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Mar 9, 2013 09:34 AM

As you have become more (*ahem*) mature, has your cooking gotten more complex...or simpler?.

I went through my complicating years, classic French, Asian, sauces on everything. Now it's all about the ingredients, simple preparation to bring out the flavor. You?

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  1. My cooking has developed into something with more layers of flavor or depth, and the freshest, local things I can find in my area. However, the hubster feels that he really "can't handle a lot of things" on the menu, so I am compelled to serve plain, bland for him (read not adventurous!) and cook whatever I want for myself.

    1. I've only been cooking for myself for a few years (I'm in my 20s) but I know what I like and I have always gravitated towards simple wholesome meals where quality ingredients can really shine!

      1. I would say both. I am more likely experiment more, wing it more and try new things whether it be ingredients, a way of cooking or a particular cuisine.

        But I have become really streamlined in my everyday, just home from work type cooking. I am better with getting the most flavor and depth from simple ingredients. When I was first married I felt compelled to plan whole menus and was less likely to substitute when I couldn't find exactly what I wanted

        I am more likely to build a meal around what looks/is good/local/fresh at the market but can easily put together a delicious meal with just what I have around the house.

        I still read cook books voraciously but rarely use them except when planning more involved, special occasion meals. I find instead they are the basis of my inspiration.

        2 Replies
        1. re: foodieX2

          This sums me up pretty well too!

          1. re: meatn3

            Me three! It really depends on the season. Because in the middle of winter, I will throw everything I've got into a pork and tomatillo stew - nuoc mam, lime juice, cumin, two kinds of chili powder. I'll make a layer pan sauce for a pork loin that's been marinated in port and soy sauce. But in summer, give me a fresh from the garden tomato with a sprinkling of sea salt. For my new discovery - the cherimoya - where I would just cut it in half and eat it with a spoon.

        2. More complex and simpler, both. Some days I'll spend hours in the kitchen with elaborate new menus, and other times dinner is a plain/simple omelette.

          Also, since retiring, we eat dinner earlier (which we swore we'd *never* do!) and generally have lighter appetites. I've become the queen of halving recipes!

          1. Hmm... I haven't been cooking regularly for very long. I really had to start last May when I moved in with my SO and part of my "duties" here include cooking. So, I have to turn out a decent dinner every night when he's home, and those usually are pretty simple, cook in under an hour, and have flavors that I know will turn out and that he will like. He travels during the week pretty much every week now, so I've been finding myself doing more experimenting and cooking more exciting things... because if it doesn't turn out it's just me who has to eat it! Before I came here, I had been living temporarily with my folks, and they don't have complex palates and can't do anything with any sort of heat, so when it was my turn to cook, I stuck to the simple flavors too.

            But before that, my cooking was limited to maybe one meal a week, usually Sundays, and I made some pretty complicated stuff, usually of the french variety, using expensive high quality ingredients. I worked an insane job that was usually 12-14 hours during a week along with many Saturdays and Sunday was the only day I would take off completely and I liked to spend it cooking.