Me? Cooking? Who woulda thought?

Last April, I interviewed for a job with Ceremony Coffee Roasters out of Annapolis, Maryland. I interviewed to be a barista. After the second interview a few days later I received a call from who would then become my manager letting me know that instead of me taking on the position of a barista, they wanted me to cook.

Before I go any further, let me explain something. Growing up as a child, I stayed clear of the kitchen for the most part. Especially during holidays. I let my mom, my older sister, and my older relatives take control of the cooking. I didn’t want to be involved in what seemed to be chaos. I wanted no part of that. I would spend time with my brothers playing football or x-box. Anything but cooking.

That being said, you can imagine my thoughts when they told me this. “Greaaattt“.

Initially, getting the handle on being the only cook during a shift responsible for all the orders coming in, and then making time to prep what foods you ran out of in your spare time took time. It took two months of staring at a cheat sheet to figure before I finally stopped looking at it and was like, “I know all this”.

One of my first mistakes I ever remember made was when I was chopping avocados and I accidentally left a stem in. Since then, I will literally nitpick avocados and how they are sliced. Ask my family and friends how many times I’ve told them they’ve been slicing an avocado the wrong way and left something in there. I think at this point they’re like, “Do you want to slice this avocado instead?”

During my time at Ceremony Coffee I was able to learn things like; poaching an egg, filleting a salmon into pieces, how to make avocado toast look like a work of art, shrimp salad, pickled onions, etc.

 

I will admit though that, from my time spent in kitchens I’ve learned that I get sidetracked easily. But, there are things that are really helpful in the way of time management and organization – such as the invention of timers.

Out of this experience I realized that while I’ve learned a lot from being in the kitchen at Ceremony, there is still a lot that I don’t know about cooking.

Fast forward to the present. I recently got a new job at a local restaurant in NEPA, called the Fishin Hole Bar and Grill as a line cook.

Since then I’ve gotten to get back into cooking and continue to expand upon my knowledge of cooking and really test my culinary skills out.

 

As well as cooking at work, I’ve gotten back into cooking and taking over the kitchen at home. Much to the surprise of my parents. I’ve been learning to look at several different takes of recipes, and use one as a guide, but to not worry or stress if I have to go off book or if I need to substitute because I spaced and forgot to buy an ingredient.

 

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One of my many challenges when cooking comes from my anxiety and my sometimes lack of organization. But, I’ve learned that the more I do it and keep trying it, the more confident I am in my ability to cook and the more I develop a pattern and a pace, the more it gets ingrained in my mind.

When I started out at Ceremony, I was beyond nervous. To the point where I secretly thought I’d never get the hang of it. By the end of my time, I was finishing all the orders in a timely fashion and finishing most of the food that needed to be prepped so that by the time the night person was in, they didn’t really have much to do unless they ran out of something again. My manager would often have to tell me to actually leave a few things from the prep list for my co-workers to do.

The best advice I could probably give to someone who wants to learn how to cook, but is intimidated by cooking is to start small, and if you make a mistake don’t freak out. Mistakes are all a part of learning. Learn from them and keep trying.

Sometimes things take time to learn. Don’t give up and don’t be discouraged when you do fail or mess up. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

 

 

 

 

 

Living with My Dyspraxia: Kitchen Struggles

I currently work at a coffee roasting company as one of their cooks. It’s an interesting job and I get to make delicious food such as

However, I also have dyspraxia. Dyspraxia, otherwise known as, DCD, Developmental Coordination Disorder affects between 2-10% of the population. It is under diagnosed in the United States and can affect a persons motor skills, ability to sequence and hand-eye coordination, etc.

Living with dyspraxia can present all sorts of challenges in day to day living. What may seem like a simple task to someone without dyspraxia, may seem like a mountain of a task to someone with dyspraxia.

For instance, when cooking I get easily tired and get easily frustrated. Often because of this, it’s hard to motivate myself.

When I cook, I have this tendency to want to do everything at once. I have difficulty knowing what comes first or even how to keep things in the correct sequence.

