• The Best baked ziti you’ll have in your life

    The Best baked ziti you’ll have in your life

    In the title is a bold statement, which I stand by whole heartedly. As a new food content creator, it’s hard to get a sense of confidence. There are so many people doing so much work on each and every dish under the sun, how can one former-construction-worker/ self-trained-home-cook possibly compete? The short answer is that you can’t. But… You also shouldn’t. Every blog post, video, instagram story or reel or tiktok or whatever, I try to bring a little of my own flair to the subject matter at hand.

    But this post isn’t about my flair when it comes to a classic American comfort food. Its about taking a classic dish and taking some extra time, attention, and adding some basic techniques to make a marked improvement. I explained most of these techniques in the instructional video, but I wanted to fully explain one of them here.: Fond.

    It may be the most used food writing trope to say that you’re “fond of fond”, so I’ll try to avoid it, but it is really great at adding layers of flavor to your dish. Whenever you caramelize or sear something, be it chicken, meat, mushrooms, tomato paste, onions, whatever, inevitably there are some bits of the food that get stuck to the bottom of the pan and get a little more… well done than the rest of it. I say “well done” instead of “burned” because, typically, the flavor of that little bit of food is so. much. better. than the rest of what you just cooked. Also, there is a difference between actually burned, black charcoal stuck to your pan, and the dark brown, extra-well-done treat that is fond. You still have to be mindful of time and temperature control with this, as you do with pretty much any other technique.

    The way to release these foods from the bottom of the pan is liquid. When you get liquid on the fond, still at a somewhat high heat, it will allow you to scrape the fond up from the bottom of the pan. This process is called “deglazing”. It cleans off the bottom of your pan, and releases the umami goodness into the rest of the dish.

    This, by the way, is essentially the foundation of any pan sauce recipe you’ll find. Sear the meat and remove it from the pan, add some liquid, scrape up the fond, add some other stuff that will make the sauce delicious, and serve.

    This of course isn’t the only thing we’re doing to boos the deliciousness of our baked ziti. Other techniques and tips can be found in the instructional video:

    Instead of a full recipe, I’m just doing ingredient amounts. If you have any questions about the process or anything here, you can feel free to leave a comment as always!

    For the red sauce

    • 1.5 lbs italian sausage – sweet, spicy, or mild to your taste. Use the raw sausage, not the precooked links they have in the grocery store
    • 4 oz pancetta, cubed
    • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 lb mushrooms, roughly chopped
    • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    • 2 tsp onion powder
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
    • 1 tsp dried thyme
    • 2 tsp dried oregano
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 4.5 oz tomato paste
    • 1 cup red wine
    • 2 28 oz cans of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
    • Fresh basil, and any other desired fresh herbs, for a bouquet garni (optional)
    • Leftover rinds from Parmesano Reggiano (optional)

    Note: Remove the bouquet garni and parm rinds before adding pasta to the sauce

    For the bechamel

    • 1 stick, or 8 tablespoons of butter
    • 1/2 cup of flour, spooned and leveled
    • 6 cups of cold milk
    • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 4 oz Parmesano Reggiano
    • 2 oz provolone cheese

    For the Pasta

    • 1 lb rigatoni (really, any other short pasta will work, if you’re feeling like a rebel)
    • Salt for the pasta water


    • 12 oz low moisture mozzarella, freshly grated (Not fresh!)
    • 2 oz grated Parmesano Reggiano
  • Granola Bars

    Granola Bars

    I have to admit that, before making this video, I didn’t really have an idea of what granola even was. I mean i knew it was crunchy goodness that cost like $20/ lb, but my thoughts never really extended past that. I do have to say that it’s quite odd how expensive it can be, considering the raw ingredients of rolled oats and honey, which by the way, are essentially what granola “is”, though there are so many variations, some of which omit one or both of the main ingredients, that it’s hard to really nail it down.

    Back in my construction days I would constantly find myself hungry in the middle of the day, with no plan on how to remedy the situation. Short on time and self-respect, it was not uncommon for me to stop into a drugstore or gas station, grab a couple of granola bars, a Diet Coke, and maybe a bag of chips to eat on my way to the next job site. What I ended up with was a hardly satisfying assortment of snacks for the cost of a decent fast-casual meal.

