Cooking Food Is Not Just A Necessity, It's An Art

Cooking Food Is Not Just A Necessity, It's An Art

What you focus on you create more of so I'm focusing all my energy on food.

There’s a saying that I have had hanging on my wall for as long as I can remember. For years now, not a day has gone by when I haven’t thought or spoken these words to myself and others. The saying I see each morning before my feet hit the floor is “what you focus on, you create more of in your life.”

This means that whatever it is you spend the most time focusing on (whether that is on positive or negative energy, happiness or sadness), you are bound to manifest more of it. I thoroughly believe that thoughts become things, so we should choose the good ones and hone in on those. Nonetheless, being the realist that I am, I am also aware that focusing on materialistic items such as “money” will not beget more physical money in your life just by thinking about it. However, I do believe that by focusing on concepts, we can manifest certain skills or an affinity for that concept.

In my case, I focus on the idea and concept of food. The way to my heart has always been through my stomach and like I always say, “good food = good mood.” When I wake up each morning (slightly disoriented from the grogginess one feels after a heavy sleep), like many of you, I immediately think “W.T.F.”

However, my “W.T.F.” usually stands for “where’s the food.”

I suppose you could say that over the years, I’ve manifested quite the array of meals and dishes as a result of my constant daydream-state of culinary artistry.

Perhaps it’s my constantly churning thought process that has led cooking to be one of those things in life that one does and then thinks “whoa, how did I even do that?”

If you read my piece “9 Charleston Restaurants You Need to Feed Your Inner Foodie” then you might have surmised that I flirt with the idea of food quite often.

As a child, my television channel of choice was never Disney Channel or Nickelodeon; rather, I wanted to sit criss-cross applesauce on the floor with my little neck craned upwards to watch in awe as the Iron Chefs battled, or as Ina Garten whipped up another mouth-watering meal for “Jeffrey.”

When I was 9, I told my mom I wanted to be Jeffrey for Halloween. She looked at my slightly puzzled and then put the pieces together and realized that Jeffrey is the one who Ina Garten typically cooks for. Jeffrey has the great pleasure of indulging in famous Barefoot Contessa recipes such as Zesty Chicken Piccata or Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes while 9-year-old Sophia is typically found snacking on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches sans crust. I knew there had to be more to life than peanut butter and jam stuck between two pieces of store-bought bread.

So, the following Halloween I received my very own white chef’s jacket and skipped around neighborhoods with a spatula in one hand and an empty (soon to be filled) cooking pot in the other (so that I could collect ample amounts of candy while still remaining in character).

To me, the art of food and the act of eating is an invigorating experience that electrifies all of our senses. Whether those senses are activated by the sought-after crackling crisp sound you hear as you twist and tear the bubbling browned edges of a fresh baguette, or when you drag that morsel of bread into a tomato soup that is absolutely bursting with the taste of blistered tomatoes simmered in a rich heavy cream and dusted with just the right amount freshly cracked pepper.

Or perhaps, your senses become alive the moment you become intoxicated by the wafting smell of cookies in the oven only to be met by another moment when that perfectly undercooked cookie is placed in your hand and you can feel the beads of moisture build in your palm from the heat of the ooey-gooey chocolate chips that await you. Even more, maybe it’s simply the sight of a perfectly golden croissant, effortlessly dusted with powdered sugar perched inside of a glass dome atop of your local bakery’s counter that triggers the chain reaction of awakening your senses.

I focus on food because it excites me. I find it immensely gratifying that something I can create and prepare with my own hands can transform the way someone feels without any words being exchanged. As I mentioned earlier, good food elicits a good mood. With food, there is no need for speech or conversation between the chef and the consumer for the consumer’s mood to be transformed. The use and language of flavors, smells, noises, visual aesthetics, and textures act as the method of communication.

If nothing else, my hope is that these words have prompted you to view food from a different perspective. Though eating is a necessity, I believe that cooking is an art. A meal is an opportunity for communication and transformation and when you focus on that, you focus on what it means to truly experience food using all of your senses.