Another thing I struggle with is grip and cutting. Even something as simple as just holding the whisk when I whisk eggs isn’t easy for me. I struggle with the hand coordination that is required to whisk eggs. Luckily one of my coworkers taught me a little hack to help me whisk the eggs.

The best advice I can give you on working in the kitchen and cooking with dyspraxia is to practice and take your time. It helps to know your weakness and to find constructive ways to deal with them.

For instance, what helps me is when I have recipes to follow exactly, and timers. Without timers, I’d forget all time. I will also scribble notes down to myself all the time to remind myself to get tasks done or if I’m out of an ingredient.

A little spearmint for your brownies. 

Last night I made delicious spearmint brownies. 😋

Today, I’m sharing the recipe with you.

What you will need:

Brownie mix(I used Annie’s organic brownie mix).
It called for two eggs.
1 tablespoon of water
1 stick of butter
But, follow whatever your box says.
Add 2 drops of Youngliving’s Spearmint Vitality.

The box said to preheat the oven to 350 F so that’s the temperature that was used.

Let them bake for 15-20 minutes.

Once you’ve checked them and made sure they’re done, let them cool a bit.

And you are ready to eat! 😋
To get your spearmint Vitality from Young Living click Here and use Distributor ID:11577392

Rosemary Mashed Potatoes 

Hey fam! ❤️

Tomorrow is Easter! Can you believe it’s almost here? man time really flies….

If you are looking for that last minute recipe this is a great one. I tried this yesterday and the potatoes came out delicious! This is great if you are cooking at your home or bringing a dish to that Easter dinner you were invited to.

What you will need:

-4-6 Medium Yukon Potatoes

– 2 tablespoons of butter

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 small red onion, chopped

-2 cloves of garlic, minced 

– 2 drops of Rosemary oil vitality 

– 1/2 Cup of milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions 

1. Place the potatoes in a pot with enough salted water to cover them.

2. Cook for 30 minutes or until tender, then drain.

3. Add butter to the potatoes and set aside.

4. Add oil, garlic and onions together in a skillet and cook until tender.

5. Mash potatoes with onion mixture, milk, Rosemary Vitalit, and salt and pepper to taste.
To get your Rosemary Vitality click here and be sure to enter in the distributor ID: 11577392
Happy Easter guys!❤️

Cinnamon-Apple Crumble

We all crave desserts. Sometimes we go on Pinterest and pin these delicious recipes that we want to make but sometimes never get around to.

this recipe is courtesy of Young Living Essential Oils. for more ingredients and products from them click here and plug in my ID code: 11577392
Ingredients needed:

For the Cinnamon-Apple Filling:

  1. 3 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced.
  2. 3 drops Young Living Lemon Vitality.
  3. Juice of 1 Lemon
  4. 2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  5. 2-3 drops Cinnamon Bark Vitality
  6. Pinch of salt

For the Crumble Topping:

  • 2/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Oats
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Stick(4 ounces unsalted butter)

For Vanilla Wolfberry Caramel Sauce

  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Water 
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream or half-and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Cup Young Living dried wolfberries

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the Apple Filling:

  • In a small bowl, toss the apple slices with the Lemon Vitality, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and set aside.

To make the Crumble Topping:

  • In another small bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, oats, and salt with a fork until uniform.
  • In a baking dish, melt the butter in the microwave until about half melts. About 10-15 seconds on high.
  • Pour the butter into the flour mixture and mix with a fork. 
  • Leaving the excess butter in the baking dish, arrange the apple slices in the dish. 
  • Top with the flour-oat mixture.
  • Bake until the apples are cooked through and the topping is golden. 
  • About 45 minutes.


To make the Vanilla-Wolfberry Caramel Sauce:

  • In a medium sized sauce pan, mix the water and sugar and bring to a boil over medium/high heat. 
  • Allow the mixture to boil, without stirring, but you may need to swirl the pan to avoid burning or sticking.
  • Boil until the sugar mixture is a light golden brown for about 7 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stirring vigorously while adding butter and cream.
  • The mixture will bubble.
  • Add the wolfberries and stir to incorporate.
  • Return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract and strain the sauce before drizzling over the crumble.