You say, “What’s cooking, good looking?” And I’ll say . . .

HELLO . . .Hello . . hello.

That’s the echo I imagine if these words were being communicated out loud and you could hear them as if I’m across the canyon. Yes, across the canyon or maybe on the other side of the galaxy.

Is anybody out there?

I just checked and the last post I wrote was in November 2017. To say I’ve been distracted is sort of true but not what you might think. I could say, “I’ve been distracted by life!” [Back of hand gently lifted to forehead as if I might faint.] Too dully dramatic for my taste.

If I had to say why I’ve been gone, it would be that this blog has un-distracted me. What I mean by that is I got tired of the routine of creating a new dish, taking photos while cooking it and writing down the recipe for it, then trying to make the photos half-way decent despite not really having the right equipment and posting it.

And to some degree there is that distraction called “life” in which I have been very busy and my cooking has become very simple. Which I like very much in life but it doesn’t make for an exciting blog post, does it? How many times would I get away with showing you lightly boiled kale?

If you look at cooking blogs or YouTube cooking videos, the creator is usually showing you something special or something you might not make on your own or something for a holiday or a party. I actually love those YouTube videos and I admit that I have gotten into the habit of watching a few of them. Maybe I’ll blame them for why I didn’t write in my blog.

I am just not in the mood for creating a bunch of special dishes. That is all.

HOWEVER, I am never out of ideas of what I want to write about! I have lots of ideas and they get put on the back burner as soon as I consider how I would illustrate the post or add a photo or two. I consider that you won’t want to read the post if it doesn’t have pictures. I’m hoping I’m wrong about that. If you bear with me on this, I think I will come up with illustration ideas eventually.

Then there’s the whole dilemma of my blog title – “mycookinglife.” If it’s my cooking life, shouldn’t it have cooking in it? Not necessarily! It is my cooking life and I do have a cooking life because I love to cook and have paid attention to cooking for sixty plus years and I still pay a lot of attention to cooking but now we can talk about it on broader terms because I also have a life that is still “cooking.”

It would be a lot of trouble to change the name of the blog and I really don’t want to anyway. I mean really! What would I say? My Endless Life? My Unretired Life? (Not bad) Six Decades of Growing Up? (I’ll have to remember that one.) If I did something like that I would be trying to sneak cooking into it anyway. You know I would.

(By the way, did you notice in the beginning I said something was too dramatic “for my taste?” Does talking about taste count as being broadly about my cooking life?)

No? Okay what about this – what about if the word “cooking” is modifying life as in my life is still “cooking” in a non-literal sense? Like if you asked, “What’s cooking good looking?” and I told you about my latest adventure creating a costume for a party or about my upcoming dental surgery.

You’re hoping I will never tell you about dental surgery. I’ll try not to. But if I did, I would also tell you how to make stunningly delicious and satisfying soft foods and liquids to consume right after the surgery. That’s right! When you are me in my cooking life, anything can be about cooking literally or otherwise.

To my surprise, while I was off doing other things and not writing posts, other people were still visiting this blog. I was very surprised when I looked at my statistics. This month alone – almost a year a half since my last post – there have been 75 visitors to mycookinglife,com. Go figure!

It is encouraging to say the least. And just for your information, many of them visited to see how to cook lotus root. In case you want to see that too, here it is.

It turns out I have a lot more to say and with your encouragement, you 75 wonderful, kind, brilliant, intuitive and totally hip people, I’m going to say it. I’ll probably throw in some recipes and photos sometimes, too. You know I will.

So that’s what I’ve been up to on my side of the canyon galaxy, how about you?

Scary Ingredients You Should Know About

A friend recently posted her comments on Facebook to this article she found and I think it’s very important information for all of us to have. This is about some commonly found ingredients that are put into prepared food which includes restaurant food, fast food, packaged and processed food. And it is a good follow up to my post, “Your Right to the Health You Created.”

So unless you don’t mind having beaver anal gland juice in your food, please read this article called, “The 11 Scariest Things in Your Food.”

I know. Eeeeew.

i have no idea

I had no idea! (Photo credit: jamelah)

Your Right to the Health You Created

WordPress Daily Prompt asks:

Daily Prompt: Right to Health. Is access to medical care something that governments should provide, or is it better left to the private sector? Are there drawbacks to your choice?

As usual, my viewpoint on the subject at hand starts out way over in some other galaxy which means I may not really answer that question in the sense in which it was asked. That’s me!

My "pharmacy" at sunset.

