April Monthly Mouthful

One of my favorite things about cooking is the sense of achievement we feel when what we create is actually delicious. Preparing food isn’t just about feeding ourselves and our hungry families, no it’s more than that – it’s something that can really make us feel proud.

So, this month, we asked our favorite food bloggers to:
Tell us about their proudest cooking moments and share the recipes!

Read all the responses below to see what everyone said. And, share your favorite in the comments!

Dina from Miche Mache

The first time I made a turkey on my own for my family for Thanksgiving. It was a beautiful turkey even though it was lopsided and missing a wing! Of all the turkeys I could choose from, I came home with a 1 winged bird. But everyone enjoyed themselves and it’s a memory I will keep with me for a long time.

Cenk from Cafe Fernando

This is perfect timing. I recently published a post about bagels and called them my proudest baking accomplishments. There is definitely something magical about baking bread. And when it is a taste that you miss dearly, it makes it even more magical. The full story and recipe is here.

Stef from Cupcake Project

My proudest cooking moment was the first time I actually won a prize for my baking. I got a runner-up prize at a tomato festival for my tomato cupcakes. It was so exciting to be recognized not only for the photos and recipes on the blog, but by judges who could actually see, smell, touch, and taste my cupcakes. The recipe and video of me winning (you know I was proud if I posted video of myself) can be found here.

Kris from To be Mrs. Marv

I’m an artist and designer by trade and I’ve always looked at my cooking as silliness perpetrated in the kitchen. Mainly because I am very silly. I tended to wander into the kitchen throw things together and if they worked, that was excellent, if not, we still got fed.

A month or so after starting my blog, I noticed a search term of ‘chocolate marv’ in my search stats. I knew I had to design a dessert for that name. I figured I’d like to do something like a rough chocolate tart. I designed how I would like it to look (like a small cheesecake but rough around the edges) and how I’d like it to taste (light, like a mousse, but with some sort of acid to contrast.) Then I started investigating tools and techniques to figure out how to make what I was now seeing and tasting in my head. After a bit of effort I created what I was imagining. This was really the first time that I used the skills and training I use in my everyday life to create something food related. Since then I’ve continued to make random acts of food, but I’ve also added in a more thoughtful way of creating. (And I’m really quite proud of that!)

Enjoy: The Tale of the White Chocolate Marvs

Jessie from Cakespy

Definitely the first time I ever made bagels. Doing it the “real” way, boiling them before baking, involved a lot of steps but when they finally rose to the top of the boiling water, the sense of accomplishment was incredible! So was the taste. Here’s the recipe I used: Home Baked Bagels.

Ruth from Once Upon A Feast

I’ve had many a proud moment in the kitchen….like my first dinner party at age 16: lasagna and Caesar salad, and making an entire Indian feast from scratch. But the proudest of all is when I was very little. My mother would always let me make “cookies” ( I use the term loosely ) with scraps of dough from her batches. I remember the grey flat rocks I baked along side her flaky melt in your mouth shortbread cookies with a cherry on top and the anticipation on my face as my dad would take his first bite of mine. I was so proud when he told me they were the best cookies he ever tasted! What a great actor – MY DAD!

Nicole from For the Love of Food

A little background: I can’t eat sugar, and I am not diabetic – I have a temporary allergy (will go away once I stop breast feeding – fun, huh?). It’s been 1 year and in this year I have made leaps and bounds in “sweet cooking” without sugar, dextrose, corn syrup, brown sugar, or molasses – or artificial sweeteners. I use fructose, honey, and recently learned that I don’t adversely react to maple syrup.

That being said, there are gazillions of foods that I can’t eat because they have one form or another of sugar in them. And, I love BBQ ribs, but it was just too frustrating to make them and not be able to use BBQ sauce.

So, one day, I got up and decided I would make [BBQ ribs], and really good ones at that. I had to make everything from scratch – the corn syrup, the ketchup, and then the bbq sauce. But, in the end it was worth every effort. It was sooo good! I did it! I even served the BBQ ribs with the sauce for my son’s first birthday and they were a big hit.

I was/am so proud of this achievement – I wish I had a BBQ cook-off to submit my BBQ ribs to!

Anne-Marie from This Mama Cooks

The first “proudest cooking moment” that came to mind when I attempted to use the rotisserie on our new grill. I had no idea how to use it and couldn’t find the directions. So I just skewered the 5 lb. pork loin roast on the “rod thingie” and hoped for the best. Well, because I hadn’t done it right, the roast kept slipping and was only getting cooked on one side as the rod went round and round. Figuring that the meat wasn’t tight enough on the skewer, I used some kitchen string to bind the loin. And even though the meat was darker on one side than the other, it was delicious and juicy. Not bad for being a total grilling doofus.

Here’s the recipe for My Mom’s Rotisserie Pork Roast from Dr. BBQ. My husband made it again that Christmas. While he attached the roast to the rotisserie skewer correctly, he overcooked and dried out the meat. Needless to say, he rarely uses the rotisserie and sticks with his smoker (OK by me!)

Sometimes doing it the wrong way turns out better than cooking things the right way.

Melissa from Alosha’s Kitchen

My proudest cooking moment was really when I cooked my first real recipe on my own. I didn’t really cook until I was 30, about 2 1/2 years ago. Sad for my husband, sad for ME! But one day, when I was contemplating this wonderful chicken tortilla soup that I loved at a particular restaurant, I finally had the light dawn on me: “why can’t I make that myself??” And so I did. It was my first big recipe, my first attempt at really cooking. I had never even cut up an onion or minced garlic before. So it was a huge accomplishment.

