I live in suburbia, where strip malls and tract housing abound. I also happen to be fortunate to live in an area where the grocery stores are amazing, food offerings are diverse and restaurants are aplenty.
But you know, there is often nothing better to eat than what is created with your own two hands, in your own kitchen. As a high school biology teacher, cooking is a scientific endeavor for me, since what you eat (usually) was once living and once cooked, is now not. With a bit of heat or cold, and a little chemistry, you can make those once living things taste pretty damn good. Cooking is also a creative endeavor, and I strive to make dishes not only delicious, but good-looking as well. A food stylist I am not, but dammit, I want my food to taste good AND look good.
That said, I must offer the following background information:
- I am learning to eat healthily. I began Weight Watchers in August 2010 in an attempt to lose weight, as I have struggled with obesity my entire life. I have been quite successful on this plan (losing 92 pounds and counting!). You will see many references to WW throughout my blog, as I have learned to adjust recipes to suit my new eating habits. I am aware that many people feel that WW is a ‘diet,’ when in actuality, it truly is a lifestyle, and it is one I (like many others) have chosen to embrace in an attempt to improve my health. Understand that no foods are verboten, and that moderation is the key. So if a recipe contains butter or cream, it is there for a reason because I do not believe that you should sacrifice good taste for a few less calories here or there. Just don’t eat a second helping, or a full helping! Don’t give up good tasting food just because you feel you need to in order to lose weight! Besides, natural foods always taste better than their synthetic counterparts, and have ingredients that are pronounceable.
- I am also a type II diabetic. While I cook with sugar, sugary foods are not a regular part of my diet. The misconception that people have about diabetics not being able to eat sugar is one I’d like to dispel, because the body’s cells require sugar as fuel. As I teach my students, your cells heart carbs, specifically glucose. In short, you need sugar for your cells to function and perform the tasks they normally do to keep you alive. But do you need all the sugar in, say, a Coke? No. I am very careful to control the amount of sugary foods I do eat, and try very hard to steer clear of them daily. On rare occasions, I will eat a sugary dessert, but as with all things, portion control is the key.
- I cook without certain ingredients because of food allergy issues in my household. Many of my recipes will omit the following ingredients: shellfish, onions, egg yolk and corn products, because my husband is allergic to these things and therefore, I do not cook with them the vast majority of the time. Periodically, I will use one or all of the above in a dish I fix for myself. If a recipe would be improved with the addition of one of the above, I will make a note of it, trust me. I do not cook gluten-free, so if you are looking for gluten-free recipes, I’m not your best source for those.
- I cook for two, so generally there are not leftovers. Should you need to double or triple the recipe to feed more, do it! For most things I fix, I don’t like to have leftovers because we often forget they are in our fridge–our fridge is tiny, and almost always full, and things get lost in it!
- Measurements of ingredients in my recipes are approximate. Like many home cooks, I do not always measure ingredients. Baking, however, is a different animal. When I bake, I do actually measure ingredients since baking is most like chemistry, and well, I never did a chem lab that didn’t have explicit directions that had to be followed. Feel free to adjust, adapt and tweak each recipe as you feel is necessary.
All that being said, I hope you enjoy your visit here, and cook some of the recipes you find here. Feedback on recipes is always welcomed and encouraged.