Cooking is one of my passions. In fact, I tried my hand as a chef’s apprentice at a restaurant in the Theatre District in New York City years ago. It was fun, but designing jewelry is more my jam. Cooking for others makes me happy. I love to bring nature into my home and the philosophy of farm to home. Every week, I make an effort to change up our family meals with recipes from different cultures.
Growing up, my mother would cook super healthy and adventurous meals, which triggered my diverse palate. One night, she would make Japanese tempura and the next a Moroccan stew. My lunches contained cucumber and feta salad and smoked salmon versus the traditional sandwich. I grew up not liking typical kid foods such as pizza, sandwiches and cake, and still to this day have never tried soda.
When my grandparents moved in with us, we got lucky enough to have an amazing cook named Fernanda who introduced me to several Portuguese recipes and an amazing key lime pie. Fernanda taught me my heavy hand at pouring olive oil to finish just about any dish. She also taught me that a couple of cloves of garlic makes everything better.
I get a lot of cooking inspiration from magazines such as Food & Wine as well as from my pretty vast library of cookbooks I have collected since college. But most of the time, I look at my fridge and pantry and then see what recipe I can come up with or find one online with the ingredients I have on hand. For example, the other day I had sweet potatoes and ground lamb, so I found online a recipe for Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie, which is now going to become a house staple.
We try to eat mostly paleo at home, so if I find a recipe with flour I make some modifications. However, my husband is European so we splurge and make a delicious "real pasta" (as he calls it) about every other week. Pasta is hands down my favorite food as well as my husbands. As of late, our favorite recipe is a hodgepodge of recipes we have both learned while living in Italy. It contains shrimp, fresh cherry tomatoes, some garlic and herbs and it's both easy and delicious. I'm sharing the recipe below because it's so good and perfect for this time of year.
Shrimp with Spaghetti and Cherry Tomatoes
Image borrowed from here