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5 Ways Cooking is Like Shoe Shopping

by Marissa on July 18, 2012

I once tweeted that the only shoes a girl needs are a pair of black Christian Louboutains and a pair of nude ones. I may have been exaggerating, because I love shoes so much that I’d most definitely need more than 2 pairs!

But as much as I love wearing the perfect pair of shoes, I’ve actually fallen in love with the process of buying them too. If there’s a means to an end, you might as well embrace the entire process, right?

This got me thinking, because I also love cooking. I didn’t always love the process as much as eating a finished product (not even my own necessarily) but like shoe shopping, cooking has become one of my favorite pastimes.

Before you think I’ve lost my marbles, here’s how I liken cooking to shoe shopping:

1. Inspiration: Whether I see a look in a fashion magazine that I want to recreate or stumble on a must-have pair of shoes on Pinterest, every great outfit starts with inspiration.

Likewise, in cooking, inspiration comes from seeing a recipe that intrigues me on a blog or picking up the season’s best-looking squash at the Farmer’s Market.

In cooking and in fashion, without inspiration your efforts fall flat.

2. Envision the Outcome: One of the most important steps in the process, but often overlooked, envisioning the outcome puts you closer to your goal. When I have an outfit in mind for a specific event or am dying for a pair of beautiful new shoes, I envision myself wearing them and how I’ll look and feel.

Same goes for cooking. I usually read and re-read the recipe, imagining myself performing each step and creating the finished product. If I want to change anything about the recipe, I think that through too.

Doing what I love — teaching a cooking class!


3. Assess the Situation: Of course before any big purchase, I do the responsible thing and survey my closet to see if I already own a pair of shoes that will fit the bill. Aaannndd the answer is almost always No (wink)!

I do the same thing before I purchase recipe ingredients — take stock of my refrigerator and pantry to see what I already have on hand. If I have enough Tahini, this saves me from buying another jar. And if the recipe calls for cilantro but I still have half a bunch of basil, you better believe I’m making a substitution.

Always look to save on costs and use what you have!

4. Preparation: When I planned my boyfriend’s surprise 40th birthday party, I was so excited about the outfit I would wear that I laid out everything — from accessories to of course, shoes —  on the bed hours before it was time to get ready.

In cooking this is called mise en place and is crucial to recipe success. Making sure everything is pre-washed, chopped, sliced and measured minimizes mistakes and actually saves time.

5. The Result: I treated myself to my first pair of Christian Louboutains on December 31, 2009. Though I wore a nice dress too, that night it was all about the shoes. As women, we can all relate to those moments when we’re wearing something that makes us feel our absolute best and it shows. Heads turn, compliments fly.

Believe it or not, the same thing happens when I cook something I love and feel proud of (and that’s a good thing because I spend more time these days looking hot in an apron than I do looking sexy in heels).

But there is  just one way cooking can’t even compare to buying new shoes:  because when you learn how to cook for yourself and eat well, your life starts to change and it brings more fulfillment than any pair of shoes ever could.

If you know someone who loves shoes and cooking (or maybe just shoes), share this on Facebook and Twitter.

If you love to cook or want to hone your skills, check out my Total Reset Plan, 4 weeks of done-for-you recipes so you don’t have to think — just cook.

Finally, make sure you get on my list for updates and special offers that you won’t find on the blog. Get the Goods Here!

And before you go, tell me what you love about cooking or shoes (or both) or share any challenges you’ve had in your own kitchen.

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