a quick question

red christmas star Normally at this time of year, I’d be blogging about the Menu for Hope which has been raising funds for the UN World Food Program for longer than I’ve been blogging. So we’re talking over 5 years.

But the Menu for Hope is having a rest this year so I thought I’d take an opportunity to do something a little different.

I believe that the ability to cook simple, healthy, delicious food is a basic skill, like reading, that everyone should and can have. And I want Stonesoup to inspire and help you master this skill with 5 ingredients recipes that often only take 10 minutes to prepare.

To help me plan for next year I have 2 quick questions. Feel free to answer in the comments or if you’re a bit shy, just pop an email to jules@thestonesoup.com

question 1. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to cooking?
Is it finding the time? Healthy recipes that still taste good? Organisation? Inspiration? Budget? Your level of skills or confidence? General motivation? What else?

question 2. If you were going to take a cooking class, what would be the thing you’d most want to learn?

Thanks for taking the time to share your answers. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you guys have to say.

Merry Christmas!
Jules x

ps. After a big year, I’ve decided to have a nice long holiday. Stonesoup will be back to normal on Monday 17th January. Look forward to seeing you then!

___________________________

I’m feeling very impressed with myself. With 2 weeks to go for the year, I’m up to reading my 51st book so my goal to read 52 books this year is well on track. Especially since I’m flying all the way to Ireland on Sunday and will have lots of time to kill. Yay!

Head over to my Now Reading page If you’d like to see what I’ve been reading. And if you’ve got any recommendations I’d love to hear them.

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{ 128 comments }

Deven December 17, 2010 at 10:59 am

question 1. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to cooking?

Finding recipes within my diet needs. I cannot use any artificial sweeteners as I’m allergic to them. I don’t eat bleached sugar or flour. I have some pretty specific criteria for foods I’m willing to make and its often a lot of research trying to find substitutes that still taste good in the recipe.

question 2. If you were going to take a cooking class, what would be the thing you’d most want to learn?

Artistry. As a former assistant chef, I have always marveled at the little things the chef did to add unique and interesting touches to even the most mundane dishes. I think I’d love to learn quick little presentation tips. :)

Bullwinkle December 17, 2010 at 11:10 am

1. I need permission. I seem to think that I should be preparing and serving something diverse/complex/complete when I’d really like to serve something fast, nutritious and yummy.

2. I really can’t imagine myself taking a class. Therefore, it would have to be a short class and specific. And it would have to be foods unknown to me or specific techniques. (As a recovering vegetarian (I’ve finally got a source of local, organic, ‘good’ meats), I need to know how to choose and cook the steak. Or whatever else is available.)

Susan Martin December 17, 2010 at 12:38 pm

1. I still tell myself it’s easier and faster to eat out than to cook. But there’s hope for me because I have managed bypass the restaurants a few times and come home to make good food for myself or eat delicious leftovers.

2. I suspect I’ve never learned to properly use knives.

jas December 17, 2010 at 1:12 pm

1.
Sometimes I just lack inspiration and I find I cook the same things over and over again + I am gluten free, so for that not to be the top of the list is pretty good – there are many that baulk at cooking gluten free, but I find it quite easy once you have a stocked pantry.

2.
oooo there are so many things! For me, it’s the techniques so pasta making and cake decorating are right up there. In terms of cuisines though, I’d love to learn and watch some more thai dishes being made as they are always so fresh!

3. Enjoy your holiday, you have such a wonderful blog and I’m so glad I came across it 6months ago – it’s certainly given me inspiration that I needed!

Random December 17, 2010 at 1:25 pm

For both questions the same answer:

Cooking for one. I cook for myself and trying to come up with healthy, tasty meals that don’t blow the budget is very difficult.

Mary Jo December 17, 2010 at 1:46 pm

1. I lack confidence. I lack skills. I need practice! Some “no fail” recipes.

2. I am afraid of meat. I don’t want to cook it because I don’t know how to choose it in the grocery store, I don’t know how to prepare it, I don’t know how to tell if it is cooked well enough or too well.

misha December 17, 2010 at 2:19 pm

1. Biggest challenge – coming home at 6.30pm with no food in the house and no plans for what we’re going to eat, despite knowing we should plan the week’s menus in advance, do the shopping otherwise than on the day, and share the cooking among all in the house who are available and able.

