My love for cooking developed at the age of 11, when my mom needed help preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Two years later, I made my first thanksgiving meal from start to finish all on my own. My mom is Venezuelan and Italian so my cooking is inspired by what she taught me as her core recipes including a sofrito (which is a base for meat loaf, tomato sauce, and stuffing to just name a few.) My mom would just add tons of spices to everything, not really looking at how much to add or what to add… she just did it. As a stay at home mom, who despised boxed of frozen meals, everything I ate as a child was homemade ( including my baby food!)
In using technical terms, my mother is what you would call a “Pantry Chef”. A pantry chef cooks with what they have at hand in the pantry and fridge without going to the store before cooking. I too, am a pantry chef and over the years I’ve seen the pros and cons of this “style” of cooking . I can’t follow a recipe for anything.. I’m always adding/substituting/taking out something. Every “recipe” morphs into something of my own that can be rarely duplicated. I don’t measure how much of the ingredients were used,even if I was to write it down! The things that come out of my kitchen (#inashleyskitchen) are one of a kind creations!
Cooking is a passion of mine that calms and resets my mood no matter what kind of day I’m having. I’m lucky enough to be able to cook in my job ( as a Nanny/babysitter/aupair ). It’s such a rush to have friends/family enjoy my cooking especially the tiny humans of the world! I love healthy eaters not afraid of flavor and spice! I’ve always said that cooking for one is often depressing because there’s no one to witness the perfect mix of flavors I’ve been able to obtain.
I have not had any type of professional cooking education but it doesn’t matter to those whose palettes have been graced by my dishes! I’m food network magazine and cookbook hoarder (even though I don’t follow the recipes, doesn’t mean I can’t use them as guidlines!) Each ‘recipe’ I make starts with 3-5 existing recipes. I know what I like and learned how to make it all work experimenting with different flavors and tastes. I put mango salsa on my icecream, and mint in my pesto. (don’t knock it til you try it!) My current kitchen obsession is making things mini! My favorite kitchen tool is a flat roux/gravy whip. (which basically a flat whisk.) I have two big sauce pans ( because one wasn’t enough) I ask for kitchen gadgets for my birthday and I’m always making way too much food for me and dinner guests! I’m Ashley, this is InAshleysWorld, and welcome to InAshleysKitchen!