Building Confidence in the Kitchen

This November will mark my 5 year anniversary for Pretty in Pistachio. When I started this blog, I had a limited skill set in the kitchen but I had a lot of love for food and trying new things. Most of my time in the kitchen was spent baking. Sure I would cook from time to time but things were pretty basic. I mean frozen foods in steam bags basic, ha. Oh man, those were pretty sad days.

To be honest, I never really cooked because I was scared I’d mess a lot of the recipes up and I had no idea what flavors or products went well together. Plus, when I would cook, I was chained to recipes. I’d measure every grain of salt, every pinch of spice, and weigh every ingredient to match the instructions I was following.

As I continued to work on my blog, I was spending significantly more time in the kitchen. I was educating myself through books, Youtube videos, and even enrolling in a few ad hoc cooking courses in NYC. Over time, I started to learn what flavors and spices made combinations that tickled my taste buds. I learned different techniques for cooking different products. Before I knew it, I was throwing a dash of this, a dash of that, and going totally rogue when following recipes by adding my own twists.

Building confidence in the kitchen is important because it breaks away the chains that keep you attached to recipes. It allows you to experiment with things you like and create dishes that might not otherwise exist. Although I’ve definitely come a long way, I still have so much to learn. But I can definitely say I’m very grateful for the skills I’ve learned to help boost my confidence. They have allowed me to experiment and create the dishes I want, the way I want.

Last weekend, I was invited to a cheesemaking class at Cook Space. The space is scheduled to open later this fall and will be offering a whole roster of classes that will help you build confidence in the kitchen. I went to the cheesemaking class excited but nervous. I thought that making cheese was going to be complicated. However, after we made ricotta, mozzarella, stracciattella, and burrata in almost no time at all I was seriously amazed. I could not believe how EASY it is to make fresh cheese! I’m really happy I get to add “cheesemaking” to my skill set. I’m already planning all the dinner parties I’ll be putting this to use at. I mean how cool is it to host a party or show up at a friend’s house saying “oh yeah I just whipped up this burrata, NBD”.

As a side note, the space at Cook Space is a New York City DREAM. When I first entered the space, I immediately started going gaga over all of the housewares and ceramics that lined the shelves. It’s a long space that has multiple tables lined up in the kitchen so it can accommodate a good sized group for parties and events. Then it leads into the cutest “dinning room”. The place has so much natural light flooding in through the skylights it really feels like a happy place. I also loved how casual the setup was. They have a large cabinet setup next to the dinning table that is stocked with plates, cups, napkins, aprons, etc. When you need something, just grab it from the cupboard as if you were right at home. Oh how I wish I could move right in and use this space on the daily.

Anyway, if you’ve been wanting to cook more but don’t feel confident then I would definitely encourage you to take a class or two, leverage books when you can, and above all just get in the kitchen and keep trying new things!

xo Jus

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