Hey there, I’m Janis. I take great pleasure in feeding the people around me and making them happy with food. I also love talking to family, friends, and colleagues about food and cooking, and sharing tips and tricks I have picked up over the years. This blog is my way of sharing a little of that with you. Thanks for joining me!
A few points of note about me and this blog:
- I generally don’t measure ingredients and I do a lot of improvising as I cook. I also never make the same thing twice. My dishes always change based on what I have in the pantry, fridge, and freezer at any given moment, and what looks good at the store. Many of the recipes in my cookbook say things like: “add ingredients until it tastes right”, and “cook until done”. I figure that as long as the food is cooked to a safe temperature and it tastes good to you, the dish is a success – there is no perfect formula for time and seasoning. For these reasons, if you need a specific recipe with exact times, I won’t be of much help. If you’re looking for inspiration or some suggestions for flavor combinations and cooking techniques, however, we’re in business.
- I’m half Asian, or hapa, as they say in Hawaii. My dad is Japanese (from Hawaii) and my mom is Irish/Russian, which means I grew up mixing lots of Japanese and other Asian ingredients and dishes with American and other foods, which you’ll see a lot in my cooking. I live in Jersey City and work in New York City, so I have access to all sorts of Asian (and other) shops and ingredients. If you’re looking for something I’m cooking with and can’t find it at your regular grocery store, try an Asian market, if you have one near you, or look online.
- For me, cooking is about relaxation and fun, so I don’t stress about doing things perfectly, traditionally, without shortcuts, etc. I’m not a purist of any kind when it comes to food. For this reason, don’t expect any of the food you see on this blog to be a traditional, classic version of the dish it is inspired by – I’m always adding my own spin.
- I have no formal training in food preparation. I have learned a lot by cooking with my uncle, a retired chef, and my grandmother G. Mom (because according to her, everybody’s gotta have a handle), a wonderful home cook. Everything else I know was either learned through years of practice or through years of consuming all kinds of food and cooking content – cookbooks, other books about food, magazines, tv shows, blogs, recipe websites, and newspaper articles.
- I have the best friends and family. Special thanks to Jessie for encouraging me to write this blog, my parents for their unconditional love, support, and all the prep and cleaning help that make it possible to make elaborate family meals that would be overwhelming by myself, my uncle and aunt for teaching me so much and equipping my kitchen with all the best tools and gadgets, my brother for demonstrating the success you can have when you combine hard work and creativity, and G. Mom for her love, support, generosity, and for being an inspiration in so many ways.