I've always enjoyed cooking. It's almost like therapy for me. I like trying new things and getting creative.
In the US, many things are quick and easy. There is almost always some mix, packet, or machine to cut down on preparation time. Not as much here. While you can find some short-cut items, they are less common and seem to be typically saved for hiking or hytte tur (time spent at a cabin).
Aside from that, it is more affordable - and much healthier - to make things yourself. If you will recall, one of my first friends in Sandefjord gave me a critical lesson in Norwegian baking (see that post HERE). It was a great way to spend time together, and to learn the recipe that is used as the base for many Norwegian baked goods.
My newest from-scratch item is bread. We were buying loaves of bread at the store. We bought the cheapest bread, a store-brand Kneipp. But it lacked flavor and the texture was not great. Norwegian grocery stores have other loaves that are really good, but fairly expensive. So I decided to strike out and find a good, healthy, and easy bread recipe.
I came across a recipe on Pinterest for peasant bread. It is a no-knead recipe that you can bake in a bowl, a loaf pan, muffin tin, or as freeform rolls. I switch around with the types of flour (usually a blend), and sometimes add some seeds or herbs.
And now that I've started, I doubt my family will want to go back!
Other homemade items I make include lots of soups (this is typically based on whatever is in the cabinet), pizza dough, flour tortillas, waffles, and pastries.
What are your favorite 'from scratch' items?