"I cook my daughter breakfast every day... no one will feed you as well as somebody who loves you. I believe that. I believe there's a tangible, transferable value of love in cooking for people."
Hello, and welcome to my little corner of the internet! I'm Willow -- writer, photographer, and lover of food.
I first started blogging back in 2011, as a way to combine my passions (cooking, writing, and photography), and push myself to practice more regularly the things that I love. I also had this grand idea that there might be people out there who have the same sort of crazy ideas I do, and that maybe, just maybe, I would meet a few.
(Pleased to make your acquaintance!)
I first became interested in cooking in my late teens. As a kid, I was really big on eating food, but didn't have much regard for it besides getting it from my plate to my mouth. I had an iron stomach, and believed that anything I could fit in it was a "portion size". As I got older I became interested in where food came from, and how our bodies use it. I started to study nutrition, and pay attention to what made me feel good. Along the way I began spending more and more time in the kitchen, and before long discovered a passion I never knew I had. Food became so much more than just something to eat, it became something to savor. Over the next few years I lost over fifty pounds... but I never stopped eating lots and lots of food. The change came when I started to listen to my body, and care about the fuel I gave it.
I believe that food is so much more than just sustenance -- it is nourishment for every level of our being. You'll find a wide range of recipes here (some healthy, some not-so), but they all have this one shared theme: they are made from scratch, with whole, healthful ingredients. With so many pre-made meals, packaged products, and fast-food options, cooking from scratch is a dying art... and I'm here to help bring it back.
So pull up a chair, and dig in!
Feeding my Appetite for Knowledge -
I love to learn. Especially the kind of learning that results in something delicious I can eat... because let's face it, using the think-machine is hard, and works up some serious appetite.
I grew up being homeschooled, and have always been in charge of my own education. So, when I saw that the culinary classes I was interested in were full, I bought the required reading and set to work on my own. At the beginning of 2013 I started a series of Friday blog posts called FAK Fridays (short for Feeding my Appetite for Knowledge) as a way to explore whatever it is I'm learning that week. Some weeks will be step-by-step tutorials, how-to's, or a demonstration of a particular technique. Some weeks will be simple tips, tricks, or some other useful little tidbit. It may be new knowledge to me, or something I've known about forever... whatever's got my interest!
Since beginning this blog I have grown in so many ways, discovered so many things - and now I'm hungry for more!
(You can find a list of all my FAK posts in the tab titled "FAK Friday" - still not finding what you're looking for? Try using the "search" bar on the right-hand side of the page.)
My Food Philosophy -
When I was five, I poured myself a huge glass of milk. I loved milk! I also loved lemon juice, and had the brilliant idea of mixing the two together... because what could be better than two things I loved? I quickly learned what the word "curdled" meant. Now a'days I'm a little bit smarter about my choices (or I like to think I am, anyways), but the moral of the story is, I'm not afraid to try new things!
I love being adventurous in the kitchen. There isn't a recipe you can throw at me that I won't have the guts to try, and if there's something to be made from scratch, I'm all for it! Of course, there's something to be said for simplicity, too. Don't get me started on the joys of a fresh fruit salad, or the comfort of a bowl of soup... no matter what I'm making, though, I believe in using fresh, whole, and natural ingredients whenever possible.
Someone once asked me, if there was one piece of advice I could give to help someone become a better cook, what would it be? I thought about it for a while, going over all the useful tips and tricks I know, and finally decided that the best single piece of advice I know is to choose the right ingredients. Find fresh, find quality, and the food will speak for itself -- good food doesn't come out of the kitchen, it comes from the Earth, first.
More about me -
Before becoming a food-photographing-internet-junkie, I was a nanny, a petsitter, and an all-around well-adjusted person. I was also a big fan of other food-photographing-internet-junkies, and spent hours at a time scrolling through the pages of sites like Tastespotting and Foodgawker. Come to think of it, I probably owe it to these two sites (and many of the blogs featured therein) for giving me the push I needed to start a blog myself.
With a love of photography and a (self-proclaimed) knack for writing, a food blog seemed pretty natural to me... little did I know it would evolve to be so much more. More than a just way to focus my creative energies, and more than just an outlet to document my kitchen crazies, but a way to meet new people, learn new things, and discover a passion for feeding people I didn't even know I had.
When I'm not in the kitchen, or staring into my computer screen, you can probably find me outside somewhere. I enjoy being active, and like to play frisbee, ride bikes, and go hiking (especially if there will be a picnic involved).
When I started this blog in 2011, he was The Boyfriend. Then, in the beginning of 2012, he became The Fiance, and now, in May of 2013, he is The Husband. The Big H. T-Hubs. I'm not sure I'll ever get used to the words "husband and wife", but all I know is I love the man.
You can read more about our story in these posts: