I had a blast last Wednesday night chatting and getting some great ideas on cooking with loved ones with my friends!
Here is our recap…
Sharing your cooking online
“Have you ever taken a picture of the food you cooked and then tweeted or emailed out to friends / family?” Vera asked the group, kicking off the discussion of virtual cooking. “I LOVE to do this! I try to post a recipe a week on my blog.”
Most participants agreed that they also enjoy sharing photos of their cooking.
“I blog about food A LOT (4 times per week), so there aren’t too many meals that go back without taking a picture,” said participant Cookin Canuck. “Downside – sometimes the meals aren’t as hot as they should be!”
Co-host Zareen Fidlon, Cooking with Z, agreed, “I do this all the time for my blog. I just got a new camera so my pics are so much better already. Now I just need a class to learn to use it better and a little lighting studio.”
For tips on taking great pictures of food, check out the link that Vera shared from her interview with a food photographer: http://www.ladyandtheblog.com/2010/12/07/food-styling-tips-how-to-take-great-photos-of-your-food/
And what about Skype?
Sharing photos is a fun way to display the end results of your cooking, but if you’re in a jam and need to ask someone for help – say, your mother who lives 200 miles away – Skype seems like the perfect way to get a visual demonstration.
“I have a friend who taught me how to bake my first cake on Skype,” said participant Nivedita.
Added TidyMom, “I have several foodie friends on Skype … so I often run to Skype when I have a recipe ‘issue’ in the middle of cooking.”
And Kayla S has used Skype “with my Grammy. She’s my idol when it comes to cooking, so I did it once when I knew she was on and we chatted while I cooked.”
For most of the other participants, using Skype for cooking was a new idea – but “I would TOTALLY do it for cooking help!” commented participant htothe3. “Why not?”
Google or Cookbooks? Tradition struggles with technology
Although most participants admitted they often turn to the Internet for recipes and inspiration, many of them still own and buy traditional cookbooks.
“I need a cookbook intervention!” said participant Cookin’ Canuck. “I have a big bookcase for them and it’s packed.”
“I love cookbooks of authentic cuisine,” said co-host Kate Selner, Kate in the Kitchen. “I don’t buy popular cookbooks, or flash in the pan offerings. I like classic ones, books that will stand the test of time and still be relevant.”
Co-host Whitney Wingerd, Mommies with Style, agreed that she loves using cookbooks, “but have to admit I do most of my recipe searching online … I also tear out recipes from magazines and put them into a 3-ring binder I have for recipes.”
On the other hand, “Everything is online,” said co-host Victoria Pericon, 24/7 Victoria, “Or there is an APP for it, so I tend to lean that way.”
Cooking with the ones you love
It’s always a lot of fun to cook and share the fruits of your labor with loved ones online through photos and video – but what about the loved ones who live nearby? They get to enjoy the real thing, and if you’re lucky, they’ll help you prep.
Co-host Sarah Caron, Sarah’s Cucina Bella, cooked with her daughter the afternoon of the class. “I asked her if she wanted to help with a recipe I was working on and she was in the kitchen right away.”
“My kids” helped me cook last week, said co-host Nancy Horn, The Product Mama. “We made whole wheat pizzas.”
Along with their kids, members of the group had cooked with their husbands or mothers most recently.
Others found creative ways to share their cooking. “Love to call up friends and invite them to bring their leftovers to our house,” said co-host Jennifer Leal, Savor the Thyme. “They can eat our leftover, we eat theirs but fresh to each family. It is like a lazy potluck!”
Eating with the ones you love
Beyond cooking, a number of people shared traditions from their family tables.
“We go around the table and say one good thing that happened that day,” said co-host Audrey McClelland, Mom Generations.
Participant Kelly added, “When the boys were little we held hands, said grace, then squeezed hands around the table.”
Vera’s family “always toast and say ‘cheers’ before we eat! Kids love it.”
Vera shared some great recipes, including this one for mini huevos rancheros, which includes Hunt’s tomatoes: http://imusausa.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=108&Itemid=21
From Ready Set Eat, the ConAgra recipe resource site, a great recipe for an easy slow cooker pot roast: http://www.readyseteat.com/recipes-Easy-Slow-Cooker-Pot-Roast-5242.html
For more slow cooker recipes: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/
Also from Ready Set Eat, a Chicken Rotini Toss: http://www.readyseteat.com/recipes-Chicken-Rotini-Toss-2289.html
The food section of Vera’s blog, Lady and the Blog: http://www.ladyandtheblog.com/category/eat/inside-the-kitchen/
A BIG thanks to our fabulous host, Vera Sweeney, Lady and Blog, and these amazing co-hosts:
Audrey McClelland, Mom Generations, http://momgenerations.com
Whitney Wingerd, Mommies with Style, http://www.mommieswithstyle.com
Colleen Padilla, Classy Mommy, http://classymommy.com
Melissa Chapman, Married My Sugar Daddy, http://marriedmysugardaddy.com
Victoria Pericon, 24/7 Victoria, http://247victoria.com/
Nancy Horn, The Product Mama, http://theproductmama.tumblr.com
Jennifer Leal, Savoring the Thyme, http://www.savoringthethyme.com/
Zareen Fidlon, Cooking with Z, http://cookingwithz.com/
Kate Selner, Kate in the Kitchen, http://kateinthekitchen.com/
Sarah Caron, Sarah’s Cucina Bella, http://www.sarahscucinabella.com