Tuesday, January 1, 2008

About Me

My name is Debby, and I  live on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula of California.  I am married, and have a grown son.  I often refer to them as "my boys" or "my men".  They are my honest food critics, and very often my inspiration when I cook or bake. Like so many other bloggers, mine was originally started as a way to organize and share recipes with friends.

Over the last couple of years, my blog has evolved into a format of sharing step-by-step photos on how I made a recipe.  I'm so highly visual, that I hope my instructions will inspire someone to try one of my recipes-- and that it will give them the confidence to do it. Most of my German recipes were taught to me, by my "Mutti".  If I use a recipe from another cookbook, blogger or Food Network, I will always reference that. 

My cooking influences:
My mother's family owned restaurants, in Bavaria, for generations and she was an excellent cook herself. As a little girl, I always wanted to own an Easy Bake Oven, but, my "Mutti" insisted that I learn how to use a real oven.  That's where my love of baking got started.  I had to help my mom to cook for our family when I was as young as eight years old. At the time, I wasn't happy about it. Little did I know that, as I matured, I would grow to love being in the kitchen whipping up savory and sweet creations.

 Here I am, age 16 years old, in my mother's Bavarian Delicatessen & Gift Shop

My father was Latino, and I can recall childhood trips to my "Nana's" small ranch, where I'd watch her make homemade tortillas and refried beans.   Hence, I love both Mexican and German food. I adore Italian cooking, and am  learning how to make my own pasta. I'm at the infant stage of learning to make more Asian and Indian food, but I just keep trying new things.

My current style of cooking:
Over the last 10 years, I have eliminated buying most processed foods, high fructose corn syrup and mixes.  I admit, though, that sugar is something that has a home here. I love to make desserts, but I give a lot of it away-- after just a taste, that is. I've become more aware of where my food is grown, and how my animal proteins were raised. I am fortunate that I live in one of the richest agricultural areas on the planet-- the Salinas Valley of California.

To sum up my cooking--  most of my recipes are simple, unpretentious comfort home cooking. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I can figure out how to make ingredients, that I once bought at the grocery store-- things like homemade jams, BBQ sauces, pasta and bread-- and much more.  Once in a while, I like to challenge myself by trying to recreate a restaurant-quality meal that looks and tastes gourmet.

A fun opportunity to meet and briefly chat with Food Network's Celebrity Chef, Tyler Florence, at the Harvest Festival in Carmel Valley, 2009

Just jump in and do it:
I started this blog, in 2008, because I wanted to document how to make the German recipes that my mother taught me to make.  I learned them the same way her mother taught her-- by watching, and never measuring.  I have family members and friends, who would ask me for the recipes and I didn't have any written ones to share!  I've spent time "eyeballing" and then measuring the ingredients, so that I can share with my readers how to make some of our favorite dishes like "Austrian Goulash", or my mother's famous German Potato Salad.  I used to post recipes daily, then every other day.  Lately, I can only post on weekends, because my job keeps me busy and I don't have the energy to blog on work nights.

I aspire to achieve the level of photography that I see with some of the "Divas" of food blogger world.  I finally upgraded to a Canon Rebel T1I, in November of 2010.  It's a lot different than a point-and-shoot, and I have a lot more of the bells and whistles to learn.   I can't give any dazzling advice on photography, except that I've learned to never use flash when photographing food. I try to shoot with natural light, whenever possible. In the winter months, I have a professional light/stand that my husband has given to me on "permanent loan".  My food photos haven't been "styled"-- heck, no!  Usually, my family is hungry and I have to plate, shoot and serve as quickly as I can!

My food aversions:  I become frustrated with picky eaters.  Yet, I find that are a few things I simply don't like. Believe me, I've tried to overcome my aversions, and I won't give up. Still no luck in liking:
  • Goat cheese, though I keep trying different versions. No luck, still.  (my taste buds are turned off by the strong flavor)
  • Butternut or acorn squash (I've drenched this in honey and all kinds of herbs, but to no avail.) My palate still says "ew"  I will eat it, though, if I'm a dinner guest.
  • Liver. 'Nuff said (though I occasionally enjoy pate or liverwurst)
  • Watermelon (very un-American, I know).  My tastes buds say "why"? 
  • Garbanzo beans  (my taste buds say "boring" and funky texture)
  • Falafel (see above bullet)
  • Stuffing (very odd. I make great stuffing, but it does nothing for me. It must be  texture thing)
My food (and sometimes "guilty" pleasures - Things that I crave, indulge in or struggle to resist:


I owned 5 horses over a period of 35 years--A Quarterhorse, and then Arabians. I used to compete at horse shows, and later I became an avid trail rider.   As my horses became old, and finally went to the pasture in the sky, I didn't replace them. Finally, my last horse-- Savannah Sue-- became too old to ride.  She spent the last two years of her life living on a ranch and enjoying the retirement that she deserved. I lost her in June of 2010.  I miss her terribly, but my saddle and reins are put away for good.

My husband and I travel as often as we can. I was once a travel agent, for 15 years, and I've visited some exotic places from South America to Iceland.  I've visited very few parts of the United States, so that is where most of our travels tend to lead us.

