You can find here my two lives.  No, not the secret agent kind.  One: as a quasi-hermit in my house, cooking up delicious dairy-free meals for me and my husband.  Two, as a traveler, an observer of the world and someone infected with a serious travel bug. I hope to have recipes and photographs galore, taking you along with me.

My cooking is mostly vegetarian, sometimes completely vegan.  I have a lot of respect for those who commit to being full veg, but I love eggs and fish, and they will pop up from time to time.  If I’m feeling especially adventurous, there might be a bit of meat thrown in.  It’s bad enough I limit dairy for my poor partner, so I’ve got to throw him a bone (so to speak) once in a while.   Most of the meals I make can be veg, and meat added in.  So if you’re a “flexitarian” these tend to work out well.

It’s been a totally frustrating, but ultimately rewarding, experience losing the ability to eat dairy in my 20s.  It’s like having to start all over again.  And you don’t realize how much of American food is practically soaked in dairy.  Sandwich bread?  Don’t assume you’re safe.  Packaged foods, especially crackers, were heart-breakers.  I loved crackers (and cheese), but there’s milk in almost all brands.  For goodness sake, there’s lactose as an ingredient in things.  How mean is that?  So, coming from a take-out night kind of house growing up to having to learn to cook from scratch with whole foods has been a true adventure.  I’m finally away from gripping onto recipes for dear life to make a good meal.  One thing I’m not a big fan of is using too many “fake” dairy ingredients, especially the cheeses.  I don’t much care to use them, and they are a bit expensive.  I do use milk replacements (soy, rice, etc.) and non-dairy butter.

On the travel front, I’ve been luck enough to get to go along with my partner to Europe a couple of times in the last year, and we’re returning this winter.  Amsterdam and Prague will be like semi-second homes.  I’ve been to Texas (to visit my in-laws who are transplants down there), but never the West Coast of the United States.  My travel experience as a kid was pretty limited: Northern New England, Florida, and Toronto.  My honeymoon, which happened about two years into our marriage, was to Washington, D.C. for the Cherry Blossom Festival, and was wonderful.  So since I met my partner, I’ve done about three times as much travel as I did in the first 3/4 of my life!  I hope that we are lucky enough to keep this trend going.  Our specific destinations for this winter aren’t yet planned, but the planning of travel is definitely part of my plans for the Over section.

One note about the photography.  All photos are taken by me, unless otherwise indicated.  I’m not a professional photographer, nor do I have a professional grade camera.  While I’d love to play with one of those DSLR’s, they’re just too big an investment for me right now.  I have a Fujifilm S1000fd, which allows me most of the features of a DSLR, except there are no interchangeable lenses.  It was fairly inexpensively priced and does the job.  I’m still learning, and enjoy photography as a hobby.  Hopefully the more I work on this blog, the better the photos will get.  My kitchen has perhaps the worst lighting in the world, so color balance is a constant struggle.  There are two windows over the sink, but not over the work space, and a big old fluorescent overhead light.  Good for working, bad for photographing.  So bear with me if things look a little yellow.  I’m doing my best.  I just want to share the recipes with you!


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