About

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Cooking and writing play such a prominent role in my life. Storytelling is an inherent part of both of them. This is a home for the tales of personal growth through the lens of cooking and eating, universal human experiences, but unique to each person.

When the ephemeral smells, sounds and tastes of cooking have already been savored and committed to memory I’ll have this, for those who have taught me the joy of cooking, in the hopes of inspiring those whose own joy has yet to be discovered and for all of those who appreciate good food.

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But like, who are you? I want stats. I won’t judge or compare. Maybe just hate-read your blog for a while. Okay fine, I’m going to judge you.

You do that too? That’s totally unhealthy, unless it fuels personal growth. Then judge away and rise to the occasion. Though, I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve “hate-read” thinking “this is totally disingenuous” and then found myself falling for them. It’s a slippery slope. Anywhose, stats. My name is Amanda, I’m in my early 30s and when I am not in the kitchen I practice as a lawyer at a big firm in NYC. I have a degree in creative writing and I am so grateful to have found a place to put it to good use. I have a passion for language, cultures, music and literature and come from a long line of wonderful cooks. My mother, mother-in-law and grandmother taught me how to cook. What’s Cooking is my attempt to turn a love for cooking, writing and photography into something I can share.

Tinga de Pollo Tacos

Seriously? How do you have time for everything? And doesn’t corporate culture crush your spirit?

Originally, I thought I would have to compartmentalize all the facets of my life, but I’m finding they’re not terribly incompatible (a double negative feels more accurate than the affirmative). All of that corporate nonsense is actually made up of pretty interesting people. After work, being in the kitchen or going to the gym actually grounds me. Simple kitchen work calms me. I try to make everything in under an hour, even if that means doing it in phases. Or taking a shower while things are in the oven, going to the gym as the bread rises. I work hard, but my ambitions have shifted. I was never interested in climbing the corporate ladder so much as learning. But now, I want to spend time doing what moves me. Whatever it may be. We’re all just a bunch of imperfect people doing our best to live an imperfect life with a semblance of grace. Whenever there’s an opportunity to learn, I try to take it, in any field. Also, I’ve embraced the idea that I’m not the best at anything I do, other than at being me. And even sometimes that needs work.

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What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during the process of making this site?

It’s been a really cool journey. The community I’ve met has been one of the most rewarding parts of it. But I’ve also learned the history of regional, seasonal and cultural foods. The day I started this site coincided with the day I got my first table. Our old apartment was a 5th floor walk-up so small that we could only fit folding trays and eat sitting side by side on the couch. When I had my first few meals at our table, I actually shed a tear. What I’ve discovered here is the table as center of relationships. The table as the place that feeds you. Food as a form of art and beauty, comfort, strength and skill. I’ve discovered the meaning behind finding and creating sustenance where you are, and then sharing it, which in turn makes where you are all the more welcoming.

Best Salad Ever

The Web Address

What’s with your web address? Is that even English?

Ser Cocinera means “to be a cook” in Spanish. Everyone said to be careful when choosing a web address because you’re kind of stuck with it, but do I listen? I also had no idea that this site would become a second home to me. The blog is called “What’s Cooking,” but I’m stuck with a Spanish URL that doesn’t match the name. Awesome. Typical. I’m surprised you even found my site.

Why?

Well because I’m not quite savvy enough to fix it, I haven’t mastered web SEO and I’m saving my pennies to pay off my law school loans, if you must know.

No, I meant why Spanish in the fist place?

Oh. My husband’s family is from Colombia and I have a love of Spanish and Latin American food, culture, language etc. My mom speaks Spanish. I speak Spanish. In fact, the market in the banner on the homepage is in Barcelona. While I cook from many different cultures, I’ve had my eye on expanding my Spanish and Latin repertoire. However, the further I go into this little adventure the more cultures and traditions of cooking I fall in love with. I’d even venture to say I can bake a little now.

Olive Oil Cake

Anything else you feel like sharing?

Only that I grew up in a small upstate New York farm town. It’s actually the onion capital of New York and provides a huge percentage of onions to the US in general. Warwick does mostly storage onions, but sometimes you can find a sweet vidalia onion during a very short season and I’ll eat it raw like an apple. I grew up weathering black dirt storms from the miracle dirt, which I think has become a part of me now. Every year there is an onion harvest festival and and apple festival. It’s a town that moves with the seasons. I miss it dearly when I’m in the city for too long.

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Las Fotos

I like your photos. What do you use to take them? How did you learn?

I’m still trying to improve. I learned by trial and error, reading, talking to people who like photography and drooling over Pinterest. I really should learn how to use Instagram, but social media scares me. Ironic for a blogger, I know. I want more props, time and precious natural light, but alas, you really can’t have it all. I take all of the photos on this site with my Nikon DSLR 5100 with a Nikkor 50mm f1/8 now. Up until December 2014 I used the Nikon kit lens.

