Where did it all start?

I haven’t always been a food fanatic. I was a “closet foodie” prior to college, but I “came out” shortly after I discovered Colossal Cafe with my Mom before my Freshman year of college. There was no turning back after that fritatta. I immediately went back and had to try their famous “Flappers” which have been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, for all you Food Network watchers. After that first bite of Flapper, my coffin had been sealed. I became fascinated with trying restaurant after restaurant, and really becoming knowledgeable about the local food scene. I’m also fairly certain I did more restaurant research than actual work at my job sophomore year of college. That’s productive, right?

I’ve definitely proven that I can purchase some really good food not just in Minneapolis but all around the world now, but I can also cook pretty well too. My passion for really challenging myself in the kitchen all started with my endeavor to make a perfect French Macaron. I was obsessed with them after moving home after freshman year, but nowhere in my small-town sold them. So, I had to put matters into my own hands and literally whip them up myself. After reading recipe after recipe, I chose one and attempted it and to my own surprise they came out with perfect “feet” and a smooth shell on the first try. Mission semi-accomplished…

One of my cookie dough Macarons!

Once I realized that I could almost master something that most people find impossible to get right, and on the first try too, I knew there was no stopping me. I’ve made everything from the perfect pie crust to enchilada lasagna with homemade tortillas as the “noodles.” Baking from scratch is the only way to go.

After taste testing recipe after recipe, I realized how much my diet is affecting my ongoing stomach issues. I’ve been dealing with stomach pains my entire life, despite having a generally healthy diet outside of my baking, of course. I decided to switch to a grain-free, sugar-free and somewhat dairy-free diet in the last few months. I’ve tried the “gluten-free” thing but I didn’t find that just cutting out gluten was working, so I turned to cutting grains completely. My new “paleo” diet is something that I find hard to do at times, but once I remember how much better I feel not eating all that processed stuff all the time I can usually get my mind and stomach back into it. I love veggies and fruit and I love meat and eggs, so I’m a happy camper past lunch time, which is when I need a sweet. Sometimes a girl, just needs some super sweet chocolate, or for me, A HUGE PANCAKE!!

Not being able to eat a carb loaded pancake all the time anymore can be tough, but I’ve found other pancake recipes that satisfy my craving for fluffy discs while still leaving my stomach intact.

I’ve learned a lot about my body since moving to college almost 4 years ago, and I’m finally figuring out how to add food back in a healthy way. I’ve never felt better than when I’m eating “paleo,” but I also having an understanding with my stomach that I can allow myself a little something wrong every once in awhile and she’s supposed to stay calm. I still want to be able to eat what I grew up loving without being bedridden for a week.

Life is a delicate balance 🙂

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