Why Everyone Should Learn to Cook

Cooking is one of the oldest arts and one which has rendered us the most important service in civic life.” – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)

Cooking is a skill that teaches you to be independent, and improves your life in many ways. Learning to cook is very convenient, as weight can be managed by choosing to eat healthily, and money can be saved. People who never learn to cook miss a great opportunity to learn one of the most valuable skills. Cooking is an important skill that everyone should acquire. And cooking is not as hard as you think. It can be so entertaining to master the culinary arts.

At one point in your life, whilst you are living individually, you will have to cook for yourself. Your parents will cook your meals only for so long. In due course, you have to live on your own and can’t depend on them. There isn’t always someone who wants to cook for you. If you learn to cook as early as possible, then you don’t have to depend on others to make your meals and can cope up during times when you are living alone. It will also give you a sense of independence, freedom and self-sufficiency.

Cooking your own food means controlling what goes into it. You will have complete control over what you eat at home so home cooking definitely helps to manage your weight. Learning to cook means to take control over your weight. You can stick to reasonable amounts of food so that you will not end up eating too much. You can improve your diet easily by cooking yourself healthy foods at home. It is a sure fact that calories consumed through homemade foods are obviously very low compared to the calories consumed through food you eat at restaurants or food from takeouts.If you are the one cooking, you will be the one who controls the ingredients. This will allow you to avoid using the unhealthy additives and preservatives used in processed food. This also helps to make your recipes even more nutritious. You can also control the quality of your food, which is an important contributor to good health.  Also, if you cook for yourself, you’ll tend to eat smaller portions than what you eat outside because you are conscious of what you eat. Cooking at home helps to regulate the quality and quantity of food that goes into your body, making it healthier than eating out.

Cooking your own food is definitely cheaper than eating out. The money spent to buy the groceries is nothing compared to the amount spent on eating out or buying packaged meals. When you eat in a restaurant you have to pay for the building, staff, service, and other costs involved with the restaurant along with paying for the food you eat. In the case of packaged and frozen foods, you are charged with not just the cost of the food but also the extra costs of packaging and shipping. These extra costs can be cut by learning to cook for yourself. Cooking is a great way to save money on food. With just a part of what you spend on eating out, you can make delicious food right at your home. The money you save by lowering your food expenses can be used on other things.

Therefore, everyone should definitely learn to cook for the various reasons stated above. Learning to cook teaches you to be independent, it saves your money, makes things more convenient, and can also keep you healthy. Cooking helps to improve your life in many different ways.

DIY~ S’mores Cupcakes

Ingredients:

GRAHAM CRACKER LAYER

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker, crumbs
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE

  • 1 cup (4.5 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7.3 ounces) sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) SCHARFFEN BERGER Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon instant coffee (recommended: Starbucks Via)
  • 1/2 cup of hot coffee

MARSHMALLOW FROSTING

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 11/2 cup sugar

CHOCOLATE GLAZE

  • 2/3 cups dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4-5 tablespoons water, warm

Directions:

PREPARATION

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

TO MAKE GRAHAM CRACKER LAYER

Reserve 2 tablespoons of crumbs. Place remaining graham cracker crumbs in a bowl with butter and mix to combine. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of mixture to each cup and firmly press crumbs down. Bake for about 10- 12 minutes.

TO MAKE CUPCAKE

  1. Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly to combine. Add in the butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute. Add in coffee granules and hot coffee, beat for 20-30 seconds until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thin enough to pour. Divide it evenly among the graham cracker crusted cups. Bake 18-22 minutes just until a toothpick inserted into a few of the cupcakes comes out clean. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool.

TIP: For light tender cupcakes, spoon flour and cocoa lightly into measuring cups (instead of dipping the cups into the flour or cocoa) and then sweep the measures level without tapping or shaking them.

TO MAKE MARSHMALLOW FROSTING

  1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 160 degrees F while whisking constantly.
  2. Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed (speed 8 on a KitchenAid stand mixer)until mixture cools and doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10-12 minutes.

TO MAKE CHOCOLATE GLAZE

Place chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Let chocolate and cream sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring. Then slowly stir mixture to combine. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until pouring consistency is reached. Set aside chocolate glaze in a bowl to cool until warm.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Place 1/4 of the marshmallow frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Place remaining frosting in a second pastry bag fitted with Wiltons’s 2D tip.
  2. Using the pastry bag fitted with the round tip, hold bag at a 90 degree angle above cupcake and pipe frosting around the perimeter of cupcake. Hold frosted cupcake directly above chocolate glaze, dip until frosting is covered. Lightly dust chocolate glaze with reserved graham cracker crumbs.
  3. Using the pastry bag fitted with the 2D tip, hold bag at a 90 degree angle above cupcake and pipe frosting moving in a spiral motion upwards into a peak.
  4. Using a kitchen torch lightly toast marshmallow frosting.

A few notes:

  • The cupcakes are best consumed the day they are made.
  • If you don’t have a kitchen torch, skip toasting the marshmallow. Alternately, you can also toast mini marshmallows in the oven and then place them on top (to do so place mini marshmallows on a bake sheet and broil for 1-2 minutes checking every 30 seconds for doneness).
  • Bear with me on the photographs as I learn to find my lighting in the new place. It’s actually something I considered as we were looking for a place, but evidently I completely misjudged it. For now I’m shooting in the garage and still looking for my pacing with the new set-up.