Hi! My name is Jackie, and I’m a 20-something year old native Californian working in the tech industry. I have a lot of varied interests, but my main ones include judo, hockey (go Sharks!), and of course, food. I currently reside in Denver, CO, where I know absolutely nothing, but I’m having a blast learning where things are and hiking through nature.
What can I expect from this blog?
Lots of food! I know this is a food and travel blog, but certainly there will be more food than travel. If anything, I’ll be traveling so I can get to food! Something that I’ve always loved is learning about new cultures and cuisines when I travel, particularly regional specialties. Once I’ve tried something delicious, I’ll often want to re-create it because sometimes I just won’t have access to it with the restaurants at home. Also sometimes, I’ll watch TV and see something delicious from a region/area that I haven’t saved up money to travel to yet so I’ll try to recreate it by using a bunch of recipes I find online. I did this a lot when I was a poor college student and watched a lot of food TV at the gym (lol). Obviously, I have no idea how authentic my end product is, but it usually turns out pretty delicious 🙂
What’s your food background?
I started cooking when I was maybe…4 or 5? Obviously I didn’t make things by myself, but I always helped my mom bake cakes from those box mixes a lot. Not the most complex thing, but hey, it’s a start for a toddler. My first culinary love was actually baking, and I wanted to go to culinary school to become a pastry chef at one point after high school. That didn’t happen though since I graduated from college as a biologist and historian (but not a biological historian…is that a thing?). Funnily enough, now that I’m older, I don’t like pastry and dessert making as much because I feel like the specific and precise chemistry behind it doesn’t allow me to be as creative and experimental. I still bake occasionally, but my culinary experiences primarily involve cooking savory meals. I started cooking more (in addition to my baking) near the end of high school, and then a lot more when I got to college because I was afraid of gaining the dreaded Freshmen 15 if I ate out too much. Then I got very intrigued with cooking when I spent most of my time at the gym watching food TV while I ran on the treadmill. It’s been a weird path, really.
Do you have a style/cuisine that the blog will focus on?
Eh, not really. I’m sure I should be focused on one thing because that’s what they want people to do on shows like Food Network Star. Really though, I just make things I see that intrigue me. A lot of the time, I’ll decide what I want to make depending on what’s available at the farmers’ market that week or if I saw a pretty and/or weird vegetable that I just wanted to try out for fun.
While you’ll see a lot of recipes for familiar and popular foods from various cuisines on this blog, a lot of the recipes that come from my brain will be experimental. All the techniques I’ve gained are self-taught and through a lot of “Hmm, I wonder what happens if I do this”. I honestly do watch a lot of food TV, and when I see something cool, I’ll try to find some way to use that technique. Some of the food combinations I’ll present are classical, but some are very much a figment of my imagination. I actually have a little notebook I carry around with me in my purse/backpack just in case inspiration strikes when I’m on the train to work or when I’m out and about. So no, no specific focus.
Notes on making things from scratch…
I really like making things from scratch. It’s a weird obsession because I like learning how things are composed (and this fascination actually isn’t specific to food!). When I get to make things from scratch, it allows me to full understand how and why those things are the way they are. For instance, let’s look at pasta. It’s perfectly fine to eat boxed pasta and quite frankly, it’s way more convenient and is inexpensive. However, when I can, I really like making fresh pasta because I like seeing how the dough comes together from just two simple ingredients–eggs and flour. I get that we don’t always have time to make things from scratch though, so I’ll include substitutes in these recipes whenever applicable. If I forget, just remind me in the comments!