Yes, those are bits of vanilla bean floating amongst the marsala soaked pear halves…
So what exactly do I eat and cook? What’s this blog about?
Tasty Mayhem is about from scratch cooking, fresh ingredients, organic and/or local when possible. It’s about learning something new and maybe not having it quite work out right; sharing old standby recipes with my twists; focusing on what I’ve found to be healthy for me to eat: whole foods that are minimally processed and gluten and soy free (for allergy reasons). Sometimes that means that a recipe fits in with paleo, carb-conscious, low glycemic, dairy-free, vegetarian, or vegan eating plans. I do my best to categorize posts so that you can find the ones that fit your eating plan, but I’m not strictly cooking or eating in just one category. Many of the places we source our food from are striving for sustainable farming and harvesting practices and we are always looking for ways to expand our eating options to meet these goals.
You will find posts with recipes, but also tossed into the mix are ones about books, apps, gardening, or places I like to go and what I ate there, because I’m interested in food in a way that goes beyond cooking and into how to practically apply my concerns for the environment and for animal welfare, as well as consider what food means to us beyond its purpose as nutrition. Hence the mayhem. If that’s not your thing, check out some of my links: lots of good writing and good food there regardless of whether or not it fits exactly into my niche.
For those of you interested in healthy eating and weight loss: the range in pant sizes I’ve worn in the last two decades attests to the major swings in eating habits I’ve taken. This blog got started at a time when I was very focused on healthy weight using low carb and sugar free eating. Since that time, my eating plan has shifted to finding balance in the foods and the portions I eat in order to be able to enjoy a wide range of whole, nutritious, and still fun eating. To that end, I cook mainly vegetables, fruits, and quality proteins, with a few whole grains and treats. As a former vegetarian with a fair number of vegetarian friends, there will be much to love in this blog that contains no meat. However, we are an omnivore household. We buy local and sustainably raised meat as much as possible. We love our local farmers and fishermen but especially Little River Eco Farm and Andreas Homestead where depending on the season we buy eggs, turkey, chicken, duck, pork (half hog shares and various products) beef (shares and cuts), and goat. Our local farmers markets also allow us to make the most of locally raised mushrooms, goat cheese, veggies, fruit, and flowers, which I feature in my recipes.
I no longer eat gluten after years of denial that I am allergic to wheat and rye. And recently, a new intolerance to soy means that I no longer eat things like edamame, tofu, tempeh, miso, and large amounts of soy sauce. You will see some recipes where I suggest substitutes or include these items as options. For years I was rigorous about strictly following whatever eating plan I was on and that, sadly, included way too much judgement about what others were eating. These days I’m happy to aim for healthy living, eating, and exercising 80% of the time. So while I tend to stay away from highly processed grains, sugars, overly starchy foods, etc., there are still times when indulging in the ALL of wide variety of foods available to us on such a diverse planet is just simply good for the soul.