40 second videos of whisking, dashing, sprinkling, and any other -ing word that involves being in the kitchen, grace our newsfeeds on the daily, bringing Ratatouille’s tagline “anyone can cook” to life. We may not be any closer to allowing prodigy rodent chefs in the kitchen, but we are becoming a generation turning the “millennials don’t care about anything” frown upside down, one sped-up cooking video at a time. They’re useful, fun to watch, and built for people who lead busy lives. Which is practically everyone in 2016.
Tasty, Thrillist, and ayeee us at Spoon U, produce videos that have become the new 5 pm Food Network slot. You set up camp in your kitchen and start making a bomb meal while your eyes shift from screen to stovetop and back again. The breakthrough of putting test kitchens at your fingertips is changing how we grow as cooks, bakers, and wannabe Ina Garten’s.
The appeal for me started when I realized I could have my cake and eat it too, i.e. be on social media while making something. I can’t help but love a good double-tasking mission. Being able to pause, rewind, fast forward, and double-tap while preparing Cheesy Zucchini Sticks makes me feel pretty dang pleased to be alive in the 21st century.
But my family’s pretty old school when it comes to recipes. We have a recipe box on a pantry shelf, I keep a binder of them printed and torn out, and sometimes we just improv. So I still do value and enjoy the drawn-out way of baking cupcakes or making mac n’ cheese from scratch. I once attempted a 5-page recipe of a tiered cake, which I’d genuinely like to see squeezed into a minute-long video.
Though, there’s something different to take away from seeing something right in front of you, doing it yourself, and taking that first bite in pride. It’s a moment of accomplishment that’s shared with the millions of other people who’ve tried it too. Recipe videos have also given me room to think on my feet. As accessible and easy as they are, sometimes I still find myself out of key ingredients. But being the stubborn person I am, I refuse to throw in the towel and resort to grilled chicken. Again.
So that’s how this Chicken Avocado Pizza turned into Mushroom Greek Yogurt Pizza. Don’t knock it til’ you try it, yogurt tastes ace on pizza. Plus I didn’t feel like eating chicken nor do I like avocados, so the video prompted me to get creative and try something with food I do like and do have in the fridge. The point of these videos isn’t always to follow word for word, or in this case second for second, but to add an element of fun to cooking.
Food videos might be a trend people are tired of seeing pop up on Facebook or on their YouTube homepage, but I know I’ll never stop searching for the latest, wackiest ones to try. Putting fruity pebbles and waffles together or creating cheese-stuffed Doritos is a step in the right direction if you ask me. Recipes like these are college-budget friendly, simple to make, but crazy enough that it’s still an enjoyable challenge to master.
Before these videos hit the scene, I was happily trudging along in print-out recipe land, losing my place in what step I’m doing what, messing up the pages with splatters, but saving them fulfilled in my creation nonetheless. Then I realized part of growing as a baker and a cook is braving new territories and embracing your fellow millennial foodies, who have changed the recipe game from here on out.
If you need me, you can find me flipping Cocoa Puff Pancakes.