2. Soups – I’ve always been put off making stock, can’t do it well when I try (esp veg stock), and end up persuading myself it’s just easier to buy the salt-reduced cartons from the supermarket.

Diane Kallal December 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm

1. Cooking for one! And, lacking confidence (same as others above). I’d like to be able to “whip” up something quickly when a friend pops over without a lot of fuss. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Jacqui December 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Making sure we eat a good balance of everything and enough vegetables. Budget too!

Alex December 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm

HI there Jules – Merry Christmas – and thankyou for all of the inspiration, ebooks, recipes and gorgeous food photosgraphy!

Firstly – remember a few blogs ago there was a discussion about leftovers and what to do with them?? Well I have GIVEN STUFF AWAY!!!! And people liked it!! And have even asked for more! Wow. Can’t believe that was such a big deal for me….

I think I have answered the biggest cooking challenge for me – that would still be overcatering and getting a bit carried away (but now I know that guests like to take things home, I am safe!).

For a cooking course I think I would want to learn more about technique, especially with things that should be simple because of the number of ingredients they contain (e.g. fudge or boiled sweets or not making crunchy marshmallow….or the pavlova weeping :-( )

Books that I recommend for you are:
What I think about when I think about running (Haruki Murakami): I am a runner and have loved his other novels and this was such a nice conversationaly toned book that I could not put it down
The Great World: David Malouf : living overseas made me homesick for Oz and this novel has helped me reminisce!

Preserves: River Cottage Handbook

Local Breads: sourdough and wholegrain recipes from Europe’s Best Artisan Bakers; Daniel Leader. Not only is this book full of fantastic (and some surprisingly simple) breads to make, the photos are beautiful and the time and effort taken to explain techniques or what could have gone wrong or how to rescue the dough/loaf are not commonly found in many other baking books. Love this book. Love how he describes what drew him to a particular bread/town/flour.

Have a lovely time in Ireland – and enjoy the well deserved break.

jules December 17, 2010 at 5:45 pm

WOW!
A massive THANKYOU to everyone for your input – really appreciate it. Will give me lots to think about on my holidays. Yay!

Alex
Very impressed that we’ve got you giving away stuff – that’s awesome. thx for the book recommendations – I’m a runner too.

jules December 17, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Kristen
Will have to check out Damien’s book – always love bistro moncur!
I actually use both fan forced (in the snowy mountains) and conventional oven (in Sydney). So up until now I’ve generally gone for a broader recommended cooking time rather than trying to confuse people with the different temps. But thinking I should make it clearer – will do that from now on – thx for the motivation!

Peter
Sorry to hear about your wife. My mum died a few years ago and my Dad has really struggled with food (but mostly because he didn’t cook at all before).
I’ve heard about the ‘What do you eat when you eat alone’ would love to read it. I actuall wrote a blog post about getting motivated when cooking for 1 ages ago – you might find it helpful: http://thestonesoup.com/blog/2009/11/secret-single-behaviour-how-to-get-excited-about-cooking-for-one/

Lara December 17, 2010 at 6:35 pm

1.Healthy cooking: e.g. recipes that don’t combine starch and meat. Cooking with less fat.

2. How to make food look good and tasty.

Nessa December 17, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Thank you Jules for your great inspiration, I am very happy to have found you.
We live in a regional area & have access to abundant fresh organic produce. We eat really well and waste very little. Almost everything is made from scratch and we are not within any delivery area. When we go out to eat in the city we bring ideas back home with us. For example we would love to make simple Hianan Chicken Rice but haven’t quite got it right yet.
My challenge used to be that things would become too complicated at 5:30 in the evening when I wanted the family dinner on the table at 6pm. Now I take on your minimalist approach and limit the ingredients and it happens much more easily! We love Sth Indian food so I limit the ingredients but not the spices.
When you talk about lessons are you talking about ones you would do online?

elizabeth reeves December 17, 2010 at 10:32 pm

My biggest challenge is how to feed everyone I’d like to be able to feed! I am a personal chef with a small , specialized catering business; I cook a week’s worth of high quality meals and deliver them to wealthy clients. I want to be able to feed more people who are actually in the “food poverty” zone without having to charge them the way I charge my regular clients. ( Oh, and I’d like to grow my business somewhat so I am n ot always in the red…)
If I were to take a cooking class, I believe I would take one that taught you how to teach kids basic kitchen skills and safety, as well as how to prepare tasty meals, a la Stone Soup. You are an insp!iration to me, Jules, and I look forward to every new post! I “gave” several friends your baking ebook for Christmas; thank you so much for that

Stefanie December 17, 2010 at 11:43 pm

1. Definitely inspiration. We menu plan for the week before grocery shopping and it’s hard to get inspired. Also the kids are at a picky eating stage right now and sometimes it’s just easier to do the same thing, over and over. What I need (and what I turn to stone soup for) is a simple, quick selection of meals that I can rotate to ensure balanced nutrition.