Restocking at my “pharmacy” at sunset. Maybe our government should pay for these! (Photo by Patty Allread)

You see my viewpoint of what “health” is has nothing whatsoever to do with the medical establishment. If you are “healthy,” you are not involved with the medical establishment. The medical establishment is where we turn when we have forfeited our claim to health–having worked very long and hard on destroying it–in the hopes they will have some answer to our dilemma.

This is the group that fixes symptoms, not causes. This is the group that for the most part knows very little about how to develop good health. This is also the group that participates in doling out mind-altering drugs to our children, the elderly and everyone in between because they and our lovely government have bought into the idea that life’s every little problem is a mental illness.

The exception, I would say, is the area of emergency medicine. I think this is extremely valuable because, like most people, I don’t know how to set broken bones, sew up torn body parts, intubate, etc. Perhaps the government should pay for more of this type of thing.

We also, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, have a right to a little help when we really need it, such as Social Security. Because there are times when a person needs that kind of help.

But in the main, I don’t believe the government’s job is to run our lives. Government does way too much of that already. I’d like our government to administrate itself, protect us and our shores and represent us to the other countries. (Now I’m stepping gingerly through a mine field, so that’s all I’m going to say about the government. For now.)

If I have some aspect of poor health, going to the medical establishment is my last solution. My first and best solution is to understand how my body works, find out what it needs to actually heal and provide that–mostly out of my kitchen. I raised three kids that way and we had very, very few medical visits and medical bills to contend with. (Now I’m promising myself to tell you the story of the parking lot tuna fish sandwich!)

Real health, in my opinion, is our responsibility, not our right. We are so willing to put our lives and health into the hands of others and then whine about the results. Is the short-order cook at McD’s or at the local chain restaurant the person who decides what nutrients and non-nutrients and poisons will go into your body today? Is that who is creating your health? Or is it the manufacturers of all the boxed, pre-packaged and frozen foods in the grocery aisle? Perhaps it is the barista at Starstrucks handing you that fancy sugar latte and ungodly sweet pastry. Is the buyer for any of these restaurants and stores considering your health as a priority or is he/she considering their bottom line? Or maybe it is Monsanto who is directing your path to health, busily modifying your food through genetic engineering. (Government sanctioned, by the way. Has our government shown us it makes good choices regarding our health? I think not. Have you heard the one about how the government arrived at the conclusion that Dairy Food is a food group?)

We have “right” to whatever condition we ourselves have created. And you might be shocked if I tried to explain to you how far that consideration of mine actually goes! So I’m going to leave my statement at that.

Acorn Squash with Ground Beef, Apples and Raisins

Acorn Squash fresh from the oven.  Brian Pinkowski

Acorn Squash fresh from the oven. Brian Pinkowski

Please welcome my very first guest author, Brian Pinkowski! Brian is a friend and fellow blogger and I invited him to share a recipe on Mycooklinglifebypatty.

