over my budget.  I’ve made lots of stir fry and pasta dishes.  I can cook noodles like nobody’s business!  To save money, I usually use less meat and more vegetables.  We are a plant-loving household, so this is no problem at all!  I’m still trying to conquer the art of cooking vegetables, but each day gets a little tastier…Now, I’m off to bicycle to the convenient Whole Foods around the corner for my next savory pursuit!

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Comments (2)

  1. posted by haclaggett on January 15, 2010

    Hi Alison! Can see you are settling into your new home. Older kitchens offer their own ambiance and challenges. You will have passed basic cooking soon. During the war, a lot of people did not have ovens so you do have a surmountable challenge . Enjoy the challenge

  2. posted by alisonfrances on January 30, 2010

    I’m definitely enjoying it! The frustration is inevitable sometimes, but when I make a tasty meal, the frustration is forgotten. I’ve been looking at the recipes on the website, and I’m going to start tackling some of those, as well.


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