Project Food Blog Challenge #1: Ready, Set, Blog!
Last summer, July 2009, I started my blog. I had no intentions of it ever going anywhere, but something happened within me. I got hooked. I love writing and interacting with my readers and other bloggers. Photography is a new passion of mine. I have explored all types of cuisine, won recipe contests, and have gotten to meet many talented chefs, writers, and bloggers. I’ve even switched careers.
Writing in the gluten-free community is a blessing. I never thought those words would come out of my mouth when I was first was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I honestly thought it would be the end of my foodie adventures. It was like Armageddon then (ok, that is being a tad dramatic). How would I ever not eat a donut again? A moist muffin? Enter 2007: I was working as a Nutritionist at a local pharmacy in town. The pharmacy was known for promoting the gluten-free diet and I repeatedly told my patients that it would be best for them to try it out, if they were experiencing gastrointestinal distress. I never took my own advice. That was until a co-worker of mine suggested I suck it up and give it a try. After much thought, I decided to seek a doctor’s advice and the next thing I knew, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. What the heck? I didn’t let the thought put me down though. Instead I dove head first into research; learning everything there was to know about Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity.
My blog became my gateway. A path to explain how I was feeling, what creations I was cooking up in the kitchen, and where I was finding the best gluten-free products in Austin (because let’s face it, there are some terrible products out there). My blog not only became a way to express myself, but it became my gluten-free counselor. Telling me that everything will be ok, there are plenty of food options out there, and you will feel better again. Luckily, I do feel better again. I also have met some amazing friends through Twitter and my blog. Some things never change though. I still like to take goofy pictures.
I started cooking at a younger age, but I never considered myself good at it. My grandmother was a big “foodie” and loved to cook. I find myself doing some of the same techniques as her. Not measuring anything, but just throwing the ingredients in the pot, using my sense of smell and taste to feel my way through creating a dish. I feel I connect with her when I am cooking. It is like she is standing next to me and we are whipping up a meal together, joined by the glorious smells of spices, vinegar and fresh herbs.
Dessert pizza topped with apples, basil, brown sugar, Grand Marnier, butter and goat cheese.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to help others in their food journey, to connect with the gluten-free community (and others), raise awareness, and consume mouth-watering recipes. I feel I have a real unique spin (I like to call it Celiac spin) when it comes to creating recipes. They are simple, yet full of flavor and easy to recreate. In fact, my family and friends have said my food is so flavorful that I have taken a completely different career path, and am now a gluten-free personal chef. It is amazing where life takes you sometimes, and what you can accomplish in a year. You just have to trust yourself and your instinct. Take a chance.
Green tomato tower with fresh feta, mint and spicy yogurt sauce
I love to push myself in all areas of life, and I feel I have what it takes to go far in this competition. I know I am a dedicated, disciplined and a talented chef that is up for a challenge, and I love what this project brings: a challenge. Each challenge in this course will push my blogging limits and creativity, but I am up for it. I want to compete and show you that I can do this. I can continue to push myself and to balance graduate school, life, blogging and writing a cookbook. I have the determination to succeed. As my grandfather, Paul J. Meyer, once said: “If you don’t have discipline, you don’t have anything.”
Stuffed peppers with oregano, mint, lemon, greek yogurt and feta
This is my first post, in hopes of many, for Project Food Blog. I will post when voting opens, but know that I will not be pushing for your vote. If you want to vote for me, I’ll give you a virtual hug. If you do not want to vote, no big deal. At least you were here to read a part of my story, and I hope you found it inspiring. As my story has turned my life around, and now I find I am a better person because of it (a gluten-free person of course).
To read more about Project Food Blog, click here.
Click here to see my Project Food Blog profile.
Edit: September 21, 2010
Voting is now open for challenge #1 (Until September 23, 2010). To vote for ATX Gluten-Free, click here.