Brian has a wonderful blog of his own, Timor-Leste Images which I invite you to visit.  Just click on the name on my blog roll to the right!

~~~~~~~~

Its Winter and a great time for squash.

I ran across this recipe and thought it was just the right answer for a hot dinner on a cold night in the Rocky Mountains.  Not many written instructions needed.  Photo story will do the trick.

Halved Acorn Squash in 1/4 inch of water.  Brian Pinkowski

Halved Acorn Squash in 1/4 inch of water. Brian Pinkowski

Ground Beef.   Brian Pinkowski

Ground Beef. Brian Pinkowski

Diced Apples.  Brian Pinkowski

Diced Apples. Brian Pinkowski

Apples, Raisins, Cinnamon.  Brian Pinkowski

Apples, Raisins, Cinnamon. Brian Pinkowski

Acorn Squash in the oven for 35 minutes.  Brian Pinkowski

Acorn Squash in the oven for 35 minutes. Brian Pinkowski

At 400 degrees.

At 400 degrees.

Ground beef mixed with the raisins, apples, cinnamon and a bit of salt.  Brian Pinkowski

Ground beef mixed with the raisins, apples, cinnamon and a bit of salt. Brian Pinkowski

Scoop out the Squash.  Brian Pinkowski

Scoop out the Squash. Brian Pinkowski

Mix the cooked squash with the ground beef, apples, raisins.  Brian Pinkowski

Mix the cooked squash with the ground beef, apples, raisins. Brian Pinkowski

Place mixture in the squash shells, drizzle with a little melted butter, and a sprinkle of brown sugar.  Brian Pinkowski

Place mixture in the squash shells, drizzle with a little melted butter, and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Brian Pinkowski

Dinner Time.  Brian Pinkowski

Dinner Time. Brian Pinkowski

I’m Smarter Than My Smartphone and Too Smart for My Own Good

Here I go again with another Daily Prompt Challenge:  Describe your relationship with your phone. Is it your lifeline, a buzzing nuisance, or something in between?

Half the fun of these challenges is to relate the topic to the theme of My Cooking Life. It’s not as tough as you might think.

I’m smarter than my smartphone. When I get up in the morning, my phone is infused with the idea that I’m not “open for business” yet. So it doesn’t ring. It never ceases to amaze me that the moment I get to work and sit at my desk, the phone starts ringing. And the funny thing is, that isn’t always at the same time every day. It’s not like my work day fits a pattern all the time. Work can continue on until various hours of the day and night too. But once I’m “closed for business” the phone again will not ring. Unless I forget to decide I am done with the phone for the day. No need, usually, to physically turn the ringer off.

There is this one exception–when I’m cooking.

Hands full of dishes and soap suds? The phone rings. In the middle of chopping up parsley with little green bits all over the hands? The phone rings. At a critical point during a stir fry? The phone rings. Chocolate all over my hands? I struggle to find a fingertip or elbow that can press the screen to answer a call which is usually from someone I want to talk to like my husband, my children, my sister or a dear friend.

making blackberry pie: licking fingers

This isn’t me, but it’s pretty close to what it looks like just when the phone is ringing! (Photo credit: cafemama)

Needless to say, those beautiful smartphone screens attract all the olive oil, fish juices, chocolate and soap suds!

Washing the dishes

“Damn! That phone’s ringing!” (Photo credit: Ozgurmulazimoglu)

I’ve thought about this phenomena of the phone ringing just when I’ve gotten to a point of no return at the stove or the cutting board. Do I turn the ringer off? No. Thank goodness my cooking life is not too sacred to interrupt with a call from someone I love even when they have an uncanny and sort of spooky sense of timing. Every time. When there’s no chance of catching that call without getting food on my phone.

They win over my phone juju every time!

P.S. I swear I usually know who is calling me without even looking. No kidding! I don’t have to look at the caller ID. Can’t sometimes anyway, since the screen is sometimes pretty blurred with oil, chocolate, fish juices, parsley and soap suds.

Greek Taco Salad

Greek Tacos?  Is that possible?  Is that against the rules? Who ever heard of that and what exactly is it?

Yes, let’s hope so, no (What rules? There are no rules!), and keep reading!

I certainly never heard of Greek Taco Bowls before so I have created them right here. My son and daughter-in-law sent me a Christmas gift with a card saying they hope their gift will inspire me for my blog.

It did! They gave me a set of special pans to make fluted taco or tortilla bowls! You put the soft taco or tortilla into them and bake and you get a free-standing bowl to fill with your ingredients.

I enjoy Mexican food but I wanted to start with something different. What else could be shaped into these cool bowls?  Phyllo dough!

GREEK TACO BOWLS (Serves 4)

  • frozen whole wheat phyllo dough (sometimes spelled “fillo”)
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup diced, seeded cucumbers
  • 1 cup diced, seeded tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced red onions
  • 15-20 pitted, chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese (or non-dairy cheese if you don’t eat feta)
  • 1 cup white Navy and/or garbanzo beans (cooked or canned)
  • mint leaves (Parsley can be substituted if you don’t have or want mint)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Preserved Lemon Rinds

Make Your Phyllo Bowls