    Now that I have a little time to breathe, I decided to look further into the popular breakfast/ snack food. The results a kitchen favorite in the household – requested often and depleted quickly. The process is simple, and the level of customization available to the maker can really make this a fun project. And not just for you! Imagine how thoughtful a gift this could be. “Hey Jerry – I know you like apples, so I made these cinnamon apple granola bars for you. Happy Birthday!” Let me tell you – that would make Jerry’s year.

    Hopefully a couple of you have your gears turning, thinking of combinations bases, mix-in’s and “glue”. So let’s get to learning how to make these things!

    Here’s the instructional video:

    And here’s the recipe:


    Granola Bars 2 Ways

    Prep Time 45 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes


    Apricot Pecan


      • 2 C Rolled oats
      • 1/2 C Pecans chopped
      • 1/2 C Coconut


      • 1/2 C Honey
      • 1/3 C Brown sugar
      • 3 Tbsp Unsalted butter
      • 1 tsp Vanilla
      • 1/4 tsp Salt


      • 1/2 C Apricots chopped
      • 1/4 C Pecans whole

      Chocolate Tahini


        • 2 C Rolled oats
        • 1 C Rice cereal


        • 1/2 C Honey
        • 1/3 C Brown sugar
        • 1/4 C Tahini
        • 1 tsp Vanilla
        • 1/2 tsp Salt


        • 3/4 C Chocolate chips
        • 2 Tbsp Toasted sesame seeds


        Apricot Pecan Bars

        • Prepare 9×9 or similar size baking dish. Brush lightly with oil or butter and line with parchment paper.
        • Toast pecans (both for the base and mix-in), oats, and coconut flakes in 350 degree oven until golden and fragrant – about 10 minutes. It helps to put the pecans in a separate pan, so you can portion the mix-in and base more easily. Put all base ingredients in a large bowl, set aside.
        • Mix all of the glue ingredients, except the vanilla, in a small saucepan, bring to a light simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla.
        • Add the glue to the base ingredients and toss to combine. Add the mix-ins and mix until all components are combined.
        • Press down into baking dish. Bars should be just under 1" thick. Use flat bottom of a glass or measuring cup to get an even top.
        • Place into 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
        • Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting.
        • Cut into size desired. Store with parchment paper in between each bar to prevent sticking. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in freezer for up to 3 months.

        Chocolate Tahini Bars

        • Prepare 9×9 or similar size baking dish. Brush lightly with oil or butter and line with parchment paper.
        • Toast pecans in 350 degree oven until golden and fragrant – about 10 minutes. Mix oats with rice cereal in a large bowl, set aside. Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees
        • Mix all of the glue ingredients, except the vanilla, in a small saucepan, bring to a light simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla.
        • Add the glue to the base ingredients and toss to combine. Add the mix-ins and mix until all components are combined. Optionally, add chocolate chips to the top of the bars in the baking pan.
        • Press down into baking dish. Bars should be just under 1" thick. Use flat bottom of a glass or measuring cup to get an even top.
        • Place into 300 degree oven for 15 minutes.
        • Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting.
        • Cut into size desired. Store with parchment paper in between each bar to prevent sticking. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in freezer for up to 3 months.
      • Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Swirl Bread

        Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Swirl Bread

        Breakfast is a tricky thing. It’s important to get your day started off on the right foot, and the first meal of the day can go a long way for you. Most of us, however, rarely ever budget time in the morning for it. The result is that we’re left with mostly ready-made options, of which quality can vary to an extreme. Sure, a piece of toast isn’t exactly filling, but sometimes it’s all you can do before rushing out there into the cruel arena of “not-home”, as my introverted self has come to think of the outside world. This breakfast/ time problem has, oddly, come even more to the forefront as I’ve essentially stopped drinking coffee. I have a feeling you’ll be seeing more quick-breakfast solutions in the coming weeks…

        So if it’s toast for breakfast, it might as well be something delicious, and with the extra sense of love that comes from something that was baked in your own oven. This swirl bread is more than a fun weekend project, it’s a respite.

        Instructional video


        Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Swirl Bread

        A twist on the Pepperidge Farm grocery staple cinnamon swirl bread, this enriched loaf is loaded with flavor. This is a great weekend project, and the yield of 2 loaves worth of dough makes it worth your time.
        Prep Time 1 hour
        Cook Time 40 minutes
        Proofing Time 2 hours 30 minutes
        Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
        Servings 2 Loaves


        • Stand Mixer This can be done by hand, but it'll be a workout!



