I used to be a horrible cook. Truly, I was terrible. As a kid, my dad had this lofty goal of keeping 10 loaves of wheat bread in the freezer at all times (I don't think we ever actually achieved this), and Janssen, Merrick and I were responsible for making bread each week to fulfill this goal.
We were to put all the ingredients in the bread maker and turn it on. A no-brainer, right? Wrong. Apparently you should be older than six and have more skills than my six-year-old self had, because I always got what we coined "volcano bread." It was not pretty, and not pleasant with a lumpy, inedible texture. After a few fails, I was relieved of the bread-making duties.
Fast-forward a few years, and my mom made these delicious green beans pretty often to serve with dinner. I think they were just canned beans with olive oil, minced garlic and Worcestershire sauce, cooking in a frying pan, but I was a huge fan.
I remember a certain afternoon, at the age of ten or so, standing over our stove making these as a snack, and the pan catching fire. The flames were a foot high and my mom, who was standing on the other side of the room talking with her mother on the phone, experienced a moment of panic at the rather large fire, and asked her mother how to put them out. We quickly put out the fire with baking soda, but I was a bit traumatized from the flames (on the plus side, I now know how to put out a stove fire)...
After that experience, I was afraid of cooking most anything stovetop, and didn't do much cooking at all, beyond cookies. It wasn't until after my freshman year of college that I started cooking again. I was home for the summer, working at Anthropologie, and my parents went on a trip, leaving me alone for a few days. I ate mostly salad and cereal that week, but for some reason decided that I really wanted to make a loaf of bread that I could dip in oil and vinegar.
I pulled out the Williams-Sonoma bread cookbook that my mom used a lot and made a loaf of focaccia bread. It turned out perfectly and I got the cooking bug. With one success under my belt, I gained confidence. Once I returned to school, we had a dinner rotation in my apartment. I became known as the one who made the bread, and made it quite often, usually challah bread or foccacia bread. It was always a big hit, and it gave me confidence to try new things and continue cooking.
Knowing this history of my cooking experiences might help you better understand the little thrill that enters my heart every time I have a recipe turn out. Particularly if it is one that I have developed. Beets are not my favorite vegetable, but over the course of 2 or so years, I have tried to find recipes that use them in delicious ways. This is a delicious way. The orange mixed with the shredded beets is a lovely combination. They are light, fluffy and absolutely worth eating.
I contribute regularly to Creative Green Living, so head on over for the full recipe! If you make them and take a photo that you post to Instagram, I would love if you tagged me (@measureandwhisk)! I hope your week is filled with muffins and other lovely fall things! Happy Monday!