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Danny had a post up the other day regarding what he loves about women.  In it, he lists things that women do that drive him crazy (in the good way).  One on the list was “cooks for me” which was followed by “never experienced this one before so it’s more a “wish list” addition.”  Later in the comments he explained that the only women ever to cook for him were family.  Danny is in his late 30’s, knows women,  and has never had a non-family member cook for him.  Ever.

I think it’s time for me to say this again.  Cooking is easy.  No.  Really.  It is.  Are some dishes hard?  Sure.  But good food absolutely does not need to be difficult to make.  I don’t have a very good idea about who reads this blog.  It’s small and it has some loyal followers (thank you!).  Of the women who do read it, I get the sense they can cook rather well.  On the chance that there are some women out there (and men) who know absolutely nothing about cooking, I am going to start posting more recipes and try to explain them as if the reader has never cooked before.  If this seems tedious, please let me know. I am happy to cater this to everyone’s needs, but you need to tell me or ask questions.  I love to talk about cooking so please comment away.

In case there are those out there who think to themselves, I don’t know how to cook, I don’t ever intend to cook for a man and I am independent and empowered enough to take care of myself, what-have-you, I would like to propose this.  If you area self sufficient/empowered yet you allow someone else to prepare your meals for you, how independent are you really?  Whether you eat all your meals out or you buy pre-packaged meals from the grocery store, if you have no idea how these things are prepared or what is actually going into them, how is that being independent?  Are you getting by? Surviving?  Sure.  But I would argue that you are not doing it well.  Your well being should be about a whole lot more than just getting by on what others are making for you.  Your nutrition should be about knowing, at least, quite well what is going into your body.

Now, am I advocating strict clean living health food?  No.  I live in the real world, too.  Restaurants are fun and they taste good.  Ice cream and chips taste amazing.  Once in a while is not going to kill you, but eating junk like this everyday will.  So will eating the stuff that comes out of the freezer section of your grocery store, no matter how healthy they tell you it is on the package.

So, whether you just want new recipes, or you can’t even boil water, I am going to try to start putting up some easy and healthy (and at times not so healthy) recipes.  I will do my best to walk you through these step by step.  First off, if your kitchen is empty and you have nothing to cook with, go to Walmart or get online and buy a cast iron frying pan.  At some stores they will go for 100$.  Don’t buy that one.  You can find them at some stores for 20$.  Get that one.  These are great because they come pr-eseasoned.  That means that they have oil rubbed on them and that oil has been given time to soak into the pores in the iron.  This will make is fairly non-stick.  If you learn to care for your cast-iron your great grandchildren will be enjoying these pans.*  The nice things about cast iron is that you can use them in the oven and on the stove.  If you have nothing in your kitchen, buy two of these so you can use one for a frying pan and one for a roaster in the oven and these will get you by for some time.

On to a recipe.  Sweet potatoes.  Sweet orange (beta-carotene, low glycemic goodness). The first recipe is easy.

Ingredients:

Sweet potato

Directions:

Get some tin foil and place it on the very bottom rack just below your sweet potato.  Place the sweet potato on the rack directly above the tin foil.  Turn your oven to 400 degrees.  That’s it.  The only tricky part is knowing when it is finished.  This will differ depending on the size of your potato.  My experience is that right about the time you can smell it, it’s done.  Take your hot pad and give it a squeeze.  If it’s soft, it’s done.

They are very good plain.  Or, put on some cinnamon.  Adding butter will add even more flavor and better texture.  Add brown sugar and it’s heaven, but you’ve lost the healthy part.

Have this for a side to a roast chicken and a salad and you have a good meal.  I will try to start adding some more recipes on a regular basis.  There is absolutely no reason to be intimidated by cooking and if you believe that not having the knowledge to cook is a good thing, well, it’s not good.  It simply means you don’t know how to do something fairly easy and you really have no idea what you’re putting into your body. This isn’t something to be proud of.

I plan on putting up some more side and veggie dishes (I realize today’s recipe was a bit too easy, but I am running short on time right now) but if there is anything out there you would like to see recipes for, please let me know.  Ask anything you like and I will do my best to answer.  If you have more interest in the health aspect, I recommend visiting Keoni Galt.  Here is a good start, but he has been writing about health and food for quite a while so please go into his archives.  Anther very good blog is Fat-Head (and if you haven’t watched his documentary, watch it.  It’s on Youtube, Netflix and I believe Hulu might have it as well).  This guest post is also excellent.

* I do wash my cast-iron in some what soapy water sometimes.  Most times I just use hot water with a scrubber and it works fine.  When I use soapy water I simply put it on the stove on medium to dry and then re-season it with coconut oil.  This simply means that when the hot pan is dry I put in a dollop of coconut oil and rub it around to apply a very thin film.  Then I turn the stove off and let the warm electric coils keep the pan warm enough to let the oil sink in.  If you have a gas stove you can let it stay on the stove for a few minutes on low or stick it in the oven on low heat to re-season it.

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