My name is Marley Gibson...and I am a Foodie. (Everyone say: "Hi Marley!")
Yes, my guilty pleasure in life is food. And more particularly cooking. I think it all started in Girl Scouts when I went for that Cooking badge and had so much fun learning how to boil water, break eggs, and peel potatoes. I know it sounds like a life for a mess haul cook, but I was hooked.
In college, I had a microwave and a large coffee pot/boiler and I used to make all sort of concoctions in my doorm room. Things like "tuna noodle surprise" (tuna, Ramen and cream of mushroom soup...surprise!) When I had my apartment senior year, I moved to more creative things like Beef and Potato casserole (that I got off the French Fried Onions can) and homemade spaghetti sauce (my brother's recipe that I expanded on.)
In 1996, two things happened to me. 1) I was diagnosed with a pepcid ulcer (eww...) and 2) the Food TV Network came on cable. The two things coincide, because I had to make a conscious effort to know everything I was eating, therefore eliminating a lot of "crap" from our lives. No more red meat, cut down on acidy things, no more caffeine, and lower fat foods. I thought this was going to make our mealtimes extremely boring until I started watching shows like Ready, Set, Cook and Emeril and Sara Moulten. Through these shows, I learned knifing techniques, how to pair foods and how to substitute lower fat items for higher fat items and not lose any of the flavor.
Thus began my "cheffing" career. I bought all the best products -- knives, pans, pots, bakeware -- and got serious about having fun. Since then, I am the queen of retooling recipes to make them more healthy. Cooking is my stress relief. I love the chopping and slicing and preparing of the mise en place (French term for all the prep work ahead of cooking.)
I love cooking for friends and having them over for my stuffed chicken breast with red pepper coulis, grilled grouper with tropical salsa or traditional paella. (Leave a comment if you want any of these recipes.)
On my wedding anniversary last year, I made lobster thermador with chateau potatoes and grilled asparagus.
We also had a Mardi Gras party, complete with jambalaya and King cake.
Cooking is such a guilty pleasure because it not only gives me joy to put my creativity and love into a dish, but then to serve it to people and see their enjoyment when they eat it. It's quite satisfying.
Do you have a favorite dish? Something you enjoy making for friends and family? Please share!
Marley = )
SORORITY 101: ZETA OR OMEGA?
SORORITY 101: THE NEW SISTERS
writing as Kate Harmon
May 2008, Puffin Books
What I'm reading right now: Sadly, nothing...but I finished a new book proposal!