Bro Appetite

Bro AppetiteI’ve been invited by my friend Nate, a fellow male food blogger from TermiNatetor Kitchen to take part in a collaboration of his, Bro Appetite. It is a series of articles and posts about male food bloggers, like myself answering a series of questions about men in the kitchen.

Male food bloggers like Nate and I are very few and far between in a sea of mostly all females dominating the food blogs. Not that I mind at all. As a kid I was raised by my mother, and my only sibling was my little sister and we had a bunch of female cats as pets.

Why should all men learn to cook/bake?

I think everyone should learn to cook and bake. In life we as humans need air, water, food, and shelter. Why wouldn’t we teach all children to cook and bake? I was lucky as a child because I had a grandmother that would teach me how to bake when I came to visit. I was a hyper-active kid and I’m sure I was a real pain in the ass. My grandmother was very patient with me though. She taught deaf students. My grandmother also taught me how to knit, but that came to a halt when my grandfather woke up from his reclining chair to me excitedly telling him how a grandma taught me how to knit. My grandfather was a World War II veteran and this was the 1980’s; a completely different world than we live in now. My grandfather wasn’t thrilled about my knitting, but he liked chocolate chip cookies, so he was fine with me learning to bake.

Bro Appetite
My mother was a single mom so my sister and I were latch key kids, left home alone quite a bit. Somehow we came across our mom’s copy of Joy of Cooking and started baking. I know a lot of adults right now that will see a big chocolate cake and get intimidated. As kids my sister and I saw the cake recipe and just went for it. The cake wasn’t perfect, but you don’t need to be perfect to start. You do need to start though if you ever want to be perfect.

It wasn’t long before my sister Katie and I were making dessert for my mom and her friends for when they came home from dinner. The next thing I knew my mom was having me make dinner when she wasn’t home, or getting started with dinner before she got home. This was kind of a mind shift for me because baking cake was fun, but trimming chicken was kind of gross. I knew that I would be in trouble if my mom asked me to start dinner and it wasn’t done when she got home. If my mother was out I knew that we wouldn’t eat that night if I didn’t make dinner for me and my sister.

I went away to school right before my eighteenth birthday, and my mind was blown. For the first time in my life I was living with only guys. I was at a tech school learning to be an auto technician, but I was the only guy there that could cook. Well maybe there were a couple other guys able to cook, but not in our apartment. I felt like I had a disadvantage at tech school because I didn’t have a father that would teach me about cars. But all these other guys were out of their element because they didn’t know how to make food, one of their basic needs.

Bro AppetiteI don’t want to lead anybody on, or for them to think I was making roasted duck & baking French Pastries at tech school. I was making mostly very basic dishes and Hamburger Helper. But that made me a five star chef. As far as I see it, everyone in the world should know how to cook. We don’t live in a world where the men come home to their wife’s who’s spent half the day in the kitchen. My wife works part time and at least once a week I get home before her. It only makes sense for me to make dinner on those days.

I’ve never seen cooking and baking as something only women do because men eat too, right? It’s more of just a human thing for me because eating is something we all not only enjoy, but need to do.

What food could you never live without?

This was a tough question for me because I’m a fan of all food. Something I’ve been crazy about for over a decade is without a doubt peanut butter. I eat peanut butter on fruit such as apples and bananas, as well as vegetables, including carrots, and celery. Peanut butter is good on pretzels, chocolate, and off a spoon too!

Bro AppetiteI switch between the gritty natural peanut butter with the oil on top and the more creamy natural peanut butter. A lot of people think the natural peanut butter is gross because of the texture, but that’s what I love about it! The only downside I see is that it’s messy. I can never open the jar of natural peanut butter without the oil on top dripping down the side of the jar. It never fails.

I also switch off between creamy and crunchy peanut butter. I’ve found that a lot of people have a peanut butter preference. They only eat one brand and it has to be creamy or crunchy, but I like a variety. I don’t want to be on my deathbed someday wondering if I missed out on all the other brands of peanut butter. I’m not going to make that mistake.

I also like to use peanut butter as an ingredient in food. I’ve got desserts like the fast and easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake, Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies, Banana Peanut Butter Dessert, and Homemade Peanut Butter Cups. I’ve even got a savory Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce recipe. I remember the first time I had that at a Thai restaurant. I almost fell over, because it tasted so good. And because the restaurant didn’t have chairs; we were sitting on pillows.

What one Food Defines You?

Bro AppetiteThis is an easy one, brownies. I told myself years ago, even when I had a strict diet that I would never turn down a brownie. I love chocolate, cake and cupcakes, but brownies have such a higher intensity of chocolate than regular cake. My favorite kind is just a classic brownie dusted with powdered sugar. You can find that recipe right here, Brownies.

This food blog started on a Sunday morning toward the end of a family breakfast when my youngest daughter Mackenzie said, “Daddy, you should have a food blog.” I’ve never mentioned this before, but we were talking about brownies when Mackenzie said that. The first recipe on my website was also a brownie, Single Serving Brownie to be more specific.

You can’t tell that by looking at the recipe because I ended up deleting the original website and starting over in May 2014. The Single Serving Brownie was the original recipe for What’s Cooking with Jim and I already had it written when Mackenzie told me I should have a food blog. I had written the recipe and was trying to get it submitted to a website for articles.

Well that’s all I’ve got for now, I think I’m ready for a brownie.

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2 Responses to Bro Appetite

  1. Jeff the Chef (@makeitlikeaman) May 25, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

    Hey Jim! It’s great to read your story, and to stumble upon your blog. There are so few of us out there in the blogosphere!

    • James Cutler May 26, 2015 at 5:30 am #

      I’m glad you liked it Jeff, and thanks for stopping by! I’ll have to check out your blog.

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