Blogs > Cooking from Scratch

Chef Stacy believes that cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients are the secrets to preparing delicious and memorable meals. She has created dozens of classes for the home chef and teaches students how to master culinary techniques and recipes in just one session. Read on to see what she's dishing up for The Oakland Press today....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Many people resolve to clean-up their eating habits, go on a diet, exercise more, spend less, experience more, and many other vague goals without any real definition. The beautiful thing about January 1 is the endless possibilities. If you can dream it, you can do it with hard work and discipline.

Just over 4 years ago, I arrived for my first day of work and set my sights on building a cooking school. I resolved that it would be the premier resource for anyone who cares about food and has a passion for cooking. With much happiness, I am proud to say that we have realized our goal. This January, it was time for a new resolution, which I'm still formulating.

Here are a few food-lover resolutions and action steps for transitioning from resolution to reality -

1. "Eat Better" - Vague resolutions generally do not translate successfully to reality. Define what exactly "better" means for you. Whether it be to include more plant-based foods into your diet, increase natural and organic foods, or reduce processed foods, you need to be specific about your goal. Choose one and master that before trying to dramatically trying to change all of your food habits at once.

2. "Learn to how to cook" - I've taught students who did not know the difference between a lemon and an onion. Seriously. Learning how to cook is a goal that anyone can achieve, and one of the nice things about cooking is that there is always something new to learn about food, cooking techniques, culture, history, agriculture - you name it! Learning the basics (knife skills, equipment and ingredient identification, the basic cooking techniques) is the best place to start. Walk before you run. Read as much as you can, and don't be afraid!

3. "Spend Less" - Learning how to cook is a great way to save but feel like you're on a splurge. When you know how to prepare delicious food at home, you will quickly realize the cost-saving aspect of becoming a competent cook. Also, learning more about food is a great way to plan economic meals for your family. Staples such as rice, beans, canned items, more economical cuts of meat (roasts, etc.) can be transformed from economical to ethereal with a little knowledge.

I hope these tips help you to keep yourself on track. And, in the event that you might fall off the wagon - be patient with yourself and be kind. Pick yourself up and try again. The most important resolution you can make is to never give up.


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