Let’s be honest here and start at the beginning. Calling myself a “good cook” would be a gross overstatement of my abilities in that particular area. At best, I am a novice cook with little more than three-ish years of attempting to feed myself:

1. One was in the communal kitchen of the flat I lived in while studying abroad in London. My male flatmates accidentally set this kitchen on fire before the semester came to an end. Nuff said.

2. The second was in the tiny kitchen of my senior year apartment. The vast majority of these meals were prepared either drunk or hungover. Needless to say, a lot of the ingredients (if not the entire meal) came out of a box and involved only the use of the microwave.

3. And now I’m cooking in the kitchen of my parents’ home (which is infinitely cleaner and better stocked than my previous two venues under construction and has no running water finished and b-e-a-utiful), where I’m still living in all of my I-just-graduated-from-college-and-have-no-money glory.

Really I just feel that you should be warned of my abilities right off the bat. That said, I do have some shining moments along with my crash-and-burn failures (ever forgotten to drain the water from the pasta before adding the other ingredients while making straight-from-the-blue-box mac and cheese because you were too cocky to read the instructions? No? So that was just me then?), but mostly I’m just trying to eat the best tasting, healthiest food I possibly can without breaking the bank (or constantly depriving myself of crucial things like wine, chocolate, cheese, and ice cream in the interest of my waistline). There are probably a few other things I should mention as well:

– Mostly, I cook for myself, so really the only taste buds I want/need/care to please are my own. Here’s hoping ours match!

– I like to bake. A lot. My mother occasionally (unsuccessfully) tries to discourage this, as it frequently results in her kitchen covered in flour and her sink full of dishes. Hasn’t stopped me yet though.

– I don’t eat much seafood – I like crab, shrimp, and (weirdly enough) sushi (Though I don’t make that, I buy it, and I eat the safe kinds like California and Philadelphia rolls. None of that slab-of-raw-fish-on-a-plate-bullshit. Give me the kind where the fish taste is entirely covered by that of the avocado, cream cheese, and/or soy sauce. Now that’s good eating.). Boyfriend is working on making me a full seafood convert, but he’s got a ways to go before he’s got me ordering a tuna steak over the plain old beef variety.

– I love, love, love international food. Fried chicken, apple pie, clam bakes…all that shit I could take or leave. But tapas? Crepes? Black currant anything? Gnocchi? These are the things that make my world go round, people. This can most likely be attributed to the semester I spent living in London and traveling around Europe eating everything.

– I am borderline obsessed with the Food Network, Gourmet magazine, and several notable food blogs. I am forever trying to equal their greatness despite my lack of culinary schooling and the fact that I have a day job that does not involve cooking, writing, or eating.

– I don’t like bacon. Or potato chips. Or ketchup. Or mayo. Or condiments in general, really, including salad dressing. I’m just saying. Don’t expect meatloaf or potato salad here.