Creating your own recipes for food and drink at home has become an incredibly popular pastime. The advent of affordable gadgets to do preparation has coupled with the easy online availability of supplies to give anyone the tools they need to become their own gourmet chef.
However, the product is only as good as what is put into it. If you put lousy food into a panini press, you get a lousy panini. You have to be able to source the right ingredients to make things turn out the right way.
So, how do you do it? How do you source a terrific grenadine syrup when you have just found a terrific recipe that calls for it? Most of the process is common-sense, but it never hurts to review.
Ask The Experts
This does not mean you need to email a television chef and wait for a canned reply about where he or she gets that wonderful citrus fruit. You can certainly broaden the definition of “expert” here and include your food-crazy friends.
We all know some people like that, talented kitchen artists who love to put together something unique and delicious for an evening with family and friends. As you sip their latest creation after dinner, quiz him or her. Find out what sources have been used for the standout elements of the evening’s offerings (or at least, the elements that you most want to use). People who love to cook typically love to talk about cooking too, and they will be glad to share.
Value Your Own Experience
Do not sell yourself short in the expert department. Give yourself some credibility in terms of what you conclude. Regardless of a ringing endorsement from a friend, if the spices you bought just are not making your food sing, find another option.
Remember that the combination of things that you use includes more than just the ingredients. The temperature at which you cook, the interaction of the various ingredients, and countless other factors can make ingredients behave differently for you than they do for someone else. Thus, be sure you are really in tune with what you have done, what worked, what did not, and take the time to explore other options when you are not satisfied.
Think About Health
One of the things we all love to do is to whip up something indulgent once in a while. There is nothing wrong with that. But the big picture should always be a healthy one. After all, it is not an indulgence if you do it every day!
Stay abreast of health research. Find out what elements are being shown to have health benefits when used in food. In the 1980’s it was oat bran, seen as a superfood that did lots of great things for the body. Today, gluten is the keyword; lots of people have issues digesting it, so great ingredients should try to avoid such products altogether.
And do not forget common allergens. Research alternatives to common culprits like shellfish, eggs, and peanuts. Make sure that you are able to put forth a dish that is worry-free, but still full of flavor for whomever may sit at your table.
Cooking is a unique activity. In one way, it is a biological necessity; we cook because we need to eat. Although, the ability to turn a meal into an experience is so powerful. It enables us to make friends, build business relationships, and enjoy precious time with loved ones. When your food can enhance that experience to make it more powerful and memorable, you have captured the best of both worlds, right in your kitchen.