Hi there. I’m Rebecca. Professionally, I’m an editor and writer — currently you can find me as the Food Editor at Greatist.com and attending pastry school at Cambridge School of Culinary Arts here in Boston. I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking, but in the past few years have prioritized finding practical ways to fit it into my life.
I picked up bread making as a hobby while working from home a couple years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. There are few things I find more satisfying than punching down and shaping a batch of freshly proofed bread dough.
Here on The Practical Kitchen you’ll find recipes that are slightly harder than they look but definitely easier than you think. You’ll also find me sharing my favorite cooking and baking tips, product reviews, and techniques for fitting cooking and baking into your life in a way that doesn’t feel like a chore.
We all need to eat food, enjoying the process of making it just makes sense. I’m all about radical fat acceptance and body positivity, so you can also count on this being a space to talk about the joy of cooking, baking, and eating without any mention of calorie counts, fad diets, or meal points.
Mostly you’ll find me geeking out about my favorite practical techniques and tools to make it easy for you to incorporate a little bit of home cooking and baking into your daily life.
my cooking journey
A few years ago Jimmy and found ourselves completely tired of rotating through the same three recipes for dinner each night and didn’t have the budget to support a full-time meal delivery/take-out situation.
We also both really enjoyed cooking, and had been watching a lot of Cutthroat Kitchen and Worst Cooks in America, and were feeling inspired to hone our kitchen skills. So we subscribed to Cooking Light (RIP!), Bon Appetit, and Food Network magazine, picked up some interesting cookbooks at a used book store, stuck a weekly planning pad on the fridge, and started planning our cooking and grocery shopping in advance.
We weren’t sure if we’d stick with it for a few weeks or a few months, but we figured that no matter what we’d at least end up with a few new favorite go-to recipes to add to our usual rotation.
Today, we’ve added over 200 new recipes to our collection (which is loosely organized in a three-binder system which I’m sure I’ll explain #onhere eventually). Somewhere in the middle, I stumbled onto a recipe for bagels, gave it a try, and fell in love with baking. We’re both drawn to recipes for things that you wouldn’t often think to make — I’m partial to things like goat cheese and homemade bagels, Jimmy to hot sauce and ice cream. Our best recipes are those that combine the things we each like making individually, like Jimmy’s sous vide carnitas with my homemade corn tortillas.
We still do our weekly meal planning, only now we revisit old recipes as often as we try new ones. We’ve gotten a lot better about not wasting food, at knowing which ingredients we truly need vs which ones just take up space, and have figured out a way to integrate cooking and baking into our lives in a way that feels like a joy and not a chore. If you’re reading this, I hope to help you do the same.
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unpopular food opinions
When Jimmy and I first started dating over a decade ago, he ate chicken fingers almost exclusively. I had limited experience with pork, other than bacon and ham. Cooking has expanded our palates and brought so many new ingredients into our kitchen.
That said, there’s still certain ingredients we’ve tried and still don’t like, and since this is a food blog, it only makes sense that I lay out what you probably won’t find a lot of here:
- Actually, let’s just say pretty much all seafood except for canned tuna
- Mushrooms (we’re working on it!)
- Desserts with jellies and fruits in the middle