What a blessing it is to love to cook. These days with our focus on construction costs we are not going out as often as we used to. Our favourite places to go out were always the great inexpensive ethnically diverse places that we are so lucky to have here in our city. It is literally the best food for the buck especially compared to the polished trendy restaurants that are fun to go to, granted, but the food is overpriced as far as I'm concerned. When you like to cook as we do, it had better be good for us to pay $100 + for a meal. Many times we have been so disappointed in a much hyped restaurant that was just average. If we had lots of money for eating out we wouldn't mind but when we know how to cook well ourselves and our priorities these days are all about the house on the island, it just isn't worth it. Lately financially its been really tight so we are cooking at home almost exclusively and surprise surprise we have become so much more creative in our shopping and cooking. It cost almost nothing to keep a fresh supply of herbs on hand, cilantro, parsley, mint, basil and so on and when you have fresh herbs in the fridge almost any dish is enhanced incredibly.
On the weekend I often watch the cooking channel to get ideas or my favourite food blog. This weekend I made moussaka which I have never made before. There used to be a restaurant nearby that had terrific moussaka but it changed hands and it is not nearly as good anymore so I gave it a try after watching a show where they followed a greek chef around while he cooked. My own version was just wonderful, if I do say so. It really has been a while since I tried something that I have never made before.
Once you cook a lot at home you find that first of all you always have great leftovers (a la my wonderful frugal grandmother) and you have all the stuff around to whip almost anything without leaving the house. I find these days that we always have prawns, some kind of white fish, and ground meat in the freezer so when we get vegetables and herbs once a week we can make almost anything. We kind of go by what we feel like rather than planning too far ahead. Planning ahead works for a lot of people but not us, we seem to go day by day and see what our imagination brings.
The pleasures of a simple life, it just gets better all the time.