Hi, I’m Ashley, an experimental home cook with an intense love of spices! I work in higher ed by day, but make colorful, tasty and health conscious meals in my free time. Working in sedentary office environments caused me to put on weight and feel very sluggish over time. I was determined to get back on track, feel better and improve my quality of life. I made lifestyle tweaks to my food choices and activity level and feel way better than I used to. I hope this food blog can help busy people learn to incorporate more healthy foods into their days, without sacrificing on flavor. My recipes are full of healthy swap ideas, so if you follow along, you’ll have the tools to revamp your food choices for a more well-balanced life.
My cooking roots:
I was lucky enough to attend “cooking school” in my childhood homes in Brooklyn and Queens. I learned from 3 generations of AMAZING Jamaican women in my family. Instead of cartoons, I spent weekend mornings studying PBS cooking shows (we’re talking 90’s, pre-cable) like it was my job. Growing up in NYC, I befriended kids from all over the world and loved TASTING food from their cultures.
My food today is of course influenced by my Caribbean roots, but it’s also a mashup of the diverse flavors I’ve encountered through the years. I have a few go-to’s but usually make “Happy accident” meals…AKA no planning required. Fun Fact: My pantry is ALWAYS stocked with curry powder, red chili flakes and smoked paprika.
So are the recipes any good?
All of my recipes are taste-tested daily by my AWESOME husband, Tim. From his BF days eating dorm kitchen dinners to his more recent hubby status, he’s had 9 years of happy eating under his belt. There was of course the infamous chicken and rice dish of 2010, but I think one bad meal a decade is allowable, right? Our spaniel/retriever doggie, Joy, likes to sneak in free samples of food too!
I’ve also won or came in runner up in a couple recipe contests (Taste of Home magazine, McCormick, Idaho Potatoes) for home cooks. Maybe my family was politely eating my food all these years, but I figure if contest judges like it, it’s probably good, right? Winning contests was unbelievably flattering but it also fueled my love of creating new recipes (hence this food blog)!
Food + Travel = Happiness
We’ve lived in 4 states throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, but now live just outside of Providence, Rhode Island (great food city, add it to your bucket list!). We also love to travel and plan most of our trips around what we’re eating. It sounds silly, I know, but a girl’s gotta eat!
Here are a few of my favorite foods for all you hungry travelers out there:
- Jamaican Jerk Wings, Kaya, Pittsburgh, PA
- Crab Cake with Cajun Mayo and RWB slaw, Maxie’s Supper Club, Ithaca, NY
- Salted Caramel Cupcake, Bleu Squid, Mystic, CT
- Everything, Slow Rhode, Providence, RI
- Causa Limena, Los Andes, Providence, RI
- Everything, Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, Orlando, FL
P.S. If you’re wondering where the blog name came from, check out this post.