Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tazi Recommends: Closet Cooking

Dear Readers:

Do you like to cook? If you do, do you want to come cook for my family? Seriously, I love my Mommie and she is an awesome cook, but she is at her most disorganized when she is in the kitchen! The other day, it took her half an hour to make sandwiches! It is pitiful to watch her try and pull together a meal where everything comes out of the oven and is ready to serve at the same time. Invariably, the rice gets overcooked. It's pretty sad. What is worse is that this past month, my Co-Mommie (her Mommie) has been sick, so my Mommie has been doing all the cooking!! This is what brought her to the site I am recommending today:

Closet Cooking
by Kevin from Toronto, Ontairo, Canada

Mr. Kevin could teach my Mommie a few lessons. Like her, he realized that his meals were boring and uninspired; so I am guessing that he decided to actually open one of the one gazillion and five cookbooks that he probably already owned but never touched and share the recipes he finds on his blog, Closet Cooking. (For the record, my Mommie actually has one gazillion and five cookbooks that she never opens - I have counted them all!).

Now, I realize what the blog name implies, but that is actually misleading. Mr. Kevin is not a closet cook, nor does he cook in the closet or cook closets. Closet Cooking is a reference to the size of his kitchen - apparently, it is pretty tiny, so he does not have room to transform the place into Rachel Ray's studio or the Paula Deen Store. For this reason, all the recipes featured on Closet Cooking can be made with minimal kitchen equipment - there is no need to go out and buy a stand mixer or a dutch oven in order to prepare these recipes!

The great thing about Closet Cooking is that it has recipes that everyone will enjoy, from picky kids to the gourmand in your life. Are your cooking skills limited to making grilled cheese? This site offers several grilled cheese recipes, including a jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwich, a spinach-pesto grilled cheese sandwich, and my personal favorite, a buffalo chicken grilled cheese sandwich. For those with more sophisticated palates, Closet Cooking offers recipes like double-smoked, bacon-wrapped filet mignon and tilapia piccata. If breakfast and brunch are more your speed, you can impress your guests with an easy appetizer of cucumber and feta rolls followed by a main course of raspberry and Nutella crepes (or apple pie French toast if you want something heavier), and finish off with individual pots of orange chocolate mousse.

What I like best about Closet Cooking is that each recipe comes with easy to follow instructions and ingredient lists, as well as full-color pictures of every recipe; so there is no guess-work involved on your part. What you see is what you get! Plus, each recipe gives an estimate of the prep time, cooking time, and total time in the kitchen; so you know what you are getting into before you start cooking. There is also a Google search feature on the site, so you can type in a keyword (like "chicken") and page after page of recipes that match your search word will appear like magic - complete with thumbnail pictures of the completed recipe.

I would recommend Closet Cooking for anyone who likes cooking - or would like to learn how to cook - but does not have the kitchen of Martha Stewart. Many of the recipes featured can be done as a family project, with little hands handling the less demanding tasks of stirring, rolling, and layering; while larger but still inexperienced hands can cover the duties of peeling, slicing, and chopping while the main cook handles the job duties of pulling everything together.

All this talk of food has made me hungry, so I am off to have a snack and a post-snack nap on top of the newspaper (of course). Enjoy your Sunday, dear Readers!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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