01.12.2021 Cook

How to Hone Your Cooking Skills in 2021

Buttery Queen
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For me, recipes have always been building blocks, it’s the way my mind works. There is something incredibly satisfying about picking recipes apart and putting them back together. It’s also a reminder that cooking is not an innate talent — rather cooking is a SKILL, one that deserves and is possible to be honed. And that’s great news, for it means those that have previously uttered, “Oh, I’m not a cook,” or “I tried this or that and it didn’t work out, I just can’t cook,” can with practice become great masters of the kitchen.

In nearly all skills there is an element of trial and error. My husband does a lot of carpentry; he always makes a miniature version before constructing the final product. Food is no different, it is a skill that one continually masters throughout life. In fact, the etymology of diet comes from the Greek word “diaita” and literally translates to the “way of life.” Reframing cooking this way helps us enjoy the act of cooking rather than judging our end results — as Yoda says, “There’s no try, only do!”

The magic is in the repetition. It is only through practice that we can see how ingredients behave, become familiar with them , and develop an understanding of food.

To become better cooks, we need to start honing these skill-making recipes, taking notes and tweaking them until we achieve our desired product. Building a repertoire of recipes that can be your “go-to” for you and your family is a worthy pursuit. To improve your cooking ability, challenge yourself in 2021 to cook something from scratch every day, and help everyone in your home improve the quality of their health in the process.

If you are looking to get started — this recipe is an excellent example. It is for protein muffins that came to fruition by way of me playing around with a brownie recipe. Originally, it was a request from an athlete, who I was privately consulting for at the time. They were looking for ways to incorporate protein powder into some snacks. Eventually, it became a staple at my then-owned coffee shop, and now it’s a staple for my little ones — as a mother of three, I’m all about good nutritious snacks for myself and our little people.

Gluten-Free Protein Muffin Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 10 pastured soy-free eggs
  • 1 cup organic coconut flour
  • 1 cup protein powder (I use Mattole Valley Naturals Vanilla or Strawberry Goat Milk Protein) 
  • 1 cup organic coconut sugar (sub: maple syrup)
  • 2 tsp aluminum-free baking soda
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of softened organic coconut oil or melted grass-fed butter/ghee
  • Fruit of choice:
    • Organic Berries: 8-9 oz., diced, blended or smashed (except blueberries)
    • Organic Bananas: 3 large, 4 medium, 6 red (small) ripe bananas, sliced, blended or smashed
    • Organic Apples: 2 large, 3 medium, 4 small apples, blended, or baked and chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat convection oven at 325 F, medium load
  2. Mix eggs, coconut flour, protein powder, coconut sugar, baking soda and cinnamon together until no clumps appear.
  3. If butter is not soft already, heat on the stove. Take off the stove when half has melted and stir with a spoon to melt the rest.
  4. Mix in butter.
  5. After butter is integrated, mix in fruit.
  6. Use a scoop to place equal and level scoops. Make sure fruit is evenly dispersed between each scoop.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the test stick comes out clean from the center of muffin, rotating every 5 minutes.

Yields approximately 10-12 muffins.

Buttery Queen (and yes that is her real name) is an educator, writer and mother of 3 living in Ojai, CA. She has master’s degree in science and has worked as a biologist, in food safety, as a private chef and a café owner. She is passionate about food, adventure and nature. When she is not with her family; she enjoys SCUBA diving at the Channel Islands.

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