Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Joining the food bloggers of the world...

So, I've decided to start my own cooking blog. I was inspired by the multitudes of other food bloggers out there -- it's a community I didn't even know existed until very recently, and I'm so glad I found it! You "fellow foodies" have made me realize, with much relief, that I'm not the only person obsessed with cookbooks; that I'm not the only one who devours anything and everything on the Food Network; that I'm not the only one who looks at food not just as necessary sustenance...but also as therapy, as an insatiable passion, as a voracious way to enrich my life (and my stomach). I am so excited to join this community!

I think it's only appropriate to start by telling you a little bit about myself. My name is Cassie, and I live with my husband Joe and our dog, Daisy, in Central Ohio. I graduated from The Ohio State University in June of 2005 with a B.A. in English. Now, I work for an investment bank in Columbus, where I actually get to use my degree. I love to read, and I'm pretty much always reading something. I'm also slightly (okay...totally) obsessed with Judge Judy, Target, candles and body lotion.

If I were a Food Network chef, I'd probably be a cross between Rachael Ray and Giada de Laurentiis, but without Rachael's annoying catch phrases and Giada's amazing rack. I would like to think I have Rachael's creativity, though, and Giada's philosophy on food. I wish I were more like Paula Deen, but I don't say "ya'll" nearly enough, or pronounce "olive oil" as "olive all," although I suppose I could start doing both of those things. I love Italian food and I love comfort food. I also like canned cream of mushroom soup and Velveeta cheese, and I use both of those ingredients in many of my recipes, so clearly I'm far from a chef. I'm just a Midwestern girl who loves to cook.

Joe and I bought our first home in March of 2007, and since then we've been working on some serious remodeling. It's been a long, stressful, money-guzzling process, but one good thing has come out of it: I now have a beautiful kitchen to cook in that my husband and I designed and built ourselves! There are some last minute touch-ups to do and, because I am a perfectionist, I won't post pictures until it's entirely done.

The kitchen was the last room we remodeled -- it took the longest and it was the most expensive. But we were so glad to finally have it finished! Until the kitchen was completed, we basically lived on restaurant food, which was bad for the body and the soul. This lack of a kitchen was especially torturous for me, as someone who pretty much would rather be cooking or baking than doing anything else. I spent months and months looking at my cookbooks with longing, bookmarking recipes to try when I was finally able to cook again. I suppose it was also pretty torturous for Joe, who has always enjoyed the finished products of my cooking escapades.

In the midst of this remodel, we got a little surprise -- two pink lines on a pregnancy test (okay...on FOUR pregnancy tests, so I guess that's technically eight pink lines, right?). We are expecting a little boy at the end of the May and we're very excited (and a little terrified, too, I won't lie) to become parents!

My culinary inspiration, hands down, was my mom, who I lost after a long battle with brain cancer in January of 2007. Losing her was a huge blow to me...but I find that she comes alive again in the recipes she left me as a legacy. You'll probably see a lot of her recipes on this blog, and it's so rewarding to be able to share them with all of you.

I hope this blog can serve a few purposes in my life. I hope it'll encourage me to break out of my normal ruts in the kitchen and embark on new and different culinary adventures. I hope it'll lead me to eat a more healthful diet, especially after months of fast food consumption in the absence of a working kitchen. I am also on a mission to change Joe's mind about four ingredients he can't stand, which happen to be four of my favorites: mustard, olives, cottage cheese and shredded coconut ("It's a texture thing," he says). I also hope to change my own mind about a couple of ingredients I've never liked: basically all types of fish (shrimp excluded) and bleu cheese.

So, that's me. If you want to know more about me, you can visit my regular blog here.

So here we go, then. I'm so excited to get cooking!

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