For as long as I can remember, I have been a little (or a lot) obsessed with food. I mean, how could anyone not be fixated on something so delicious? I have always been one who cannot imagine going on a diet in the traditional sense of the word because that would eliminate too much pleasure from my life.
My cooking style has greatly evolved over time. When I got married and started cooking for a family, I made lots of casseroles that called for cream of chicken soup and other such processed ingredients. When kids joined the mix, frozen entrees were weekly staples, as were chicken nuggets and hot dogs because the littles would actually eat them. I had no interest in investing time into something that my picky children would not like.
Then, about eight years ago, I read a book (In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan) that changed my perspective on food. I realized that I no longer wanted to build my diet around processed foods whose ingredient lists were reminiscent of science fair projects. Rather, I wanted to eat fresh, whole foods that were naturally packed full of sustainable nutrition and, therefore, did not need a package to tell me that they were healthy.
So I started cooking from scratch. I got rid of my beloved stash of cream of chicken soup (farewell, tater tot casserole) and similarly processed ingredients and went back to the basics: meat, vegetables, fruit, dairy, whole grains, legumes, and spices combined in straightforward and delicious ways.
That is how I have fed my family ever since. Most of the time. There are always exceptions to the rule (Costco orange chicken is one my kids’ favorite occasional indulgences), and we surely haven’t given up dessert. We do, however, usually make it from scratch (no cake or brownie mixes). And guess what? Cutting the sugar in half doesn’t even affect the deliciousness of the finished product.
As a part of the culinary class that I am currently taking, I am learning proper cooking techniques. Like, for instance, how to dice an onion without crying. Where has that information been my whole life? It sure would have been helpful a couple of decades ago!
Armed with all of this new and exciting knowledge, part of me wants to start a food blog. Because who doesn’t love to talk about food? But before I dive head first into that endeavor, I think I will start by making food a regular part of this blog and see how it goes.
If I could name three things that I am passionate about, I would say family, food, and faith without even thinking. It is my goal to see if I can merge the three avenues into one cohesive whole here at Simply for Real. Because real food is as much a part of my life as anything. And, if you did not already know, I am all about being real.
So in the coming weeks and months, you can expect to see some fun recipes and food tutorials right here. I am excited to share them with you.
I promise you that I am not a Food Nazi. I will not inundate you with food politics or shaming. I don’t always eat organic because I can’t stomach the price tag with all these teenagers at home. You won’t hear me rant about the harmful nature of pesticides, even though I believe that eating organically is fundamentally better.
I don’t stress about food dyes or GMOs, even though they are sure to give me cancer. If I don’t get it from those sources, I will probably get it from somewhere else…like wearing sunscreen. Or not wearing sunscreen. Or breathing the air.
I will simply share my love of wholesome, made from scratch, family-friendly food with you.
I can’t wait to get started! I am almost as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning. Seriously…I am a food nerd through and through, and proud of it. I hope you are ready to get to know that side of me a little better.
I will see you from my kitchen soon.