It's very unusual for me to instigate a discussion about cooking because I am a terrible cook. No...really, I am. I'm not trying to garner sympathy or have you reply... "oh, no, Lisa Marie, I'm sure you can cook."

I take no prisoners when I cook. It either comes out okay or I have to drive to the nearest Burger King and buy everyone in the family dinner that night.

The reason I decided to bring up the subject of cooking is because I've had a bee in my bonnet about making a pot of beef vegetable soup for a couple of weeks now, and I stopped at the grocery store last night and got all the ingredients for said pot of soup.

I got up early this morning (I'm on vacation this week, so please acknowledge my noble sacrifice of not sleeping in, LOL) and I got to work scraping and chopping vegetables. All the ingredients are now simmering in a slow cooker, and others will be added according to their individually required cooking times. Except for one piece of carrot which our cat, Blue, decided would make a very interesting toy. I still cannot find that piece of carrot.

Yes, I'm sure you noticed that I'm making a pot of hot soup in 90 degree summer weather. I am also a seasonally challenged cook who craves cool salads in the winter and hot dishes in the summer. (To tell the truth, when you have only a few dishes in your cooking repertoire, there aren't many options and cooking according to the season becomes a somewhat exotic pursuit).

So, how about it? Are you a good cook? A great cook? Should we start sharing recipes on this thread? Can you suggest some dishes that I can successfully pull off?

Lisa Marie