I’ve been in the kitchen for as long as I can remember. I spent a lot of time as a little girl sitting on the kitchen counters of both of my grandmas and my mom, watching them cook. I credit these amazing women with acquainting me to the ways of the kitchen and planting the seed for my interest in cooking. It was through them that I learned so many essential, fundamental culinary skills and developed a feeling of comfort in the kitchen. They never shooed me out or told me I was in the way; rather, they handed me a spoon and told me to stir, gave me a potato to wash, or ok – I’ll admit it – a beater to lick. See?
I know, right? Anyway, I have so many fond memories of being in the kitchen as a child. Once, I was sitting on the counter watching my grandma stir a pot of something that was apparently getting pretty thick. She was telling me a story about a neighbor she didn’t particularly like, and she got so worked up that all of the sudden, SNAP! The wooden spoon she was using broke right in half. Then there are the traditions that are developed around food and cooking. To this day, my mom and I still get together and make obscene amounts of Christmas cookies, a tradition we have dubbed “The Cookie Incident.” We spend an entire weekend in the kitchen, mixing, baking, mixing, baking, almost to the point of delirium. By the time we get to the last couple of hours and we are decorating sugar cookies, we are completely exhausted and totally punchy. Let’s just say not all of the cookies turn out as presentable to our Christmas guests. In fact, some get banished to the “breakfast bowl” for my dad to enjoy the next morning.
As a young adult in my mid twenties, I discovered the Food Network and began watching 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray. I started to step out of my comfort zone to try new recipes, and with each success came increased desire to try something new. I combined the knowledge and love for cooking I got from my mom and grandmas with the new recipes, skills, and ideas. I continued watching more and more Food Network, learning new methods and recipes from many different chefs, including Giada, Guy, Emeril, Alton, Ina, and many more! I like to think of this as my TV culinary education. Even if the chef is cooking something I don’t like to eat or would never make, I still watch because I almost always pick up a tip, tactic, piece of food trivia or history, or an interesting scientific fact about food.
I haven’t been to culinary school and I don’t have a big fancy kitchen. I’m just an ordinary woman who grew up cooking and who loves to cook. I usually try to cook healthy foods – on a budget! Cooking has become a large part of my life and a passion. It’s a hobby, therapy, stress relief, a creative outlet, entertainment, a source of pride, and a means to enjoy some pretty good food. I created this blog to share my passion and as a way to interact with others who also love to cook, who want to learn more, or who want to share ideas! So, I hope you enjoy reading about the big tastes from my little kitchen.