Cover Image Credit: Sophia Winter

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13 Snacks That Take Us Back To The Early 2000s, AKA The Lunchbox Days

Childhood snacks that we all remember.

The lunchbox days: ya know, the times in which you packed your pail to the brim for school lunch, field trips, summer camp, road trips, and other similar endeavors. The lunchbox days were the good 'ol days.

But, as you got older, and as yummy childhood snacks came and went, you forgot about the foods you once loved. Maybe you find yourself munching on your childhood favorites every now and then? Maybe it takes you back to the glorious lunchbox days?

Check out these 13 early 2000, childhood snacks and see if they were once your favorites:

1. Ice Pops

Usually enjoyed after a long day at the pool. It was so much fun pushing the melted juice up.

2. Fun Dip

Maybe you won these at an arcade?

3. Lunchables

Yes. Just yes.

Remember the hot dog ones?

4. Dunk-a-Roos

One of the greatest childhood desserts EVER.

5. Trix Yogurt

"Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!"

6. Fruit Roll-Ups (preferably the ones that left tattoos)

The super long ones were fabulous, too.

7. Gushers

Still eat these today?

8. Kid's Cuisine

I always ate the pudding first.

9. GoGurt

All of the cool kids ate these at lunchtime.

10. Capri Sun


11. Cheese Puffs

A childhood, go-to snack.

12. Crackers dipped in cheese

Pretty sure I ate these every day.

13. Uncrustables

Did anyone else peel the crinkly part?

Most of these snacks are still around! Go buy them and enjoy!

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Frozen Pizzas Review Pt.2

" 'Now the party don't start 'til I walk in'...with the pizza," (from the song Tik Tok by Kesha)

Birthdays? Parties? Friday night Netflix Movie Night?

Pizza is mostly likely going to be there to get the party started. A few weeks ago I reviewed three frozen pizzas and scoring them on a 1-10 scale based on taste and texture (1 being the worst, 10 being the best). This week I'm back reviewing another 3 frozen pizzas on a 1-10 scale to help you pick out a pizza next time you're at the grocery store in the pizza aisle.

***Disclaimer: Toppings might influence the taste of pizza, and I did not stick with one topping for each pizza, the list will include the brand of pizza and the topping that I tried it with***

****The order the pizzas appear are not influenced by my scoring of the pizzas****

1. Jack's Original Thin Crust (Pepperoni)

It's been a while since I tried this pizza, but I decided to include it anyway. Every time I see this pizza, I get a flashback of seven year old me walking through a grocery store with my mother and asking her if we can buy it. This was my go-to after-school snack, and I would eat the whole pizza without even thinking twice. I didn't mind that the crust was thin, and unlike some pizzas where the crust is inedible, this crust didn't taste that bad. If my seven-year-old self was to rate this pizza, I would give it a 9/10.

2. Red Baron (Classic Crust Pepperoni)

Red Baron is the type of pizza that is your back-up, if you are unwilling to get any other pizza this is the safety net of pizzas. The cheese is not stringy, the sauce is not spicy or overpowering, and the crust is crunchy. The pepperoni adds the savory taste to the pizza. It's the type of pizza that won't blow you away with its taste, but won't make you avoid it either, I score it a 6.5/10.

3. Totino's Pizza Rolls (Pepperoni)

Totino's Pizza Rolls is not exactly a stereotypically pizza, it might be argued that it considered a snack, but contains similar ingredients that belong on a pizza. It's a pizza bite packed into a..bite.

For the most part, I tend to burn myself after taking the first bite. Totino's Pizza Rolls doesn't leave you with a long satisfying taste after eating it. Although the best part is the inside (the pepperoni), the outer layer could be better by not being so dry, I give it a 6/10.

These are my opinions when it comes to reviewing pizzas, obviously personal preference has to be factored in when trying these pizzas. However, next time you are in a grocery store, try out different pizza brands and topping combinations.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay, CC0 License

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