Welcome to my new blog!

Quick disclosure: I have spent nearly 22 years of my life getting an education and my entire world has revolved around getting an education.

I am thankful for my education. I love learning. This may explain my pursuit of a PhD and probably explains my career choice. I’m a professor. I love helping others to learn too. When you spend that much time around learning and trying to get others to learn, it becomes a huge part of who you are. That’s right — I am a learner.

When I finished, I was so excited to start doing other things that I’ve always wanted to do. I soon found out that working a lot was a hard habit to break. Even though I didn’t like hearing it at the time, a friend said to me, “Brandi, you need a hobby.” I started brainstorming. Knitting? Nope, not for me. Scrapbooking? Nope, not for me. Run a marathon? No way.

Then, two things happened to me. First, I started living with my partner after having lived alone for 6 years. Cooking for one soon became an activity that we enjoyed together, and the meals changed. No more frozen meals, sandwiches, and ramen noodles reminiscent of graduate school meals. Second, I became obsessed with all reality shows that involved cooking: Master Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, Chopped, Top Chef, and more. 

I really enjoy my time in the kitchen with great ingredients, getting creative, taking a break from work, and ending up with a tasty meal (all with music and kitchen dancing included). I quickly fell into the trap of cooking from books or internet recipes. My recent realization is that I’m not going to improve without a challenge. I wasn’t learning anything new.

Ta da! My idea for my blog was born. I am creating versions of reality show cooking challenges that will take place in my own kitchen. Luckily, my husband is going to be my accomplice when I need a “mystery box” of ingredients or some other mission to accomplish.

My first challenge is tomorrow. He shopped for the secret ingredients at Trader Joe’s today, and tomorrow I will have an hour to do something with the ingredients without a cookbook, internet access, or Pinterest as my crutch.

I hope you’ll join me in this journey as I challenge myself to become more creative in the kitchen and learn more about ingredients, techniques, and food in general. I’ll share my failures and successes with you, accompanied by recipes and photos.

Wish me luck!




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