        • 2 C Milk 2% or Whole is best
        • 2-1/4 tsp Active dry yeast This is one packet's worth. Instant yeast should also work fine.
        • 5-1/2 C Bread flour AP flour should also work, but could affect the crumb structure a bit,
        • 3 tsp kosher salt or 1-1/2 tsp table salt
        • 6 Tbsp Butter Melted and cooled
        • 6 Tbsp Granulated sugar
        • 2 Egg yolks

        Filling (for 2 loaves)

        • 4 Tbsp Butter FULLY softened to room temp
        • 1/2 C Brown sugar
        • 2 Tbsp Cinnamon
        • Zest from one orange
        • 1 C Dried cranberries

        For the top of the loaf

        • 2 Tbsp Butter

        Cranberry/ Orange Jam

        • 2 C Orange juice
        • 1/4 C Dried cranberries Chopped as small as desired
        • 1 tsp Corn starch
        • 1 Tbsp Cold water


        • Gently heat milk to 110 degrees in microwave or on stovetop
        • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or just a large bowl of mixing by hand) combine milk, yeast, butter, sugar, and egg yolks. Set aside.
        • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt
        • Add half of the flour/ salt mixture into the wet ingredients and mix with dough hook just until the flour is wet, then add the second half of the flour. Mix until fully combined, then knead with dough hook for 8-10 minutes, or by hand for 16-20 minutes, until the dough passes the window pane test.
        • Form the dough into a ball and set into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and leave in warm dry place until doubled in size, ~60-90 minutes.
        • Prepare a loaf pan by lightly oiling it with a paper towel or cooking spray. Optionally, add parchment paper to help with lifting loaf out of the pan.
        • Combine room temperature butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest into a small bowl. Mix until fully incorporated into a uniform paste
        • Once the dough is doubled in size, turn out onto lightly floured work surface and divide into 2 equal pieces. If you would like to freeze one or both of the loaves, see notes below for instructions.
        • Roll dough out into a 9"x18" rectangle with one of the 9" sides facing you. Spread filling evenly on the surface of the dough, leaving a 1" border with no filling along the sides and top of the dough. Sprinkle dried cranberries evenly.
        • Starting from the bottom 9" side, roll the dough up gently and tightly into a log. Stitch the sides together, then place the log seam side down into the loaf pan. Cover and let proof until about 50% larger in size, about 60 minutes.
        • While dough is proofing, preheat oven to 350°
        • Once dough is finished proofing, remove cover and place into preheated oven until the top is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway though baking.
        • Immediately after removed from oven, brush the top of the loaf with 1-2 Tbsp butter. After about 15 minutes, remove the loaf from the pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.

        Cranberry orange jam

        • Combine orange juice and cranberries into a small pot, bring to a simmer.
        • Combine cornstartch and water into a small bowl, mix until fully incorporated into a slurry. Then add slurry to OJ and cranberries. Stir to combine.
        • Allow orange juice to reduce to a jelly-like consistency, maintaining a lively simmer and stirring occasionally.
        • Remove from heat and set aside. Jam can be kept in the referigerator for about a week.


        Freezing instructions for dough:
        Once dough is portioned into two equal loaves, coat with flour and seal into airtight container, either a Ziploc bag or Tupperware. Frozen dough can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. The day before you would like to bake, take the dough from the freezer, and set into refrigerator. The next day, roll the dough into a 9″x18″ rectangle and continue with recipe instructions from that point.
      • Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprouts

        Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprouts

        I nominate brussels sprouts and the vegetable that our parents most egregiously ruined for us (sorry, Kathy). Steamed, overcooked, stinky fart-balls are what were served in my childhood. My initial refusal to eat them, eventual acquiescence, and the resultant up-chucking at/ onto the dining room table is a favorite story of my family’s.

        I avoided them for decades after that.

        When I started learning to cook in my late 20’s, I found myself revisiting ingredients that I had previously written off, either because of traumatic experiences like the one outlined above, or just general heebie-jeebies (I was known to proclaim that “I don’t eat fungus” when refusing to eat a dish with mushrooms… What a silly thing to say.) After learning the basics of roasting veggies, such as broccoli and green beans, I eventually worked my way back to the feared mini-cabbage. The result was delightfully surprising.

