Mealtime Mama: Video recipes and tips!

By Gwen Rockwood, blogger and cooking-impaired mama of 3

Somehow, even though my mother is a FABULOUS cook, I just never quite got the hang of it. I never had much interest in it, and it didn’t seem all that necessary when I was growing up because one fabulous cook in the house was all we needed. Then when I went to college, I survived on the foods most college students live on — pizza, cereal, and take-out.

After college, I started regretting all those missed opportunities to learn how to cook. I could manage to make a few things — grilled cheese, spaghetti, rice — but my menu was very limited. And now that I’m married with kids, my lack of expertise in the kitchen has become a family joke. My husband cooks more than I do because I’m much better at cleaning up the kitchen than putting the meal together.

But I would really like it if, one day, my kids can look back on their childhood and say something like “Remember when Mom used to make those (insert delicious dish here)? That was amazing!” So I’m wading into the cooking pool, slowly but surely. And now that my mother has moved to Northwest Arkansas, I’m paying attention to what she does in the kitchen and trying to pick up someĀ  tips.

I’m also taking advantage of new technology that might help with this problem. I love to download video podcasts on my iPhone or iPad to learn new things, and I just discovered this series called “Start Cooking”. This video podcast is for beginners like me who need some basic instruction and encouragement. Each video stars host Kathy Maister who will show you how to do something — like the proper way to cut an onion, juice a lemon or prepare garlic — and also teach you more sophisticated things like how to make a ham and cheese quiche. (And I appreciate that Kathy doesn’t talk over my head or make me feel stupid for not already knowing this stuff.)

What I love about this series is that it’s visual — not just a recipe. Of course, each video will give you the recipe but it also shows you how each step is done, which is so helpful. The first video I watched was a 3-minute clip on how to make chicken fajitas. I tried it the next day (and yes, I had to watch the video 10 times on the iPad to get it right) but the chicken fajitas were AWESOME. My husband was stunned and has already asked me to make them again.

If you’d like a little visual instruction in the kitchen or just want to see some new recipes in action, click HERE to check out the “Start Cooking” website and video series. It’s FREE — gotta love that. You can also access it through iTunes.

The videos are very well produced and are all under four minutes in length, which is perfect for busy moms. Hope you learn something new like I did. If you have any favorite videos on this series, click the “comment” button and let us know which ones we should check out!

Chicken Fajitas video instruction: Click HERE.

How to cut an onion video tips: Click HERE.

How to prepare garlic video tip: Click HERE.

How to juice a lemon video: Click HERE.

How to make quiche with ham and cheese: Click HERE.