2. How to make a varied and nutritious meal plan based on seasonality. We’re in Canada and try to eat locally but we have two small children and want to be sure they’re getting all the appropriate balance. I imagine there are trade-offs per season…like berries=acorn squash (or something like that) but I would love to learn more about it.

GM December 18, 2010 at 4:35 am

1. Lately my biggest issue has been money, what with my wallet being stolen and not being paid on time. Normally it would be finding tasty whole foods that my daughter AND I will eat. I like mac & cheese as much as the next person but it gets boring day after day.

2. I would like to learn technique more than anything else. I’ve got the budgeting, shopping, and recipe reading down to an art now. Substitutions are easy for me. I’d actually like to learn more traditional techniques along with ethnic cooking, not americanized versions.

K December 18, 2010 at 6:24 am

1. Time. I love to cook and experiment with recipes; in fact I would say it is one of my main creative outlets. But to be completely honest, with our busy lives (I have so many evening activities for work that take me back at night) that I end up with may be one hour in which to do everything including making dinner.

2. It would probably be something very specific – specific regional cooking from around the world, not broad categories.

Michaela December 18, 2010 at 7:49 am

question 1. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to cooking?
I cook in a dorm kitchen, and only a few times a week. This means I have really limited access to cooking equipment, and any fresh ingredients I have to buy in large quantities go bad before I can use them all. For example, I love salads, but I waste half a head of lettuce every time I make one. (That’s part of the reason I love the 5-ingredients theme on your blog!) I also have to cream my butter by hand when baking and have to carry all of the various pots and pans required with me to the kitchen.

question 2. If you were going to take a cooking class, what would be the thing you’d most want to learn?
I shop at a small, local grocery store, with seasonal produce. When I see what’s in season, I want to be able to figure out everything else I need to buy to make a great dish without having to take another trip to the store. I don’t have a spice rack, so I buy in small quantities from bulk; I also don’t have staples like rice, or pasta usually, so I need to be able to buy those things one meal at a time. I’d like to learn how to create recipes on my own, based around a theme main ingredient (like squash, or tomatoes).

Look forward to seeing what you come up with!!!

Lindy December 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm

1. my biggest challenge is probably trying to incorporate as many fruits and veggies into my diet as possible without spending a lot of money (im a poor person) and im also very un-creative so i end up taking a bunch of vegetables and fruits and putting them into a blender sometimes and drinking it so i’ll at least say i ate some vegetables

2. i’d probably take the class “an uncreative poor person’s guide to delicious vegetarian meals”

PS – your website IS AWESOME. i hate cooking and its great to know i can spend less than 10 minutes in a kitchen and still have awesome meals (tofu with hummus and cilantro, delicious AND fast :] )

chrsye December 19, 2010 at 2:59 am

1. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to cooking?

My biggest challenges are working withing a budget and time. I am a single parent, an almost graduated college student, a part-time director of an after school program (not enough pay to live on), also a board director for a neighborhood non-profit org. I finish work at 6pm. then run to meetings every couple of weeks, and have a couple of night classes a week.

Last year I followed a great 2 week menu and lost 20lbs when I was between semesters and prior to having a job, but I spent a lot of time in the kitchen; I simply haven’t seen my kitchen lately.

2. What would I like to learn in a cooking class?

I would want to learn how to make simple ingredients taste interesting, spectacular, but mostly I want the food to be appealing to my 10 and 15 yr old. I can cut veggies for a stir fry, but I want to mix in some spices that enhance a dish without buying super sodium packets or bottled sauces from the store. I can make my own spaghetti sauce, but that’s it, and I’d like to know more.

Gabrielle December 20, 2010 at 12:40 am

question 1. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to cooking?
I am intolerent to gluten and cows milk, so usually the biggest challenge for me is finding recipes that suit my diet, but are also really yummy. Your blog has opened my eyes already to the many possibilities in gluten free eating, and has helped me realise that gluten free food doesn’t have to taste like cardboard, and that being intolerent to gluten doesn’t mean I can’t eat yummy cakes and sweet goodies! Thank you so much!

question 2. If you were going to take a cooking class, what would be the thing you’d most want to learn?
How to make gorgeous gluten and dairy free cakes and tarts! I also would love to learn how to make perfect little macarons!

