I started this blog because I love food, particularly feeding and connecting with people over meals. I’m always dreaming about new things to cook and eat. I read cookbooks as if they were novels, and most of the websites I visit each day have to do with food.

Some of my earliest memories are of cooking. I think the first things I made without help from parents were fried bologna and processed cheese sandwiches on buttered white bread. I distinctly remember being in the kitchen of our small apartment in Germany, and standing on a chair because I couldn’t reach the stove. While I would never touch any of the ingredients in that sandwich now, I still love cooking. I have to apologize now and then for making my dad eat green cakes with purple frosting from my Easy-Bake Oven, though.

I enjoy the smiles I get when I bring food to share, or as a gift. For me, cooking for someone says, “I care about you.” I especially like it when people are surprised that the food they are eating are vegan. They become curious that something so tasty can be made without animal products, or are shocked that they’re eating tofu. Sometimes they even ask how they can incorporate more vegan foods into their diets.

My family is from New Orleans, and while we ate lots of greens, beans, and vegetables growing up, we also ate a lot of meat. I loved animals, and I was curious about vegetarianism at a young age, but I there was still a disconnect between what was on my plate and in my heart. I imagine it was also hard for my parents to take me seriously while I (happily) was shoving forkfuls of steak in my mouth. Still, the idea was there.

I’ve been all over the spectrum with diet. I went vegetarian for the first time in high school, for two weeks, then there was the year in college where I was pescetarian. In my early 20’s I was mostly vegetarian…if you didn’t count the gummy bears or marshmallows.

Around Father’s Day 2006, I made the leap to a veganism, and I haven’t looked back. I used to eat dairy at every single meal, but I honestly don’t miss it at all. There’s so much to eat, and I can still wear cute shoes and have nice smelling hair without relying on animal products.

Now, I don’t think vegan automatically equals healthy, or ethical for that matter, but for me, it’s the only way to live. I still have a sweet tooth, but a big bowl of kale chips, a massaged kale salad, or some steamed kale on my plate make me really, really happy.