Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment in the Kitchen

Cooking should be a creative and fun experience. Once you have the basics down, don’t be afraid to experiment and come up with your own flavours. Just like other things, many dishes have been tried and done before. What makes them unique and original is how you interpret the dishes when you cook them. Of course there is nothing wrong with following recipes, but I think you’d find more joy in cooking if you add an extra pinch of something and the dish turns out BETTER than the recipe.

Batch 2 - Creamy Pumpkin Pasta_V2

Pumpkin Carbonara

My tip for you is that each dish is a component of these 5 flavours: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spicy and it is how you mix them and how you balance these flavours that is the key. Start with what you know and try to mix one Asian ingredient with a western one. For example, I love using Japanese white miso in western sauces and marinades because white miso brings a unique salty taste to the dish as well as a subtle sweetness. I recently had a cooking class and taught a Grilled Fish Taco with White Miso Lime Dressing. Just because it is a “Mexican taco”, it doesn’t mean you have to stick to tomato salsa and guacamole. The dressing is easy to make and goes very well with seafood dishes, such as crab cakes, fish burger and anything deep-fried.

Experiment in the Kitchen - Fish Taco with Miso & Lime Dressing

Grilled Fish Taco with White Miso & Lime Dressing

This is just one of many examples of how you can slowly start experimenting with ingredients and flavours in your kitchen. Start out small and you will soon learn that the combinations are endless!

Batch 2 - Baked Snapper with Saffron and Mint

Baked Snapper with Saffron & Mint

Recipe:

White Miso & Lime Dressing 白麵豉青檸醬

100g Mayonnaise

30g white miso paste

juice and zest of 2 limes

1 clove garlic, finely minced

10ml rice wine vinegar

5ml mirin

salt and black pepper to taste

Japanese 7 Spice Powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Taste as you go and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

 

For more cooking ideas, check out my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Charmainecooks/

Cooking Videos:

Pumpkin Carbonara
Baked Snapper with Saffron & Mint

Mirror

We are always very critical of our own self. Striving for excellence and having standards are great. They keep you wanting to improve and learn more. However, there are times where you just have to be okay with the ‘good enoughs’ in your life. Not everything will turn out the way you want them to and nothing is perfect. The good enoughs get you by, but sometimes they are the little wins  that make your days a little brighter, a little happier.

Our family, close friends and partner probably have a better idea on our positive attributes than we do. You might think that sending a random text to a friend just to say hello or baking cookies for your partner are just things that you do because you want to and you happen to have the time. These are gestures that you probably don’t consider as anything much but to the receivers, they know that you truly care and because you took the time, you gave them that warm fuzzy feeling on a what could have been just an ordinary day.

There is beauty in us that we cannot see in our own self. Even if you look into the mirror and see your own reflection, what is being reflected is someone who is somewhat skewed. Let other people who truly know you be your mirrors, and you in turn be theirs.

How may I be your mirror? Will you be my mirror?