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Whoa, is that your kitchen?

Ha. I wish. That’s in a house I rented with girlfriends for a weekend. This is my kitchen.

How can I get in contact with you? 

If you have any questions regarding any of the content here please leave a comment here, email me at Amanda.Whatscooking[at]gmail[dot]com or on my Facebook page. I’d love to hear from you. Keep experimenting! Buen provecho!

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93 thoughts on “About”

  1. cookingwithsapana said:

    Hi..thanks for dropping at my blog and liking my post.
    You also have a lovely blog!
    Keep blogging!

    • Thanks! Your blog is great. I love Indian food and some things are so good I really believe they were made by magic. Now I know there are recipes 🙂

      • cookingwithsapana said:

        Thanks! I would love to learn your veggie recipes as I am vegetarian.
        Keep blogging!

  2. i am loving your blog. just not watching the video with you and nigella. how awesome!

  3. I love your blog! Us new bloggers need to stick together 🙂 That’s why I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award: http://pocketfulofsugar.com/2013/03/22/liebster-award-embracing-new-bloggers/ Have fun with it!

  4. ciao! luvFAB blog.
    thebestdressup

  5. Hi there,

    I am pleased to inform you that I have nominated you for Versatile Blogger Award.Check it out here at http://whipadish.wordpress.com/my-awards/

    Congratulations and keep on blogging!

    Maureen

  6. Beautiful blog … so well-done 🙂

  7. TY 4 stopping by my YT channel. And TY for the comment. I love your blog!

  8. Congratulations! You have been awarded: 7 x 7 Link Award!
    I do not expect any action to be taken, or for you to generate a post, unless you wish to pass on the award nominations. Your blog has been awarded at:
    http://faestwistandtango.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/awards-april-2013/
    This one is a fun award check it out!
    Enjoy the Award! 😀 Fae.

  9. Joseph Michael said:

    Love your recipes!!

  10. Congratulations Abrooke65! You have been awarded: Shine On Award
    I do not expect any action to be taken, or for you to generate a post (unless you wish to pass on the award nominations). Nevertheless, your blog has been awarded at:
    http://fae-magazine.com/2013/05/29/awards-may-2013/
    Enjoy the Award! 😀 Fae.

  11. Congratulations Abrooke65! You have been awarded:
    Awesome Blog Content (ABC) Award
    I do not expect any action to be taken, or for you to generate a post (unless you wish to pass on the award nominations). Nevertheless, your blog has been awarded at:
    http://fae-magazine.com/2013/06/28/awards-june-2013/
    Enjoy the Award! 😀 Fae.

  12. Hi Amanda,
    I just wanted to say I have loved reading your blog and all of its diverse recipes! I’ve nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award and look forward to seeing more of your recipes :). Check the award out at: http://theafterschoolchef.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/kreativ-blogger-award-thank-you-tastytreats13/

  13. Que blog mas bonito que tienes! And what a great mix of cooking and cultures in your life 🙂 Am off now for a better look around.

  14. Thank you for following my blog.

  15. Congratulations! You have been awarded:
    Best Moment Award
    Sunshine Award
    I do not expect any action to be taken, or for you to generate a post (unless you wish to pass on the award nominations). Nevertheless, your blog has been awarded at:
    http://fae-magazine.com/2013/08/15/award-august-2013/
    Enjoy your Awards! 😀 Fae.

  16. Congratulations! You have been awarded: Very Inspiring Blogger Award
    I do not expect any action to be taken, or for you to generate a post (unless you wish to pass on the award nominations). Nevertheless, your blog has been awarded at: http://fae-magazine.com/2013/09/18/award-september-2013-and-i-will-be-going-on-a-trip/
    Enjoy your Award! 😀 Fae.

  17. Hey, thanks for stopping by my space. I love what you’re doing with your blog here. Very informative and interesting. Following you now.

  18. I’m glad you liked the veal stewed with white beans, thankgs for visiting my place. We`ll keep in touch as I`m already following your place Amanda. Have a nice day ;).

  19. Congratulations Amanda! You have been awarded:
    I’m a part of the WordPress Family Award
    I do not expect any action to be taken, or for you to generate a post (unless you wish to pass on the award nominations). Nevertheless, your blog has been awarded at: http://fae-magazine.com/2013/10/29/award-october-2013/ … Or, after one month at: http://fae-magazine.com/awards/2013-blog-awards/
    Enjoy your Award! 😀 Fae.

    • Thank you, Fae! As always it’s so wonderful to receive recognition by such a wonderful andwarm cook like yourself with such sophisticated content. Thank you!

