About Me

So, you really want to know about me?

Ok, I’ll enlighten you. My name is Linda. I was born and raised in the city of Derby in the UK. I relocated to Greater Seattle in 2006, where I now reside with  my baby cat, P and foster cat, B and boyfriend, A.

I’m a research scientist by trade, where I’ve been involved in studying and working in chemistry, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry and physics. However, despite my endless (22) years of schooling, one of my favorite places to be in is the kitchen… creating!

I was a fat child, a very fat child… and weird enough, the only fat child out of four! It wasn’t that I didn’t exercise, I did – I was in the school’s netball team, and played table tennis like a nutter… I was just a fat child. I continued my fat childhood into an overweight adult. In my early twenties I slowly started to change my diet, I ate more fruit, vegetables, whole grains and eliminated all processed foods. The only form of exercise I could fit in was the 7-mile (11.25 km) walk to and from work every day. This was how I managed to lose 50+ lbs (22.75 kg or 3 stones 7 lb)  and I’ve been stable for ~10 years. I now walk, run, play tennis, practice yoga and ride my bike on a regular basis.

I’m a firm believer that there’s no quick fix pill that will make you lose weight, neither is there a diet that will work for you long-term. The only way that you can lose weight and keep it off is if you completely change your lifestyle, and educate yourself about nutrition. I cook (from scratch) almost every day of the year, planning my meals to ensure that I get a nutritionally balanced diet. I’d like to think that I have a-healthier-than-average diet, that’s not to say that I don’t deny myself of “treats” from time to time (as this blog will show).

I love food – cooking it, looking at it, smelling it and of course eating it! I’ve been involved with food, as soon as I was knee-high to a grasshopper. My family has busied themselves with family-run eateries, and as Po’s dad said “…broth runs through our veins”. I’ve been the deputy catering director at Whole Foods, owned a catering company and worked at allrecipes.com.

I have many influences on what I cook – being of Chinese descent, and born in Europe has given me a huge canvas on which to paint pot in which to cook. I absolutely love Asian food (yes, that does include Southern Asian), but Mediterranean food is on the same par. I’ve also recently discovered that I have a taste for Ethiopian food too!

Unfortunately, I have developed numerous food allergies since moving to the US. Due to my allergies, I’ve taken an interest in vegan baking and buy almost everything organic. In Europe, buying organic was ludicrous – it was overpriced and made no sense. The Foods Standard Agency (FSA) and the European Union (EU) regulations appear to be pretty stringent in what foods they deem safe.

Additional development: in February 2013, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease which attacks healthy thyroid tissue. Since then, I have not eaten gluten. Long story cut short, gluten starts an immune response in my body, and my body attacks my thyroid. Not good, if you want a healthy functional thyroid. You can read more about my travels with Hashimoto’s here. I have also stopped eating mammalian meat, dairy, soy and refined sugars. The likelihood of me eating gluten and meat again is very very slim, but there is a slight chance I will go back onto dairy at a later stage.

Putting my food obsession aside, I also love the theatre, World travel, writing, hiking, biking, cats, reading, photography, listening to music, playing badminton, tennis, Scrabble, Xbox, working out and snorkeling.

Why this blog? I’ve had a private blog for numerous years now and I think it’s time that it went public. I’d like to share with you my kitchen creations (and maybe some of my disasters), so that you can enjoy them too.

[updated November 2013]

19 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I think your website/blog is, in a nutshell – Amazing! Your photographs are brilliantly done, presented well and every single recipe looks simply divine! I also love the fact that you have included recipes from around the world including options for those with dairy and gluten intolerances. Thanks for the mention of deshigrub.com in your blogroll. I’ll be sure to give you a mention too!

  2. I just found your main blog here through your erstwhile side project at Blogspot. I think you have a very thoughtful (and intriguing) blog due to your eclectic experiences and interests; a number of which I can identify with personally, and others from which I can learn.

    I like being able to see the “update edits” you’ve made in this section. I think it’s a good device by which to convey changes in your life (both within and without) without obliterating “that which was” in the past, (but the experience of which also helped bring about “that which is” now).

    Cheers

    • Hi E. PentWeazle, Thanks for visiting. I also find the “update edits” useful, because it does explain the before and after. It did exist, and now I’ve moved on. But it is, and will still be important in the future. All of these experiences have molded me into the person I am today, and I’m grateful. Continue your cooking and enjoying food :).

  3. Thanks, you’ve helped forward my cooking and enjoying food by allowing your other blog to continue; I was looking for a recipe for Ontbijtkoek, Honigkoek, Peperkoek, Oudewijvenkoek or even Kruidkoek, and yours came up in my search. I was hoping to bake some this weekend for Monday (Dec. 5), along with some other specialties….

    Speaking of which, have you experienced the Marina Market in Poulsbo? Even though the town has a Scandinavian theme, the market specializes in Dutch products (including “drop”), and also English, German, well I guess European in general.

    • Hi E. PentWeazle, I’m hoping to bake some Taai Taai and speculaas brokken or gevulde speculaas in the near future, maybe this weekend (although I’m sure my mother-in-law has sent some in the parcel I received yesterday).

      No I’ve never heard of Marina Market until you mentioned it. It sounds absolutely fabulous. I will definitely be eyeballing what’s in their online store this weekend. Thanks!

  4. Lucky you, to have such a caring mum! Just in time too! The only reason I mentioned the Marina Market is that you’d mentioned a Dutch shop over on Whidbey Island…MM’s online presence is helpful (and I certainly understand working up the necessary motivation to travel for food–I have a hard time wanting to cross a freeway just to go to my favorite German deli/shop!)

    I discovered the taai taai recipe over at the Dutch table, what a fantastic recipe resource–can’t wait to try making those! I’ve only had commercial versions so far, (the first ones came from near Lynden, acually), where I discovered another Dutch food imports resource, (some years ago).

    • I think it’s great that you’re motivated to keep your bio up to date, and I still think using strike throughs are a unique way of maintaining a certain sense of continuity. Sometimes full-scale editing is simply required, however–hope it wasn’t too painful!

  5. Dear Linda, I have little caffe in Sydney, I lost my recepie for hotcross buns, I thank you so much for yours, looking forward to your future adventures Love and Peace to all who cook from heart

  6. Hi Linda
    Have just stumbled on your website after looking for a recipe for onion bhajis. I have read your “about me” blog and was interested to read that you are originally from Derby. I live just down the road in the city of Lichfield. Do you miss Derby? I was there last year and enjoyed a lovely day there shopping and enjoying a lovely old fashioned lunch in I think it was Brown’s (equivalent to is it Rackhams) you will remember it I believe it has been there a very long time. It was lovely because everything was served in a very traditional way with the table being swept before tea was served. Anyway I will now go and try your recipe for onion bhajis and will think of you while we enjoy them.

    Many thanks

    Sue

  7. Hi Linda,

    like Sue above me I found your blog per chance (searching for a recipe) and love it – I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease app. a year ago and had always a liking for vegan recipes. I’m not vegan and I think I’ll never be, but I guess radically reducing animal products is still a good way of life, not only for your health but also for ethical and environmental reasons.

    On the other hand I love my honey and guess that organic honey from conscious producers is nowadays even benefical regarding the endangered state of the honey bee due to agricultural chemicals.

    But I’m rambling… ;-) I just wanted to say that I’m glad I found this blog and the “funny” (well, actually not so funny) coincidence of the same disease. I’ll go and check out your Hashimoto’s blog as well!

    All the best,
    Isa

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