Then and Now: How Has Your Cooking Changed?

Care to take a trip down memory lane with us? We've been feeling reminiscent about the days when our culinary repertoire consisted almost exclusively of stir-fried frozen veggies and either rice or pasta. We've come quite a ways since then! How has your own cooking style changed and grown over the years?

Cooking wasn't something that I really loved at first. In the beginning, it was motivated by need and necessity (ie, I was hungry and didn't have much money for eating out), but then it gradually won me over. Cooking stopped being something I did because I had to and started being something that I actually enjoyed.

When I first started cooking, I was fresh out of college and living in Portland, Oregon. It's not surprising that one of the first dishes I attempted to cook by myself was broiled salmon! (And ended up setting off the smoke alarm in the process.) And it's true about the stir-fried veggies and rice - I can't tell you how many times I ate that exact same meal over the years. Soy sauce was the best discovery of my life!

I think the "falling in love" part happened once I got tired of eating bland food and turned to my spice rack for help. In trying to figure out how to use them in my cooking, I stumbled across sites like The Kitchn, which talked about cooking with fresh ingredients and mentioned techniques I had never heard of. My foodie fate was sealed.

Lately, I've been all about exploring world cuisines. Dishes like that cochinita pibil and even those French macarons introduce me to new ingredients and teach me new skills in the kitchen. I'm pretty sure mastering these kinds of foods will keep me occupied for many years to come!

How did you get into cooking? And how has your cooking changed over the years?

Related: Recipe Staples: Best Recipes for New Cooks

(Image: Flickr member SuperFantastic licensed under Creative Commons)