About Maria

Welcome to my blog! I’m glad you stumbled upon this, and I don’t really know if I should congratulate you or feel bad, but I hope you stick around and enjoy my sitcom-like journey.

I was born in the Philippines, but I consider myself a native Floridian since I have lived here most of my life. Many people ask me what I remember most about the Philippines, and my answer is always FOOD! I can still smell the corner stands where you can get homemade Ramen, called Mami. The street vendors selling barbecued meat on a stick with all sorts of dipping sauces. Fried bananas with brown sugar on a stick. Rice congee, called Lugaw with fried tofu and fried garlic on top. Endless amounts of tropical fruits that we picked off trees as we played. There was no room to be a picky eater growing up the way I did, and I am thankful for being exposed to all sorts of food at an early age. Let me tell you, there is nothing like street food!

Most of my memorable moments revolved around food. I don’t remember much else, but I remember watching my grandmothers, my mother, my aunts, and nannies, always in the kitchen, preparing a meal. It was a daily ritual. The kitchen was where the women gathered and told stories. The kitchen was where laughter, tears, joy, and sorrows were shared. If home is where the heart is, the kitchen is where the soul is. It’s where all my senses come alive. I learned so much listening to all these woman talk about their daily lives.

I do remember reading cook books as a child as if they were story books. I studied the recipes and awed at the pictures. Over the years, I have developed quite a collection of them, and once in a while, I will pour myself a cup of tea and open one and just read them. There is something calming about reading cook books. It brings me to the world I am familiar with, the kitchen, and when you are cooking in your kitchen, nothing but love pours out. In this busy, techie, chaotic world we live in, the kitchen can always bring calm and peace.

I have always loved cooking, and have been known to find things in the fridge or pantry and pull a meal together. I’m also known to be a a clutz in the kitchen and may or may not have cut myself a few times while pretending to cut things like I’m an Iron Chef.  I have watched endless hours of cooking channel and food network, and have read endless amounts of cook books and cooking magazines. I used to rush home from school just so I can watch the Great Chefs of the World on PBS. I watched Julia Child over and over along with the Martha Stewart Living show. I AM A FOOD NERD!

I have to admit, I’ve never really measured anything while cooking, because my grandma and mom never did. They just kind of threw stuff here and there, you know how it goes…a little bit of this and a handful of that. But, over the years, I find myself taking a recipes from one of my favorite cook books, and changing them up to update them or make them my own and I have learned (unwillingly) to measure things, and when I say unwillingly, I still prefer my grandma’s method. I don’t claim to be a chef, but I’ve gotten pretty darn good at making old recipes new again. I have also learned to make healthier versions of some, but still keeping it tasty. I have also learned to make my own recipes using fresh ingredients, preferably whatever is in season, because mostly I’m lazy and I just don’t have time to search for crazy ingredients if they are not easily available.

I started this blog as a stress relief and because so many of my friends and family have told me over and over again that I need to follow my passion, and for the life of me, the only thing I can think of that I am truly passionate about is anything food related. So here I am! But, it’s not about just cooking, but it’s about bringing back the memories of gathering in the kitchen, sharing stories, taking a moment to appreciate life, and slowing down a bit and mostly, getting some laughs while you’re at it. I hope you enjoy this journey with me and get a glimpse of my day to day life however comical it is. If nothing else, I hope you get a good chuckle!

“If a pot is cooking, the friendship will stay warm.”
~Arab Proverb quotes