I didn’t cook much when I was younger. Sure, I’d help my mom bake cookies or peel hard boiled eggs, but I don’t think I ever actually realized how much of a foodie house I grew up in until I moved out. You mean most families don’t have made-from-scratch meals every night? (Using lots of recipes from Gourmet magazine, of course.) Don’t all dads bake their own bread? (Kneaded by hand, no less.) Eating out isn’t a super-special treat reserved for important occasions? Don’t all kids like open-faced crab salad English muffin sandwiches?
Of course the answer is no, but when I did become responsible for procuring my own food, I immediately resolved against developing the habit of eating mostly convenience foods, with all the added HFCS and preservatives and whatnot. While I’m not the type to go on crusades against “chemicals” in my food and I’m not obsessed with all health food all the time (look at my desserts if you don’t believe me), I prefer to make my food from scratch whenever possible. I think having that sort of awareness is a good thing for my life and my health. I also found that I really love cooking and baking! Baking appeals to the precision-loving part of me, and cooking is all about the transformation. Taking simple ingredients and turning them into something amazingly delicious is a confidence boost every day, especially when I can share the results of my food transformation with family and friends.
So, my food philosophy. I’m not obsessed with counting calories, or carbs, or fats, or really any sort of numbers as relates to my cooking and eating. I try to follow Michael Pollan’s advice: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” More specifically, I’d add: Listen to your stomach and don’t eat out of boredom. Make refined sugars an indulgence and not an everyday habit. Try new things (in both eating and cooking) and don’t be afraid of mistakes. :)