I’ll start off with the facts: I’m not a professional chef. In fact, until about five years ago, my kitchen rotation involved oven-roasted chicken with garlic salt and sometimes-al dente pasta — only a step or two above Charlie Brown’s skills with “cold cereal and maybe toast.”
Then in January 2017, I gave myself a challenge: Cook 52 dishes I’d never made before by New Year’s Day 2018. (Spoiler alert: I completed it — with barely an hour to spare.) And I’ve been continuing to learn on my own ever since.
Why create IndyDressed Kitchen? Because there’s a mind-boggling number of cooking blogs, food “influencers” and cookbooks out there, and I could’ve used some help finding and navigating recipes that matched my skill level. Here, I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes, cookbooks and online tools as an amateur chef — sometimes with help from my furry, four-legged assistant, Cocoa Puff. No real training outside of video tutorials and practicing. No fancy kitchen. No lifelong experience. Just me trying out a bunch of recipes. You know, kind of like Amy Adams’ character in “Julie and Julia,” just without searches for bone marrow or attempts to make aspic. (Sorry, hard pass — for now, at least.)