Daniela December 20, 2010 at 5:10 am

1. Time. Especially shopping in a coordinated way.
2. How To for the whole thing: healthy, calorie conscious, local aware, cooking; recipe comes with a shopping list and a software that can join together recipes and make it a one shopping list.

Caleb December 20, 2010 at 9:34 am

1. One of my problems is the fact that it can be hard to make healthy food that also tastes delicious.
2. I would want to learn artistry as well! The ability to make simple, healthy food beautiful. :)

Caroline December 20, 2010 at 10:57 am

Biggest challenges –
1. I am not that confident in the kitchen. Did not grow up learning to cook at my grandmother’s elbow or some other similar sweet story. And, if given the choice, I’d rather be reading/writing/shooting pictures/playing outside than taking the time to cook.

Thing I’d most like to learn –
2. I would like a class emphasizing frequent trips to the grocery (garden) for fresh food. What to grow/how to shop. Including some of the basics: how to tell if something is bad or about to go bad; how to tell when things are ripe; general seasoning/marinating guidelines; different temperatures/settings to cook things at for different ways of cooking.

Happy holidays!!

jules December 20, 2010 at 11:11 am

Awesome
Thanks for all the brilliant insights and ideas everyone!
Keep ‘em coming
Jx

Fran Macdonald December 20, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Question 1: Biggest challenge at present is easy nutritious vegetarian food.
Question 2: I’d do a gluten free vegan course! Also, specific techniques.

Thanks for your beautiful recipes. Every one I’ve tried has been a great success. I’ve put lots of people onto your blog and am hearing that people are rapt with it. If you had a print book, I’d buy it – and more for presents.

Good luck in 2011.

Fran

Guanny December 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm

question 1. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to cooking?
I think I’m overambitious. I love eating good food, and eat out a lot. So often I’ll taste something really good in a restaurant, then go home and try replicating it. Sometimes this turns out really well (like my red curry mussels), but sometimes the dishes I try are too complicated and need the skills of a more experienced cook. Then I end up disappointed with the result. Also, as a new cook, I don’t have a lot of the kitchen requirements. And my oven is really crappy, with the temperature never being reliable.

question 2. If you were going to take a cooking class, what would be the thing you’d most want to learn?
I’d want to learn the basics, knife skills, baking skills etc, but learn them really really well. I went to an Asian cooking class once, and the best thing I got out of it is that I was taught how to hold and use a cleaver properly. Just that one little technique has sooo much with any dishes involving chopping or slicing.

Alice December 20, 2010 at 2:50 pm

1 – biggest cooking challenges:

Planning & having faith that the results are worth the planning. Having things on hand that work well together but that don’t go bad too quickly, and that will work within our dietary constraints (vegetarian, gluten-free, mushroom, soy & corn allergies) is hard. Then within those constraints, finding something that’s worth doing rather than boring but reliable pasta + sauce.

2. what would I most want to learn in a cooking class?

reliable techniques for preparing things ahead of time, and how to shop ahead (without a ‘menu’) for things that will recombine easily.

Angela Silvestre December 20, 2010 at 9:47 pm

question 1. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to cooking?
Is it finding the time? Healthy recipes that still taste good? Organisation? Inspiration? Budget? Your level of skills or confidence? General motivation? What else?

- Healthy recipes that still taste good and inspiration

question 2. If you were going to take a cooking class, what would be the thing you’d most want to learn?

- How to come up with ideas to cook just by looking to the ingredients available on my pantry :)

Alison Kerr December 21, 2010 at 1:43 am

My challenges are:
1. Planning ahead. I enjoy being spontaneous but then I put off deciding what I’m going to cook and dinner can end up late. I’d like to add a few more regular, memorized recipes to my repertoire.
2. Eating enough greens. I do pretty well in the summer with salad but in winter I struggle to serve enough veggies.

My tip: my absolute best kitchen tool is my pressure cooker. I use it at least once per day. It works really well for speeding up soup and stew cooking in particular.

