Mommy Guilt – Migraines Suck

Cooking with the Family

My husband and I have had this running joke for years- his best dish is spaghetti. That’s because, besides cereal, it’s the only thing he cooks. It’s delicious and while I’m sure he and my son could eat this dish all day every day, I simply cannot. For my husband, standing in the heat is not very appealing- he shies away from cooking. I actually love to cook and am always in the kitchen. Some members of my family would find that hard to believe. But my boys will tell you, they get a good number of home cooked meals from me and not just dinner.

I love finding new and alternative ways to make a dish. Since I’m a work at home mom, I have plenty of time to prepare meals and think of new recipes that my family will enjoy. Lately, my husband has been meditating and paying more attention to his body, so I knew presenting cooking as a way to stay healthy would be a good way to reintroduce him to the art of cooking. To me, cooking food is a way to bring the family together, to create memories. I would love to get my husband and son in the kitchen with me.

On my last trip to the thrift bookstore, I purchased The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cooking Basics. This book is like a dictionary from the culinary Gods themselves. We are definitely no idiots, but we felt ourselves a little overwhelmed by some of culinary terminology. I learned a lot flipping through this book and learned so many new terms. 

Barding – Covering the meat with a thin layer of fat before cooking.

Coodling – Cooking food in simmering water for a very short time. This is primarily used with eggs. See below.

800px-Coddled_Egg_on_hashPhoto Credit: John Herschell via Flickr

Studding – Inserting spices, herbs or other flavorings to the surface of the food.

Trussing – Keeping the shape of a whole chicken or other poultry during roasting, tie the wings and legs with a string.

Fluting – Making a decorative edge on a pie or pastry. See below.

pie_crust_crimp_ja10_310

I have never heard of any of these terms before, but the techniques are something I want to try to incorporate in my cooking. A simple change like those listed above could easily turn a basic dish into a brand new flavor- without much additional work. New approaches are something my husband and I can learn together, which I hope will spark his desire to cook more. 

His spaghetti, although simple to make, is some of the best I’ve ever had. I know he would be a great cook if he tried, and I wouldn’t mind being his taste tester.

Are there any terms or cooking processes that you have learned recently? How do you incorporate family cooking/mealtime with your family? Please feel free to leave a comment and share.

Motivation Mondays – Meditation

 For those of you who don’t know already, meditation has many benefits. Studies show that meditation can basically help by resetting  the nervous system. Did you know that people with Fibromyalgia and Psoriasis have been using meditation as a form of treatment and it has shown significant improvements? It can help get rid of bad habits by rearranging your thoughts and promoting positivity with a conscious effort. The goal is to let go of physical and emotional tensions. My husband has tried several times over the last two years to get me to start meditating. My passion to pursue meditating comes from wanting to reduce stress and lower my anxiety. I have also seen improvement in my sleep and patience. Most importantly, my spirituality has grown and I have become more grateful of my life. The more traditional method, Transcendental Meditation, uses a mantra (word or phrase) to calm internal thoughts with rhythmic sounds. If you are a beginner to meditation then TM would probably be best to try first. Positive thinking, noise-free environment, and an open mind is really all you need to start meditating.If difficulties arise early on, try to focus on your breathing instead of a phrase or Mantra. Take a deep breaths to help you concentrate. If it helps, you can focus your body parts. Start at your head and relax it. Go through each major body part and continue down to your toes. This will help calm your entire body and create balance. Lately, I have been very aware and conscious of my posture so I like to also take this time to strengthen my back and core when inhaling and exhaling. Surprisingly, even if thoughts are running in my head non-stop, I can still focus on my breath and get back to my “safe spot” and/or happy place.

I have learned through trial and error that it’s ok to have thoughts while you meditate. In fact it’s quite difficult to stop all of your thoughts or clear your head completely. Self-direction comes from clearing your mind and becoming focused. Sometimes an image or thought interrupts you.Patience is key. There is no exact science to meditation and there are many different ways to try.

Make time, be consistent and complete each session. Whether you schedule 5, 10 or 20 min, don’t give up!

%d bloggers like this: