Good For You: Introduction


Photo by Grace Vance

Grace Vance

Food is a magical thing. Just the smell of fresh baked cookies out of the oven can transport us to another time in our life and bring back memories we might have forgotten. Maybe on vacation at the beach you were served amazing dishes, and just the taste of something with a tropical flair sends you back to that beach chair propped up in the blistery sand. This, like many other things, is an example of how food connects us with one another. With all the differences we have, it is nice to know we all share a common interest: eating. It nourishes our body and keeps us alive, but sometimes all we need is a little indulgence. I always find that cooking is a handy thing to learn because not only it is a valuable skill for the future, but also if I want something made specifically to my tastes, I know I can figure out how to make it just with the knowledge I have.
I think of food as one of the centerpieces of life. You need it to thrive and to keep life fun. I love whipping up different things in the kitchen because it boosts my creativity and keeps me thinking. It’s always great to brainstorm various ways to prepare a certain food or make a bland dish into a bright and flavorful masterpiece. It may seem nerdy, but one of my favorite topics of discussion with my friends is ideas for recipes I want to try.
In this blog you will see me talking about not only food, but also drinks, ingredients, different tools and techniques to cook with, my inspiration for a certain recipe and insightful ways to think about food. My style of cooking focuses on healthy food that helps to keep you feeling good from the inside out. I like to explain the nutritional profile of certain ingredients to show you why that food is good for you, as well as the benefits it brings to your body. I believe food is so powerful because it revolves around everyone’s life and, for some people like me, serves as an outlet of creativity and experimentation.
Things don’t always go right the first time. In fact, most of the time it won’t be perfect, especially when you’re trying something new. Cooking is about exploring new ways to look at food, finding what you like, sharing with others (although sometimes it’s so good you don’t want to!), and trial and error – even if that means baking six batches of muffins until you finally taste the perfect one.
Although it is nice to make things pretty and showcase ready, sometimes the recipe calls for a little messiness, which I always find embodies an air of made-from-scratch and home style food. Cooking is in no way about perfection, so don’t get hung up on how your finished product looks. Most of the time it is the taste that will win both you and your loved ones over.
Another thing that is important in the process of cooking is to taste your food as you go along. A lot of times you would be surprised at how little people taste test the food they are making. I find this a little funny because tasting what you make is the foundation of recipe development. Your tastebuds are the judge that will tell you if you need to add a little more of this, or scale back a little on that. Texture is important, taste is important. You can only tell so much out of just looking at what you created.
As for the recipes that I post on this blog in the future, I encourage you to switch up any ingredients to fit your needs. Maybe you don’t like bananas, in many of my recipes you could substitute it with another creamy fruit like mangoes, or try a completely different texture with blueberries! If you are allergic to anything, use common sense and substitute according to what you need. Feel free to challenge your creativity when making one of my recipes by adding or taking away certain things, but be sure to keep the moisture and general flavor profiles the same. If you have any questions about substitution or in general you can always comment below and I will try my best to get back to you quickly.
Lastly, I always find it good to remember that, like most things in life, cooking is a learning experience and I encourage you to treat it like that. If you miserably fail at a recipe, the world is not going to end. For me, when this happens, I look at it as a way to learn from my mistakes, experiment on it, and then ultimately improve upon it. Think of failure as a way of moving forward. When you do happen to get a recipe just the way you want it, be sure to write it down. Always try to remember at least rough estimates of the ingredients and amounts you add to a recipe. I know this can be hard if you throw in a million different things in an attempt to get it right, but trust me, you will not be sorry if one day you crave that dish and you have all the instructions to make it again.
In the meantime, be sure to try your own hand at brainstorming, experimenting, and tasting new foods and new recipes. You never know, maybe you could develop a recipe that becomes you and your loved one’s all time favorite. Keep an eye on your surroundings, you never know what could inspire your next recipe. I look forward to sharing this cooking journey with you as we experiment on new ingredients, means of cooking them and coming together through food.
 By Grace Vance
What kind of recipes are you most excited to see? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.