Jasja December 21, 2010 at 7:01 pm

question 1. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to cooking?
Especially during busy workweeks, taking time to make something new. It is always tempting to make one of my standards. As in jazz, they are standards because I think they are good, but it is always good to challenge oneself to make something new.

question 2. If you were going to take a cooking class, what would be the thing you’d most want to learn?
Make more ‘persistent pasta’s’: they always turn out a little different, especially my ravioli: would love learn to make ravioli that do not burst open when being cooked. Now I am afraid to make them.

Jody December 21, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Hi Jules

After all the goodness you have dispensed this year, how can I not answer your questions!

question 1. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to cooking?

The biggest challenge is the daily grind of cooking. Not the big celebrations – those are a breeze. The challenge is coming up with a weekly plan every week that feeds two adventurous, but time challenged adults, and two plucky twin toddlers.

question 2. If you were going to take a cooking class, what would be the thing you’d most want to learn?

This is a hard one for me because I’ve been spoilt. I worked in a French restaurant for a while, and I have been a devotee of the BBC Food channel for years. Like many of the people that have commented, one of the reasons that I would consider a class is to learn a particular skill. The one that springs to mind right now is learning sushi, which strikes me as quite challenging.

Hope this comment helps in some way. Merry Christmas, and I hope that you get some much deserved rest.

Kat December 21, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Hi Jules,
Thanks for a great year of Stone Soup! I’ve used your recipes a lot, especially the ridiculously simple yet delicious ones which have been fantastic in my first year as a mum, finding myself time and spare-arm challenged most nights of the week.

question 1. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to cooking?
Deciding what to cook and remembering what’s worked before. Also my one year old daughter who’s often either in my arms or hanging onto my legs when I cook which requires fast simple cooking.

question 2. If you were going to take a cooking class, what would be the thing you’d most want to learn?
General principles that can be applied to different dishes and situations – I’d like to get better at cooking without having to follow every detail of a recipe, be able to improvise more and have basics up my sleeve to improvise from.

Anthea December 22, 2010 at 12:16 am

My biggest two problems with cooking are:

Finding the energy/time to cook.
Actually using fresh ingredients before they go bad. (Because I so often put off cooking until after fresh veggies have gone limp and spotty, for instance.)

I’m not sure if I would ever take a cooking course, but most likely to interest me would be a course on making Indian food in a standard US kitchen.

Jedidiah December 22, 2010 at 3:10 am

I would love to see a couple ‘series’ of 3-5 recipes that fall within a pool of 10 or so ingredients (obviously in 5 ingredient increments). I really like it when I know I can re-use or use-up an ingredient in the kitchen and I can use it with one of your recipes. For example- When I make your Chili Oil, I’ll make the Chili Oil Pasta with Rocket and a day or two later I’ll make the Tuna, Butter Bean, Chili Oil, ‘greens’ salad. I probably have some extra Chili Oil at this point, what else can I make? Maybe I’m out of Chili oil, but I have some leftover tuna and Rocket, what would be good with those two (probably a bad example, but you get the idea).

I like the idea of how this creates such a simple shopping list and streamlines some pre-requisites (e.g. making chili oil and having it on hand).

Mrsdragon December 22, 2010 at 4:57 am

Weeknights are the worst. Starving, tired…I don’t want to have to think about what to have. I don’t want to have to do any prep work. The best thing about pre prepared food was that lI could look in the freezer and instantly see dinner, no thought or prep needed. Now that we are moving away from that, we often fall back on the same very simple meals over and over.

What I would most like to learn in a cooking class is how to use seasonings and spices.

Angela December 22, 2010 at 5:34 am

Happy Holidays, Jules. Enjoy your much needed break.

1. Lately the hardest part is finding the time to make it to the market to buy fresh food. When I do have the time to get to the market, the hardest part is the timing, or planning what to do when so the dishes all come out when they’re supposed to.

