While there is certainly no shortage of books and blogs out there boasting tips for feeding families on a budget, I can assure you that I am not trying to compete in that department. I am in my early twenties, and primarily only cook for my husband and I, but I love to buy, prepare, and enjoy delicious, quality ingredients that make me feel good about myself and the meals I serve. These recipes are not intended to feed a family of five for $5, but instead make having a date-night "in" as enjoyable and special as going out. We struggle with over-spending at restaurants every week, so this is a fun way for Dan and I to get in the kitchen, spend time together catching up on our days, and prepare a delicious meal together. I can assure you that I will: 1) Never post a 'recipe' for spaghetti. 2) Sometimes post unique, maybe even crazy, ideas I'm guessing some of you haven't tried. 3) Always make sure my recipes are flavorful, enjoyable, and easy on the world and your wallet. As far as being healthy- I believe the healthiest meals are the ones that consist of fresh, whole ingredients i.e. fresh cheese, real butter, pure sugar, whole produce (no fake, plastic, waxy, never-expires crap!)... so expect to use lots of those... your taste buds and belly will thank you!

 I am a self-proclaimed animal and earth lover, so I try to consume organically and economically as much as possible. I know that buying organic alternatives can seem daunting and impractical ('why pay $2 more for the same amount of food?') but for me, it's not really an option. We're called to be good stewards of our planet and that means growing and consuming in ways that minimize impact and waste. The bottom line is that as a society, we waste enough food everyday to feed the entire world. We have mega-super markets on every- other block packed to the brim with more food than any of us know what to do with. Not to mention the amount of pollution that is produced from factories, processing plants, trucks, and cargo ships that make it possible for those mangoes from Thailand to end up on a shelf in Colorado. Just because we have the ability to, doesn't always mean we should...m'right?

Ok, back on track: I try to buy organic and local ingredients as often as possible, but the one department I rarely compromise on: dairy. That means organic eggs, cheese, yogurt, milk, etc. that aren't produced by animals who are chained up inside of cramped factories and injected with growth hormones, antibiotics, steroids, and medications that ultimately end up in our bodies. Is it really a mystery that the biggest consumer of processed and packaged foods (the U.S.) also has the highest concentration of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer?! I think not. So yes, while I would encourage you to buy organic produce that isn't genetically modified (i.e. corn cross-bred with fish cells) to minimize the amount of harmful fertilizers, waxes, and chemicals that enter your body- I hope you will consider buying only organic animal products from now on...for the sake of all of our creatures, big and small.

Long. Story. Short. I love food. I love real food. I love whole food. I love fresh food. If you agree, I hope you'll enjoy my tasty, and thrifty, treats, tonight!