Before I start, let me back up. I am just beginning to be interested in cooking. I mean, actually cooking. Hence, the photo to the left of a cannister of smoked paprika that I picked up today. When I figured out that I could take time in the kitchen and create something tasty, I realized that my spices are sorely lacking and I am in the process of building up my collection. I attribute this new found interest in cooking to the fact that my kids are now pretty self sufficient and able to entertain themselves while I cook. See, I graduated from college, got married 4 months later and had my son exactly one year later. I guess that is why I never really practiced any type of fancy stuff in the kitchen. Plus, when you are cooking for kids and a non-adventurous-when-it-comes-to-food husband, you tend to be disenchanted with jazzing up dinner when all your family wants is plain. I on the other hand have suffered over the past 13 years. I love seafood, every kind of vegetable and fancy cheeses, sundried tomatos and lots of other totally kid unfriendly food. Well, here is the part where hiking leads to cooking...like hiking, cooking for myself is also about creating a space for my own tastes! Quoting renee, "cooking is like meditation only you get to eat it". I find myself looking for recipes on sites where you input an ingredient and it comes up with recipe ideas for you. That is what a busy cooking mom needs, someone or something to take the thinking out of it. I can handle it from there. Especially with my finetune playlist blaring from the computer. Very relaxing. I don't think I am ready for a throwdown yet...which leads me to the other part of this post. Last week, my co-worker asked me if I watched the last episode of Bobby Flay? Who is Bobby Flay, I ask innocently. Appearing horrified, he learns that I really do not know who the heck this guy is. I know Rocco Despirito, does that count? So I get a crash course in Throwdown with Bobby Flay because he makes his mac and cheese similar to that of my co-worker. I tevo it, watch it and am now in the know of this foodnetwork icon. Then, I go out to dinner with the girls, and my friend Jennifer starts talking about a friend who has challenged her to a throwdown. Geez, now I realize I am really behind the times, but impressively, I can stick with her in the conversation. Ahhh, conversation...the bistro tallulah may never be the same. If there are any waitresses reading out there...when someone tells you they are allergic to alcohol, don't ask..just go with it. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time...Proof that you don't need to drink to have a fun girls night!