Hello, big belly dad Julian here! Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoy this blog and learn something today that you can take with you. This blog was up for some years, but I never found what could motivate you to read what I wanted to write. I tried some random recipes and erased them all. I tried writing about memories with my son, but ended up erasing them, just like the previous posts. One day, I went out for dinner with my wife and son, who was 3 at that time. When we got back home and relaxed, he looked at me and said:
That’s a big belly, dad!
I could not help but laugh at his honesty and spontaneity! I believe we all like to feel fulfilled after having a good meal, not to the point that is hard to breath, though. So, I decided to give another try and make this blog some sort of recipe book, so you can also cook for you or your family, perhaps even help make good memories with them.
When I was younger and lived with my parents, I occasionally had to cook for myself. My mom used to cook for the whole family, but for some reason I did not seem to want to learn from her, but rather try experimenting myself. You can probably picture a teenager trying to cook without any clue of what he was doing! To make things more interesting, there was no YouTube in the late 90’s and most recipes would be either written down in notebooks, magazines or in TV shows. Asking for help? “Nah, I can handle it”, used to think that silly younger version of me.
One weekend I was home alone and had to cook something. I was tired of instant noodles and hamburgers, so I found a quail in my mom’s freezer. “Oh, look at this tiny chicken!” – I thought. It was freaking expensive and she had bought on a sale for some special occasion. I put some oil to heat in a pan and when it was hot enough I just dumped the poor frozen quail in it. On that day, I learned that frozen food and hot oil is a very messy and dangerous combination.
In Brazil, where I am originally from, there is a dessert called brigadeiro which is made of sweet condensed milk, cocoa powder and looks like a chocolate truffle. I tried mixing milk, condensed milk, sugar, hot chocolate mix and kept stirring for pretty much an hour and it never got to the right consistency. Some people still make fun of me because of that!
Making fluffy rice was a real challenge. Beans? I thought I would never ever get it right. These were just some examples of how frustrating and discouraging cooking could be. I did not give up, though, but slowed down a bit and started paying more attention to my mom when she was cooking. She did not seem to follow recipes or measures, so how could she make such good food so easily?
Some years later, before immigrating to Canada, I enrolled for lots of short cooking courses like cooking meat, making pizza, cakes, desserts, sushi and on. I wanted to change careers as I started a new life in a different country. When I arrived, I found a great place called Resto-Plateau that helps immigrants to study and work in the field. From there, I had the chance to work in a couple of restaurants and learned a lot.
Working in a restaurant is very demanding and hardworking. At one point, I had to decide between my family and my new career. It was a very hard decision to make; I still remember the last day of work at l’Express.
I want to take this opportunity to thank my parents, especially my mom who kept us fed and showed me that good good does not need to be fancy or complicated, all teachers, chefs, sous-chefs, pastry chefs, butchers, garde-mangers, dish washers and everyone else who taught me valuable lessons during this journey!
I am neither a chef, nor a professional cook, nor even call myself a home cook. I simply enjoy cooking for my family and friends. I realized that knowing the basics of cooking is enough to make good food at home. The recipes you are going to find in this blog are tested at home, with no fancy equipments or ingredients and are simple to follow.