I love to eat

I love to eat and this holiday season I could not be more excited to dig in! However, I wanted this year to somehow be different… I wanted to feel different than I did the previous years. I decided that instead of just eating, I also wanted to contribute to the array of dishes that are made for the holidays….I wanted to cook! Everyone was in absolute shock when I stated that I was going to cook. For some odd reason my family thinks I cannot hold my own in the kitchen…well it was time I proved them wrong.

To me, being able to cook is essential to life. You never know when you will be put in a position to provide for yourself and living on take out is just not the best, healthiest and most economical option. No one really taught me how to cook, which is probably why everyone was in such shock when I told them I was cooking for the holidays. I have mainly watch my aunt, mom (who hates cooking even though her dishes are always delicious) and grandmother throughout the years as I walked around the kitchen. So it was a huge surprise to me when in college I was able to whip up meals for me and my roommates. That is when I started realizing that I actually enjoy being in the kitchen and making a delicious dish. It is actually soothing. Every time I finish I get this sense of accomplishment and self-pride and that is exactly the type of emotions I want to be indulged in this 23rd year of my life.

Now, how did I go about selecting dishes? Simply by searching for recipes online. I even own two cook books that I will take a look at for Christmas dinner. I made three dishes for Thanksgiving dinner and for work festivities I made two.
1. Stuffed Tomatoes
2. Baked Chicken Drumsticks
3. Coconut Custard (I got this recipe from my sorority sister)
4. Mini Pumpkin Pies
5. Green Beans Wrapped in Bacon w/ a Brown Sugar Sauce

My favorite recipe from all of these definitely had to be the Stuffed Tomatoes. It was simple and delicious! Plus you can change up the way you make it every time. All you need is tomatoes, and whatever you wish the stuffing to be.
This is the version I made for work:

Ingredients:
1. Tomatoes
2. Cheese (I chose Cheddar and Mozzarella)
3. Ground Beef
4. Mushrooms
5. Diced Tomatoes in a Can
6. Bread Crumbs

Steps:
1. Cut the top of the tomato and then take out the inside. You do this by using a knife to cut around the inside. Then with a spoon you scoop the inside out. You must be very careful to not break the tomato in the process.
2. Cook the ground beef to your liking. I added the mushrooms as I cooked the ground beef. (My own personal preference.)
3. Make your stuffing. Mix the cook ground beef, diced tomatoes, bread crumbs, and cheese in a bowl.
4. Fill the tomatoes with the stuffing.
5. After the tomatoes are filled add a coat of cheese to the top.
6. Bake in the oven until cheese is golden brown and tomatoes look cooked. (Bake at about 350 degrees.)

Pretty simple right? It tasted amazing and everyone at work loved them! The compliments went on all day!

My challenge to you is to do something that makes you feel accomplished and gives you that feeling of self-pride. It could be something as simple (or challenging for some) as cooking.

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