Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cooking 101

This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me - but I'm not much of a cook.  I'm convinced it is because I usually just can't be bothered.  I'm the type of person who is satisfied most evenings with some yogurt or an omelet.  But for the last few months I've had the desire to improve my skills just so I don't feel so clueless.  I decided to get a jump start on my New Year's Resolution and set a goal (publicly) of learning how to cook (at least a few things.)  I'm hoping that by sharing my goal and progress here I'll find the motivation to follow through.


I started simple - with one of my favorite foods - tomato soup.  From nearly as long as I can remember my comfort food was tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  When I was a kid, Campbell's was my go to.  As an adult I discovered Pacific Organic Food's Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup - delish!  But recently I found a new favorite.

Last October my mom and I went to Copenhagen and London, such amazing cities.  While in London always wanted a quick (but WARM) lunch.  We discovered a restaurant chain called Pret a Manger - like Starbucks in the US there seems to be a restaurant on nearly every corner.  I had their tomato soup on our first visit and kept dragging my mom back there for lunch every day because I couldn't get enough of that soup.  On our last day I finally got my mom to try it and she fell in love.


We both talked about how we'd miss that soup.  My mom, being the go getter she is, decided to do something about it.  She got home and emailed the restaurant to see if they had a cookbook with the recipe in that could be bought.  Better yet, they sent her the recipe in reply.  We did some googling to translate the recipe to US measurements and started experimenting (well, she experimented, I tasted and commented.)  We've finally settled on our favorite version of the recipe.


I decided it was time I learned how to make it on my own, and I have to say, my first (and second) attempt at real cooking worked out well, even if I had to eat leftovers twice a day for four days.

Any recommendations on what this beginning cook should try next?

I think having the right music to accompany my efforts made the difference.  For this recipe I went with Band of Horses - just the right mix of mellow and rock for my mood and the soup.
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24 comments:

Corinne said...

Looks and sounds so yummy - are you going to share the recipe??? :)

Maegan Beishline said...

Oh that looks delicious! I am a huge fan of tomato soup myself! I just love how they emailed your mom the recipe {so Great Britain!} and that you and your mom have worked on it together! ...I'm not too great a cook myself...I have learned a few things over the years to feed my family...but I'm sure you will do great! Best wishes!

The Felix Family said...

I love that you are improving your skills. I wish Iw as right there with you improving mine too. I am a terrible cook and my family suffers. that soup looks amazing! Tomato soup is for sure one of my all time favorites. Good luck on your endeavor. I can't wait to see what else you do. Maybe I can learn a thing or two along with you.

Tammy Lee Bradley said...

Try the soup recipe that I posted gfor the blog hop from Disney. It is delicious, easy and will impress your friends. :)

Nikki said...

can we see the recipe? pretty please!!!

chasity said...

homemade tomato soup....what a great comfort food.

i have a terrific potato soup recipe. so good in winter.

let me know if you want to try it out~

chas

Courtney said...

Great post! Looks and sounds delicious!

lisa said...

Congratulations Jamie!!! It looks fantastic, and so perfect for the season. When I look at your photos here, I see some whole grain bread to go along with it, so bread would be my recommendation for the next thing you try. I know, maybe sounds like a big leap, but it's not hard, and there are so many variations to any basic recipe.

I am looking so forward to following your progress!

Have a great evening!

lisa.

Natalie said...

Enjoyed your post AND it made me hungry! Great job! If you look for the linkbar under my header in my blog it has a section that says "recipes" and i have several od my favs on there :) thanks for following me and commenting often! Youd dont know how appreciated it is!

justine said...

they say to really learn to cook you have to know how to cook eggs so what about an omelette? I can see you doing a julia and julia!

R Montalban said...

Hot soup is the thing here just now too!

Sam said...

Great post, how cool that they emailed you the recipe! I don't like tomatoes but I do make a great potato and leek soup!!

blue china studio said...

OH yummy! I've been looking for a good tomato soup recipe. Will you be sharing it?
Good luck with your cooking. I think lasagna is a good one to try out as a new cook. It is pretty easy and looks and tastes good.

Nicole said...

Love your pic of the ingredients. SO cool looking. Sadly, I cannot make myself try your "amazing" soup cause you know how I feel about chunks! If it was all pureed with no chunks I bet it is good. :)

cindy said...

the soup looks delicious and i love that last image with the reflection of the tablecloth in the bowl. cool. we have pret a manger in ny and love how you can get half a sandwich and the cookies. i'll try the soup for sure. enjoy your weekend!

Krystal said...

Oh my goodness, I hope you share the recipe!!

Gilding Lilies said...

Jamie that really looks delicious! Go get 'em!

Dorian Susan said...

OMG...that soup looks so good. I didn't see a receipe in your post anywhere. Not sharing?
Love the new look of your blog.

Joanne said...

/That looks so good. guess I will make some tomorrow! Am sure glad I have the recipe.................

blue elephant photography said...

wow! i think this will be an interesting venture! i actually do like watching cooking shows a lot lol and your soup looks so delicious! make the most awesome shepherds pie...yum comfort food! actually, i had my first one at an authentic irish restaurant and it was the bomb!

Faith said...

mmmm. yummy soup!! One of the first things that I learned to make is Biscuits. They are SO good if you make them with buttermilk and don't over-mix. SO yummmy!!
Another awesome thing to know how to make is lasagna :)

Amanda said...

I think it's difficult to start cooking when you don't really have a family to cook for. I mean, that's how it is for me anyway cooking for just me and the hubs.

Are you going to kindly share the recipe? Or just keep the deliciousness to yourself? ;)

maureen said...

I had to laugh when I read that you don't cook much and are happy with an omelet. Most nights I'm happy with a bowl of granola cereal. Good for you doing more cooking. I used to cook everyday when my boys were at home. Now that it's just me, I'd rather have a bowl of cereal and move on. Can you freeze some of the things you are making? That's what I try to do, on the rare occassions that I do cook. I know some soups don't freeze all that well, but it's often better than a bowl of cereal. ;)

Jacqui said...

This is my husband's favourite soup and his birthday is coming up in January, are you going to share the recipe as i would love to make it for him as a surprise. Jx

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