Hi! I’m Cory, and welcome to The Amused Bouche, my little slice of the interwebs where I write a little bit about all of the things that I find joy in and a whole lot about the many things that are going on in my kitchen. I live on an avocado and lemon farm in sunny Santa Barbara, and share my home with my tribe: my seriously delightful husband, James, my utterly adorable and cheeky toddler, Beatrix, and our four furry and four-legged children (a snarffley pug, an endearingly awkward Rhodesian ridgeback, and two scruffy rescue kitties). And – because calm and serene are apparently two words that do not exist in my lexicon – I’m over-the-moon ecstatic to say that we’ll be expanding our little posse by one (of the human variety) in early December 2017, when baby girl (squee!) number two makes her way onto the scene. I’m currently accepting any and all
unsolicited advice gentle guidance on managing the two-under-two set…is it possible to already be exhausted for my December self?!
Our lives together have evolved to be centered around the kitchen – cooking for each other, cooking together, and cooking for our growing family and immense circle of friends-that-have-become-family. I love grocery shopping almost as much as shoe shopping (normal? I said almost…) and delight in experimenting with new-to-me ingredients, cuisines, and techniques as often as possible. Though I’ve primarily learned my way around the kitchen from trial and error (and more trials and even more errors), while living in Boulder, Colorado, I spent a year cooking professionally at an incredible farm-to-table restaurant, and after that continued on to be general manager of a large organic bakery. Both experiences were incredibly enriching and humbling (seriously – I tip my hat to everyone out there working “behind the line” and in the food service industry as a whole), and I draw from them in my own little kitchen on a daily basis.
On this blog and in real life, my aim is to keep what I cook fresh (read: veggie heavy), interesting (my ADD side loathes monotony), unfussy (can I make this with a cranky toddler on my hip?), and healthy – which by my definition means relying on whole real ingredients. I try to avoid processed food as much as practically possible, but if something comes in a carton, bag, or wrapper (milk, yogurt, etc), I never purchase the fat-free/fake-sugar/low-cal (read: not real food) version. In my twenties, I tortured myself with “light” salad dressings and watery skimmed-milk lattes and vile things like Splenda packets, but I’m older and wiser now (and have the
crow’s feet smiley eyes to prove it) and am a big believer that nothing is off limits, but that moderation is key. My totally unscientific opinion: balance out that crusty hot bagel and ‘schmear (lord have mercy) with a bowl of steel cut oats and fresh fruit, and if your pants feel tight maybe pump the breaks on the afternoon cookie habit and swap in a handful of nuts. Mostly smart choices balance out all the wonderful things that make life worth living (see: afternoon cookie habits), and I find that my “checks and balances” system lets me enjoy eating real, delicious food without restriction, stress, or fuss. Because “diets” are seriously for the birds, no?
Other bits of (totally impertinent but perhaps entertaining?) “about me” trivia: I was born and raised on Cape Cod (yes, really), and spent the first 18 years of my life there, till I left to study fashion merchandising at Florida State University (go Noles!). After graduation I moved to New York City, and somehow managed to find myself on a stock trading desk at an investment bank. I was a finance geek for 6 years, and only left when James and I got married and up and moved to Boulder, Colorado, which was the first of quite a few big geographical adventures — NYC >> Boulder >> San Francisco >> Santa Barbara >> back to San Francisco >> back to Santa Barbara! I think we’ve finally found where we will feather our nest….for now anyway. When it comes to food, I’ll try anything and eat nearly everything, and really can only think of a couple of foods that I truly have an aversion to (believe it or not, one of those is chocolate ice cream). I adore Vietnamese cuisine, and could quite possibly survive solely on green papaya salad, bún chả, and fresh spring rolls. I love coffee, and while lattes and all that jazz sure are tasty, I prefer to keep it simple: a good full-bodied pour over with just a tipple of half and half. I like to say I don’t have a sweet tooth, but I’ll never (ever) turn down an afternoon sweets run – especially if it’s for a fresh doughnut, a boba tea, or any kind of flakey French pastry. I enjoy being up and on my feet and staying active, and I am trained barre instructor (I taught 8 classes a week throughout my first pregnancy!) and group fitness class lover (of really anything that doesn’t require dance-coordination….woof). I consider cheese an essential part of my diet, and the fact that my toddler already gravitates towards the stinkiest wedge on the platter makes my heart swell a size. I adore dogs, cats, and really all animals, and though I make a concerted effort to eat a very plant-based diet, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t often struggle with my choice to eat meat. I’ve dabbled with vegetarianism in the past…but I never manage to stick with it, and am not quite sure I could ever give up seafood (see: native Cape Coddah). I’m an avid user of the oxford comma, a recovering smiley emoji over-user (one day at a time….), one of “those” people who like pineapple on my pizza and fruit in my salad, and I’ll happily eat all the black jelly beans and let you have the red ones.
So pull up a chair – I’m so glad you’ve found your way here! Let’s sit and eat. Or chat. Or both! I’ll get the wine!
Photo credit: the immensely talented & lovely Rebecca Cafiero