Cooking, for me, is one domain that has managed to move beyond project stage and into the realm of lifestyle. This is probably true for many people, since after all, there is a fundamental physiological need to eat. Even so, I remember when cooking was a project: baking cookies as a kid, attempting Eggs Benedict in high school, preparing a $2 lobster that I bought at the Asian farmer’s market under the freeway in college.
My last big cooking project happened two years ago when I came home with Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso. It didn’t take long before I was sold and, with that, cooking made its final transformation from string-of-projects into lifestyle. (I don’t want to waste any effort trying to convince anyone to eat the way I eat; either you’re interested or you’re not. But I think it’s worth mentioning, as an aside, that today, at almost five months pregnant, all of my pre-Paleo clothes fit great, and my husband doesn’t complain about headaches any longer. Unless he has pizza. Or beer.) Again, necessity plays a role. Food doesn’t come out of a box in my kitchen, which means if I want to eat, I generally have to turn on the stove or take out a knife. Fortunately, I really like to cook. I’m certainly not a chef, but I can follow a recipe and get creative with flavors on my own.
Even though cooking as a whole is part of my day to day living, I can still make sub-projects out of it. I’m expecting, and hoping, that Alaska will present a host of new culinary experiences. On the wishlist is an afternoon spent skiing under the Northern Lights, then coming home to grill up a pile of moose hamburgers and enjoying salmon sashimi with a side of wild-picked blackberries after a day on the river. I know there are much more exotic and daring cooking opportunities awaiting me, much like that lobster from under the freeway.
Currently, my cooking looks as follows:
Lamb Burgers with Cucumber & Mint Yogurt Sauce
Bacon and Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Dressing
Chicken Liver Paté
I’ll admit, I considered this a project. It turned out pretty well, seeing as I have developed no taste for liver. I used the recipe from Balanced Bites and ate it on sliced cucumber, bell peppers, and grass-fed cheese.
Orange Salmon on White Rice – I tweaked the recipe found at The CrossFit Way by adding more orange juice to make it saucier.
Green Beans with Cashews
Dry Rubbed, Slow Cooked Pork Ribs
Homemade BBQ Sauce – I used Sarah Fragoso’s recipe in Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook.
Steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower with Grass-Fed Butter
Veggie, Sausage, and Egg Stack
Grilled Turkey Burgers with Mustard on Coleslaw (cabbage, carrot, celery, apple, pecan, cucumber, red bell pepper, and dressed with homemade mayo whisked with apple juice)