In the past few years I’ve become obsessed with all things food! Besides just eating all the food (>duh), I love creating new recipes and decided to create this blog to share them with you! So grab a glass of wine and join me on my cooking adventure!
Hi, I’m Melissa!
Growing up, I was a very, very picky eater. I won’t go near raw onions, but my original I WILL NEVER EAT THAT list consisting of peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, etc. are now some of my favorites! Sure I still need to very finely mince or grate onions into my meals (COOKED ONLY), but I’ve come a long way from only eating chicken and pasta.
I didn’t start my cooking adventure until after college, where ‘cooking’ to me consisted of boxed mac and cheese or frozen pizza. I decided once I graduated I needed to step up my kitchen game and broaden my food horizons, because boxed and frozen foods weren’t cutting it. So I started reading blogs and experimenting in the kitchen. Now, a few years later, I can maneuver around a kitchen with ease and I’m not afraid to try new things! (Except for raw onions, sorry can’t do it….)
In our house, not only do I love to cook, but so does my boyfriend, Mike. I really feel like I hit the lottery with that one, and frankly a lot of what I learned in the kitchen I learned from him. While I love a good recipe (as a guide or idea, for the life of me I cannot follow one exactly) and weekly meal plan, he loves just going with the flow and making it up as he goes along. It is almost like a challenge to him to create a meal with just the ingredients we have on hand.
Between these two cooking techniques, and not to mention feeding a meat-loving man and a onion-hating girl, if I were to say ‘we only make healthy, fresh meals’ or ‘we focus on easy, quick recipes’, I would be lying. Because honestly, we make it all! I love healthy, light meals on a hot summer day, but want a hearty, warm, giant plate of pasta mid-winter. Life is short, EAT THE PIZZA. So I guess what I am getting at is our food philosophy is we love almost everything! (Almost– because everyone has some type of limit, see onions above).
What we share on this blog are these ‘EVERYTHING’ meals that we actually love to make. It honestly occurred to me to start this blog as a way to track all of the ‘everythings’, because we rarely make a meal more than once. Because once we master it, we usually move on to the next one! So these are meals and recipes that we actually want to eat. They are not ‘curated’ just for a post. This is real food, we are eating everyday!
With that said, cooking is not a science (baking on the other hand – IS). What tastes AMAZING to Mike and I in our kitchen, may need more or less salt in yours. While this is a place for us to share our creations, our hope is to show you cooking is fun. Learn what you love, figure out what your style is, adapt to your own palate! Cooking is not as strict as baking and so it shouldn’t be stressful. It doesn’t need to be seen as, ‘let me just get this meal on the table so my family has nutrients and doesn’t die’. It should be seen as ‘I love taking all of this separate ingredients and creating a meal for everyone to enjoy.’
With the title of this blog being – Small Town Eats- an NEPA food blog, I have to touch on life in good ol’ Northeastern Pennsylvania.
I’m from Dunmore, PA, a small town right outside of Scranton, PA (yes, like The Office). I’ve lived in NEPA essentially my whole life, save for college at Penn State in Central PA (and studying abroad in Spain). While it may not be booming with the opportunity of big cities, it is definitely an underrated part of the country. It is an affordable place to live and is so close to a lot of the big cities on the east coast: 2 hours to NYC, 2 hours to Philly, 3.5 hours to Baltimore, 4 hours to DC. Yes, it is an old coal mining area, but there are some pluses too. While, we are an area KNOWN for our pizza (ordered by the tray, not pie), the area seems to be straying outside of our pizza roots with more and more cuisine options popping up. Besides just food, in the morning you can be in the city hitting the pavement shopping or having lunch, then in the afternoon you can be in the mountains skiing. I love it here, and would love to show the world (and all the haters) how great it can be.