Follow the directions on the package for using the phyllo dough.  It is necessary to defrost frozen phyllo dough in the refrigerator for about 7 hours and then bring it to room temperature which takes 1-2 hours.  The unused dough can be re-frozen. I used eight sheets of phyllo dough. Phyllo dough is thin as paper and dries out fast. Once you have gotten your sheets out, keep them covered with wax paper and work fast.

You’ll need at least eight layers in each pan to make a bowl that can stand up to being filled. If you don’t have special taco bowl pans, you can use individual pie pans, ramekins, oven-safe soup bowls, tart pans or even a muffin tin. You may need to do a little more shaping to get the bowl looking the way you want it to.

I used the back of a baking sheet to work with the large sheets of phyllo. I oiled the surface of the sheet with olive oil and folded it in half, then oiled the exposed surface and folded in half again. That made four layers. I repeated the process so I had two sheets–eight layers in all–for each bowl. Tuck the edges under to help shape them.

OIL THE PHYLLO 2

Once you’ve got your pans layered, bake them (unfilled) as directed on the package.  Mine baked at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  They are done when they are firm and lightly browned.  Let them cool completely before carefully removing them–they are delicate!

UNFILLED BOWL PAINT

Prepare Your Salad

Wash the cucumbers and tomatoes.  I don’t peel my organic cucumbers.  I do like to remove the seeds for this dish, because I don’t want the extra liquid making my phyllo bowl soggy.  To do this, slice the cucumber in half the long way and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.  To remove the tomato seeds, cut the tomato in quarters and use your fingers to gently push out the seeds and extra liquid.

Dice the cucumbers, tomatoes and onions. Chop up some olives. Drain the beans. Slice the lemon rinds.  If you don’t have these, check out how to make them and you’ll have them for next time.  For this time, use a bit of lemon zest instead.

Wash and dry the lettuce and break into bite-size pieces.  If you are making this with small bowls such as an individual muffin cup, break the lettuce very small or shred it. Set the lettuce aside.

Wash the mint leaves and remove the stems. Pile the leaves on top of each other and roll them up lengthwise.  Use a sharp knife to thinly slice the roll and you get a nice pile of thin slivers of mint.  This method is called “chiffonade.” and is also useful for slicing things like basil leaves. If you used parsley instead, just wash it and give it a rough chop.

Crumble your feta cheese. Mix the cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, beans, olives, feta, mint and preserved lemon rind or lemon zest together (Not the lettuce).  Dress the mix with a simple combination of 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1-2 crushed garlic cloves, salt and pepper to taste.  Toss the salad.

Assemble

Plate your phyllo bowls.  Fill the bowls 1/3 full with lettuce, then pile the dressed salad mix on top. Garnish with mint leaves and a little extra feta.

GREEK TACO SALAD

Obviously there is an infinite variety of ingredients for this kind of dish!  Our thoughts wandered way, way off track toward ice cream with espresso or dark chocolate balsamic vinegar on top. What combination would you like to try?

Seize the Chocolate!

My 2013 venture into Dark Chocolate Mousse has already taught me a few things! For instance, I had been wondering whether the texture of my first mousse, after it was chilled, was meant to be so firm.

In my search for future recipes, I came across the term “seize.”

I shouted, “Seize the Chocolate!” (Or in Latin thanks to Google Translate, “Carpe Socolate!) ” My definition: “Seize” is what one does immediately after it is cool enough to eat.

Or perhaps this is something the Red Queen said at Easter when she spied a chocolate bunny.  She said, “Seize the Chocolate and bite off his head!”

(Photo credit: http://www.candyblog.net)

(Photo credit: http://www.candyblog.net)

No, that can’t be what they mean. Honestly, I had not heard “seize” used like this before and didn’t know what it meant as a cooking term. Hmmm . . . maybe I ought to know since it seems to be about chocolate.

Here’s what I found on www.recipetips.com:

As a culinary term, it refers to chocolate that becomes a stiff thick mass when being melted. It is a result of just a tiny amount of liquid or steam coming in contact with the chocolate when it is being melted, causing it to harden and become clumpy. The seized chocolate can be salvaged by adding a very small amount of cocoa butter, clarified butter or vegetable oil and stirring until the stiff mass smooths out. Do not add more than one tablespoon of the butters or oil per six ounces of chocolate. If the salvaged chocolate is going to be combined with other ingredients, realize that the texture of the finished product may be affected.
On another site, dinnerwithjulie.com, I read:

If the mixture starts to seize or break down, immediately stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of the whipped cream to smooth out the mixture.

I had a feeling that seizing chocolate was undesirable. I don’t recall if my dark chocolate came in contact with any steam or water, but you can be sure future melted chocolate will be protected from seizing at all costs!

This is a very handy tip, don’t you think? What is your advice on cooking with chocolate? (I need all the help I can get!)

And here’s another question:  If your chocolate seizes, do you say it had a seizure?

Gesztenyepüré

