Food has always been a major part of my life. Its the creation, conversation, and enjoyment around food that has always brought me comfort.
My parents are from France, specifically, a port town in the South called Toulon. Having moved to the United States for work in 1983 (the year I was born), I grew up as an American with two passports, two languages, and French accent free.
Our French lifestyle has always allowed us our indulgences, yet kept in moderation, whether we were dirt poor or moderately comfortable. Growing up, my parents were never wealthy. Having divorced when I was about 2, then each remarried to others soon after, I know little of the life of the average 2-parent home. Frequent weekends to dads and busy school days and nights at mom’s were far from structured. It took me many years to realize that it was the food, or perhaps the mealtime, that I cherished and that gave me comfort.
The budget was always modest. We lived comfortably, but always felt the uncertainty of our financial stability. Then, just entering my freshman year in high school, that very uncertainty gave way to losing everything. We moved quite a bit that year, attempting to find a new home and work where it could be found, (even in France!). Despite the material things we lost, we never seemed to lose the drive to be successful. We never went hungry, nor did we fall on poor diet practices as a result of our depleted income. In my own adult years, striving for stability and happiness has been just as challenging. I graduated college with a mound of debt (like so many of you!), married because I thought I had to, and found myself miserable in corporate America. My weight fluctuated quite a bit to the point that I felt like jello and was complete unhappy.
Yet, as if a friend that always was by my side, cooking always kept me grounded. So I started cooking more. I entertained friends, delivered baked treats to the local bike shop, and spent every moment I could compiling and creating recipes. Now, in my thirties, I have not only found happiness by being true to myself, but also through what I eat.
This is where all of you come in: I made a vow in my adult life that I would never purchase Ramen Noodles. To me, Ramen was the college student’s means to get fed or the camper’s source of “nutrition” while in the great outdoors and without a functional kitchen. It is NOT something that we can survive healthily on, nor are the fast food chains. Just because it seems inexpensive or “easy” to make, that doesn’t mean it is the right choice for our bodies. Regardless of how difficult things would get or how depleted my bank accounts, I would never let my body and diet suffer the swings of life’s ups and downs. So now, I want to share that vow with you.
Regardless of the size of your kitchen, financial standpoint, or cooking skill level, you CAN cook healthy, delicious meals at home. Here, you’ll learn how to cut the right corners to save you money and time, understand how to substitute ingredients for gluten and dairy free diets and encourage more meal times in your life. Now, my vow is to get our world to choose to eat Ramen noodles because you simply enjoy the flavor once in a while, not because you think you have to. I hope to SHATTER the concept of French food and show you that it is a collection of easily assembled ingredients that leave you full, happy, and satisfied.
I look forward to hearing from everyone about their cooking journeys! Leave a comment below or find me on your favorite social network and share your story!
And thus explained, my catchphrase: A votre santé! Meaning “to your health.” Let’s make our world healthy again.