It’s sad, but true – we’ve been known to over-salt our dishes on occasion. This is probably the most detrimental and permanent cooking error that you can make, simply because there’s no going back once you’ve added just one pinch too much salt. We’ve slowly learned to stay our hand when it comes to salt, just adding a little bit here and there as we go, but it’s a personal preference and in this house, we like things with lots of flavor, which salt definitely helps bring out in your dishes. We live and we learn by our flubs in the kitchen, and that’s what this cooking blog is all about!
We (Sarah and Francisco) are a twenty-something couple, working towards our respective Ph. D. degrees, and having tons of fun cooking and eating together in the meantime. The first summer we were dating, in that sweet and slow lull between the spring and fall semesters, we stumbled upon a nifty little TV channel you might have heard of, The Food Network. Before that point, I had casually ignored my wonderful mother’s and grandmother’s attempts to show me the ropes in the kitchen (what has proven to be a massive mistake), and my cooking repertoire at that point consisted solely of chicken teriyaki baked on the George Forman grill, big salads, and canned pasta sauces with some ground beef thrown in for good measure. Francisco, on the other hand, had spent a lot of time in the kitchen with his mother, so he’d been able to acquire a pretty decent cooking base when this urge to make anything and everything we saw overcame us. From that point forward, we fearlessly started plugging through recipes we came across, both easy and what-are-we-doing-there-are-a-million-pots-required-and-a-zillion-ingredients-we’ve-never-heard of alike, and we’ve come quite a long way in the past five years. I wouldn’t call us chefs by any means, but I think we’re both pretty decent cooks, and we make a great team in the kitchen. I’m the planner/measurement queen/stick to the recipe no matter what type of girl, and Francisco is the innovator/use what we’ve got/screw the recipe type of guy. I clean as we go, Francisco would rather make a huge mess and worry about it once we’ve fully digested our meal. I think the quality of a recipe is based on the number of ingredients (i.e., the more the better), Francisco thinks that things should be simple and delicious. That means, if we have to make a trip to the store for some random ingredient before we can tackle a new recipe, he expects the end result to be out-of-this-world amazing. Somehow, we meet in the middle with our cooking styles, and most of the things we’ve cooked together have been pretty darn good.
This blog is meant to share our experiences, recipes, and most of all, lessons that we learn in the kitchen with our friends and family. I made one of my dearest friends a custom cookbook for her wedding gift a few years ago, highlighting my favorite tried and true recipes, and it was truly a rewarding personal experience. We hope that this blog will serve the same purpose. With that being said, this is not your basic culinary blog. We have absolutely no culinary training, so expect to question our techniques and choice of ingredients. We aren’t chefs, so most of what we post here will be our own take on other people’s recipes. We promise to give credit where credit is due, so feel free to try the original version of any recipe if you’re wary of our take on it. We’re engaged and trying to get in shape for our summer wedding next year, so we try to cook as much as possible with low-calorie versions of many ingredients. Calorie counts, especially for decadent dishes, can be a downer, but moderation really is the key and we eat pretty well, even when we’re watching what we throw down the hatch. With our recipes, we’ll post the approximate calories for each ingredient, so you can decide what you can do without when you recreate things in your own kitchen. And if you absolutely can’t stand the idea of using fat-free sour cream in your lasagna, use the full flavor version by all means!
We hope you enjoy what you find here as much as we enjoy the process of cooking and eating the recipes we post. We’re always looking for exciting restaurant recommendations, new recipes, and unique ingredients, so feel free to share.