About Me

Hi There!

My name is Jessica and I started this blog because I kept emailing a friend with all my daily food thoughts, recipes, suggestions, dishes I found interesting, etc.  I figured that was probably overwhelming for her, so I decided to tell all of you instead!

I love making recipes from all of my inspirations found online.  I aim for healthy and low-calorie recipes, but sometimes the siren song of the Tollhouse cookie bar with a layer of cream cheese in the middle is too really tempting. 

All of my photos are taken with my smartphone while I'm in the middle of cooking because it's easy (no need to connect to the computer with cables, just upload) and it's always nearby. So forgive me for the blurry, hurried, un-staged photos. 

We were in an alley on a food tour in Korea. 
Even my vacations involve a lot of food. 

Who Do I Cook For?

I mainly cook for myself, my husband Jeff, and preschooler son, Sonny D.  I tend to make most meals at home, mostly from scratch.  Meals are important to me.  We have breakfast together as a family on weekdays.  When we're home together on the weekends, we have snacks, lunch, and dinner together as well.  And I generally try to serve only one meal for all of us, which hopefully encourages Sonny D to eat a wide variety of foods.

 I also enjoy sharing food with friends, so it's not uncommon if there is a guest or two at the kitchen table with us.  I also love planning parties, particularly with food themes.

My Favorite Foods

Healthy Stuff

I'm not a dietician, just your average healthy-eating nut.  I try to eat mostly healthy foods like lots of fruits and vegetables with lean meats, and a minimal amount of carbohydrates like rice and pasta.  I've been without soda and caffeine for several years now.  I avoid caffeine since it makes me too jittery and I have trouble sleeping.  I generally avoid dairy products, except for cheese! (I live in the dairy state, Wisconsin!) I also skip things like juice since it's too easy to get too many calories, so I end up drinking a lot of hot tea.

One summer we tried a weekly CSA (community-supported agriculture) box but it felt so limiting in some ways (carrots every single week. Different types, but still lots of carrots.) and hopelessly pushy in other ways (weird things that we didn't want to try right then and felt guilty for not including in our box to take home). But we loved the idea of eating lots of great local, in-season produce so we turned the concept around, and made a goal of spending at least $20 at the farmers' market each week.  We don't track how much we spend, but we make sure we have a lot of cash on hand to spread around at our weekly neighborhood farmers' market right up the street. 

Other Favorites

I love oatmeal and porridge, I have oatmeal for breakfast pretty much every morning unless we're having breakfast out at a restaurant. I love oatmeal so much that sometimes I also eat it for lunch and dinner!  I try to make big batches of oatmeal so I don't have to do so much each day, but it still takes a lot of time to heat it up, add my mix-ins, and add my "milk float" on top.  My husband likes to joke that he can eat a bowl of regular cold cereal in the amount of time it takes me to just mix up my oatmeal, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Rice is another favorite food.  I could probably eat rice with soy sauce every night.

I love Mexican food, particularly tamales or anything similarly masa-based (cornmeal).

I completely love butternut squash.  I cook it in the microwave with a light sprinkle of curry powder and a touch of butter.

Sushi is fabulous. Husband Jeff doesn't eat sushi, so I try to go with friends when I can.

My favorite fresh produce for each season:
  • spring - asparagus
  • summer - basil to make pesto, muskmelon
  • fall - squash and pears
  • winter - avocados and clementines (mandarin oranges) 

I also love trying new foods.  It's always such a hard decision to make when going to a favorite restaurant -- try something new or get something I know I love.  I try to stretch myself a little by getting a dish I haven't had, but sometimes it's nice to go with a comfortable favorite.  And it's fun exploring ethnic restaurants, we have a lot of great options here in Madison, WI.

If I could have any food that magically didn't have calories and I could eat as much as I wanted, it would be brownies made from a mix.

Least Favorite Foods

I'm pretty comfortable with standard button mushrooms and portabellas, but I don't like the weird mushrooms, like enoki or wood ear.

I like fish and shrimp, but I don't really care for other things from the ocean -- lobster, scallops, eel, oysters, mussels.  But I've had octopus sushi, and it was good. 

I don't like things with a pudding-like texture, such as Jello, pudding, custard, parfaits, etc.    

Beets.  They taste like dirt.

A big general NO on offal (also known as organ meats or variety meats such as heart, kidneys, liver, brain, tripe).    But foie gras can be ok.   I want to try making chicken liver pate sometime.

I don't like a lot of fruits -- most berries including strawberries (the small seeds are gross), watermelon, kiwi, regular oranges, figs, blueberries, honeydew melon, and bananas in most cases. 

What Do I Enjoy Doing?

I love food -- thinking about food, eating food, planning recipes, coming up with food ideas for upcoming events such as parties, reading about food on blogs and in cookbooks, researching food items, etc. 

I also enjoy making lists and always have random lists on slips of paper scattered all around our house and in my purse.  I also use my smartphone to keep track of various food ideas.  Each week I plan out our meals based on our schedules and what we've got in the fridge, pantry, and freezers (inventoried, of course!) and then I write it on the big chalkboard in our kitchen so everybody can see what the plan is.

I also reading books.  If I'm not doing something food-related with my free time, I'm probably reading a mystery novel.  

Some Additional Tidbits


What Do I Do For A Living?

By day I'm a humble web designer, working on internal projects for the company I work for (meaning I'm not a consultant working for external clients).

One Of The First Things You Might Notice About Me...

Is that I love to talk about food.  If I encounter you at a party I'll pepper you with questions like "What is your favorite food?  Do you have any food phobias?  What do you eat for lunch?  Are you a habit eater, having the same things most days, or is every day completely different?"

Who Am I?

I'm an only child and I grew up generally around the Madison, WI area.  Husband Jeff is from Madison, we live in the same neighborhood he grew up in.  We have a preschool-aged son, whom I have nicknamed Sonny D for this blog.

The Midwest is nice, but it's also the only thing I've ever known.  I like it here, but I wouldn't mind being somewhere warmer in the winter.  Madison has a lot of great restaurants and I love going out to eat, but I know that isn't always the healthiest option, so I try to limit how often we go out. 

What Is My Favorite Color?

Pink.  My wedding dress was plaid in various shades of pink and red.  My wedding ring is also pink.
My plaid wedding dress.

What Are My Superpowers?

Planning, organizing, and coordinating.  My super-secret superpower is my mall sense-of-direction.  In a shopping mall, I am usually really good at knowing which way we were coming from and which way to turn next. 

What is my Kryptonite?

It seems like the "seeing-eye" sensors on automatic faucets never work for me. 

What Did I Want To Be When I Grew Up?

I wanted to be a witch/have magical powers or be in the mob (my father's family has Italian heritage). 

What Was My First Job?

I worked at an A&W restaurant, which is actually interesting because as a kid I used to take bubble baths and pretend to play "root beer stand" where the bubbles were the foam on root beer.


I have a fondness for containers, houses of brick or stone, and objects made of wood.  

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) gmail.com. It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!