        Now, I know, roasted veggies are not particularly ground breaking, and the pairing of brussels and bacon is well established, but I wanted to go all-out for this recipe and add some special ingredients.

        The balsamic glaze can be store bought, or homemade. All I had on hand was balsamic vinegar, but not to worry. The entire process of reducing it to a glaze went about as follows: Put some balsamic vinegar into a pan on medium low heat, reduce until syrupy. That simple. If you over-reduce and wind up with something that won’t even pour out of a pan, just add a little bit more vinegar, stir it in, and you should be just fine.

        Candied pecans are something that I actually made a quick instagram reel about. The video contains the process and ingredient amounts. Of course, you’re also free to use some that you can get ready-made at the grocery store.

        Get as fancy as you want with the feta cheese, or, of course, substitute for whatever else you would like. My friend Mary suggested bleu cheese, but to that I say:

        As far as seasoning and spices are concerned, I opted for the traditional S&P. Cayenne would probably be a fine addition, but since we have so many other flavors working together on this dish, I wanted to keep this aspect simple.

        The real key to this dish, though, is high heat, plenty of oil, and creating as much metal-to surface area contact as you can. The sprouts are essentially frying on the sheet pan, and, for the most part, whatever part is touching the pan is going to get nice, dark, and crispy.


        Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Feta and Candied Pecans

        This indulgent take on a popular roasted vegetable dish will outshine the main course.
        Course Side Dish
        Cuisine American
        Prep Time 20 minutes
        Cook Time 20 minutes
        Total Time 40 minutes


        • 2 lb Whole brussels sprouts
        • 1/4 cup Olive oil
        • 2 tsp Salt
        • 1 tsp freshly grated black pepper
        • 3 oz Bacon, cut into ~3/4 inch wide pieces (About 4 strips)
        • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar Optionally, substitute with 2 tbsp balsamic glaze
        • 3 tbsp Candied pecans
        • 2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese


        • Preheat oven to 425 F
        • Wash the brussels sprouts, then pat dry. Cut them in half top to bottom. For larger sprouts cut into thirds. Add to a large bowl
        • Season the sprouts with salt and pepper, then add olive oil and mix. Ensure all sprouts are coated with oil. Pour out onto rimmed baking sheet and position all of the brussels sprouts so that the cut side is facing down.
        • Distribute the individual bacon strips evenly throughout the tray.
        • Bake in preheated oven until the bacon is cooked through and the brussels sprouts are seared on the cut side. About 20 minutes.
        • While sprouts are in the oven, pour balsamic vinegar into a small pan and reduce by half. Remove from heat and set aside.
        • Once sprouts and bacon are out of the oven, place in serving dish. Sprinkle candied pecans, feta, and balsamic on top, and serve immediately.
      • Rice is magic

        Rice is magic

        If you want to learn to cook, and don’t know where to start, might I suggest the highly prolific, ever-versatile dish that is rice. This food provides an astounding 20% of the world’s dietary energy supply. It’s easy to find, cheap, not to mention quick and to prepare. Rice can be a side character in your meal, or the star of the show. There are so many ways to prepare it, I’m not sure if anyone has tried to count them. And don’t get me started on the different varieties. If you ate a different variety of rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, you wouldn’t repeat a meal for more than 36 years. What do you think about that, Keanu?

        Keanu Reeves Reaction GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

        When making the video, I decided to showcase the stove top method, because I thought that would be the most accessible. You need only the most basic of cooking equipment, and pretty much no skill. The stove top method is also kind of like a magic trick. You get the dish started by prepping, adding the ingredients, and bringing the water to a boil. Then, once you put the cover on the pot you do not, under any circumstances lift that lid until the rice is done. What happens in that ~30 minutes is a total transformation. Food magic!

        Basmati rice, the variety I used in the video and most often in my own cooking, is a long-grain rice that can be found in pretty much any grocery store in the US. It’s fragrant, reliable, and delicious.

        Has all this reading gotten you hungry? Check out the instructional video and ingredient list below:


        • 1 cup white basmati rice
        • 2 cups of water
        • 1.5 tbsp oil or butter
        • 1 tbsp kosher salt (or half that amount of table salt)
        • Pepper to taste

        This recipe is for the most basic and standard preparation of rice. As outlined above – there are so many different ways to prepare it. If you’re feeling like you’d benefit from a little extra flavor, you could always add some dried spices, such as onion and/ or garlic powder. Turmeric will make delicious yellow rice! Master this basic recipe, and a whole world of delicious, comforting food will be opened to you!

