Scientist by day, foodie at night
I am a scientist by day but avid foodie, baker and cook by night. Cooking is really home chemistry. If you can cook, you can do science. If you do science, YOU should know how to cook, in my opinion. I had a professor in my undergrad that told me once, "...you should never trust a scientist, who can't cook". I completely agreed with him on this one. Being a scientist is really cooking at the lab bench with chemicals. If you can follow a recipe and be creative, you can be a scientist. I often interview people and ask if they can cook or not. Most often the person is quite surprised at this question in an interview for a science job. But it usually ends up being true! Everyone that I work with are great cooks!
I love cookbooks!
I have a huge collection of cookbooks (upwards of 300, likely, if not more) that I get inspired by. I am a big fan of the The Good Cook book club. I am also inspired by the numerous food blogs (see my blogroll) that I read on a weekly basis. Epicurious.com is a mainstay in our household as well.
Camera and Lenses
I shoot my photos with a Canon Rebel XTi 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera. I absolutely love my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens. It takes great photos of food, if that's what you are looking to do. And it's relatively cheap. I got mine on Amazon.com for about $85. More recently, I just use my iPhone because it's easier.
I live and work in beautiful Madison, Wisconsin. One of the most amazing communities and environments that I have ever lived and worked in. I loved it so much, I moved back after a few years away. It is really my utopia. Madison is a special place and hard to tell others how great it is until you fully experience living here. But for now, most of us just keep it a secret.
My husband and I have a small plot of land where we farm in the summer. We've have had upwards of 40 tomato plants in our little plot, with 10-15 different varieties at a time. We now do a hot pepper, tomato, corn, onions and melon mix every year. Sort of a salsa or tomato sauce garden of sorts.
Eat Local & Community Supported Agriculture
We are also huge supporters of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and get a vegetable share every summer. Our local farm, Jen Ehr Farm, also has chickens, which are really fantastic. The fancy restaurants in our town, L'Etoile and Harvest, buy their chickens from them. I highly recommend both restaurants if you are ever in Madison. I am particularly fond of L'Etoile's cooking classes and Harvest's special events. The Italian White Truffle dinner at Harvest is to die for (NOTE: This dinner is every November...so be sure to reserve your tables ahead of time)!
My husband and I are also a huge fans of the numerous local restaurants in and around Madison (see a few at Madison Originals). Madison has more restaurants per capita than most cities in the United States. We almost never eat at franchised restaurants. After living in Madison, you will know why. I urge people to support your local economy and eat and buy local where ever you live!
Dane County Farmer's Market
And last, but not least, is the amazing Dane County Farmer's Market! One of the best in the country in my opinion! It is the largest producer-only market in the country. A trip to Madison is not complete unless you've been to the saturday market. Fresh cheese curds, garlic cheddar, smoked fish, bison jerky, flower, apple cider, asian veges, eggs and honey are not to miss! Bring your camera too as the market is an outstanding place for people and food spotting.
Feel free to email or comment on any recipe that I have posted. I'd be happy to respond to your requests! Happy Cooking! -Ahna (firstname.lastname@example.org)
How do you pronounce skop?
The skop in foodskop is prounounced like scope. Yes....like the mouthwash!