Hello, hello, hello! I hope you’ve all been well and are soaking up the last little bit of summertime before kids go back to school and we plow full-throttle into fall. I do love summertime and have really amazing childhood memories full of night games, family vacations, water parks, countless sleepovers, and pretty much living on the trampoline in our backyard.
I’m gonna be totally honest though – summer in Texas is hard. I will even go so far to say that I dread summer. This is my third Texas summer, and they are getting a little easier. But the heat and the humidity . . . I’m a melty puddle 90% of the time, with the other 10% being spent in the pool or the shower, after which I promptly return to said melty puddle. Ugh. I can’t even say I glisten. It’s sweat guys. Just straight up sweat, and it happens all. day. long. Ughhhhhh.
Is it un-American of me to say I don’t LOVE bacon? I like it well enough, and I enjoy it on occasion. But bacon has had its day in the sun for a few too many days in my opinion. Bacon-infused donut with bacon filling and maple bacon frosting, bacon-wrapped hot dog with bacon jam on a cheddar bacon bun, deep-fried battered bacon – I’m gonna take a strong pass on all of this. Bacon is a great flavor but this is all just too much.
I had some weird food stuff going on as a kid. I’ve already mentioned my early love of beets. Things really got weird with breakfast, though. I HATED eggs, toast, juice, pancakes, freezer waffles, and thought cereal was only kinda “meh”. As an 8 year old, what else was even left for breakfast options? Luckily I had a nice mom who probably figured something was better than nothing, so she let me eat dinner leftovers for breakfast. Every single morning. Because some microwaved chicken with mashed potatoes or spaghetti sound appetizing at 7 am. Served up, of course, with a hearty helping of older sister eye rolling, because why did her little sister have to be so weird! Apparently my 8 year old self thought this was all just fine. My poor mom! A few years later once I finally got tired of leftovers for breakfast, I had a banana with peanut butter every morning for a whole year, then Special K with Strawberries the next. (I’m shaking my head just typing this.)
Confession: I have a really hard time paying money for pizza. Not much pizza goin’ on on my must-eat-in-Austin list. This is definitely not because I don’t like pizza, or that I don’t believe there is good pizza to be had in Austin (try here or here!). It really boils down to the fact that I’m cheap (I like to think of it as budget-minded). I have a really hard time paying $20+ for something that I feel like I could do a pretty dang good job of myself. For way less money. And I don’t have to pay an extra $1 if I want to add a scant few slices of jalapeno. (This is Texas folks, those little fiery gems should always be included.)
While Nathan was in Mexico, I was super intrigued to hear what people in Mexico did to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. In my mind, it was going to be some HUGE party. I mean, if we in America celebrate this Mexican holiday, surely people actually in Mexico really party it up, right? Well, wrong. I was informed that the vast majority of Mexicans don’t do a thing for Cinco de Mayo. I thought it was the country’s independence day – turns out it isn’t. From what I’ve since gathered, the “holiday” is more about Americans drinking tequila and eating a bunch of Tex-Mex. A day to celebrate tacos? That is something I could definitely get behind 🙂
I’ve learned a lot about the science of food over the past 8 or so years. I studied the chemistry behind the individual molecules that physically make up different foods to the metabolic reactions that happen in our bodies to digest food. Food science was fascinating to me – the idea that I can take raw, whole, natural ingredients, add some heat and maybe a few things like fat, acid, salt, or sugar, and in return I get something far greater than what all those raw ingredients could have ever dreamed of being to begin with.
I’m not the kind of person who hosts brunch. Do real people actually host brunch? I’m almost convinced hosting brunch is an invention of social media to make us all feel bad that we’re not having an intimate group of friends over for bloody marys (which I don’t drink) and fancy bagels with lox and capers (which I don’t like). Even if I didn’t have the cutest 8 month old nugget hindering my brunch dreams with his 6 am wake-up call, I need food way before the brunch hour finally moseys in. Hosting breakfast… now that I could get behind!
One of my main goals with From Her Kitchen is to give you ideas that are real. Real ideas that you actually want to make. For your real family. On a real weeknight that’s more than likely real-ly busy. I want to give you recipes that are customizable because picky eaters happen, whether they are in the form of tiny humans or adult-sized humans. I want to give you recipes that can easily be made vegetarian because that’s the number two question I get right behind, “What do you feed your family?” I want to give you recipes that don’t have any crazy ingredients because not everyone can buy mascarpone cheese, preserved lemons, or sumac.
The first time I tried sushi I was 22 years old. Considering I had decided I wanted to be a chef at the age of 16, this is surprising, right?. Do they even let people into culinary arts school that have never had sushi? I can just hear Gordon Ramsay now, “You’ve NEVER had SUSHI!?!?! The delectable culinary masterpiece of Japan?!? And you want to be a CHEF??! That’s preposterous – GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN!!!” Because even if Gordon Ramsay actually had a culinary arts school, I could get into it in maybe a million years. If I was lucky. Ha!