Unfortunately, I am finding that my photos are being copied and used on other blogs. This makes my otherwise very cheerful personality, very unhappy. If you like my photo, and want to "steal it", so that you can use it on your own website, why not email me and ask if you can use it? I will usually say "yes", as long as you link the photo back to the blog post where you found it-- and please, do not remove my watermarks! This makes me very upset, and I will have no option but to report the photos and take legal action.
I share recipes so that others can enjoy them. I'm honored if you want to share a recipe that I posted, as long as you link back to me. Is that so hard? Some of my recipes are originals, others are from other sources-- and I always list the recipe source because this is common courtesy. But it you break the rules, this is also copyright infringement. Please don't make me "go there" if you steal my work.
Ask me, by emailing me at foodiewife@gmail.com
Thank you!

If I can answer any questions for you, my email contact is  foodiewife@gmail.com. 

Thanks for stopping by this page, and for reading!

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Anonymous said...

What a delightful bio-it was a joy to read.

Judy Malatras said...

Hi, I just found your site while searching for someone who has tried ATK's coconut cake, and I must say, I am so impressed. I love your site. I love that you are candid about reviewing the recipes. I have been eying that ATK strawberry cream cake, and after reviewing your comments, will make that next. I know I will be visiting your site often. Keep up the good work! Judy

Debby Foodiewife said...

Dear Judy,

Thank you so much for your kind comment. If I had an email for you, I wouldn't given you a personal response. I hope to see you come back soon.


Shawna Williams said...

Debby, loved your recipes and your story. My sister and I are hosting a BBQ Block Party-Linky Party on Thursday, May 23. We would love it if you would join us and bring some of your fantastic recipes.

Hope to see you there

Evapaprika said...

Really love your Blog! I have over 200 cookbooks & I've been cooking for nearly 30 years! I love the research & comments & have found the recipes you recommend to be outstanding! This will definitely be a reference point for me. My mother who's hungarian is an amazing cook & I learned many incredible recipe from her, I also love to cook Italian, Asian, Mediterranean & Mexican are my other faves. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

momofnine said...

Hi! I love your blog. The photos are terrific and I really enjoyed reading your "story." Thanks for sharing and I will be visiting and trying your recipes regularly.

Anonymous said...

Hi Debby,
I read about your knee replacement. After you're all healed and through with PT. You'll forget all about that pain and start wondering why you didn't do it sooner. It's the best thing I've ever done for myself. I wish you a speedy recovery!

Debby Foodiewife said...

Sorry, I've been on convalescence leave from my blog, for a few weeks. Thank you, all, for your comments. I'm doing much better, and am beginning to think I can start cooking again-- now that I'm more stable on my feet and with my new bionic knee! I appreciate your kind words.

Anonymous said...

Love the site and all the pictures. Also like how easy it is to find recipes. Glad to have found you.
-Visual learner!

Sondra Van Huss said...

Love your blog and have followed it with your newsletter for several years now. I ran a copy of your Chinese/Asian-Style Pork Loin which I plan to try soon.

One comment you made about your food "dislikes" gave me a chuckle - goat cheese! I like lamb but don't want that taste in my cheese!

Here's a suggestion, if you have not tried it already, buy organic dried chick peas, soak for a day, drain and treat like any seed you would want to sprout - rinse at least twice a day until you get a tiny sprout of 1/4" and then cook them. Drain. Saute in butter and garlic or lightly fry them and what a difference in taste! Love these guys and they are very versatile in many dishes.

Debby Foodiewife said...

Hi Sondra! Thanks for your nice words. To me, anything cooked in butter and garlic can't be bad (except, maybe, goat cheese...snicker). I'm sure I would like that recipe. I'm just not a fan of hummus, though. Eeek.

Anonymous said...

Hello from beautiful British Columbia, Canada - I notice in the "recipe index" (by category) that your creamy coleslaw salad is listed under "soups and stews" - i was cruising thru that category - soup is our fav meal any time of day) - and noticed this recipe in that category (ps - I tried the roast beef method - it works! I used a 5 lb top round "baron of beef" and I made "pan style" yorkshire pudding in the roast pan after removing the roast to "rest" (I line everything with parchment - and it's so easy to make this - no big mess - I'd sooner do this roast beef than a turkey, any day. Way less mess! (and no obligation to make soup - cannot make "obligation soup" ; ) I think in future, I am going to ask the butcher to put the salt and pepper pre-seasoning on the roast before he wraps it - we live in small town so he's willing to help like that. Love Steinbeck country - lucky lady you are. I will definitely come back to your website many future times.

Debby Foodiewife said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for pointing out the cole slaw misplacement. I edited that-- and thank you for your kind words.

Tracy N. said...

Hello Debby! It was a great joy to google German Potato Salad and find your blog. And I must say it was the best GPS that I have ever made. I cannot wait to explore more of your recipes. I do appreciate your style of trying to use the most organic food possible for each thing. I always find it a struggle to make dinners for the week and now I have a yummy source to work from.
Thanks, Tracy N.