The Beauty of Home(made)

Dear readers:

I know it’s been several months since I’ve had the opportunity to post, and for that, I am truly apologetic. But as I know fellow foodies and their busy schedules and explorations of all the new restaurants, I also know you’ll understand as I look to get back on track. To this end, I’m writing a post that makes me feel close to home (and heart).

There is truly nothing like the beauty of homemade cuisine. Sure, you can always feel like it’s a taste of home when you’re at your favorite restaurant or delectably enjoying the cuisine that takes you to that special place, but there is nothing like being the one slaving over the stove or having someone else do it for you to really understand the beauty of true enjoyment.

I had not only one, but two recent special occasions, where a home cooked meal was prepared especially for me (the special person knows who they are). It’s one thing to already appreciate the person who is doing it for you, but there is an extra special level when the food is absolutely delicious and prepared with love. On the first occasion, I had the opportunity to enjoy a pork chop (yes, it takes a while to cook according to the special chef who prepared it for me), stuffed with sun dried tomatoes, spinach and cheese. (The sauce was a secret recipe that the chef wouldn’t share with me).  It was paired with rice and topped with an olive – check out the amazing presentation!

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The second homemade dish I had the opportunity to enjoy was a steak that was specially marinated with mushrooms (again, chef’s secret) with plantains and avocado – yum!

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After being inspired by the special chef who cooked for me, I decided it was time to get more savvy in the kitchen and I opted to take a cooking class with friend and RD, Diane Henderiks.  She hosted us at the lovely cooking studios of Taste and Technique in Fairhaven, NJ (yes, I traveled all the way out to Jersey for the class) where we learned how to make “Culinary Concoctions.”  What was great is she showed us ways to use our leftovers from Shrimp and Arugula Salad to Turkey Taco Night to Chimichurri Skirt Steak with coffee grinds from your own coffee maker – delicious!

After a successful cooking class evening, I sought to create my own dinner for the special chef and while it may not have been as fancy, it certainly still tasted delicious and left the chef satisfied, which was the best part to thank him for the culinary skills he had shared with me to enjoy.

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