Rosemary: Gaining Confidence with Every Home-cooked Meal

Being able to cook allows me to have a greater sense of control when grocery shopping and in the kitchen. I also have a far greater sense of confidence when it comes to preparing food for others.

Rosemary: Hero in the Kitchen via @CookSmarts
Cooking can seem a little daunting when you first start out, but as Kitchen Hero Rosemary learned, it’s all about practice! Getting involved in the kitchen is the first step to cooking, and like Rosemary says, dinner is so much more satisfying when you have a hand in it. Now this Kitchen Hero is gaining confidence in the kitchen and cooking up a ton of healthy and different dishes. Read her Hero in the Kitchen story below.

Name: Rosemary Fritz Grabowska
Age: 28
City, State: Poughkeepsie, NY
I cook for: myself and my vegetarian husband.
Outside of the kitchen I: work at a not-for-profit which operates a food pantry and soup kitchen. I go for runs with my dog, Chico, and love hanging out in my garden. I’m also a committed Doctor Who fan.
Being able to cook allows me to: have a greater sense of control when grocery shopping and in the kitchen. I also have a far greater sense of confidence when it comes to preparing food for others.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal so far: I loved the hummus and avocado melts and also the kale salad with lemony dressing.

How did you learn to cook?
I helped my parents when I was a kid with simple things, like making a salad. But in college I lived off campus and realized I pretty much only knew how to make pasta. So I started looking online for recipes.

What’s been your biggest cooking challenge in the past?
Knowing what I had in the cupboard! Since I rarely, if ever, had a plan for meals, I’d see something online that I liked, and start to prepare it, only to realize I was missing half the ingredients.

How has your cooking routine changed recently?
This may sound so silly, but I’m a lot more patient with heating the oil first thing. I used to be so frustrated that I’d dump a bunch of chopped garlic or onions into a pan of lukewarm oil, but I’d be so scared that it would start smoking or catching fire (silly, right).

“One of the reasons I love Cook Smarts recipes is because they taste amazing, but without being overly complicated or fussy.”

What new skill or dish have you cooked that you’re most proud of?
One of the reasons I love Cook Smarts recipes is because they taste amazing, but without being overly complicated or fussy. One dish that is a perfect example is the Tilapia en Papillote. It looks so fancy, and sounds so fancy, and is so flavorful, I would have no problem making it for a fancy dinner party. But it’s so easy and quick that I made it after a 12 hour work day instead of going to McDonald’s!

What advice would you give to other moms (and kids) who want to be cooking more family dinners?
While I’m not a mother, I’m definitely grateful to my parents, who involved me in the kitchen. Eating dinner tasted so much more satisfying when I had a part in it, even if it was just washing and spinning lettuce.

Also, please give up the “Try it, you’ll like it!” I was much more willing to choke down something I didn’t like when my mother said I only had to eat an inch of it or 3 more forkfuls.


There’s nothing silly when it comes to cooking, Rosemary! After all, we all have to start somewhere, and you are proof that with practice, you can gain more confidence in the kitchen. So kudos to you for overcoming your cooking challenges and getting better with each meal you cook!

Rosemary's favorite @CookSmarts meal: Tomato, Avocado, Hummus Melts

To join Rosemary and cook meals like her favorite Tomato, Avocado, Hummus Melts and Lemony Kale Salad, check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!

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