I realized in college that I had developed an addiction to good food, but my limited income meant I wound up eating a lot of cheap fast food for most meals, and then blowing all my money getting a nice sushi dinner. I knew how to make some basic foods – mostly breakfast foods (pancakes, scrambled eggs) and baked goods (chocolate chip cookies, banana bread). But these aren’t the ideal foods to live on either.
I was living with my Gma at the time, but we mostly ate on our own. Then my aunt and uncle came to live with us for a few months. I remember sitting at the dining table, studying, and watching my aunt spend 45 minutes to an hour carefully assembling a salad. By the time she was done it wasn’t just a meal – it was artwork too. Her love of food was infectious. It was then that I started really thinking about food and cooking.
The truth was: I could either learn to cook well (and eat well) within a budget, or I could continue to eat the garbage I was living on. So I set about learning to cook. My mother is a great cook, but I never bothered paying attention to what she was doing. So I started watching a lot of shows on The Food Network: Alton, Rachel, Tyler, Bobby, Ina – these people taught me a lot about cooking. I began devouring several food magazines and blogs too – Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Saveur, Smitten Kitchen, The Wednesday Chef, Orangette, Ruhlman. And then when I visited my parents I paid attention to what my mom and sister were doing.
Over the years my style has evolved. Sometimes I’m following (and modifying) a recipe, and other times I’m just using methods I know with flavors I like. Cooking with and watching others continues to influence my methods.
As my husband and I get older, and now that we have children, more thought goes into the nutritional value of what we are eating, not just how delicious everything is. Researching (and trying) different diets has led me to where I am now with my diet goals: Eat lots of fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits, limited/moderate carbs/starches, minimal added sugars, and as few “processed” foods as possible. These are more guidelines than strict rules, which means I prefer to use the chicken stock I’ve made, but I’m not above buying a container of stock if I don’t have any on hand.
My goals with this site are to catalog my tried and true recipes (either because I love them, or because people have repeatedly asked me for them), and gush about food and it’s importance to me.