The beginning of it all...

I've always had a really great relationship with food. It's safe to say that we're buddies, food and I.  I love that food can bring people together, it can make people happy, and taking the time to make something tasty for someone can show that you really care about them. That they matter enough to you that you would spend 3 hours of your day making them the perfect meal. Food has a lot of power in that way and I love that it means more than just something that keeps you from dying.  But you know... it does that too.

Clearly enjoying some cake beside my grandmother and two (out of four) of my amazing sisters

Clearly enjoying some cake beside my grandmother and two (out of four) of my amazing sisters

I was raised around good food and great cooks. My sisters, my parents, my grandmothers, and relatives all know how to make things that are incredibly tasty and they love sharing it with each other over a conversation. One of my earliest influencers was my maternal grandmother, or Baka as we called her in Serbian.  She owned a restaurant in Almont, Michigan, and worked hard to make much of the food she served by scratch, staying up late at night and waking up early in the morning to cook, bake, and clean in the restaurant.

I remember sitting in the back room of her restaurant, Maria's Place, while she made homemade dough for stuffed tacos. I would sit on a stool and watch as she masterfully rolled out the dough and made these delicious doughy pockets filled with spiced meat and vegetables that would later be fried to perfection. It was a task that was clearly perfected through years and years of practice. While she was rolling, stuffing, and sealing the tacos, my grandmother would give me a lump of dough to roll out and form into whatever was in my mind at that time. I would make turtles and teddy bears while she worked, sneaking pinches of dough to taste until the turtle or teddy bear were very, very small. The next day, after watching hours of cartoons in her apartment above the restaurant, I would come downstairs for the lunchtime rush to sit on top of a 10 gallon bucket in the kitchen, where I watched the line cooks deep frying those labored-over pockets to order. It was from memories like this that I learned how much fun and how satisfying it can be to make something from scratch. To not cut corners and to give my best in the things I cooked, like she did. 

It's with this thought that I'm excited to start this blog and to share my homemade kitchen adventures and foodie doodles with you all! I hope you enjoy it and try out some new recipes. Be sure to let me know how they turn out in the comments!