Thursday, 16 January 2014

Intro: part 1

Welcome


Welcome to my new Food blog: 'ChowAtHome' beginning now in January 2014.

I am not new to the blogging world; though I have been absent for some time now; it all feels new again!

'ChowAtHome: Homecooked chow with Zoe' is my second blog. I have returned to the blogging world to focus on two of my loves in life. Making food and eating it!

This food blog came about from my increasing interest and experimentation with baking and cooking over the past few years.

And also from increasing use of Instagram (IG)! I use this mobile app to share with, not just family and friends, but people from all over the world; photos of my food experiments and day-to-day eats. That's what I like about IG - I like how other people share my interest in food. And I like learning new things about food from other people. There's always something to inspire me! Food is universal. Even though I don't always understand the captions with the photo as it's in another language, I can get a lot from the photo itself!

I share my experiences and knowledge of home cooking and baking on IG. I also share recipes when followers request them and I've had requests of starting a food blog!

I've just hit 1000+ followers this month, which is something that I never thought would happen! Thank you for following and for all the likes/comments and Instalove!

All this resulted in the creation of this blog. Here, I get to share my recipes in more detail and delve deeper into my eats for all those interested.

You can follow me on instagram.com/zoetcm@zoetcm and view my hashtags: #zoetcbaking #zoetccooking #zoetcbreakfast #zoetclunch #zoetcsmoothie.

Where it all began


I remember one of the earliest things I baked was 6 years ago in early 2007. This time was significant as I had begun dating my boyfriend (now husband) Leigh in late 2006. I discovered early on that Leigh's favourite dessert was cheesecake. It's now mine too! Leigh's mam Sandra is a good home cook and baker. She often makes traditional English bakes such as quiche, corn beef pie and cakes. But she didn't make a cheesecake. Wanting to impress Leigh, I had a go at making a cheesecake for the first time for our first Valentine's. This was an American baked cheesecake and turned out alright.

Afterwards, I tried several other cheesecake recipes that I found online, with varying degrees of success, until I discovered and tweaked the ultimate cheesecake recipe: Butterscotch & Pecan Cheesecake with Oreo biscuit base. This is Leigh's favourite and a hit all the times that I've made it.


My signature cheesecake: Butterscotch & pecan
Engagement party, May 2010

Since my first home bake of a cheesecake, I tried making other things occasionally such as cookies, biscuits, cupcakes, banana bread and even whoopie pies.

I lived at home with my parents for the first 27 years of my life and only moved out when I got married in Summer 2012. Because I didn't have run of my own kitchen and my mum did all the cooking at home; I didn't bake or cook a lot.

When I got engaged in mid-2010, I was faced with the reality I would be finally moving out of the parental home (in just over two years)! I knew I would have to fend for myself! I became more interested in my mum's home cooking. I watched her whilst she was cooking, asking questions all the time, taking down notes and wrote up her recipes.

I tested out these recipes on Leigh and a few dinner parties I managed to host (whilst parents were out the house/away on holiday/working etc). This was a nice way to introduce my partner and friends to Chinese/Cantonese home cooking. For many it was an unique experience, which they really enjoyed! It's also good to build up a variety of cooking styles and a repertoire of dishes I can use for future dinner parties.


Chinese home cooking at parents' home
October 2010

Chinese home cooking at home
November 2013


Around the time when I got engaged, I started writing my wedding blog. My body/weight and relationship with food had never been an issue up until then. I just ate what I wanted and didn't give it a second thought. I weighed myself for the first time in years and realized that I had put on too much weight than I was comfortable with. I had put on one and a half stone since I first started dating Leigh 3 years earlier. I was the heaviest I'd ever been. I decided to use my wedding as a goal to lose weight. I joined a gym and started exercising regularly and eating more healthily. I experimented with green smoothies for the first time (which are surprisingly tasty and satisfying!) and took part in 'What I Ate Wednesday' (WIAW) a few times. I'm going to be joining back in with the WIAW party in this blog. You can see my two year journey to weight loss/healthy & happy body in my wedding blog.

Since moving out of the parental home and into my own, I have been baking a lot more and cooking all the time. Surprisingly, I didn't find moving out and adjusting to doing everything for myself that difficult. It wasn't trouble free but I found it to be natural, that it felt almost easy! I truly love having my own space and time spent in the kitchen is (mostly) a happy time! :-)

My home kitchen, January 2014

4 comments:

  1. Love your blog already...can see myself visiting it again. Well done!

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    1. Thanks for visiting and for your lovely comment :-)

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  2. Aw this is such a lovely post :) Also cheescake is by far my favourite dessert, I will have to try one you have made some time! Angelica x

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    1. Ah thanks Angelica. I'd make u my cheesecake if i could! Pleased we can keep in touch over social media :-) x

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