Simple Recipes | A Food Blog

Simple Recipes | A Food Blog

Welcome to Simple Recipes: A Food Blog!

Inspired by Simple Recipes: A Cookbook Zine, I've decided to continue my culinary adventures by keeping track of my homemade meals through this blog. 

Some Background

I've always fancied myself a decent home-chef. As a teenager, when I wasn't at school, work, or out with my friends, I'd be baking at home. I even took a home economics class (if you could even call it that - I think we just cooked in that class, I didn't learn how to do taxes or learn how to take care of a kid). I especially loved making sweets or bread. When I learned a new cookie or brownie recipe at school, I'd make it at home everyday until I perfected the practice and knew the recipe by heart. And once I learned how easy it was to bake pastries and bread, I'd make cinnamon rolls, bread, and pizzas any chance I got - at one point, I even made a fresh batch of pandesal every week. I lived in a household of 5 (including myself), so there was always someone to test recipes on.

Experimenting in the Kitchen

I moved out with my boyfriend during my second year of university and one thing I was super excited to do was cook for him. My boyfriend didn't cook much himself, and I didn't cook at often as I'd like when I lived with my parents because it was my mom that made our dinners. This was my chance to cook whatever I want, whenever I wanted. I think it was my first year living with my boyfriend that the meals I cooked was the most experimental - I didn't know what to make for dinner so I'd look up random recipes online. I would then go out and buy specific ingredients to accommodate these intricate meals, only to be unmoved by the dish, and never make it again.

Failed dishes and notes on what worked and didn't work with them

New dishes I wanted to try and why they didn't come out great the first time

I think there were some benefits to all this experimenting: I found out what my boyfriend and I enjoyed and disliked in a dish, I figured out what tools I needed in the kitchen (when I was living at my parents, everything I needed was there, but living by ourselves, I had to figure out what tools I needed and didn't need in the kitchen), and I figured out what I was capable of in the kitchen.

Reducing Food Waste

The cons to all this experimenting is that a lot of food went to waste. I was buying ingredients with intention, but most of the time, I bulked-bought all this food specifically for one meal (thinking I could potentially make the meals again or find other uses for the ingredient), only to dislike or forget about the ingredient altogether. And unfortunately, more often than not, that ingredient went to waste.

To avoid food waste, I began to only buy ingredients for the one meal, and soon after, I found ingredients that were used repeatedly. Rice, potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms and eggs were soon staples I kept stocked in our kitchen; these were ingredients that I could make a variety of meals out of. When I went to the grocery store every 1-2 weeks, I would blindly buy ingredients, or plan out the meals I'd make for the week - only to change my mind the day of and make something else. So I went to the grocery more often; about 2-3 times a week. Since we lived within walking distance to quite a few, there was no need try and buy all the food we needed for the week.

I realized I didn't have to try new recipes every chance I got, because my boyfriend and I already knew what we liked. So I didn't have to buy unnecessary ingredients. I also realized that I should start utilizing my freezer. It is a given that veggies, fruit and protein tasted best fresh, but if it was cheaper to buy food in bulk, I'd separate it then freeze whatever we wouldn't finish within the week. Working with frozen fruits gave me the opportunity to turn it into pastries and loafs, frozen veggies tasted great in a stir-fry, and frozen proteins tasted just as great in marinates.

Don't get me wrong, I still try out new recipes; If I found a recipe interesting and I had most of the ingredients (as opposed to none at all), I would still test it out to see if that particular dish would make it into our meal routine. Another thing I realized is that the pantry spices and food staples I built up revolved around dishes that suited my partner and I's palettes; so if a recipe already had the bulk of ingredients, it wouldn't be far off to assume that we'd like it.  

fresh vegetables

Before & After: Fresh veggies I got at the farmers' market. I knew I wasn't going to the finish them this week so I chopped them up before placing them in the freezer.

All these small changes in my grocery routine allowed me to avoid food waste, save money, and made it easier for me to figure out what to make for dinner for the day.

Simple Recipes: A Food Blog

After the release of Simple Recipes: A Cookbook Zine, I was inspired to continue on with my culinary adventure. I had a newfound respect for food and wanted to document all my triumphs and fails in the kitchen. This blog will give me the opportunity to expand more about the history of the dishes I make, the processes it took to make it, and just generally take a deep dive into the recipe. I especially want to get in touch my heritage and would like to focus on dishes significant in Filipino culture. There's such a rich and vibrant history with Filipino dishes, let alone the culture itself and I would love to explore it.

This blog would also serve as a means for me to keep track of my favourite recipes to potentially add into the next illustrated zine! 

Hope you all enjoy!



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About the Author

Anne is a multimedia artist and writer, with a career in digital marketing. She is passionate about philosophy and her hobbies include cooking, sculpting, and playing Fortnite (she's only ever played Lego Fortnite).

Anne resides in Toronto with her partner and their cat, Herbert.

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