This blog has been in the works for quite some time now. I've been cooking and baking, much to my mother's dismay sometimes, for many years now, but until now I've never written about it. With my recent move from Michigan to Washington, DC, I really miss having the opportunity to cook and bake for family and friends. As a somewhat poor substitute, I've decided to start sharing my recipes with all of you.
One thing that you'll realize about the recipes that appear in this blog is that most of the time they won't closely resemble the recipe(s) that served as the basis for them. This is because I am extremely in favor of substituting ingredients when 1) you think something else would taste better in the recipe, and 2) you can make the dish healthier by substituting a different ingredient.
I originally started substituting ingredients in recipes when I would bake things as a child, mostly because I didn't have all the ingredients in the house. I suppose I developed a lack of respect for the written recipe over time. I realized that even after substituting multiple ingredients in, say, a muffin recipe, they could still turn out to be a delicious treat. I'll be honest and tell you that there were many "experiments" along the way that didn't turn out fabulous, but after years of learning how to maintain the proper proportions in recipes and which ingredients could successfully be substituted, I've developed a sense for which ingredients can be switched around and which ones need to be left alone.
While many people, including my fiancé, are content keeping their recipe repertoire pretty simple (Meatloaf on Mondays, Fish on Fridays, etc.), I'm the complete opposite. I rarely make the same recipe twice, unless it's really delicious to the point where I crave it regularly. It's not that I spend my days scouring cookbooks looking for something that I've never tried before (though I admittedly do that occasionally), but I like to take recipes that I've tried before and change them up to produce something new and different. Sometimes by changing a spice or replacing a vegetable (even because it's the only thing left in the freezer), you can produce something that's even better than the original recipe that you remember.
And so here is "Modern Vintage Cooking." This name comes from my original creative business pursuit, "Modern Vintage Detroit," where I took secondhand glassware and transformed it into new pieces of "upcycled" glassware with a completely new purpose. I like to think that my recipes embody that same spirit. It's not that I don't have respect for my grandmother's recipes, but lets face it - I'm not my grandma, I'm not cooking for a family of 7, and there are so many things that we know about nutrition now that our grandparents weren't concerned with in the 1960s. The truth is that I don't think that traditional recipes should be put on the shelf, but I don't think they should be blindly followed either. Recipes that stand the test of time can (and should) be reimagined to suit our modern lifestyles.
The goal of this blog will be to present recipes that I've developed as healthy meal options for modern cooks. I suppose my definition of a "modern cook" would be someone who seeks to cook meals that are healthy, eco-friendly, and ultimately delicious (there might be a picture of the prototypical "yuppy" next to this definition, but is that really so bad?). It's a lofty goal, but it's also one that leaves something to which we can aspire. So enjoy the recipes, continue to reimagine your old favorites, and let me know how it goes!