The world and what is important from Deni's perspective

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Deni's Cooking Corner

I have been cooking for years, and I believe that I have gotten quite talented at it. Hopefully, I can help you with my ideas and also make cooking a little easier with these posts. Sometimes it will come in the form of recipes, and other times it will come in the form of tips.

Today, I want to help you get some courage in the area of cooking. Cooking is fun, it should not be an intimidating task. However, I know that some people out there haven't been exposed to it as I was growing up. This entry is for those of you who don't cook often, and are maybe a little scared of cooking.

Start small! If you don't cook often, people who know you well will already know this. It's probably no secret. I want to challenge you to cook an entire meal for some friends or family members. (Don't go crazy and have your boss and their spouse over just yet, though.) Friends and family members will be forgiving if it doesn't turn out, and you can always get some fast food to quickly remedy the situation.

You don't have to cook from scratch to start out cooking. I began learning how to cook by making Tuna Helper, Kraft Maccaroni and Cheese, and Betty Crocker Original Super Supreme Brownies. These are fairly easy to do and easy to understand dishes.

Some tips to consider:
1. When shopping, always read labels. (If you need eggs and milk to make that boxed cake mix and don't already have them at home, there will be problems. Another key thing to pay attention to is time. You will be disappointed if you have 25 minutes to get a meal on the table and the potato casserole takes 45 minutes to bake.)
2. Learn how to use a mixer and blender. These are probably the most common pieces of equipment that you'll use when beginning to cook. (Electric mixers should never be started out on high speed. Always put the lid on the blender, too. If these things are not done, then you may have quite a mess on your hands.)
3. Cook things you know that you like. (You and/or your family will be eating any left-overs.)
4. Mistakes happen, so don't give up if your dish doesn't turn out well. Practice makes perfect. And, I along with others have all burned food, under-cooked food, mismeausred ingredients, etc. from time to time.
5. Double check your measurements.
6. If you're baking a cake, do not slam cabinets, doors, or drawers around the oven. It will make your cake "fall."
7. When preparing your menu, keep the four food groups in mind. Covering each group usually makes a satisfying meal.
8. When cooking for others, try to use nice tableware. Set the table nicely and use pretty plates, etc. (It doesn't have to be fine china and crystal goblets. Pretty stoneware and flatware works just as well for a casual meal.)
-As I think of other tips, I will relay them to you.

To come next time on DCC, will be an easy "Italian" meal.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Life philosophy 5: What I am good at doing

I’m very uncomfortable with this assignment. I’ve rolled this idea around in my brain until I’m very anxious about it. I am definitely not a person who goes around telling others what I am good at doing. I don’t consider myself an expert at anything, really. Let me pose my response as to what I feel is the most important things are that I try to be good at:
# Listening. I’m able to listen to what others say most of the time, however due to my ADD (now the diagnosis is ADHD), I am sometimes not as attentive as I should be. People have told me that I am good at it, though.
# Caring for others. As long as there aren’t too many people to do this for, I feel as if I am very caring toward others. My friends and family feel this is a strong point.
# Writing. When I have the time, and concentration, I feel that I’m a decent, if not minorly talented writer. Lots of people have complimented me on my writing over the years.
# Adapting to changing circumstances. I may not be perfect, but I feel that I do this fairly well. I do meet some with resistance, but I do not fail to rise to the challenge normally. I would say with certainty that this is one thing on the list that I am at the minimum competent in.
# Artistic tasks. I have some artistic talent, though very neglected in recent years. When it comes to visual art tasks, I definitely am somewhat good at executing.
# Cooking. Modesty can be set aside for this one, I guess. I am extremely good at cooking according to me (and friends and family and coworkers)! I can do southern American, Italian, Mexican, and some Chinese.

I hope this is what you’re looking for, Tim! If not, though, I will continue to explore this area.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Life philosophy 4: What enlivens me?

This assignment has proven to be challenging, yet fun to dwell on for a while, too.

There are a few things that I’ve identified that enliven me:

  1. My faith. If it weren’t for God being in my life, I seriously doubt I would have the quality of life I do. (Don’t misunderstand what I’m writing. I don’t believe that he is “rewarding” my faith. I also don’t believe that I have the best life in the world. I believe that my life would be tons worse without my faith.)

  2. Helping others.” When I know that I’ve been able to help another person, I cannot fully express how elevated I feel. This is truly something I value highly in life. If I have helped any one person in my life have even 0.1% better life in this world (or the next) then I’ll believe my life has been worthwhile.

  3. Highly positively charged environments.” No, I’m not talking scientifically here. I’m talking about when I’m involved in a group process and everyone is so closely connected working toward a goal with positive energy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Life philosophy 3: What bores me?

When I contemplated this assignment, I wondered what in the world genuinely bores me? I usually can muster some involvement in just about anything, if I have to. However, I didn’t think that was the answer that was expected.

I think that this particular assignment does make me realize some additional information about myself.

  1. Repetition. I cannot easily endure mindless, repetitive tasks for extended periods of time. I guess that this makes a statement that I like to use my mental abilities when doing tasks.

  2. ”Shallow” conversation. I have some friends and family members that could not hold an extended intellectual conversation if their lives depended upon it. (I don’t love them any less for this.) However, I do tire easily of their conversations due to this fact. I would interpret fromt this statement, that intellectual stimulation is something I highly value.

I hope that I didn’t “miss the mark” on this assignment!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Wonderful Quote I Read

"One should count each day a separate life." -Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Life philosophy 2: My enthusiasm

The second through eighth life philosophies that I will list are motivated by my team partner’s request to cover these areas as a starting ground. They are very good areas to explore, so I’m excited with the assignments! I’m giving myself a little while to think about each one, so please be patient.

My enthusiasm comes from being involved in projects, tasks, or meditations. I love the simple process of being involved in something, so the opportunity to work on goals with others (via 43T) and the opportunity to express myself without the worries of editing (via deni’s world) along with the new club in the community are all very important avenues to help me be me. It also helps me value myself a little more, as well (something I discussed in previous life philosophy).

That being said, I think that it is vital for everyone to be involved in at least one thing outside of themselves. Some may only be able to handle a job, and others may be able to be a worker and juggle 12 other activities. Whichever person you happen to be, it is worth the while to be involved in something. This is my challenge to you today.


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