Friday, April 3, 2015


That’s a pretty broad title for one word isn’t it? But, it’s one of my favorite things. I absolutely love to cook. I have enjoyed cooking for as long as I can remember, and based on the pictures on Facebook and stored on the laptop, it’s still something I do quite a lot of. If you’ve visited much before you’ve probably noticed that pictures of food feature pretty heavily here in the land of sweet tea.

Cooking for me is necessary (you’ve got to eat, right?), fun (I love trying new recipes and ideas in the kitchen), a way to say I care (my Love Language is Acts of Service, so I cook for people I care about when they’re having trouble), and stress relief (a bad day probably means I’m going to come home and do a lot of chopping and dicing!). So between all of those things I do A LOT of cooking.

Last summer a local Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant started offering some cooking classes, and I’ve really enjoyed those. I’ve learned a lot about spices and techniques that I wasn’t at all familiar with before, and the food is absolutely delicious. It’s also really fun to invite friends and family over to try something new.

I really enjoy exploring other culture’s style of cooking and use of spices. I think I learned this from my paternal grandmother. My grandfather was in the Air Force, so they lived all over the place, and she always embraced local cooking techniques and flavors. I learned a lot about cooking from her, so it’s very natural for me to experiment with different things. 

Being a good southerner, southern comfort food features heavily into my cooking repertoire as well. There’s nothing quite like fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and collard greens. And of course sweet tea. Lots of sweet tea.

I also love creating my own recipes; sometimes with major southern flavor, sometimes with other influences, and sometimes an unusual combination. I’ve been working, off and on, on writing a cookbook for a few years now, and I’d really like to finish it. I’m always trying new things, scribbling notes on various papers in the kitchen, and recruiting people to taste things. (My husband Nick and my best friend are Crystal are very tolerant when it comes to letting me try out new recipes on them.) I love the feeling that comes with getting a new recipe just right and watching people enjoy it.

So what about you? Do you enjoy cooking? What are your favorite cooking styles?


  1. Love to cook! Cooking style? A bit of this, a pinch of that, and a whole lot of 'wonder what would happen, if...'

  2. Hi Dani - I love cooking, though I do little now. I crave the idea of a cooking course or two - to understand some of the finer techniques - I've always loved Greek food, Mediterranean ingredients and generally foods that take my fancy .. and I try new recipes if I cook for others: not often now ..

    It's lucky you've got a happy husband and best friend willing to be fed new ideas! Cheers and here's many more happy cooking days - Hilary

  3. Oh my gosh, I have to stop reading blogs in the morning before I eat :) The food pictures here look yummy and how cool that you are writing a cookbook! If it gets published, of course you'll have to let us know! That's neat with the classes too you've been taking. Hubby and son are really good at combining spices in things they cook; I'm not, but I do enjoy what they make :) You would love a store we have discovered here; they have all different types and flavors of olive oil and basalmic vinegar and they are knowledgeable to tell you what to use for certain types of food. We've enjoyed visiting that store and sampling the different flavors and of course purchasing some to cook with.


  4. Cooking is a skill I think everyone should have. Not to say everyone needs to be the next Iron Chef, just the basics is good! I enjoy cooking comfort foods, like mac 'n' cheese for example. I make a 4 ingredient crockpot version!

  5. I love Lebanese & Greek food. Glad you have such joy in cooking. We all should have a hobby we love.

  6. I love to cook and love to eat. I don't write about food all the time but I always post a recipe. Sometimes what I've already cooked, sometimes what I plan to cook and sometimes I just like the sound of the recipe. I love food from all round the world.

  7. Danielle you must do a post on sweet tea when you get to S! I don't know what it is. I'm assuming it's iced tea with sugar?

  8. I love experimenting with spices and changing recipes. I take great pleasure in coming up with new flavors....but don't always remember what I did!

  9. People around you are lucky to have you! :)
    I am sometimes very very bored to cook, although some other times, I feel like experimenting. I love Italian food.
    Have you tried cooking Indian yet? If you are interested, I can share some simple good-to-start recipes with you. :)

  10. Great post and images!

    Cooking can be so much, as you've mentioned - and personally, it depends on my mood and energy levels. But I come from a family of cooks - 3 out of 4 grandparents - actually 2 cooks, 1 pastry/baker and the 4th a farmer (who also had a city job - leaving the kids to work the farm etc.) And most of my immediate family love to cook as well. Even some of my cousins - which has me thinking - there might just be a "cooking gene"! LOL

    It's amazing that you have the opportunities to explore and experiment with classes and stuff. And willing food guineas? Sounds too good to be true!

    Happy cooking and may all of your meals be blessed with spice and love :)


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