This blog is a microcosm made up of bits of me: my love of cooking and creating, my desire to live gluten-free, and a collection of recipes and people that make me super happy.
Until I was in my late 20’s, I can’t say I ever cared about cooking or how to make bits of things turn into a meal . Things were heated up, put in front of me, and I ate them. Usually too much of them, I figured out later. I couldn’t have told you how to cut an onion without making an ungodly mess of it, and if you had asked me to make a soup I would have gotten out the can opener and looked at you until you handed me a can. Then (because I was in my 20’s and isn’t this how it normally goes?), everything was shaken up, turned upside down, and my new adult life and career path got mostly demolished. I made huge life changes all in the span of about 6 months, and when the dust began to settle I found myself enrolled in culinary school.
People were understandably confused.
But I loved culinary school. I’m a school-lover by nature, and this kind of school brought out all the best parts of me: studying, doing hard physical work, being creative, happiness at having actual tangible results of my work, and, of course, enjoying food.
It was a tiny little cooking universe filled up with student loan-fueled financial freedom, unlimited product and a mostly unrealistic view of what a career in cooking could be. I was high on possibility! Then I graduated from Le Cordon Bleu with my degree in Culinary Arts, and I went to go work in New Orleans for a few months as part of an externship.
That part was amazing.
I mean, it was New Orleans, and I was biking through the Quarter from a house I shared with three other cooks to get to my job on Bourbon Street. What else needs to be said?
The food in New Orleans is beyond, I don’t think I really need to overstate that point. I learned about things I never would have seen in Minnesota, and someday maybe I will make a post about that whole experience.
After New Orleans, I returned home and worked at a few local restaurants with good reputations for serving fresh food and changing their menus often. I was engaged to be married, and everything seemed to be falling into place.
Anyway, fast-forward to the present…
I now have a husband and two lovely children (to whom I am trying to break of a chicken nugget habit), and I work full-time at a job that is decidedly NOT culinary. It’s been quite a change of pace from the late night/cursing/cooking/sweating/drinking culture of the kitchens, but this life has its own set of rewards and hurdles. Someday I may get back to it professionally. I hope I do. But for now, I cook at home for my family and friends, and I try to find the balance between pleasing the taste buds and keeping us healthy. I am also a part of a fantastic Gourmet Group, and those monthly gatherings keep me interested and excited about food in a way that simply reading cookbooks never would.
A couple of years ago, I put some pieces together and figured out that my body really hates dealing with gluten. I’ve never been tested for Celiac disease, but for now I try my hardest to stay away from wheat. Occasionally I made something for my family (who still eat gluten) or Gourmet group that has gluten in it, and I have to rely on feedback from people to know if I hit the mark. Occasionally I really screw up and knowingly eat things with gluten because I’m feeling lazy or indulgent or just “I DON’T CARE I’M GOING TO EAT THIS RIGHT NOW AND DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT I’M A GROWN-UP!”. Which is really not the hallmark of a grown-up, ironically enough.
I really hope you enjoy the recipes and posts you find here. I know I enjoy working on them and finding recipes that I think are pretty tasty. Let me know how they work for you!