2. I’m going to steal Jedidiah’s suggestion. Menus of sorts for the next few days with just a few ingredients.

allie December 22, 2010 at 9:22 am

1. the hardest part is having a simple arsenal of recipes that I can make from the cupboard at a moment’s notice. this is also difficult because I live in a household of 2 and I can’t keep too much food on hand or it will go bad before we can eat it.
2. presentation is also an issue for me. meal planning is something i’ve been working on as well, but sometimes my schedule changes at the last minute and it’s hard to stay on top of things.

veggietestkitchen December 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm

1. biggest challenge is dealing with the mess of multiple component dishes. anticipation of the mess, many times, makes me not want to cook things that i would otherwise

2. i’d most want to learn about tempering chocolate. i’m a vegetarian, so there aren’t many cooking classes that i find I can actually participate the full way through. this is totally wishful, but if there was a class on eggless pastry, i’d sign up in a heartbeat.

jules December 22, 2010 at 6:55 pm

wow
I’m so impressed with all the suggestions and insights here.
big THANKYOU everyone for taking the time to comment – I really appreciate it!
Merry Christmas
Jules x

Ed Buziak December 23, 2010 at 5:56 am

Maybe this is a bit off-beat (although I noticed that Guanny mentioned the “knife” word) and my immediate response to the questions was almost not written because I thought, “Uh-oh, this is a man’s thing”… but having watched many cookery series on French TV over the years I’m constantly amazed at how little confidence most people – not professionals – have with their knives. To learn through practice the correct way of keeping just two or three knives sharp, caring for them, and how to use those simple but precision tools safely and confidently to prepare the ingredients of a menu, is a necessary skill like learning to walk before you can attempt to run. How one describes these basics on a blog is a different challenge… but an awareness of the importance of kitchen knife skills should be emphatic as once mastered, cooking and kitchen work increases in pleasure.

julie December 23, 2010 at 6:16 am

My biggest challenge is timing–I have to go get kids at school (1 hr roundtrip) right b4 dinner, so I end up prepping food, leaving for an hour, and returning to finish it up. It’s tricky to balance so they’re not ravenous and yet dinner still gets going. I guess I need recipes that can bake upon return. And one-pot meals so I don’t spend all night cleaning up. Kinda kills the urge to cook at home, love it though I do.

I would love to learn to make sauces really well. Lots of em. They make the difference, I think. Love flavor!

Thanks for asking, Jules. I love your site and have derived much inspiration and pleasure from reading it! Introduced my mom to it, too. So you have two Texan fans!

Julie

Robin December 23, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Organization. I’m not a bad cook but I find the planning and shopping and having a well-stocked but not overstocked pantry a challenge. And rather than shop I’ll cobble together some odd pairings — sometimes these are keepers but sometimes?

Ariana December 23, 2010 at 8:46 pm

My biggest challenge is to cook something that’s easy to digest. I react sensitive to onions, beans, cabbage, chickpeas etc. and therefore avoid to put them in the food… And the lack of time – sometimes in the evening I am just not motivated to cook something if I have worked all day…

I would love to learn how to combine things. I just mead the couscousspinachchicken soup from your cookbook and I would have never even thought about using lemon juice – but it was delicious. If I cook without a recipe I tend to use the same ingredients over and over and everything tastes the same ;-)

Carrie December 25, 2010 at 6:04 am

question #1: finding spicy ethnic (vegetarian and meat-based) recipes that the whole family will like and that aren’t way out of my skillset

question#2: breadmaking – would love to find a simple, no fail white bread recipe (everything I’ve tried so far has failed miserably – manhole cover anyone?!?)

Kiki December 25, 2010 at 9:48 am

Hi Jules,

1. My greatest challenge is inspiration. I am well inspired by all the stuff I read in cookbooks, magazines, or food blogs. But the problem is coming up with ideas of something new or special myself.

2. In a cooking class I’d like to learn everything about making your own sauces. I do own recipe books on the subject, but it all seems so tedious and so much work to start at least a day ahead on a sauce. So a class on easy but fabulous sauces would be just my thing.

Ann December 25, 2010 at 8:13 pm

question 1. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to cooking?
If I had to choose one, it would be cooking healthy, balanced meals on a budget.

question 2. If you were going to take a cooking class, what would be the thing you’d most want to learn?
I would like to learn more about seasonal cooking, especially in cold-weather climates.

I came across your site recently and I’m hooked! Keep up the great work.

birgit December 26, 2010 at 4:17 am

question 1.
i’m too lazy, it is easier to eat some bread and i don’t have to clean up the kitchen
question 2.
i would like to learn to prepare vegetables basic recipes for every vegetable yes and seasonal cooking
the free ebook is very very great
thank you so much
have a nice time
can’t wait when you are back
lg birgit

Emily December 26, 2010 at 5:13 am

1. Meatless recipes that don’t take a ton of prep time. I’m anticipating household income taking a major dip next year, and I’m going to need good, easy, meatless recipes that I can fall back on when organic and less cruel meat is out of reach.

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