Ladies and Gents, Ready Your Forks 

Being that I'm a professional illustrator, I went to art school. Predictably it was a lesson in "what's the cheapest and fastest ways to eat?" The "starving artist" thing isn't a cliché. I spent my entire undergrad breathing and bleeding art... and eating a ton of ramen. Or Hot Pockets. Lean Cuisine. Tiny Costco pizzas... Wendy's value menu. You get the picture.

 I'm a sissy and can only handle literally three drops of hotsauce on my avocado. And that's AFTER training for it!

I'm a sissy and can only handle literally three drops of hotsauce on my avocado. And that's AFTER training for it!

Graduate school brought me a whole new dilemma-- I'd learned a bit about cooking and food, but now had absolutely zero money in San Francisco, one of the most expensive cities in the world. I legitimately could not afford to buy or cook meat in my postage stamp sized apartment, so I had to get creative with vegetarian meals I could cook en masse and eat the leftovers for two weeks. So, you know. Rice. Lots and lots of rice.

 One of my more creative attempts at using up my Thanksgiving  leftovers this past year.

One of my more creative attempts at using up my Thanksgiving  leftovers this past year.

So now I'm an "Adult." Or so says my driver's license. I've since learned at least some basic-plus (that's when you're one step past basic, but definitely not intermediate) cooking skills, and have come to appreciate better food than my academic career might indicate. I've also entered an age decade that begins with "3" and just gotten married. That's about the most adultiest-adult thing you can do besides paying taxes.

We got tons of great kitchen gear from our amazing family and friends, and as I was reading the very complicated instructions on how to season our new wok I thought, "Wow, I really wish I knew more about food so I feel like I can do this thing justice."

And thus was born this new little side project of mine: refining my palate. Learning to cook better, learning to define tastes better. What spices can I use besides just basil, salt, and pepper? What sort of flavor goes well with another? What IS the best way to cook a steak? Why is it that you have to tie a turkey's legs together?* Only, as I'm an artist, it isn't just going to be a side hobby-- no. It'll also be an illustration expedition as well.

Maybe one day when I publish a giant coffee table book of my food art, I'll have to call it Refining My Palette. I am NOT sorry for that pun.

Anyway, you'll be seeing all sorts of food art here now, so I hope you're hungry!

*Oh yes hungry reader, I, along with my husband, was in charge of cooking the 23 pound turkey for Thanksgiving this year. We had absolutely no idea what we were doing... but somehow the thing turned out delicious and no one died from undercooked poulty. Whew. Skin of our teeth on that one...