As I mentioned yesterday, I have been more inclined lately to try new things, but I still have that problem of needing to have things explained in an exhaustive manner if I don't understand them right off the bat. In particular, I have a fear of cooking, or rather a fear of trying new styles of cooking. I go again and again to baked things and things made with the help store-bought cooking aides like Shake-n-Bake. Not bad things necessarily, but not very creative either, and kinda boring.
Enter The Pioneer Woman (thanks to Finny for linking her, I'm forever indebted). I don't want to get too gushy, but I have to give credit where credit is due...she has changed my life in the kitchen. Not only does she have the exhaustive-description thing down to a science, complete with lovingly rendered visual aides, she also cooks *interesting things* with *ingredients from the supermarket* (I can't grow my own to save my life). These have been totally inspirational.
Now don't get me wrong, I can follow directions and can muddle my way through a recipe, but I'm a baker. I bake, therefore I measure, therefore a recipe that says "cook until done" terrifies and mystifies me. I need times, and temperatures, and pictures of how it should look, otherwise I will (I guarantee) frack it up royally, and then nobody wins. I'm also really cheap, so if I'm going to experiment, I need to know it's going to work before I invest in a zester or something.
But now? Now, I can make a steak salad! Me! With my own hands and it won't even make me cry! These may seem like simple recipes to you, dear reader, but for me this is a whole new world of possibilities. Not one ingredient mystified me.
She has even organized the recipes, all pretty like. She's a miracle.
Oh and she has awesome friends too.