Baking & cooking with an enthusiastic amateur
Since I was a kid, I loved creating recipes and cooking. Of course, at a young age, my ambition greatly outweighed my expertise, and I remember an astounding number of disasters and an amount of food wasted that still makes me cringe. Over the years, however, my ratio of success to failure became much more favorable, and my patient parents still supported and encouraged my hobby. By high school, I was making homemade pasta sauce, enchiladas, muffins, chicken parmigiana, and a number of other dishes on a regular basis.
College proved to be a dark spot in my culinary history. Living in the dorms for all four years meant no kitchen, nothing more than a microwave. While I tried to cook some things in that microwave for the first few weeks with all the enthusiasm of a freshman, by the end of the first semester I had resigned to using my microwave for nothing more than popcorn and the occasional leftover delivery food.
Moving to a big city and having a kitchen shared with a single roommate rekindled my desire to cook almost instantly. While we still eat our fair share of boxed macaroni and cheese, frozen pizza, and the occasional faux-nostalgic Wings Over pick-up, I cook more nights than I don’t. I’m very lucky that most weeks, I can be home from my job by 4pm, and hence have two hours to relax, grocery shop, and prepare dinner for my roommate and myself.
I started this blog for three reasons: One, to have a record of my favorite recipes and best successes (and occasionally, educational failures). Second of all, it provides me with an extra creative boost, another reason to not grow complacent in my current body of knowledge and techniques. Third, and most importantly, I wanted an opportunity to share my experiences – the background, the trial-and-error, and the recipes themselves – with my friends and family.
I’m not a professional chef, and I don’t have the budget of many food bloggers out there. Except on very special occasions, I can’t afford filet mignon, scallops, organic produce, fancy wine, or imported chocolate. This doesn’t mean I can’t make a delicious, endless variety of food with what I can afford: I let it encourage my creativity rather than stifling it.
For years, I’ve often felt that with so much food, it feels like you can’t get all four key points: Delicious, affordable, manageable, and healthy. While I will be including some sinful treats and occasionally using pricier ingredients, I’m striving to make all my meals score as high in all four of those points as possible, and not neglect any point entirely.
With a little bit of confidence, a few basic cooking techniques, and some handy recipes, you can make a limited budget, even with restrictions of culinary experience and calorie concerns, go a long way. That’s what I’m doing, and I hope you enjoy what lies ahead!