My name is Kimberly, I'm just 2 weeks shy of turning 32, and live in Sacramento, California, the capital of the greatest state in the country (some may argue with me on this, but if you're a California native or have spent enough time here to savor the flavors, sights, and sounds of this incredible state, you will SO agree with me). I'm originally from the Bay Area, San Jose to be exact, and hope to return to the Bay someday, preferrably to San Francisco (if I can manage to live there without selling my spleen). However, Sacramento is not without its many high points food & entertainment-wise, which I hope to highlight often in the future. I work a day job that I can't say is my dream job but is definitely a learning experience, and the economy being what it is now, will probably be getting a second job very soon. With this in mind, I hope to be able to update PGEW as often as I can..... call it an exercise in follow-through, but it's really more the joy of seeing my work online.
I grew up surrounded by food and everything that comes with it. Both my parents were in the restaurant business for as long as I can remember, my mother primarily in catering & management, my father in hotel & restaurant management. I'm a little biased, of course, but they are both two of the best cooks I will ever have the pleasure of knowing, and I look forward to incorporating some of their recipes & techniques here from time to time. Our favorite family pastime (besides irreverent people watching) was definitely restaurant-hopping, trying new & different places for the simple enjoyment of the food, company, and experience. Coming from a Latin American background - my mom is from Cali, Colombia, my dad from San Salvador, El Salvador - food is definitely an important part of our culture & daily life, and some of my fondest memories are of me with my mom in the kitchen, or watching my dad as he would concoct one of his many inspired creations (only he wouldn't let me help.... he was always in charge if he cooked).
So it's with great pleasure, love, and a little experience that I bring my versions of delicious food to everyone. But what makes this site different? Why should you stop by & visit when there are so many incredible food blogs out there?
I'm the first to admit that I'm not the best financial manager. I'm getting better and really have improved certain bad habits, but because of a job that doesn't pay as much as I wished it would and the uncanny ability to have Murphy's Law apply to me ALWAYS, I don't always live my life the way I feel I deserve to. Aside from living on my own w/o human roommates (there are always the cats), I live very humbly, wishing I could do more but always enjoying the little I have. I truly believe that my philosophy of always eating well no matter how tight things get money-wise helps me do that. Food is at the root of many cultures' social & economic structures, bringing together family & friends, making new friends out of strangers, creating work & industry where there was once none. I figure something this fundamentally important might as well be enjoyed to its fullest potential, and that is what I do everyday.
It's not just about eating for less, it's about eating well for less. I don't care if I'm working with a pack of ramen noodle soup, if I have something else to add to it and can get a little creative, I'm going to do it. Mind you, this results in some rather unorthodox food combinations, but that's how things like pesto and guacamole came about anyway. On this site I hope to feature tasty, relatively easy to prepare meals that will make you seem like a pro without having to take out a 3rd or 4th mortgage. I literally live paycheck-to-paycheck and sometimes even not that well, so there are times that I don't get the chance to eat what I might be craving at the time; but with a little inspiration & creativity, great food can happen. Everything I feature will be made from regular, everyday things that you should be able to find just about anywhere, with a few fun, exotic additions for variety. You don't have to be the most gourmet chef out there to learn how to combine ingredients in a way that makes you happy, and that's a key thing to remember. I happen to be rather good at cooking, thankfully, but what I post should be something anyone can make. I also plan to feature tips on how to shop on a ridiculously small budget ($25 or under!!!) and still have something better than just mac & cheese (which I adore and will probably feature here as well).
I look forward to sharing some of my own creations as well as those tried & true recipes from other books, sites, and people, that I could never live without. It's time to get back to my Parmesan cheese grating which will probably be used in something later today. Stay tuned for my first recipe posts, and once again, WELCOME!!! I look forward to getting to know you all. And remember, just because you don't make much doesn't mean you have to be stuck with the 99-cent value menu at your local fast food restuarant. You, too, can eat real, GOOD food!