My first real foodie post on the blog!!! If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest you are well aware of my love for food, so it should come as no surprise that I’m posting about it on the blog now. I’m pretty much as passionate about food as I am about fashion. In fact, I can’t believe I hadn’t blogged much about it so far. But that’s about to change.
For the past several years I had thought and considered making Beef Bourguignon, the quintessential French beef stew, but I have to admit I was a little daunted by the challenge. As much as I love food, I gotta confess I’m not much of a cook. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cooking -a lot- but my cooking skills are still very much in diapers. At home I usually cook very simple meals, and anything beyond the basics for me requires following a very detailed recipe. So that’s exactly what I did on New Year’s Eve after deciding I was ready to tackle the Beef Bourguignon challenge, I did an extensive Pinterest search, studied several recipes (including Julia Child’s famous version!), and finally settled on Tyler Florence’s yummy recipe.
Let me tell ya, it turned out absolutely, amazingly delicious! Of course I can’t take the whole credit for it because I did have my mom and even my 14 year old stepson helping me with the prep work, because oh boy, it sure is a lot of work, especially when making a huge quantity like we did (we double up Tyler’s recipe!). But all the hard work was so worth it in the end. We made some slight modifications to the original recipe (like adding more flour to thicken it up, and adding carrots for some color) , something I’m usually not comfortable doing, but having my mom to back me up gave me the confidence to go for it. And that’s when I realized… it all comes down to confidence.
It is such an obvious thing that confidence is key in everything we do, but I hadn’t realized until now that one of the reasons keeping me from getting better in the kitchen was the lack of confidence. After a few unsuccessful cooking attempts, the fear of messing up and ruining a meal, the anxiety of people not liking what I cook, took over and made me slightly neurotic about following a recipe, and stopped me from trying and experimenting anything on my own.
Granted, I’m not denying practice makes perfect, and I still believe following recipes is a great way to learn our way around the kitchen, but I shouldn’t be afraid to screw up… Let me rephrase that, I can’t let the fear of screwing up stop me from trying, because truth is I’ll probably still be afraid and nervous about screwing up, I just gotta handle it differently. I gotta apply to the kitchen what I already believe and try to live by in other areas of my life: embrace the mistakes! Embrace them fully for they are the greatest teacher, and not only do they tend to make us better, they often make for the best (and usually funniest) stories!
I can’t think of a better way to have wrapped up a wonderful year than having had a wonderful homemade 3 course dinner, shared with wonderful people, my family. And no better way to begin the new year than with this great reminder of one of my favorite life lessons. So 2014, bring it on! I’m ready to cook more, fear less, screw up, learn and laugh about it all.
P.S. Our dinner menu consisted of the following:
First course: Pear & Gorgonzola Green Salad. Second course: Beef Bourguignon served with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Sauteed Mushrooms. Third course: Champagne Poached Pears.