I’m not a chef. I haven’t even been really cooking for that long. A year ago, in an attempt to eat healthier and save money, I decided to start cooking more often. I’d had delicious food growing up. My dad was the cook in the family and he was a perfectionist so not only did everything taste good, but it looked good, too. I grew up on homemade pasta and grilled steak, vibrant stir fry and glazed salmon. Then there was college. I gorged on a mix of pizza and late night diner meals balanced with cafeteria food. I went to Penn State and at the time, the cafeterias were all-you-could-eat, so there was always this sense of getting your money’s worth. Suffice it to say, I didn’t eat all that well in college.
After a tumultuous year post-graduation where I lived at home and worked in a restaurant, I was accepted into an internship program in Washington, DC. This was my foot in the door into a real job with benefits. Oh, benefits. Anyone who’s had to live without them knows how I felt when I got the acceptance call. I’d never again have to exist in that limbo of living at home while trying to be an adult. It’s hard to feel like a grown up when your mom is still doing your laundry, you know? So I moved to DC, ready to take on this new challenge head on. Of course, DC is ridiculously expensive. Like, seriously crazy. My dad used to tell people what I paid on rent just to shock them. Thanks, dad.
Shortly after my internship ended, I got a full time job and found a roommate through a mutual friend. We settled into a two bedroom apartment in Alexandria, VA and I made my first concentrated effort at cooking. It started slow, as most changes usually do, but has since taken off. At the time, I was reading how beneficial the Mediterranean diet is, so I decided to start there. Rather than buying a “diet” cookbook, I decided to give Mediterranean cuisine a try. One truth I’d found early on, by starving myself or cutting out foods or food groups, I only ended up craving the forbidden foods more. So I decided not to classify my new eating habits as a diet. Diets never work, at least not for me. I just wanted to learn to cook and to to have fun doing it. I never realized how cathartic it would be. How calming. I was looking for a stress reliever and I definitely found one. I can honestly say that I love to cook. And I’ve always loved writing, though usually just for myself, so I decided to marry the two and start a blog. This is not an expert chef’s blog by any means, but rather an exercise in experimenting with new foods and ideas. I hope that some of my entries inspire you to try a new recipe or perfect an old one, or just enjoy the simple pleasure of watching a cheesy show on tv with the people you love most, milkshakes and potato chips in hand.