      • Frozen Lemonade Cocktail

        Frozen Lemonade Cocktail

        Whether you’re looking to celebrate summer in July or dream of it in February, this is the drink to do it with! There’s plenty of room for customization in this recipe – don’t be scared to change the berries in the sauce (or change it to something completely different… peach? mango???) or add something fresh like some mint to give it an even more refreshing feel. You can also add different spirits (Rum? Yum!), or none at all! This is as good a mocktail as it is a cocktail.

        If for whatever crazy, ill advised, unfortunate reason you don’t watch the video below, it may be helpful to know that this recipe was written during the winter. Rejecting reality may not be the most healthy of instincts, especially when you mix that with alcohol… but I think of this a little bit differently. There are some activities that we save for specific times of year for no reason other than tradition. My mom makes peppermint brownies every Christmas, but it’s not like those ingredients don’t exist the other 51 weeks of the year. Nothing’s keeping us from enjoying those same delicious brownies in May or September.

        Sure – saving certain things for a single part of the year can make it more special. In spite of what it sounds like, I’m not advocating for year-round Christmas cookies. But, if you’re a little bummed for whatever reason, be it the weather, or work or relationships or just the general existential dread that’s built into you as a human being, don’t be afraid to bend the rules occasionally for the sake of your mental health.

        Watch this for directions to make and general entertainment!

        Ingredients for the lemonade:

        • 7 lemons
        • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
        • 5 cups cold water

        Recipe for Chef John’s State Fair Lemonade

        Ingredients for berry sauce

        • 10 oz berries (in the videos, it was half strawberries and half raspberries)
        • juice from 1/2 lemon (~1-1-1/2 tbsp)
        • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
        • 3 tsp cornstarch mixed into 3 tbsp water

        Assembly for one tall glass:

        • 1/2 the lemonade, frozen into ice cubes
        • Sauce to taste (~2 tbsp used in video)
        • 2 shots vodka
        • Water as needed to thin mixture
        • Slice of lemon and a raspberry for garnish

        Fun fact about the video: It was actually pretty early in the morning when we shot the last scene, and since I didn’t want more vodka that what was needed for the video at 9 am, I threw the glass in the freezer for enjoyment later. The consistency changed to something like Italian ice, and it was delightful to eat with a spoon after dinner that evening.

      • Get Yourself some cooking shoes

        Get Yourself some cooking shoes

        Someday I will build myself a sitting kitchen. It will be complete with shorter appliances, cabinets, and one of those rolling stools you see in mechanic’s shops. The countertops will overhang slightly so that I can tuck my legs under while I do prep work. It will be a temple of lazy productivity.

        However, since I live in reality, and don’t own a home, I am stuck with stupid standing kitchens for the foreseeable future. Here’s the thing: standing barefoot for extended periods of time is uncomfortable and actually bad for your feet. Enterprising individuals have identified this issue and sold anti-fatigue mats or slippers with foamy soles to cushion your feet. I’ve tried both, and they definitely do make a difference. For long-haul dishes that require more than an hour’s worth of work, though, they’re just not enough.

        Spending more time in my kitchen recently, this problem has plagued my feet. After two hours of working in the kitchen, I have to take a break and sit down for a while. That really ate into my productivity! In a desperate attempt to get through the project I was working on, I put on my gym shoes and got back to work. The difference was stark and immediate. I noticed relief of fatigue, more comfortable working conditions, and got the energy back to finish my dish in comfort.

        If everyone else’s gym shoes are similar to mine, I understand how you might want to use a different pair in a place you’re preparing food. So where to start?

        We’re going for comfort and arch support here. There’s no points for style in a kitchen shoe. That being said, I found this New York Magazine article informative, ranging anywhere from $360 Redwing heeled boots to $45 unisex Crocs. The real key here, however, is that these shoes are single purpose. They do not get worn outside… unless you’re a big fan of mopping on the regular. If you spend a decent amount of time in the kitchen, I encourage you to try this! It’s an instant life upgrade.

      • Onions vs. Onion powder – Why can’t we all be friends?

        Onions vs. Onion powder – Why can’t we all be friends?

