Hi there. I'm Allie. I live in Houston, where I'm completed an undergraduate program in mathematics. I am now attending grad school, studying literature. My primary interests lie in transdisciplinary work, which is why you're seeing both ends of the academic spectrum here. In my youth, I loved making complicated foods, striving to push as much technique and flair as I possibly could into ever recipe I created. I worked in some restaurants, did catering and then later settled into recipe development and tea sales. I still do that for pay, but I also do the recipe development here for free (however, there's a lovely paypal donation button you're more than welcome to click if you feel like contributing).
Over time, my style has become much simpler and rustic. I focus less on showing off with food and more on making healthful, frugal and simple meals. Part of what draws me to more rustic cuisine is that I feel that not only does it allow for increased frugality, it also enforces some level of control over food waste. Additionally, not only is it more fun to cook this way, it actually tastes better and the cooking fits better with my school schedule. Flavour-wise, I lean toward Middle Eastern fusion. There's a pretty broad mix of pastry, meat, vegetarian and vegan recipes, so there's a little something for everyone.
Frugality and eliminating food waste are my primary food goals when I'm thinking about what to make. Frugality and food waste also are very, very closely linked with one another - after all, the average American wastes 25-40% of the food they purchase. Friends of mine ask how much I spend monthly on groceries and are astounded by my answer. And that makes sense - they're spending an average of 40% more for the same number of calories because they're throwing their food away, whereas I'm eating mine (if we pretend our diets are the same, which they are not). I am constantly on the lookout for ways to reduce waste further, as well. So you often will see some really strange recipes in here that I've developed as a means of using up a food item that typically would be thrown away. You might see recipes involving beet stems, or recipes involving watermelon rind, or all sorts of other oddities. It's important to me that in eliminating waste, that my end product is tasty, so I hope you'll take a chance on some of those stranger offerings. Also, I use a minimum of processed products, choosing instead to make my food on my own. There are, of course, the occasional convenience items I'll use (no one's perfect, right?), but I recognize them as non-food items I am consuming, and also recognize them as a thing that isn't bad if it isn't done often. It helps me keep perspective and continue to use real food instead of convenience offerings. Real food is cheaper, tastes better and is more healthful.
The advantage of having a focus on frugality and eliminating waste is that every recipe in this blog is flexible. I want to emphasize that strongly: EVERY recipe in this blog is flexible. If you don't have something I've listed in a recipe, don't go buy it. Use something you do have and enjoy. If you don't like an ingredient I've listed, leave it out. If you don't know what an ingredient is, and don't feel like Googling it, it's probably not that important. All my food is based on loose modeled webs of overlapping constructs where I insert and delete items as I see fit. It's designed to be easy to prepare (although easy does not always mean fast), and it's designed to accommodate whatever might be in my house at any given time. If it can accommodate my variances, there should be no trouble adapting to accommodate yours. So please, feel free to butcher these recipes and make them your own.
Enjoy the site!