I never imagined myself to be a woman who cooks.
When I was in College, I used to make jokes based on the fact that all I knew how to make was toast and Kraft Dinner and sometimes even failed at that.
I used to ask questions about other people's cooking...
"How'd you know how to make this?"
"Where do you find your recipes?"
"I could never make a meal this good. Have you always known how to cook?"
I was never confident in myself when it came to kitchens.
Once I started becoming interested in blogging, my favorite lifestyle bloggers would post a recipe every now and then and the ingredients they used would completely intrigue me.
I had never even heard of an avocado before blogging.
I started to learn more about how important it is to buy local foods.
How fantastic Gouda tastes on sandwich's or by itself.
I learned about the beauty of a roasted tomato and oil based pastas.
I discovered squash.
The more I started to read about these amazing recipes and the more I started to research actual food blogs, the more I started to become more curious.
I was yearning to try the recipes that I had found so I made my family my guinea pig and I had a lot of failed recipes. I'll never forget the time when I attempted to make Chicken Parmesan and it was seriously the most disgusting thing I've ever made. I was so new to cooking back then and probably no one around to answer my questions... and so it flopped. Big time.
Which leads me to my next point... Questions.
In my first year of cooking (and even a little bit now), I asked a LOT of questions. I would second guess absolutely everything I made whether it was about measurements, substituting ingredients (which I would try not to do because I didn't know what tasted good with what), or what I should make as a side dish. I didn't understand anything so I would hound my mom and step mom about what to do. I seriously think this was the best thing I ever did in cooking rather than try and learn everything on my own.
Now when I cook, I can imagine flavors in my head (or mouth?) and know what ingredients and food products compliment each other.
I know (a little bit more) about measurements and if not, there's always Google!
I know what kind of spices or cheese I can use in place of something I don't have according to a recipe.
Even though I am still learning and would consider myself in a Culinary "Intermediate" level, my questions about cooking go more like this:
"What should I make for dessert? The Lemon Meringue or the Cheesecake?"
"Parmesan or Mozzarella...or both?"
"What type of wine should we pair with this meal?"
Or my personal favorite question....
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"