Hey everybody, I'm back! But this time, it's all about food. If you know me at all, you know I love to cook and I love to eat. Lately I've been trying to take my cooking to the next level and move away from following recipes and more toward creating my own. I still search for and read recipes online and in cookbooks all the time, but more for inspiration for something I can create myself. An example would be a recipe for chicken pot pie. I've actually never made chicken pot pie before, but I'm sure I'll give it a shot at some point. Anyway, if I found a recipe for it, I would most likely spice it up and shrink it down into little individual pot pies.

That leads me to my "biggest" food obsession: small food. I LOVE small food! Cheeseburgers are great, but tiny mini cheeseburgers that fit in the palm of your hand served as an appetizer: now THAT'S what I'm talking about! I love making tamales, but tiny bit size tamales wrapped in corn husks with little corn husk bows? aahh!!! So cute!

This blog will be all about cooking, dining out, great cookbook finds, Food Network shows, etc. It'll all be here. Whenever I cook, you'll see it. Whenever my boyfriend cooks, you'll see that as well. (He's an EXCELLENT cook). Whether it be a new recipe I created myself or a great recipe I found in a cookbook or online, you'll see it all here. I will always include the recipe for you so you can try it yourself, however I will be sure to add my tweaks just in case you'd like to do it my way. Sometimes the food will be high maintenance and labor intensive and other times it'll be comfort food and 30 minute meals (a shout out to my girl Rachel Ray!)

I take requests too! I'll always have a poll going at the bottom of this page. It allows you to choose the ingredient you'd most like featured that week in a recipe. If I don't have the ingredient you're looking for as a choice, feel free to email me or post a comment and I'll try my best to fulfil your request.

So welcome and check back often to see what I've made! I hope I can inspire you to try cooking new things or to start cooking for the first time!

I leave you with an interesting article on the favorite ingredients of the finalists of "The Next Iron Chef". Go Michael Symon!

Iron Chefs Name Favorite Fall Ingredient
Posted: Nov. 2 1:36 p.m. courtesy of WRAL.com

The finalists on Food Network's "The Next Iron Chef" recently discussed their favorite fall ingredients and how they like to use them. Their thoughts:

John Besh, executive chef at Restaurant August, Besh Steak, Luke and La Provence restaurants in New Orleans

Ingredient: Satsuma orange

Why: The ultra sweet, easy-to-peel Japanese mandarin orange is grown in New Orleans

How he uses it: Marinades for meat and poultry or in desserts and cocktails

Chris Cosentino, executive chef for Incanto restaurant and chef for Boccalone in San Francisco

Ingredient: Game birds

Why: Their unique flavors and textures offer limitless possibilities in the kitchen

How he uses it: Game hen fra diavolo

Jill Davie, executive chef for Josie Restaurant in Santa Monica, California

Ingredient: Kabocha squash

Why: I love it for its exceptional naturally sweet and nutty flavor, and its similar texture and flavor to both a pumpkin and a sweet potato.

How she uses it: Many ways, including in risotto, sauteed in olive oil, boiled in chicken stock and mashed with butter, and tossed with oil and honey and roasted.

Traci Des Jardins, chef at Jardiniere, chef-owner of Mijita and managing chef at Acme Chophouse in San Francisco

Ingredient: White truffles and mushrooms

Why: White truffles just begin this time of year and they are always spectacular. I also love using mushrooms like chanterelles, black chanterelles, hedgehogs, porcinis and matsutakes, which are great in the fall.

How she uses it: They can be used to add fantastic flavor to all sorts of dishes, including salads, fish dishes, soups and different meat preparations.

Gavin Kaysen, chef de cuisine for El Bizcocho in San Diego

Ingredient: Fairytale pumpkin

Why: I love fairytale pumpkins because of how sweet they are and the color that they give off.

How he uses it: I use them in many forms, such as gnocchi, ravioli, puree, souffle and soup.

Morou Ouattara, executive chef and owner of Farrah Olivia restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia

Ingredient: Fuyu persimmons

Why: Persimmons can be eaten fresh or dried as a snack, raw or cooked. The flesh is sweet and the texture is very unique. It can be used in salad, sliced thin as a carpaccio, turned into a jelly, a marmalade or pudding.

How he uses it: I use persimmon as a fall soup to replace the usual pumpkin soup.

Aaron Sanchez, executive chef and owner of Centrico and Paladar restaurants in New York

Ingredient: Carnival squash

Why: Provides a great depth of flavor and a seasonal taste to dishes.

How he uses it: I like roasting the carnival squash and serving it in salad with bitter greens, queso cotija and sherry vinaigrette. It can also be a puree for my mole dish or work as a dessert with dulce de leche ice cream and tequila brown butter sauce.

Michael Symon, executive chef and owner of Lola and Lolita restaurants in Cleveland

Ingredient: Brussels sprouts

Why: I love that it can be an appetizer, salad or side.

How he uses it: I love to use it as a side, especially with a rich braise, or use the leaves with a dumpling or gnocchi. A main dish of potato gnocchi with brussel sprout leaves, pancetta and brown butter is also delicious.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


  1. i loved reading about what the chefs fave ingredient's are.

  2. I haven't even heard of most of the vegetables they mentioned!


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