How many of you were inspired to start a food blog after watching the movie Julie and Julia?👈🙋♀️ I watched it several times while living in Argentina and eventually thought to myself…why can’t I do that?💭🤔 I love to eat, cook and write. Only, what would my perspective be? I’ve never eaten French food and Julia Child’s show aired a little before my time. I’m more of a Food Network kind of gal. Self doubt set in as I realized that I’m just a home cook still fumbling through recipes that can turn out hit or miss.🤷♀️
Yet, at the time I was living in a foreign country embracing culinary obstacles on a daily basis. I had to learn what foods to shop for, how to translate instructions, how to use foreign cooking equipment and routinely convert oven temperatures and measurements. I related to Julia’s plight to expand her kitchen repertoire by adopting her new country’s cuisine and style. I also channeled Julie’s motivation to document her emotional journey with a self imposed culinary challenge. Suddenly the dots started connecting and boom: Mood Ring Kitchen was born.💬💥👩💻
I truly love blogging. It comes naturally to me as an over analyzing, psych major, list making foodie. I am obsessed with food and constantly fantasize about ingredients, recipes and restaurants that I want to try. For me, cooking is a constant adventure no matter where I am. However, it’s not always easy preparing food, taking pictures, writing and posting with a toddler in tow but we make it work. She loves to eat and try new things. She also enjoys sampling and stirring my latest creations.
So, how can I pay homage to Julie and Julia? I know my limitations and am not currently equipped to tackle authentic French cuisine. Although, I can highlight my style of French cooking in the list below: convenient, affordable and “Americanized.” Before you freak out, know that A). This post is meant to be tongue in cheek B). I made many dishes from scratch while in Argentina, therefore👉 C). Feel entitled to a few shortcuts 😓👍🤪
French bread pizza: This is a classic dish that my family often enjoys for a quick, tasty lunch. Red Baron, featured above, offers quality for a good price. The bread comes out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The sauce is vibrant and peppery. The pepperoni is cut into little wedges that you can evenly distribute around the top. You can also customize it by adding veggies, extra cheese or other meats to it. I especially love banana peppers on pizza.
French fries: Who doesn’t love French fries? There are plenty of good frozen varieties out there. Even Checker’s and Arby’s even offer their famous fries in the frozen food aisle. However, homemade is best. I like thin cut pieces. I simply slice up a few baking potatoes, let the strips soak in a large bowl of water for half an hour, pat them dry and fry in vegetable oil until gold and crispy.
French toast: A slightly sophisticated choice for breakfast that both adults and kids love. I sprinkled powdered sugar on the French toast and added some sliced banana.
French onion soup: I warmed up a tin of Campbell’s French onion soup, melted shredded mozzarella over the top and dusted it with bread crumbs and dried thyme. It’s always good to have a can handy when you’re feeling ill. The strong flavor of the onions helps to cut through any weakened taste buds.
French bread: A load of French bread is so classy. You can do a lot with it and it only costs a dollar. You can use it for sandwiches, to make pizza, dunk in soup or simply enjoy it with your favorite cheese. If it gets a little stale, you can cube it up and make croutons to enjoy with soup or salad.
French cheese plate: I could live off cheese alone so I would certainly survive in France. I selected a honey Chèvre goat cheese for this post and paired it with green olives, strawberries and fig preserve. The cheese is just creamy, tangy perfection. It only needs the slightest bit of fig jam for a little pop of sweetness. The briny olives and tart strawberries offer contrasting notes for the palette to savor.
French vanilla coffee: The aroma of French vanilla coffee filling the kitchen really gets my day off to a good start. I also like to use French vanilla creamer in strong coffee which is a good counterbalance of sweet creaminess with Arabica beans.
French onion dip: I love this dip. I grew up eating Barber’s party dip with Ruffles chips. I had some Lipton French onion soup mix in the pantry and just mixed it with sour cream per the recipe on the back. Yum! I plan to caramelize onions one day and make the dip from scratch but I’ll save that for another post. Until then, I’m kicked up in my fuzzy socks enjoying my easy “French” food.👩🎨 Thanks for reading and Bon apetit!✌️💜🍴
Mood Ring Kitchen
I’m a self teaching home cook and aspiring foodie entrepreneur. I enjoy coming up with creative ways to prepare flavorful food such as snacks, desserts and everything in between. Cooking is a way for me to challenge myself and satisfy curiosities about different ingredients.
The hope is to produce something thoughtful, memorable or every once in a while maybe even wonderful. I enjoy following my “gut” and exploring new recipes that can be comforting, exciting and nourishing. Above all else, I enjoy exploring the emotions surrounding food and writing about those experiences. 😝👩🍳👩💻