Gesztenyepure is the Hungarian word for “chestnut” and is also the name of a Chestnut Puree Dessert.  [I found out how to pronounce it just like a native here.] Known as “Mont Blanc” in France, it originated in Italy in the fifteenth century and was originally made with pickled chestnuts.

I was first introduced to it during a visit in New York City when my daughter-in-law took us all to a cozy Hungarian restaurant.  She is Hungarian and wanted to introduce us to the cuisine from her home country.

I found Hungarian food to be very flavorful and conducive to the chilly New York climate because the dishes were very hearty.  When it was time for dessert, I was delighted to try this wonderful traditional European dish made from chestnuts. So, so delicious!

adjusted photo

I have used chestnuts in cooking many times, mainly to make Brown Rice with Chestnuts as a holiday menu item.  But I’d never made a dessert with it so I finally tried making Gesztenyepure myself.  Most all the recipes I found on the Internet say to buy prepared chestnut puree or a jar of cooked chestnuts.

But you know me!  I rarely use a jar or can of anything.  I decided to start with organic dried chestnuts.  I buy these from Gold Mine Natural Foods because I don’t usually find them in any stores around here.

GESZTENYEPURE (Serves 2-3)

  • 1 cup of dried chestnuts
  • spring water to soak the chestnuts
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup or sweetener of choice (maple syrup would work nicely) – adjust quantity to taste
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of rum (Optional)
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 3-4 drops of liquid stevia
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • fresh or frozen organic dark cherries
  • cocoa powder

Equipment:  Best if you have a pressure cooker to shorten the cooking time.  If not, a heavy pot with a lid.  You’ll also need a food mill or potato ricer to get the traditional look of this dish. If you don’t have one, you can get away without it. You’ll also want a sieve or a spare, clean salt shaker to sprinkle the cocoa on top.

Soak the chestnuts overnight in spring water, keeping the chestnuts covered.  Drain the softened chestnuts and carefully remove any remnants of skin that may be on them.  The skin is dark and reddish and pulls out easily.

Pressure cook the chestnuts in about 3 cups of water and a pinch of sea salt for an hour. Or, bring them to a boil in your heavy pot and simmer them with the lid on.  I don’t know how long this will take as I’ve never done it.  It will be more than an hour, I’m sure. I would use a flame deflector so the chestnuts don’t burn on the bottom.

When the chestnuts are cooked, run them through the ricer or puree them in a processer.  Sweeten them with the rice syrup, add vanilla and rum (I skipped the rum) and mix well. (Rice syrup is not traditional for this dessert.  I recommend it instead of sugar because it is a whole grain, complex carbohydrate sweetener.) Run the whole mixture through the ricer again. The look you are going for is “little noodles” of puree. Chill.

If you are using a jar of cooked chestnuts, check for sweeteners, add more if you like then run through the mill as above.

If you used already prepared chestnut puree, then check to see if it’s already sweetened. When it’s sweetened to your taste then run it through the mill.

Put the milled chestnut mixture in dessert dishes and chill.  Chestnut puree is very rich indeed, so you don’t want to serve a huge amount.  I’d say about a half cup per serving.

Make the whipped cream.  I don’t like store-bought whipped cream so I prefer to whip it up myself.  I simply use a mixer with special beaters for whipping cream or I use my immersion blender and whip the cream, some vanilla extract, a little stevia or sometimes no sweetener at all until it can stand up in soft peaks.  If you can find a small bowl to whip it in, the 1 cup of cream will work.  If your bowl is big, you may have to whip a whole pint at one time to get the cream properly whipped. I’m sure you’ll find something to use the rest of the whipped cream for!  Chill the whipped cream until you’re ready to use it.

I’ve tried non-dairy whipped creams and they have too much weird stuff in them–chemicals, etc–even the “natural” kind. And I don’t like how they taste.  So on the rare occasion when I use whipped cream, I use the real thing!

This time of year, I use frozen cherries.  They’ve got to be defrosted and have no pits.  Probably online you’ll mostly see maraschino cherries used to garnish this dessert, but I don’t want that sugar and red dye!  Do you?

When you’re ready to serve the Geszenyepure, take out the chilled chestnut puree and put a dollop of whipped cream on each serving.  Put a little cocoa powder in a sieve or salt shaker and sprinkle it on top.  Add a cherry or two or three.

Simple, not too sweet, quite rich and very delicious!

Kumquat Throat Soother

So many of my friends have mentioned they are starting the New Year off being sick in bed! Well get yourself better fast, boys and girls! We have a brand new year to create!

English: Fortunella (Kumquat)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I am not the “Aw, poor thing” sympathetic type, I thought I’d instead offer a recipe for the best throat soother I know.  I have used this for years ever since my children were little.  Since it’s not an “over-the-counter” product full of unpronounceable ingredients in a box covered in cautions and warnings, this throat soother is fine for just about anybody.

