Caviar Dreams, Ramen Budget

From The Hairpin's collection of Women Eating Salad Alone While Laughing, one of my favorite Internet things

I am a girl who loves to eat.  If you ask me about my last vacation, I’ll tell you about every meal I enjoyed (beautifully cooked steak with a blue cheese sauce was the highlight.)  If you want to meet up with me after work, I’m going to suggest the place around the corner with the cheese tray to die for.  If you’re invited over for a party at my place, I’m pouring over cookbooks and online recipe databases to make you something delicious.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am nothing special in the kitchen.  I have 2-3 knock-out dishes and a small reserve of go-to standards that will impress anyone who has never seen people who are actually good at cooking do it.  But I love to cook – and I love when others cook for me.  In fact, I seem to select roommates based solely on food preparation prowess.  My shortest-lived cohabitation experience was with a girl whose culinary tastes began and ended with chicken nuggest and macaroni and cheese.

What can be most frustrating is the cost of cooking delicious, impressive meals.  One habit from my unemployed days that I still cling to is a deep aversion to paying exorbitant amounts of money at the grocery store.  If the ingredients for a single meal are going to cost me twice what the restaurant equivalent is, I’m throwing on some classy duds and heading for a night out.  I want it all – delicious, relatively-healthy (or ridiculously decadent – there’s no middle ground for me) food at a price that doesn’t make me consider turning tricks to fund it.

That’s where Big Girls, Small Kitchen comes in.  I stumbled across their blog a couple months ago and its become one of my favorite resources.  The girls create fun, easy, inexpensive recipes that are delicious and impressive, especially if cooking for that special someone.  They recently released a cookbook, available on Amazon, which is high on my want list, in case anyone is so inclined to send me a gift!  I’m always a little skeptical about cooking blogs that claim to be easy and inexpensive, but Phoebe and Cara really do understand the restraints of quarter-life cooking because they live it.

Peruse the site and choose a couple recipes to add into your repertoire – I’m looking forward to testing out the Inside-Out Squash Ravioli Pasta soon – and tweet me your favorite postcollegiate-appropriate food blogs.  A girl’s gotta eat!