I woke this Valentine's afternoon (yes, I slept in a little today... hehe) to the sound of Quentin baking in the kitchen, and a sweet gesture from two of my food blogging compatriots, Kate @ The Food Hound and Annie @ Second Helpings! They nominated me for the Stylish Blogger Award, and I can't be any more flattered! Thanks so much girls!
Following the guidelines of the "Stylish Blogger Award" recipient, here goes 7 things you may not know about me...
1. About 4 years ago, I couldn't cook to save my life. I couldn't hold a chef's knife without fear of lopping off one of my fingers. I was still in college, where my daily sustenance consisted of Ramen Noodles and Taco Bell. Yum. After numerous barbecues of black(not blackened), charred-to-a-crisp salmon fillets (Dannielle, you know what I'm talking about) I started to test the waters with more simple basics like macaroni & cheese, chicken adobo, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
My slight obsession with cooking started after a certain melange of flavors went terribly wrong. You see, my boyfriend, Quentin, is a great "put everything in the pot and it always comes out delicious" kind of cook. I, on the other hand, am not. Trying to mimic his carefree tossing of this and that into a dish, I concocted a... I think it was pasta... dish consisting of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, worcestershire, and about 10 other flavors that ultimately lead to a reaction of "Um... yeah, not your best dish..." It was horrible. From then on I pushed myself to become a better cook.
2. If I could do it all over again, I'd be a potter. I have to give thanks to my Dad, which is where my innate attraction to clay began. Himself being an avid potter in his younger years, I remember growing up, having my jungle gym consist not of swings and slides, but of a kick wheel, glaze tiles, and stacked buckets of slip. This all didn't connect until I was in college, when my then-boyfriend signed me up for a pottery class in our student union. I immediately fell in love with the clay... the way it took me out of my head, the way the movement of the clay felt beneath my fingers. I was hooked.
I ultimately spent an extra year in college to get a minor in ceramics under my academic belt. I spent the beginning of each semester in the office of the head of the art department, begging to be put into an already full ceramics class. My most influential teacher, Jeremy Colbert, who I studied with for over two years, taught me more than just technique, but how to understand the clay. I truly miss those years.
3. I have one of the strangest cats I know. When people first meet Bruzer, I often hear comments like, "He looks like an Egyptian cat" or, "He doesn't look like other cats." It not just his looks. This cat eats plastic bags, yet runs like the wind if you shake one at him. He can hold full on conversations with you if he's "feeling chatty" that day. He loves to taste test whatever I cook... unless there's citrus in it. And he bit me in the eyeball while I was asleep. Twice. Luckily no damage was done. But I still love him.
4. My passion for photography started while I was living in Italy. I spent a summer abroad in Florence, studying drawing and exploring my love of travel. My roommate, Courtney, also studied abroad with me. She was much more into photography, and I remember her filling an entire suitcase with rolls of film and her looking at me and asking, "Do you think that will be enough?"
For the trip, I bought myself my first digital camera, a Canon A95, after reading countless numbers of reviews to make sure I got the camera I really wanted. I was more accustomed to the plastic disposable cameras (do they still make those?) that made that unforgettable *ting* when you pressed the shutter button, so a digital camera was a new endeavor for me. Boy, did it change me. From then on, I had no urge to buy cheap souvenirs for which to remember my trips and vacations. My photos were my souvenirs.
5. I'm 1/2 Filipino, and 1/2 American. But I can't count to 10 in Tagalog. I'm working on that though!
6. I am anally meticulous about things being straight. Probably due to my interior design background, where my professors would start our day with drawing hundreds of straight lines "just to warm up", I'm now able to align things almost always without the need of a ruler or level. This can be an annoyingly picky trait, as even the slightest unevenness feels like Chinese water torture.
7. I'm not much of a reader. I've straight out told people, "I can't read" when they try to offer me that great book they just finished reading. I don't know if it is because I don't have the time, or if my attention span is more like that of a... SQUIRREL! ... dog, but I seem to have a hard time reading most books from start to finish. It's not that I don't want to... there are certainly a number of books I would love to dive into. I've read the first 1/4 of Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance about 5 times, but can never seem to get any further. Ultimately, there have only been a few that have crossed the finish line; Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, David Lebovitz's The Sweet Life in Paris, and Timothy Ferriss' The 4-Hour Work Week.
So now to pass on the torch, I am to nominate 15 other deserving bloggers of my choice. Here goes:
Tiffany from 920 Photography
Emilie from The Tasty Vittles - Vignette Interior Design
Melissa from Prête-Moi Paris
Shannon from Je ne sais quoi
Caroline from When Adobo Met Feijoada
Dahlia from Energetic Chef
Rowena from Saraplicious! Kitchen
Maribel from Food Geek's Diary
Jen from Jen at Work
Brenna from Le Fabuleux Destin de Brenna
Erika from The Ivory Hut
Trisha from Sugarlace
Roberta from La Roquette
Stacey from Stacey Snacks
The Couple from City Share
Oh, and by the way, Quentin was baking this:
Banana Bread with Blood Orange and Chocolate Chunks
YUM. :) Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!