About Me

Hi there and thanks for visiting my blog!

I started this blog because I like to cook. No wait, I love to cook. Actually, food is kind of all I think about. 

I guess I needed an outlet for all of my cooking energy, so I jumped on the food blog bandwagon. It's already been two years, and I've really enjoyed being able to look back and remember all the delicious meals we've made, and to be able find areas where I can improve on either the recipe itself or my own technique.

Honestly, I haven't always been this enthralled with food and cooking. I grew up mainly eating processed, convenience foods. Cheap frozen pizzas, fish sticks, mac and cheese in the blue box, I was all over that stuff. Sometimes I'd add frozen broccoli to the mac and cheese and pat myself on the back for being "healthy".

I don't know what made me decide to change the way I eat. It was so gradual I hardly saw it coming. I guess the transformation probably started after college, when I finally had the time, money, and motivation to learn how to cook my own food. I took baby steps. I subscribed to a few cooking magazines and cautiously tried new recipes. I started buying some vegetables fresh instead of frozen, real cheddar instead of American, butter instead of margarine. I poked around at my local farmers market and learned when different fruits and vegetables were in season. I planted a garden and ate juicy, ripe, homegrown tomatoes in August. Instead of a package of baby carrots, I bought bunches of whole carrots with the green tops still attached. I learned that you should wait until spring for the best asparagus. After watching Food Inc. and reading Omnivore's Dilemma, I suddenly started paying attention to where my food comes from. I love Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and I try to buy local meat, dairy, and produce as much as possible.

Photo credit: Rebecca Dryer Photography
Even though I am the author of this blog, my husband does just about as much of the cooking as I do. I tend to focus more on healthy weeknight dinners, working with what we already have on hand, trying to stay within a weekly budget, etc. His cooking is more involved and spontaneous. Ah, the life of a grad student.  On a whim, he'll randomly decide to bake a loaf of bread one afternoon, or make a batch of chicken stock, if he so desires. Between the two of us, we cook a lot of really good food, and almost never have a clean kitchen. It seems neither of us can be bothered to do the dishes on a daily basis. But we're ok with that.

My pet peeve is a cookbook without any photos of the food. To me, the photo is what entices me to cook the meal myself. I am learning as I go here, so the photos in my blog are the best I can manage with no formal knowledge of photography whatsoever. From the start of the blog through December 2011, all photos were taken with a point-and-shoot (mostly a Canon PowerShot). As of January 2012 I've started using a Canon Rebel T2i. 

You might notice that I make a few references to Weight Watchers in my posts. In 2009 I lost 25 pounds using that program, most of it before I got married that August, and a little more after, for good measure (It was lucky that I bought my wedding dress off the rack, because I ended up having to exchange it for one that was 2 sizes smaller!). While on the program, I did succumb to some of the "diet" foods, the low-fat (i.e., tasteless) cheeses and breads mostly, but once I hit goal I decided that if this was going to be permanent it had to work without the help of fake diet foods. I did not want to have one set of food for me and one set for my family. It is a constant challenge, but it's worth it to me to be able to eat real food.  For the most part, I find that if I keep my portions small, go easy on the carbs, and stay active (Jazzercise!  Hiking!  Bike rides!), I can eat (almost) anything without gaining weight. Like I said, it's still a challenge.  

Well, enough about me. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy the recipes I share. I love getting feedback and new ideas from other people. Every single comment gives me warm fuzzies (even if most of them are from my sister!). 

selman.robyn (at) gmail.com

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