So here’s the deal:

I’m Melissa.  I’m recently married, recently graduated, and taking a look at my life. After resurfacing from four years of medieval history notes, I suddenly remembered that I love cooking.  And writing.  And that I'd done basically no amount of either of those things from the moment that I went back to school.

That’s all changed.

Now I’m working on a book and a blog.  I’ve made an I-type-here-shaped dent in the couch, I cook enough daily to feed a country roughly the size of Belgium, and I jog a lot to make up for the first two things.  I’ve never been happier.

This little pre-mid-life crisis of mine is all about personal satisfaction and fulfillment, and that’s what I’m trying to bring to you here.  I stopped cooking while I was a student because I felt like I was wasting the little free time I had.  Sometimes my results were fabulous, but more often than not they were just okay – even when the recipe came from a famous cookbook or blog.  If I was going to do all that work, I wanted bang for my buck – I wanted satisfaction, the sense that my meal was an experience, not just fuel.  And if I wasn’t going to get it, it seemed like I might as well mix up a box of mac ‘n cheese and at least save myself the time.

But now I’m back in the kitchen, and writing about it.  This isn't a diary of what I made for dinner; rather, it’s a list of the best dinners I’ve ever had.  My hope is that it can help you keep from wasting your precious time.  Every recipe that I write about on this blog is satisfying, in the fullest sense of the word.  That doesn’t mean complicated ingredients or tools – I live in Metro Detroit, and those things aren’t always easy to come by.  It means delicious.  Not edible.  Not inoffensive.  Not good.  Delicious.  Obviously that’s a subjective opinion, and I’ve included a list of my favorite and not-so-favorite foods below, so that you can see if our tastes mesh.  If they do, I hope I’ll see you here often.  I love company in the kitchen.

Eating is the only thing we do several times a day that gives us the opportunity for utter satisfaction, body and soul.  Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that?  You have to eat dinner anyway.  Why not make it amazing?

I’ll meet you at the fridge.

Things You're Likely to See Here:

Cornbread, Doughnuts, French Toast, Pancakes, Waffles
Balsamic Vinegar, Browned Butter, Guacamole, Mustard, Pesto
Fondue, Pot Stickers
Bacon, Bratwurst, Crab, Duck, Italian Sausage, Pork, Tofu
Burgers, Enchiladas, Mac 'n Cheese, Pad Thai, Pasta, Pizza, Pulled Pork, Quesadillas, Soups
Manchego, Melty Cheese, Ricotta
Berries, Cherries, Figs, Lime, Mango, Pineapple, Raisins, Roasted Strawberries
Bell Peppers, Mushrooms, Pumpkin, Roasted Onions, Scallions, Spinach, Tomatoes
Butterscotch, Caramel, Chocolate, Dried Cherries, Ginger, Marshmallow, Mint Chip
Brownies, Cheesecake, Cookies, Gelato, Ice Cream, Pates de Fruit, Pudding

Things I’m Likely to Hit with a Stick if I See Them Approaching Me:

Bitter Greens, Carrots
Bleu Cheese, Feta, Fred*, Greek Yogurt
Dark Chocolate, Espresso
Large Hunks of Meat, Most Organ Meats 

*Fred is a substance of such evil, of such loathsome horror, that its name is not spoken in this household.  Instead, we call it Fred.  Fred is often found atop cheesecakes, crowning baked potatoes, dolloped on Mexican food, and ruining basically every dip I've ever seen.  Boo, Fred.  Boo.