Kickin’ in the Kitchen – Part 1


Welcome to the first part of our Kickin’ in the Kitchen series! As I explained before, this series is designed to give you the inspiration you need to make things more interesting, exciting, flavorful, and fun in your job of food preparation. I’m looking forward to this journey with you and I hope you are too!

I want to remind you before we begin…please get ready to share something on Friday with the rest of us. It could be a favorite recipe (feel free to link up in the comments if you have your own blog!!), kitchen tip, or some way you make things more fun in the kitchen! Whatever it is, I would really love to get your thoughts on the subject and I know everyone else would love to learn from you too!

So…the big question…how did I start becoming interested in cooking? Going from practically no interest to actually enjoying it was quite the change. How did it happen?

1. Food magazines

I suppose it all started when a friend got me a subscription to theย Simple & Delicious magazine. (You can go to that link to try a free issue; just make sure to read the fine print because they’ll keep sending it to you along with a bill ๐Ÿ˜‰ if you don’t cancel!!) I started reading that magazine – at first only recipes with “traditional” ingredients I was used to would appeal to me. If it had something in it that I had never used before, I wouldn’t even think about it. (By the way, by “non-traditional” ingredients, I’m talking about things like romaine, shrimp (or any other meat besides chicken and ground beef), and nuts. yeah…nothing exotic, just different.)

This wasn’t where I started trying new things, but it started to get me interested…

2. Trying new foods at restaurants

This may seem like a no-brainer to you, but…it wasn’t for me. I started ordering things off the menu that I wouldn’t normally cook at home. And suddenly I started wanting to eat those foods – not just at a restaurant, but actually being able to cook them myself. I remember one of the first times I “dissected” food. I was at Olive Garden trying one of their soups. It was sooo good that I tried to think through everything I was tasting – not just soup, but sausage, chicken broth, pepper, onions, etc. It piqued my curiosity and I wanted to make it at home!

3. Checking out yummy food blogs

The first food blog I started getting most of my recipes from was Tammy’s Recipes. I don’t remember what the first recipe I tried from her site was, but a favorite of ours is her chicken chili.

Yowza – cheesy and delicious! And her Cranberry Orange muffins were a huge hit as well:

Another favorite haunt is Pioneer Woman‘s place. PW does posts on lots of topics – homeschooling, ranching, photography, home life, etc. but what first drew me to her site was her recipes. Hmmm…the first thing I tried of hers? Pretty sure it was her Cinnamon rolls:

Momma…these things are H.O.T. HOT! Yow – if you want some mean cinnamon rolls, these are the ones for you.

But then, who could forget her french onion soup?

I’ll be totally honest – I’m not a fan of onions. I’m not a fan of french onion soup either. But for french onion soup, this was good. Especially the broiled bread and cheese on top of the soup. Mmmmm…

I also adore this crockpot pulled pork BBQ from Crockpot365. It even tastes good made with chicken!

Recently, I’ve been browsing 2 new sites: Lauren’s Latest and Eat Live Run. You might remember me talking about Eat Live Run when I mentioned her Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate. As of yet, I haven’t made any of her actual cooking recipes yet, but I’ve got my eye on this one:

It’s Chicken Tikka Masala. I’ve eaten this dish twice – both times it was prepared by some beautiful Indian friends who have since moved back to India. ๐Ÿ™ The memory of this dish has never left me and I must attempt to recreate it. The recipe Jenna posted looks fab and I will attempt to recreate it this week.

I’ve got my eye on 2 recipes from Lauren’s site:

Her Island Shrimp Lettuce Cups (hellooooo gorgeous!!)


and some less healthy looking Crispy Cheese Pulled Pork Tacos.


So what do you think? Are you feeling a bit more inspired to experiment?

Pictures always help me to be inspired, so I hope this post was a help to you!

Let me know if you find inspiration from any of these ideas!! ๐Ÿ™‚


Kickin’ in the Kitchen Series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3



  1. Kali says:

    I got interested in cooking when I went vegan, and had to make more food from scratch. I liked baking before then, but I used to shy away from vegetables, and ingredients I was unfamiliar with.

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