When I lived at home with my parents, I never once prepared a complex meal for myself, or others in my family. It just wasn't how our family worked. Either mom or dad cooked. Then for four years at school I either ate in the mess hall, or I ate out. Needless to say my cooking skills were not up to par when I finally moved out on my own. And it showed.
For about two weeks I attempted to actually make complete meals for myself; a meal like spaghetti, bread, and salad. There were two big problems with that. The first was that I always made too much. Eating spaghetti for days on end gets tiring. So if you don't eat it all it just goes to waste, which is no good.
The other problem is no matter how simple the meal is I make a huge mess. Spaghetti sauce would be everywhere, I would have tons of dirty plates, utensils, everything. Don't ask me how I could consistently make such a huge mess. About the last thing I wanted to do was to go home after work, make a meal I would then have to eat for 4 meals, and then have to clean everything up. I very quickly adopted a microwave diet. If it couldn't be cooked in the microwave I didn't eat it. And that is how it stayed for about two years.
Two things changed that. The Food Network (as well as some Bravo) and getting married. I recently became a Food Network addict. Particularly the various cooking competitions, Iron Chef, Chopped, Food network challenge, Top Chef. The problem is when you sit there and watch good chefs make amazing looking food, and then you go and eat your hot pocket it just isn't quite as satisfying. I started wanted to be able to make some of that stuff.
Secondly getting married gave me someone else to cook for. Its a little more motivation. I want to make food that she enjoys. Between these two motivational factors cooking has actually become a lot of fun.
I have cooked a curry, London Broil, pork chops, chili, fish, arrabiata sauce, vodka sauce, lasagna, hamburgers. All sorts of good stuff. I'm going to try to write about some recipes as I try them, and say what I have changed, what I kept the same and what I thought about them.