Hi, I’m Jeanelle.
I’ve been watching people cook since I could focus on shapes and recognize faces. I grew up watching Julie Child, Jeff Smith, and Martin Yan on PBS after school.
I’ve been cooking for almost as long, starting young enough to not care much for measuring or worry much about messing up.
I’ve been writing (bad poetry, the beginnings of short stories, grad school theses, and then this blog) since I could hold a No. 2 pencil.
So, a food blog was inevitable.
I’ve also got a damn good man named Danny, a sweet, scruffy black dog named Magnus, and a busy, persistent, and hilarious son named Jack.
About the Recipes
I usually make recipes that use five ingredients or fewer. I generally stay away from packaged or convenience foods, even pre-mixed products – so when I say it’s five things, it really is just five!**
How did I get here?
A few months after Jack was born, I treated myself to some new cookbooks (because if you can’t cook as much as you used to, you might as well read about it… in bed), and realized that almost to a recipe, the things I was bookmarking had relatively few ingredients. They were also built on techniques or other base recipes that I’m already sort of familiar with. This led me to two possible conclusions:
- I really am the lazy, basic fraud I fear most and at my rotten core, I crave boring food
- I’m in love with technique, cook’s intuition, and excellent ingredients
I know #2 is the truth, but who doesn’t feel like #1 at least sometimes?
Turns out the vast majority of the recipes I use and ogle have just about five ingredients or less. This is partially because I simply cannot with a long ingredient list. Motherhood has made me super-smart, but has also made me way dumb, and I can’t remember things like I used to. Having only a few ingredients to remember means I can quickly learn a recipe by heart, and make it at the drop of a hat.
The other part of this comes from something a lot deeper. I love simple recipes because there’s nowhere to hide. You’re forced to use great ingredients because you’ll taste it if you don’t. Your food tastes dull when your ingredients are subpar; your food tastes AMAZING when your ingredients are honest and real and you’ve found ones you love and trust. This doesn’t have to mean that they cost more, but it means we have to do the work of taking a hard look at where they come from and what’s inside.
Although I still make the occasional grand/ambitious/complicated recipe, our day-to-day meals are a lot more straightforward. I’ve come to depend on these simple recipes – many of which are more of formulas or building blocks – that then show up in a variety of dishes as we go through the week or month.
My recipes are classic and honest. They’re usually healthy, but sometimes not. Those who know me know I’m not into eliding or omitting ingredients or steps to sacrifice the taste or quality. Light-but-crappy and fast-but-crappy are… still crappy. I want you to make and eat food you’re proud of and excited about.
I hope you enjoy reading and looking around here, and that you’re inspired to make some tasty things. I promise, this is like, the opposite of an aspirational, perfect-living, Pinterest-worthy blog. Don’t get me wrong: the photos might look nice, but there’s a sippy cup and a laundry basket just out of the frame.
I’d love to know how you like the recipes, so comment away! And sign up for the email list so you can get updates and newsletters as they come.
**The five-ingredient rule excludes olive oil, salt, and pepper. (Using at least one is kind of a given in any recipe!)