Welcome to The Kitchenista Diaries!

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm ecstatic to finally present my personal blog dedicated to my passion for cooking! I've been asked by quite a few people who have become fans of my "food porn" on Facebook and Twitter if I would do a food blog. Well it took me a minute, but I finally decided to go for it. I truly appreciate everybody's interest, words of advice and encouragement...really, I mean that. I've enjoyed interacting with each and every one of you and it feels great to share something I love.

Cooking is more than just a way to put food on my family's table. It's a hobby, an emotional outlet, possibly my true calling, and above all else a way of life.My passion for food was truly born out of the need to take a more invested interest in my own health and finances, combined with involvement in activism which led me to discover the ills of the American food system. When I made a decision to reject processed food, drive-thru windows, frozen meals, and sub-par franchise restaurant establishments, a whole new world opened up for me. In the past I've referred to myself as a "foodie" for lack of a better word. Although the meaning has opened up a bit in recent years, there's still something about the term that implies an air of superiority that turns me off. I'm not an expert, a professional chef or a food critic, and I certainly don't have the budget to wine & dine my way to elite food snobbery. I believe a good meal can be a fun, accessible and affordable experience at home once you take the time to learn a few simple skills. Being a kitchenista is as much about confidence in the kitchen as it is about culinary know-how. It's about discovering your personal style of cooking and loving the process of creating a great dish. I hope that's what I can ultimately inspire people to do. What you'll find here will be recipes, plenty of "food porn," and cooking tutorials all intended to encourage YOU to find your inner kitchenista! 

In The Kitchenista Diaries, I plan to not only share great recipes with readers, but also my personal experiences from what has become my journey to learn and love the art of cooking.  As a young single mother with admittedly top shelf liquor taste on a malt liquor budget, I have definitely become familiar with the struggle to eat well and still pay my rent on the 1st. That struggle becomes all the more real as the cost of gas climbs past the $4 mark, healthcare premiums rise, and my son continues to grow out of his clothes at a rate I’m almost certain is worthy of an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. Average families everywhere are being forced to make financial sacrifices which often involve eating out less and slashing weekly grocery budgets. My experience has not been any different, which is why it became a necessity for me to know how to shop & prepare food at home that satisfies my culinary curiosities while allowing me to stick to a limited budget.  Along those lines, I happen to be a big girl who was never shy around the kitchen table growing up, nor was I discriminatory towards what kind of food went in my mouth. As my Grandma used to say in defense of my childhood exuberance, "she's just healthy, let that girl eat!" So eat I did, and then some, much to the detriment of my health. And although Grandma is no longer here to defend my affinity for a full belly, in good conscience I can't excuse the poor choices I’ve made over the years when it came to food.  As a grown ass woman, it was time to change that.  This meant getting back in the kitchen, taking ownership of my diet, and getting to know where my food originates - something I've come to realize is equally as important as the end-result on my plate.  I've spent the last year or so learning how to be conscious of my food choices. Not only has it helped me to live within my means, but it's more fun to prepare food that I can feel good about putting into my body. 

The passion I have for food spills into my dishes, which are bold, colorful, and anything but bland!  I don’t subscribe to any particular diet or dietary preference, but I do enjoy incorporating vegan and vegetarian dishes into my repertoire, healthy alternatives to classic comfort dishes, and the occasional indulgence.  As a kitchenista, it’s my desire to show you how to bring the excitement of the restaurant experience to your home, without breaking the bank or the need for formal training. But now that you know a little bit about me, I’m interested in getting to know you. Please feel free to contact me via email if you’d like to ask about a specific dish, have an idea for a post you’d like to see here, or just want to tell me how I’m doing. Your feedback, questions, and stories are not only welcome, they’re necessary in order to make The Kitchenista Diaries just as much your experience as it is mine.  With that said, to all of my fellow kitchenistas, foodies, semi-homemade chefs, and the culinarily-challenged alike....

Welcome, and happy cooking!


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  1. Hi Angela,
    You are so real in describing yourself and cooking styles.