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I've been having a great time checking out Nashville's high end dining on the cheap thanks to Groupon. Have you tried it yet? Its awesome. I don't know why I ever hesitated.

Monday, July 2, 2007

About Me

First, a brief disclaimer. I would have more truthfully titled this blog “The mostly healthfully sized gourmet, with occasional bouts of being more than healthfully sized” but that just didn’t have the same ring to it. So the Skinny Gourmet it is.

I grew up in Wisconsin but have spent most of the last ten years living in Chicago. When I haven’t been living in Chicago I have lived in Costa Rica (briefly for a summer) and Ghana (on and off for more than 2 years total). My approach to cooking has always been experimental and based on my sensory experience of the food. If you see someone smelling the nectarines at the Devon Market in Rogers Park (Chicago), that’s me.

While I have a deep appreciation for recipes, I am much more likely to wing it based on a little luck and my sense of what would be interesting together. This has produced in my husband a sort of ‘eat each dish as though its the last time you’ll taste it’ mentality. When I have a particularly triumphant creation, he will look at me and say, “Please tell me you wrote this down.” When I tell him I more or less have the recipe in my head, he starts to eat more slowly. There is a sad sort of savoring look when he gets to the last bite. Thankfully for him, since I started this blog I have been a lot more dutiful about recording what I’m doing as I do it.

My husband and I both love cooking and entertaining, so our home is often a sort of social hive. Having people over often has taught me a lot about cooking and entertaining. We are famous among our friends for hosting annual “Urban Family Thanksgiving” and St. Patricks Day Parties. On occasion we have even been known to throw a Halloween Party, Holiday Gathering, or New Year’s festivities. In between big events we are often found hosting games night (with dessert), a tasting party featuring anything from wine to beer to cuts of beef, or working our way through a New Year’s resolution to host a formal gourmet dinner party once a month.

Like many passionate food bloggers, I have no professional training, aside from a few one-day classes. I’ve never studied nutrition in school. I have never attended the Culinary Institute of America. In those regards I’m guessing that makes me a lot like you. And like most Americans, healthy weight control does not come naturally to me. Because of this, I have experience eating on restricted diets, although today I can’t even keep track of the dizzying variety of restrictions promising easy weight loss. I even voluntarily went low-sodium for a while when a friend was diagnosed with hypertension.

The Skinny Gourmet idea...

The thing that bothered me most about dieting was how difficult it was to be social on a diet. Eating out, that great American social scene, became a terror. Invited to a holiday party or a potluck? Spend hours sweating over a specialty cookbook trying to find some kind of finger food that doesn’t involve carrots and blended tofu. Entertaining at home was frequently no better. Most dieters know the sinking feeling of being forced to choose between serving guests something that is obviously “diet” food, or preparing one thing for guests and something else for themselves. Even among family there was the constant awkwardness of either meticulously weighing and measuring everything, or the compromise of limiting consumption to some special cluster of foods (no carbs? Low glycemic index?). This sort of social ostracism manifest in food takes all the joy out of eating and entertaining.

And so an idea was born. After years of tinkering with recipes to find a middle road that fostered healthy eating without sacrificing taste, it was time to take this show on the road. Nearly all of the recipes featured on this website are original recipes. I make a few exceptions for previously published recipes that are just such all-stars that they are in frequent rotation in my home, and in those cases, credit is given. My recipes are intended to work into any healthy diet. Some are special occasion indulgences, others are great everyday meals. In some sense, I have a paradoxically epicurean approach to dieting, emphasizing the sensual pleasure of food.

Email me at: skinnygourmet (at) gmail (dot) com

Want to see my official blogger profile? Or my Technorati Profile?


Sabrosa Foods Inc. said...

Great Blog! I am enjoying reading it. Hey if you are looking for a great and different appitzer to serve to your guests try a bell pepper salsa. I own a gourmet foods company and we specialize in salsa.

Fred said...

A quick hello from France to wish you a happy birthday. I never remember when it is but I know it's somewhere around now.
An old friend from Carthage,

Erin said...

Fred, I was so delighted and surprised to see you post! How are you doing? Your timing is uncanny. My birthday is actually today (Jan 24). Great memory!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Your recipes look incredible. We are definitely going to try the Pho. Thanks so much for sharing!

jpmede2 said...

Very nice blog Erin! I look forward to reading through it. Much like you, my wife is a day job PhD, but perhaps also a more passionate chef-in-training. If I pass along your URL, maybe I too can enjoy a Skinny Gourmet speciality...

Glad to see that you are doing well. I always did expect big things from you.


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