When it comes to food, I love doing two things. The first one, as I'm sure you've guessed already, is eating it. The second thing is, making it. Yes, I am a secret baker. I avidly watch cooking and baking shows like The Chew, Iron Chef, Chopped Canada and a few local ones too. I get a total thrill of watching various chefs prepare a whole meal in 30 minutes. I collect tons and tons of recipes to save for a rainy day, or for when I get a craving. And yes, Remy the rat from Ratatouille (try saying that ten times fast) is my spirit animal. Now, I'm even teaching my little sister how to handle herself in the kitchen.

For most people as the holiday season rolls around, there is a flurry of baking and cooking, whether it’s a their own house or someone else’s. For others, the food portion of the holidays involves a flurry of phone calls to various restaurants to try and get some good takeout. My holiday preparations are more like the former. As you may have noticed, there has been a whole food nation that has begun to rise over the past few months. There are quite a few foodstagrams, food blogs, food shows and foodies that have begun to pop up everywhere. And what better way is there to join the fun, than to get cracking, and get creative in the kitchen yourself?

Survival of the fittest (and hungriest)

You need food to survive, and learning how to make rice or how to boil some vegetables, can really be useful. Worst case scenario: one day you get really hungry in the middle of a snowstorm and there is no takeout available. But now with your cooking skills, there is no worst case scenario because you'll be able to whip something for yourself in no time. I think that at least learning how to cook or bake the basic foods will definitely benefit you in the long run. If you don't have enough time during the week, setting a day aside during the weekend to meal prep will definitely help you out.

Money in the bank

When you create your own meals, you set your own prices. You choose how much your willing to spend on the ingredients and how much you want to cook. Trust me, you totally get more bang for your buck and if you ever want more, you can head on over to your kitchen make some more.

Healthy is the new skinny

You know pretty much what is going inside your meal, so you have more control over the calories and etc. and you can always alter the recipe to fit your dietary needs or tastes. After all, there is nothing better than a homemade meal.

The friend magnet

You know how when you pull out a pack of gum, you suddenly have a swarm of people around you, it’s the same with other foods as well. Well, don’t expect them to come swarming as quickly, but there will definitely be a few people who you will have to fend off in order to finish your homemade lunch.


You can (almost) never go wrong

The best part of cooking/baking, is that even if whatever you make doesn’t come out looking that great, as long as it tastes okay you’re good to go. You can either eat it, to hide the evidence, or you can turn it into something else. For example, this New Years Eve my sister and I had spent all day making this big cake, so that we could split in half and add whipped cream to the inside. Then when we took it out of the oven we realized that it hadn’t risen. It was as flat as a pancake and we were devastated. However, being the stubborn person that I am, I insisted that we slice it anyway and it created a total mess. Fortunately, I managed to somehow cover it all in chocolate ganache and it was as good as new. The moral of the story? When in doubt, use chocolate.

Creativity unleashed

Just like dancing, singing, drawing, etc., cooking is an art and a great way to express yourself. If you're feeling stressed or upset, grab a whisk and whip up some cake, that you can enjoy later on. I’m sure that by the time you take the cake out of the oven, you’ll be feeling a lot more relaxed (and hungry).

Feel good food

The first time I made a stir fry, I was ecstatic. Sure the meat was a little bit dry, but at least I cooked it all by myself. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you like it and that it’s edible. However, you totally get some bonus points if other people enjoy it too. Food is meant to be shared and to bring people together, so use your new found talents for the good of everyone and you’ll see how not only will you have a warm meal on your table, but a warm heart as well.