But, a funny thing happened several years ago. I became semi-retired. An awkward adjustment to be sure. After a few months of settling into ... nothing, during a discussion with my wife (she still has an inconvenient day job) she commented that, "The least I could do would be to have dinner ready".
Well, the joke became, typical American male... happy to do the least. So several months of burgers, hot dogs, processed foods and boil in bag rice dishes later, I was not happy. I could do better.
And that was the start. I decided to learn to cook. Techniques and ingredients, cuisines and sauces, add in food styling and presentation and I figured out the more I learned the harder I had to work. So I decided to make it a job. I researched (love Google), I read cookbooks, I watched TV shows and I started hearing about Julie & Julia the movie. A food blog seemed logical. Year on the Grill was born in 2009. At the time I was working on my grilling techniques, seemed like a good name. 750 posts later, I was ready to move on to a new blog and a new business (eRecipeCards.com).
I learned a few things in my 3 years on the grill...
Processed foods and short cuts are bad for me. When I started my journey of discovery, I was not a well man. As an example, I was dependent on about $250 a month worth of prescription medicine. 3 years later, I have an over the counter antehistemine, but I no longer need asthma or blood pressure medicine. I still have weight issues (could happily drop about 40 pounds, but same weight I was 3 years ago). The only difference was my diet. No over processed, over salted, over chemical-ed foods. I learned to read a label, avoid ingredients I could not pronounce and shop on the outside aisles of the grocery store (where the fruit, veggies, dairy and butcher areas. Stop drinking diet pop, stopped pretending that diet sugar was possible and ate like my grandparents.
I learned to bake bread, I reduced my meat intake and replaced the volume with vegetables.
Eating out became a very rare treat and eliminated fast food. Cooking became an excuse to be more social.
So, this is not an all diet blog. But it is a real ingredients, proper techniques blog.
Finally, my last major influence in my cooking metamorphosis was a 6 month visit to St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. My wife (remember her with the inconvenient day job) took a short term assignment as assistant to the US Attorney on the island. I went along as her cook. Necessity being the mother of invention, and grocery prices (especially fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat prices) being outrageous on the isles; I learned to be green. I started menu planning based on what was left over. Have a recipe that calls for half an onion, by golly, I had another use planned for that onion. A pint of heavy cream is $10, it never sat in the fridge till you had to toss it out.
So, you will see a lot of pizzas (a GREAT way to use up leftover ingredients). I don't post em often, but an omelet may be my favorite way to finish off a vegetable. Soups and as a last resort, home made stock.
Probably the best example of my evolution from an eater to a cook is my freezer. I no longer have a dozen "Hungry man" TV Frozen dinners. In their place, I have 3 or 4 chicken carcasses waiting to become stock for my soups.
It's the best hobby... and now the best job I have ever had!
Which brings us to this blog. Time for a mission statement...
Real Food, Real Ingredients. Emphasis on social foods and using leftovers as ingredients. Highlighting bloggers. We all blog for different reasons. I try to dig into a blog and see who they are, who they cook for and what they like. No special reason for selecting a blogger, I just look through the pages of eRecipecards.com, add their ideas to me eRecipeBox and match up their ideas with my menu plans.
With the quality of bloggers, the number of recipes and the built in search function... it's pretty easy!
I love comments, questions or just a friendly "Hi" when you visit!
If you want to contact me, Contact@eRecipeCards.com is the best way!