Anyway, it’s nothing earth-shattering, but it was meaningful for me. And it got me started cooking – which turned out to be the greatest passion and joy I have ever had. So it was worth a lot more than just a few bowls of soup. =)

Here is the recipe: Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Gilli from So So Simple Food

I guess you could say I was really proud of the first Pikelets I made. They are like flapjacks for the US readers. I was about 8. I made them by myself and I thought they were fabulous. My poor family gallantly chewed on them…they were tough and some were burnt. They would have made great Frisbees. I won’t give you that recipe

But I will give you this one.

I have made quite a lot of bread over the years but I am really proud of this one.

It looks great and tastes superb and it’s especially good with cheese.

So here we go… Mandarin and Chocolate Bread.

Thanks to all who participated in this Monthly Mouthful and for continuing to indulge our food-related questions! If you were not contacted for this month’s Monthly Mouthful and would like to be included in future Monthly Mouthfuls, please e-mail us at chewonthatblog [at] gmail [dot] com!

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  • http://www.cookingandeatinginthewindycity.blogspot.com Erin

    Each time I make a new, intimidating dish I feel proud of it. That’s what I love about cooking and baking– there’s always another accomplishment.

    I think I felt most proud recently when I went home to visit my family. Growing up, my mom and younger sister tended to rule the kitchen, and there just wasn’t enough room for all of us. I didn’t like fighting for space, so I stayed out of the kitchen. Therefore, I got the reputation as the daughter that couldn’t cook. My blog has shown my family that I know a thing or two, and on this recent visit I kept being called “the chef” and my mom wanted to consult me on all the cooking she did. It was so exciting to see my family final see me as someone who knows and loves cooking, and their respect made me feel quite proud.

  • http://sososimple.blogspot.com Gilli Wrightson

    Funny how many of us find bread or associated bread products an accomplishment. Mind you there nothing quuite like the aroma of fresh bread cooking.

    Good round up Hillary

  • http://www.ommnomnom.com Victoria

    I <3 reading these, it seems like it’s the simple and silly things that people remember the best.

    My proudest moment defiantly was when I back my first vegan cake with vegan butter-cream frosting. I was using a recipe I found online, and with no real sense of size I put all the mix into my cake tin. During the baking, the cake grew and grew until it eventually exploded all over the oven. Despite this, it tasted fantastic and I managed to shape it into a respectable looking desert with a knife and a lot of frosting. :)

  • http://aloshaskitchen.blogspot.com melissa

    I loved these stories. erin, good for you. and you too, nicole, for making that darn bbq sauce anyway. I also loved ruth’s story and jessie’s link to making bagels. I never thought about making them at home but I miss real NY bagels sooo much.

  • http://www.cakespy.com Cakespy

    I always love reading everyone’s responses–it’s like a little history on the person, as well as some awesome recipes!

  • http://onceuponafeast.blogspot Ruth

    Great stories! Thanks for coming up with such wonderful topics every month. Keep them coming!

  • http://helene-lacuisine.blogspot.com/ Hélène

    I really enjoyed reading what everyone has to say. Thanks for sharing.

  • Addie

    My proudest moments are when I teach someone a dish or share a recipe and they succeed on their first try on their own.
    Perfect Chicken Broth is a perfect example.

  • Connie

    Growing up my family had some tough times – my parents started with nothing but each other, and soon, 3 children. So they farmed, and we lived on good old country cooking. I took Home Ec in high school, and Mrs. Chambers opened a whole new world in food for me. The first meal I cooked (at 16) for my family was, to us, the exotic shrimp creole and rice, with a tossed salad and dinner rolls. It was as foreign to us as our first pizza, but everyone tried it and pronounced it grand. Momma loved not cooking, but Daddy always preferred his beans and cornbread.

  • Linda

    One meal I remember is Christmas dinner for my husband and me. We always have prime rib and I always look forward to it. I had put the prime rib in the oven, seasoned with lots of pepper, salt and garlic. Smelled delicious. I start it out with high heat about 425 degrees, then turn it down to 350. Well, about an hour into cooking, our electricity went out (I have an electric oven). I told my husband that our prime rib was going to be ruined. Well we were watching the meat thermometer and it kept rising. We kept it in the oven without opening it, and when it reached the correct temperature, we took it out. When we ate it, it was the best prime rib we had ever eaten. We’ve tried it again one year, but it never quite taste as good as that night. Just goes to show that even mishaps can come out OK.

  • http://www.getheirloomtomatoes.com Anna

    Hello Hillary,My grandchildren are teenagers now,but when the two grand girls spent the night with me one was 3 and one was 5. The next morning at breakfast I ask the children what they wanted for lunch.They of course wanted mac an cheese.So,of course after breakfast I told the girls they could help me.We got the bakeing dish out and I started gettin the ingrediance out,the girls looked at me and said “No,No” grandma,”thats not how you make mac and cheese” and they went to their backpack and pulled out a box of”Kraft mac and cheese.This is how our Mommy makes good “mac and cheese” I loved that moment.The children don’t like my homade kind,they said mine isn’t creamy enough. That’s why you love grand children SO much. They still like Box mac and cheese.Thanks Anna

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