Ladyberd's Kitchen is where I go to relax, to be creative, and most importantly to create delicious, healthy, affordable meals for my growing family. I'm not a trained chef; I learned by watching my mom and then trying things on my own. When I started cooking, I followed recipes exactly. Today, I never do. Sometimes I change a recipe because I don't have an ingredient on hand; other times, it's because I want to change the flavor a little; and quite often, I want to make the food healthier.
I am lucky enough to have a big, well-equipped kitchen... But my husband and I are on a budget - a lot of thought goes into what I cook each week. I clip coupons, I check the store sales and I plan ahead. So while my meals may appear gourmet, they're gourmet on a budget.
Besides money, time is also a precious commodity. I work full-time, as does my husband. I also like to garden, ski, go out with friends, spend time with family... the list goes on. So planning has become my best friend. Each week, I take stock of any staples I need. They go on the list first. Then I sit down with the ads for the week's sales, another practice I learned from mom. I typically scan the meat and fish first. That gives me ideas for main courses. If lamb's on sale, I'll find a lamb recipe. If I want fish, I'll see what kind of fish is on sale and go from there. Oftentimes, this stuff tends to be some of the freshest anyway. Then, pen and paper in hand, I make my menu and grocery list for the week. And I feed us for under $100 a week, often well under that - breakfast, lunch, dinner, plus household items. Not bad.
If you think you can't cook, spend a little time in Ladyberd's Kitchen. I firmly believe that anyone can cook great meals. I've had my share of mishaps in the kitchen, but I learn from those mistakes. So don't be afraid to experiment. The most important thing about learning to cook is to keep at it. Check out my recipes page - there are countless dishes that can be made in 30 minutes or less. I also try to note where you can save time after work by prepping ingredients in the morning. Save weekends for more extravagant meals. (I've got recipes for those too!)
Whether you're an experienced cook, or just starting out, I hope you'll find something delicious in Ladyberd's Kitchen. If you have a question about a technique or recipe, just leave a comment or send me an email and I'll get back to you. But have a look around, I hope you get just a little pelasure from your time here. I certainly do!