This a photo of a brunch I made a little bit ago:  Hollandaise sauce over poached eggs and baby spinach on toasted English muffins and an heirloom tomato salad. 

I not only love to make and eat food, but I also love talking about food!  I read blogs, recipes, and menus for fun and I love experimenting with new techniques and ingredients.  

I was never taught how to cook.  I was brought up in a family of hunters, cattle ranchers, and farmers and then became a vegetarian at 15.  Food in my household was prepared well, but it was single ingredient items on a plate:  steak, baked potato, vegetable with butter.  My dad would joke that he wanted to be able to instantly identify all ingredients just by looking at them, and that's how food was.  When I decided to stop eating meat in the early 80s, I became a classic junk food vegetarian because I was a teenager and I didn't know how to make a single thing.  Every burnt piece of toast was a lesson learned and cooking has been a lifetime of those kind of lessons.  

The internet has changed everything about my relationship with food because of the amount of info there is and how easy it is to find it.  Although trendy terms like "foodie" tend to rub me the wrong way, I do really enjoy the abundance of photos and discussions you can find on cooking and eating now that so many people are interested in food.  I used to collect cookbooks, but they were intimidating!  There were so many ingredients I wasn't familiar with, techniques that the authors assumed I knew, and gadgets mentioned that I didn't own...so I would read the recipes, but rarely actually try things.  But now if I'm confused, I can find a blog or a youtube video that helps almost immediately.  Having all the info doesn't mean there isn't still a learning curve.  Just a couple of weeks ago, I said "I'll make my own caramel, how hard can it be?"  Turns out, pretty hard!  But it's so much easier to take the experience of a mistake and cross-reference it to someone's success story, so I can adapt much faster.  

I'd like to start blogging about food, but was asking myself what I could possibly offer that isn't already out there?  My co-workers have been encouraging me and here are some things they felt would make my blog interesting:

  • I really enjoy cooking and writing, so I should write about food!
  • I like making food look pretty on a plate for pictures
  • I like eating a ton of different kinds of things from a variety of cuisines
  • I am always thinking frugally when I'm cooking and trying to get the most for the money
  • I love getting creative with stuff already in the refrigerator
  • Having gone to both massage school and herbalism school, I know a lot about healthy stuff 

I've never heard of that spice, where would I even get it?  When you say "rice the potatoes", what does that mean??  I want to make ________, but I want to make it vegan/healthier/easier/cheaper.  This recipe looks delicious, but what are the chances of me screwing it up?  This recipe is going to end up costing more than if I went out to eat. I saw a really fancy machine at Williams-Sonoma, will I ever use it??

These are the kinds of questions I ask myself when I'm trying to learn and these are the kinds of topics I would like to help people with while also showing you some easy and delicious stuff you can definitely make.  

<3 Vanessa

This Sunday's brunch:  a fluffy, cheesy spinach quiche!

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Tags: brunch, cooking, food, vanessa

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