I’m an only child to two Italian parents (I bleed red sauce) who made nothing but homemade food - all the time - for every meal. I remember coming home real late one night and my mom was in the kitchen making homemade crème brûlée, with a propane torch and everything. My love for food runs as deep as deep dish pizza and my parents’ cooking will always be my kryptonite.

For 18 years I was fed meals made by food angels (my parents), but the inevitable time came where all teenagers think they don’t need their parents because they’re the smartest things alive - even though they can’t make their own doctor appointments. 

I moved out and I was finally on my own. The freedom! Ice cream for breakfast because I can. Breakfast for dinner because I make the rules around here now. This plastic block called ramen is cheap. After you burn your mouth a billion times on a Hot Pocket it’s not so bad. Instead of the Mahi-Mahi, can I get just the one Mahi, because I'm not that rich?

My taste buds went into anaphylactic shock from the flavorless and more importantly, loveless meals I was eating. To make up for the hours I wasn’t spending in the kitchen, I put it towards binge watching cooking shows and food documentaries. My love for food was still burning inside me like heartburn, but my self-proclaimed laziness syndrome prevented me from doing anything about it.

A few months later, my Facebook timeline started showing these super sped-up food recipe videos, for different things like Smiley Fries and Rainbow Bagels. My love for food as well as watching it on TV had just been unified into one aesthetically pleasing 50 second recipe video with annoying yet mood boosting music. Unlike the documentaries on Netflix or cooking shows on Food Network, I actually had the urge to make the food in the short videos I was watching. Starting with something as simple as upgrading my ramen noodles, I craved more.

Everyday, I inevitably came across a new recipe video on my Facebook when I should have been studying for school (sorry Mom) and I actually got the feels from watching food being cooked. Then, I started making adult grocery lists with specific foods I needed for recipes I wanted to try. These short, one minute cooking shows satisfy everything most millennials crave: easy, fast, and visual. The shortness and clarity of these videos grab my attention, hold it, and actually make me act on it, likely because I see these videos in such a simple manner. It seems more doable than watching Chopped chefs cook with preserved duck eggs and mashed potato candy.

I cook homemade meals about 4 times a week now and I love doing it. I get so excited to find a recipe I’ve never made before but looks delicious. I’m calling my mom more frequently now to ask her for cooking advice and some of her recipes to duplicate. I’m so satisfied knowing where my food comes from and how it's prepared. Plus, it’s not just me who gets excited for dinner now, but my boyfriend as well. We go grocery shopping together and found out we make a great team in the kitchen. Cooking habitually has created this bond between us as a couple.

I may not have my parents cooking me amazing meals three times a day, but that doesn’t mean it has to end. These short yet interesting cooking videos quickly stabbed at my heart with a butter knife and rekindled my love for cooking. Knowing I put time and effort into my dinner makes it taste so much better than boxed food. But the real secret ingredient to every home cooked meal is a dash of love, which I make sure to put in every dish I make.