The star ingredient is the kumquat–that cute, tiny, oval orange citrus fruit that comes to market about this time of the year.  Kumquats come from an evergreen shrub that grows in the Asian-Pacific region and have been used for centuries to make throat-soothing teas and remedies.

My version has no added sugar or honey.  Instead I use organic unfiltered apple juice. You may as well make a bunch of it because it takes all day.  But once you’ve got it made you can store this in a jar for several months.

KUMQUAT THROAT SOOTHER

  • 1 pound of kumquats
  • 2-3 quarts of organic, unfiltered apple juice
  • pinch of sea salt

Thoroughly wash the kumquats removing any stems and leaves.  You will use the entire fruit, peel and all.  Put the kumquats in a heavy pot and add the apple juice and sea salt. Bring this to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer it with the lid on.  Simmer this for eight to twelve hours.  If the liquid cooks away and your kumquats are not extremely soft and you don’t have gelatinous remnants of the apple juice in the pot, then add a bit more juice and keep cooking. I like to put a flame deflector under the pot to keep it from burning on the bottom.

Once the kumquats are done, let it cool down and put it in a clean glass jar and store in the refrigerator.  I usually take one kumquat at a time and eat it slowly if I have a sore throat. Or, you can mash one up and add a little hot water for a tea. This is also great for singers, or anyone with dryness or throat irritation.

You’ll soon be singing like a chickadee!

A Very Fine Year to Become Queen

English: The Queen of Hearts, from a 1901 edit...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I celebrated my first anniversary as a blogger on November 24th.  And now that 2012 is coming to a close, I’m about to reach the 5,000 hit mark.  Not bad for a first year!

I wrote this post to celebrate as part of the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge.

To Write or Not to Write.  That was the question.

It had been about 35 years since I’d written anything that got published. I still considered myself to be “a writer” and if I did write something, I still put my all into it–letters, emails, shopping lists, reports for work.  I still loved any type of writing.

In the meantime over those 35 years I became an accomplished cook and taught cooking for 25 of those years. Cooking became my art and my craft.  It replaced writing as my creative outlet. This is convenient since I also eat food daily and have people to cook for but the writing bug was still within me, patiently waiting for the day when I would start my novel or my series of short stories or whatever it was that I would promise myself I was going to eventually write.

Love to cook.  Love to cook for others to enjoy.  Love to write.  Love to communicate to others. Scared to try a big project like writing a novel.  (Wow.  I am actually admitting I’ve been scared to start that novel. That is a first.)

And not interested in opening a restaurant, catering business, or cooking school. Or write a cookbook for that matter.  That would seem to be the logical solution to loving cooking and loving writing.  But that idea just didn’t meet my needs.

I Became Queen of My Realm

So I decided to start a blog about cooking.  Short writing projects about my cooking life that can be completed in a sitting.  I’m the dreamer, author, editor, photographer, designer, publisher and promoter.  I’m the Queen of My Blog, Baby!

I tested the waters with all kinds of food and cooking-related topics.  I shared about my growing up and family life, I got on my soapbox about the evils of sugar and GMOs, I introduced some favorite characters (Claude Mouse, Lars and Edith), I posted some of my standby favorite recipes and some new ones I created just for you to read in this blog, and I dabbled in the  food photography arena.  (So far, not extremely successful with that endeavor.)

I do throw in some original recipes.  Sometimes I do the recipe thing because I think, “That’s what people want.”  But it was never my intention to have that kind of recipe-cooking tips-how-to blog.  Not strictly.

More enticing to me is the expression of life through cooking and the way cooking has seemed to weave its way into every part of my life.  I get some of my best ideas while cooking and as a matter of fact, when I’m writing a post for this blog, I often get my best ideas for cooking.  Blogging has provided on-the-spot cooking inspiration and vice versa!  See how it is for me in my cooking life?

As my fellow Kings and Queens of Blogging know very well, receiving encouragement and comments in response is the pay.  Thank you for responding to me over the past year! Along the way I met many wonderful people and fantastic bloggers and found out that reading blogs is not only a lot of fun, but it is a great way to find the cutting edge of current thinking about all kinds of subjects.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your interest in reading what I have to say, for trying some of my recipes and cooking tips and for responding to me so generously.  It is such an inspiration and encouragement for any writer to be acknowledged and know that someone heard (or in this case read) what was communicated! So thank you, thank you, thank you my readers and fellow bloggers! Thank you, husband Jack and my sons, for your enthusiastic encouragement and support for me to keep on cooking and writing!

And thank you WordPress, for providing this medium where I can become one with my writing and my cooking by sharing My Cooking Life.

Bouquet of roses

Bouquet of roses just for you! (Photo credit: Robo Android)