        The importance of onions to the culinary world cannot be overstated. Honestly, it’s a bigger topic than I’m willing to tackle this early in my blogging career, so lets step away from the global cooking arena and bringing it back to personal experience. When I’m looking through my fridge trying to figure out what I can throw together, rarely do I come up with something that does not involve an onion. Sauteed, it brings sweetness and carries the flavor of other ingredients in the dish. Raw, it gives a fresh, sharp bite to a salad or sandwich. Caramelized onions are so flavorful they need little else to make a whole meal (see: French onion soup).

        In today’s world, almost any potent or flavorful ingredient you can think of eventually gets dehydrated and ground into a powder. Some examples:

        By comparison, powdered onion seems kind of tame… But there are many out there who find the idea objectionable or even offensive. These elitists sit in their ivory towers, chopping onions all day, conjuring images of lazy or unskilled chefs shirking their culinary duties. “Ha ha!” they imagine the heathens saying, “I’ve gamed the system! No matter my inferior kitchen know-how and questionable work ethic, my food will taste just the same as that of my superiors. No onion tears for me!” And then they spit in God’s face.

        I’m not going to say the onion powder heathens don’t exist. After all, there are several articles online outlining the fresh onion to powdered onion substitute ratios. Those ingredient substitute websites are dubious are best, and this is a good example as to why they are not to be trusted.

        Instead, I want to make an appeal to the onion bourgeois to stop focusing on the spice as a replacement, and start thinking of it as a completely different ingredient altogether. There are dishes I’ve made where I wouldn’t add onion to it for textural reasons, but onion powder adds a great flavor. The opposite is also true – sometimes the extra umami can overwhelm a dish. The most successful use of onion powder, though, has been in concert with the fresh onions.

        “But the flavors are not the same!,” cry the crusty, culinary conservatives between stomping of feet and gnashing of teeth “Powdered onion doesn’t taste like fresh onion!”

        Exactly. The power of the powder doesn’t come from it’s exact likeness that of its fully-constituted cousin, but from its differences. The flavors are, at the very least, similar and compliment each other quite well. The combination powerful and distinct, and I promise it will instantly make your cooking at least 2.5% better. That’s not a lot, but it’s a pretty good bump from one little thing. So I invite you – Please. Please try this out in the next thing you make.

      • Hello World

        Hello World

        I must not be so scared of making a mistake that it keeps me from pursuing my goals.

        The thought that struck me just after midnight on a February morning. It just wouldn’t stop ringing in my ears, like some sort of existential earworm. The sentiment is far from original. I’m sure a quick google search would show that some prominent historical figure said something along those lines with more brevity and wit than I can muster at the moment… Ah, here we are:

        Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game

        -Babe Ruth*

        *According to a couple of those dubiously-sourced quotation websites

        In any case, I’ve decided to take this platitudinous notion to heart, for better or worse. To that end and without further ado, I present to you my passion: cooking and baking. Is this unique to me? No, if course not. These are activities that most humans on the planet have taken part in, and I assume billions actually enjoy. So – why am I doing this? Well, partially to join the party. Those billions of people who share my hobby are having fun collaborating, bouncing ideas off each other, comparing notes and sharing their techniques and discoveries. All of that sounds like a total blast.

        Then there are the others.

        You know who you are – the Order-Inners and Microwavers. The Grubhub-ified and DoorDashians. The Jar-Saucers. I was once one of your number. There is no shame in not wanting/ being able/ knowing how to cook. The list of reasons to avoid the activity altogether is long and compelling. I’m sure that list will become it’s own blog post one day (or perhaps a series of them). You are a big reason why I’m embarking on this journey. A few simple kitchen skills, and perhaps some tricks to make the whole thing less painful, can enrich one’s culinary life in a profound way. If I can just reach a few folks and get them to jazz up some instant ramen… Well, I’m not saying that would be all I ever wanted, because it’s not. But it would be a good start.

        So, today. Today is when I borrow my brother’s life motto: “face first.” Hold on… let me make that more official:

        Face first.

        -My brother

        With reckless abandon, I’m going to jump face first into this project. There’s so much good food out there, familiar and foreign, and with that food will come new people, experiences and opportunity. So, excuse me while I set my insecurity and fear aside, pull up a chair, stuff a napkin down my collar, and tuck in. I hope you join me.