  20. Hi Amanda! I love your blog and have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award and another Blogger of the Year Award. Here’s my post in case you’d like to participate & pass on the recognition: http://theseasonedtraveler.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/thanks-giving/comment-page-1/#comment-314
    Congrats!

  21. Congratulations Amanda! You have been awarded:
    – 3 stars ☆ ☆ ☆ for Blog of The Year 2013 Award
    No pressure, it is all up to you to pay it forward. You have been awarded at:
    http://fae-magazine.com/2013/12/02/awards-december-2013/
    … Or, after a month, look for it
    here >> http://fae-magazine.com/awards/2013-blog-awards/
    Enjoy your Awards! 😀 Fae.

  22. first off, i should say that i love the variety of recipes on your blog. i particularly enjoyed your post about blinchiki (a personal favorite of mine as a young dude with a russian dad).

    but far and away, your photos are where your blog shines. i love how you include photos of the dish in a variety of different angles. glad i stumbled upon your blog when wandering aimlessly through the blogosphere. i’ll be back for sure.

    • Misha, Thank you for such a beautiful comment. I’m touched. I’m really glad you stopped by. It’s not always you get that kind of validation and encouragement for a labor of love. I will be stopping by your blog too. Thanks again. A

  23. Hi Amanda, have a look I’ve nominated you for the WordPress Family Award ♡
    https://shivaaydelights.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/dragons-loyalty-sunshine-wordpress-family-awards-%e2%98%86%e2%98%86%e2%98%86/

    I very much appreciate you!
    Love D x

  24. Hi Amanda! Love your beautiful blog, I think we are similar in lots of ways… I studied creative writing at uni and completely 3 years of a law degree before I dropped out (I couldn’t imagine myself being a lawyer). I now work in counseling and social work at a hospital and blog/write in my spare time. Thanks for sharing these recipes and stories with us. Looking forward to reading more from you next year! xx

    • Oh wow! I wanted to go into psychology! Here 3 years is all it takes after college so maybe you would have been a lawyer, though social work is a great field. We really do have a lot in common. I can’t wait to check out your blog! Happy New year!

  25. Hi Amanda you are having a lovely blog! ❤ 🙂

  26. you had me at persian, beautiful photography, look forward to reading more

  27. Hi Amanda nice to meet you through the Fiesta Friday.! Your chicken kebab post got me here.! Your recipes and your pictures look outstanding!

  28. Hi Amanda, my name is Brendon and I am a writer and food stylist based in Sydney, Australia. I just came across your blog through the links on WordPress. Great photographs! Can’t wait to read more from you 🙂

  29. Buen provecho to an amazing chef and photographer (and super lawyer on the side, I’m sure). 🙂

  30. Hi, Amanda! Looking forward to cooking with you for this month challenge. What a nice blog you have. Will definitely come back to explore. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  31. Beautiful blog! Your recipes and pictures looks great! Will come back to explore more:) Olga from “Oceanviewkitchen”

  32. Hi Amanda. I stopped by because of a mutual blogging friends’ recommendation (foodisthebestshitever) and, I’m glad I did. I look forward to reading more from you !! Stay hungry !! 🙂

  33. Hi Amanda. I think we are very similar. I am 32 and I did a creative writing MA two years ago and I obviously love cooking as well. It is lovely to get to know you better. Stay in touch. Emma.

    • No way, really? Fiction has been so difficult for me and so I figured I would do this as a creative outlet until I decide or the moment arises where my path is a little more clear. There’s a lot of pressure to write, but when you have to support yourself and you’re not getting published, it’s frustrating. I’m lucky to be in NYC where I go to readings, workshops etc, but now I’m really just enjoying this wonderful food experience! Have you been writing?

  34. Ummey @notbikiniready said:

    Hey!

    I have nominated you for the versatile blogger award, wonderful team member readership award, the wordpress family award, and the liebster award 😊 I know it’s a lot to take but there is no pressure to participate but do check it out! Thanks 😊 ❤️ https://notbikiniready.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/blog-awards/

  35. Hi Amanda, I just wanted to say that I peaked around your blog today and I greatly enjoyed reading it.

  36. Great post! I love your writing style.

  37. Amanda! I love this! I read every bit of it and seriously…I am even a bigger fan now. 🙂

    • Oh, Seana. You are too kind. I love hearing from you and look forward to it. It’s so rare to get just genuine support. I also love the way you cook. You made my evening 🙂

  38. Fig & Quince said:

    Aha, you’ve pulled back the curtain a bit, Amanda. Love the new updated page! Thank you for sharing. I still want to know more but that’s because I’m a nosey fan! heh heh

  39. Love your blog. Your recipes are great and the pictures are beautiful! Definitely want to read more.

  40. Hey Amanda, I don’t now if I’ve ever commented on your About page before, but yes, I knew it, I knew that the photo in the header was from Barcelona! So distinctive 🙂 Besos

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