Welcome to Bring to the Table!

Don’t we all have something to bsmall logoring to the table? It’s probably a question we don’t ask of, or for, ourselves often enough. The name of this blog actually came about because when I was contemplating starting one, I thought, “What do I have to bring to the table that is different from any other food blogger out there?”

Recently, after the reality of turning 30 in September has set in, I find myself asking what I have to offer the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dreading turning 30; I think it’s a solid rite of passage. But I do have thoughts of have I done enough to claim 30? Am I where I want to be to officially be an adult (I’m declaring 20s as still the transition into adulthood)? And am I really living out my dream? *Queue existential crisis* But in all seriousness, I realized there is only one me and maybe someone will find what I have to say and share interesting. And if not, I have somewhere to log all my tried and true recipes!

My love for food exceeds just eating it. The recipes I will be sharing on my blog each mean something to me and each have a story. Food is a common denominator in relationships, community, and culture. Cooking is an expression of myself, and has been a bigger part of my life that I’m just starting to appreciate.family 1

I am a wife to an amazing husband, and a stay at home mom to a 4 and 2 year old in this military life we live. Angelo (hubby) is in the Army, which means we move more than the average family. I resourcefully make a kitchen in a new area code work for

DSC_0186me every couple of years. Cooking and baking has been a constant for me in an unpredictable life; I can take it with me wherever we go. Each duty station inspires new recipes.

I grew up in Ames, Iowa, home of Iowa State University (go Cyclones!) Although I never lived on a farm, there seemed to always be a cornfield within sight. I have come to realize growing up in the country’s heart of farming made an impression on how I view food. Don’t get me wrong: I ate my fair share of overly processed, sugary, salty food. I mean hey, I was a 90’s kid; the generation of, “let’s see how long we can make ‘food’ last and how neon bright we can we color it!” But I had the exposure to fresh, farm-to-table food constantly and the knowledge of where it came from just from looking a little beyond my backyard.

My grandma, who lived just down the street delighted in always busying herself in the kitchen. I observed how it connected her and my mom in a special way, as if they were part of some club- a club I wanted to be a part of. I got my first cookbook when I was 10, and with the encouragement from my grandma, I started to try things I never thought I could do. When I got a little older, I worked at a local bakery through college, and still use what I learned there in my kitchen today.

Although I don’t have any formal training, I like to think the love I pour into my recipes makes them special in their own right (and the fact my toddler girls actually eat

me and angelo (1)my food helps). I am also so grateful for my husband. To have someone who believes in me and my abilities in the kitchen as much as he does makes me feel like I graduated from the top culinary school. He is the first one to try my new innovations and gives me to resolution to keep cooking (and dreaming). So thank you baby; this blog is dedicated to you and us 🙂

My culinary point of view is simple, clean, fresh, and delicious food. I don’t like putting a million ingredients in my recipes, because I like to know what I’m tasting. My version of clean usually means from scratch, so I know exactly what I’m putting in my food. I spend most of my time in the produce section of the grocery store because fresh food tastes the best and I think something fresh should always be a component of a recipe. Of course, my recipes are always tested to make sure they taste great!

I am here to help you be bold with ingredients and excited by recipes, not intimidated or overwhelmed. I am just a regular home cook, and I want my food to be approachable and confidence boosting. I will also be trying new things on this blog journey, so stay tuned!

Being able to express my creativity through cooking and baking is a blessing and my calling. The amazing thing about food is there are endless possibilities. Thank you for going on this journey with me. I am excited to get started and hear what you all think of what I bring to the table! Remember to ask yourself from time to time what you have to bring to the table, and make sure you’re bringing it!

Enjoy!

Allison

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