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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Thinking Like A Chef - My Journey Starts Today

I’ve decided to learn how to cook.

I know, I know, I’m always sharing recipes and I talk about how I love to cook.  But I’m a recipe cook.  Give me a recipe, and I can make the dish with the best of them.  I know all the techniques, I know about knife skills, and so on.

But give me 6 ingredients and no recipe?  Nope, can’t think of thing to make.  Time to do takeout.

Then I read about a cookbook by Tom Colicchio called “Think Life A Chef.”  Basically, while he does give you recipes, he attempts in this book to teach you not to find a recipe, and then find the ingredients for it, but to go to the store, see fresh ingredients and think, “oh, I can take that and make that, and make it with this because that looks really good today, and I’ll make it by…”

Perfect!  Just what I want to learn.

So this is going to be my “Julie and Julia” moment.  I am going to make as many of these dishes as I can and learn to think like a chef.  Or at least learn to cook…

Now I have some added challenges.  First, I have lost 23 pounds this year.  And, maybe even more important, I have kept it off for four months now.  I have lost weight before, but have never been able to keep it off.  And I don’t want to start gaining it back.  As I looked through the book, Colicchio uses ingredients that sometimes aren’t considered particularly healthy.  So I will need to adapt his recipes to continue the healthy way I have been eating.

And of course the second challenge is keeping everything gluten free.  I don’t think this will be as hard as it may have been a few years ago, but still…it will be a challenge.

My goal is to cook something every weekend and work my way though the book.  Of course, life will get in the way, so I don’t expect to be able to make something every weekend, but I will try.

And I hope you will join me on this adventure.  Should be fun!


  1. I'm excited for you regarding this post & wish you much luck. I think you can do it. :) Keep "us" updated!

  2. Good for you and the weight loss---as well as entering the arena of cooking! You can do it. Yes...keep the pounds off by staying both gluten (and GLUTTON) free! :)

  3. He's a rootin'-tootin', cowboy bootin', fresh fruitin', former fig newton, flag salutin', Hugo Boss suitin', hollarin' and hootin', anti-Vlad Putin, King of No Gluten!

  4. Do some research into recipes by Graham Kerr (the former "Galloping Gourmet"). Where he was once known for rich foods, heavy sauces, etc. he turned over a new leaf back in the 90's with healthy alternatives to his old favorites. You may be inspired by some of the ingredient substitutions that he utilizes---because he's all about healthy eating, and maximizing flavor. No doubt it will help you with your new cooking endeavor. Good luck with it---and keep us posted on your cooking!