My inspiration for writing a cooking blog is my two sisters, Rahi and Sara. I love them to death, but I just don’t know how they didn’t pick up my recipes after 28 years of living together. Okay, I only cooked for Sara 14 years, but I cooked regularly. By regularly I mean 5-6 days a week. Rahi, my older sister and I shopped weekly. We went to the grocery store together and picked up what I…I mean we…wanted to cook for that week. We did this for at least 8 years. Sara is ten years younger than I, so she was still living with our mom. I figured our weekly adventures to the grocery store, where Rahi pushed the shopping cart in a completely different isle than I was located with my hands full of groceries hunting down the cart, would soak in. Boy, was I wrong.

Once I moved out Rahi’s daily diet consisted of fast food, restaurants and anything cooked by anyone except Rahi. Truthfully, I was clueless as to how little Rahi retained until approximately 6 months before her wedding. Rahi has always been a size 2 or less, but in 2009 she wanted to lose a few pounds for her wedding. I suggested she stop eating out and start cooking at home. When she confided in me that she just didn’t know what to buy at the grocery store, I was a little dumbfounded. But, because my sisters mean the world to me, I agreed to drive 140 miles to help her do some grocery shopping.

We started out in the produce section and I began asking her what fruits and vegetables she likes. She could only identify a few.  I started explaining to her how other vegetables could be used in foods for variety and flavor. I noticed she was very quiet. My own moment of enlightenment came when I looked over at Rahi and she was so overwhelmed she had tears trickling down her face. Two thoughts went through my mind, first, why on earth is she crying.  Then I realized this is more complicated than it seems. I take cooking for granted because I have been doing it for so long and I really am very passionate about it.  With each recipe I am in heaven working in diligently in my kitchen. But, the reality is that if I didn’t have my experience, I would feel overwhelmed like I do when I pop the hood of my car.

I am also inspired by Sara. She enjoys cooking and she is great at it.  But, she lacks the ability to come up with a new recipe. Which I am learning is pretty common. However, once I give Sara a few items on a recipe she is great at cooking it and sometimes even puts her own twist to it, which makes me so proud. Thanks to Sara, I finally get to share my recipes on a large scale. Sara is like me and unlike Rahi. We don’t have the metabolism of a size zero and we have to watch what we eat.  I often get to cook something healthy and bounce the idea off her because she understands when I don’t want to sacrifice taste for healthy. While most of my recipes are healthy, it is not always the case. Come on a girl needs her cheat nights…I mean night… right?

I think understanding me is the key to understanding my cooking and the madness that goes behind it. First, I have to emphasize that cooking for me is my way of relaxing. It helps me unwind. Second, I believe in my ingredients. I will never use a mediocre ingredient and I will always guide you to the best. The best is not necessarily the most expensive. I am also the crazy lady who will go to 3 different grocery stores to pick up the ingredients, feel free to stick to one store. My countless hours of cooking have given me the ability to try a food and recreate it, thanks to the help of my friends and family who act as my victim…err…volunteer “tasters”.  I often do just that. This keeps my menu exciting and keeps it from becoming boring. I have a huge shortfall, which is my inability to cook less than 4 servings, but I will do my best.

Pour yourself a glass of wine and let’s get cooking!!!


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