I’ve acquired many hobbies over my 27 years, some that I prefer to block out of my memory (I’m lookin’ at you, cheerleading) and others I’ve become extremely proud of (and brag about on social media any chance I get). But of all my hobbies, being a foodie just about tops them all. It’s easily one of the best thing I’ve set my mind to, maybe ever. And I’m not just talking recipes and flavor combinations. We’ll leave it up to the culinary connoisseurs and top chefs to make those all-important decisions.
I’m talking about fully embracing the food culture and allowing it to infiltrate my life in every way possible. What started as a love of flavors quickly escalated to a monthly search of every food festival in town and a Google doc of every restaurant I needed to try in every one of my favorite cities. And to my surprise as I fully embraced my new foodie lifestyle, I went from a typical Mom’s-recipe-loving gal to a full-fledged cookbook worm.
So many things about my eating habits, preferences and day-to-day activities have changed as I fell in love with all-things-food. Here are just a few:
I embraced my changing tastebuds.
They say your tastebuds change every seven years. Some doubt this, but not me. For most of my life, I was a cupcake-and-cookies-loving person, but my tastes changed when I turned 20. I’d turn up my nose up anything with a sugar content, and it had nothing to do with weight loss or dieting. The proof lies in my increasing obsession with anything cheese-oriented.As long as a food was made with, coated in, fried in or paired with cheese, I was happy. And I’d still take a square of cheese over a square of brownie any day.
I looked at grocery shopping as a sport.
You know that accomplished feeling you get when you walk out of a store with a ton of bags? Success! New wardrobe! Well, that’s how I feel when I walk out of a grocery store with a handful of plastic bags (or, if I remember, reusables) filled with food. I literally get giddy when I walk down a grocery store aisle and load up my cart with the ingredients needed for my week of recipes. My fiance might shake his head when he sees me walk through the door with 40 pounds worth of grocery bags (for the third time in one week), but he’s definitely happy when the fridge and his stomach are nice and full.
I discovered the amazing world of spices.
Okay, so there are like a billion different kinds of spices out there. Who knew? As I started combing through recipes I wanted to try, I realized I needed to upgrade my arsenal of spices. From thyme and rosemary to curry and turmeric, each spice provides a very specific taste that gives that particular recipe it’s desired flavor.Needless to say, I started out with a spice rack and have graduated to a spice cabinet, which, let me tell you, smells heavenly.
I (happily) invested in kitchen appliances to take recipes from good to great.
If you want to make eggplant parmesan with precision, you’re going to need a mandolin, a godly device that slices oblong objects to perfectly desired proportions. It’s also good for making zucchini spaghetti, which can be downright delicious when prepared the right way. Among other things, I own a crockpot (something any person who eats food ever should own), a hot water heater (chai tea in a pinch!), Sodastream (because seltzer gets expensive) and a food processor (soups taste better when blended!).
I kind of went overboard with condiments. (Sorry, I’m not sorry.)
I’m not joking. Open my fridge at any time of day, and you’ll likely find the main parts relatively empty but the side-shelves loaded up with condiments. I’ve actually had to organize them in recent years into hot sauces (buffalo, chipotle—no bias there), Asian-flavored (we’re looking at about 15 different types of soy, tamari, pad thai, gyoza dips, etc.), and last, but not least, BBQ.
I quickly logged off of Facebook and onto Instagram.
Upon first discovering this insanely addicting app, I thought it was meant to be used like Facebook. But then I realized no one wants to see photos of me—they want to see photos of what I eat. The amount of likes I get for drool-worthy Mongolian-crusted beef meatballs versus a toothy grin is insane. I also follow every foodie-loving account you can think of and keep a list of the meals that make my mouth water so I can make my way to that particular restaurant.
I learned to scout the best local fare, no matter where I am.
This past year I took a trip to Venice, Florence, Rome and Positano. Before putting together my itinerary of places I wanted to see and things I wanted to do, I compiled a list of restaurants I wanted to try. Why? Because culture is best absorbed via a spoon! And the best part about eating at well-established joints is meeting the awe-inspiring chefs and owners. The passion they have for the food they create is truly remarkable.
I began to look forward to hosting supper clubs with my friends.
All my friends know I’m the queen of hosting parties and get-togethers. What can I say? I love being around my friends and also love not having to leave my apartment. But what’s become the best part about having people over is preparing the food. I have my Pinterest boards prepped for hosting a good gig and always welcome recipe contributions from others. From crockpot buffalo chicken sliders to creamy spinach and artichoke dip, my guests might have trouble peeling themselves off my couch at the end of the night, but they never go home hungry.
I trained my friends and family to not take a bite until after a photoshoot.
My squad knows to not even think about digging into a delectable plate of asparagus risotto or a perfected cut of filet mignon before I pull out my trusty camera. If I didn’t take a picture of it for my Instagram feed, it might as well have never existed. Ever wonder how someone can possibly eat enough food to post a new foodie photo every other hour? Answer: Friends and family-shared food pics, which is the greatest thing since cable TV.