Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants


I've been evaluating my blog and have realized that, while I have lots of nifty posts, I don't really have a good overall explanation of what exactly this blog is all about, and what one can expect to find here. So I'm creating this post and will link to it in the sidebar for anyone who's interested.

I am not a professional chef. I have not been cooking for years. I am not an expert who is going to make beautiful and amazing and complicated dishes to "wow" you. I am, in fact, quite the opposite. I am a total beginner. I've always lived in places with miniscule kitchens and concerned myself with schoolwork and studying and working and not paid the least bit of attention to what I was eating every day.

And that's what this blog is all about. It's about me learning where my food comes from, how to make it properly, and how to enjoy it to the utmost. It's no fun to learn by myself, so I started the blog to keep track of what I learn, kind of like a school notebook, and for other people to maybe learn something too.

The posts here will mostly be about the basics of things, at least at first. I'm sure I will be a professional level chef in no time and then I will be making crazy smears and foams and gelees. But until then this will be about me answering the simple, yet troubling questions that kitchen virgins like myself are perplexed by.

I try to stick to certain categories of posts, which are as follows (in alphabetical order):

BOOK: So far there is only a few "book" tagged posts, but hopefully I can manage more in the future, I have some that I probably should have done before and a few more lined up for the future, so hopefully I get cracking and put them in my blog. These will just be book review/report-type posts, and if it's a cookbook some examples of what I've made from it.

COCKTAIL: One of the things I've come to appreciate through my husband is cocktails. He is a master mixologist and he has passed that bounty on to me many times. Along with him I've come to appreciate it very much. From time to time I'll blog about a cool cocktail or something interesting I've learned relating to cocktails.

EVENT: One of the ways I expand my horizons in ways I might not ordinarily think to, is by participating in events, whether they be live food events that take place in my city, or food blogging events in which are given a certain theme or task to accomplish and then post about.

FOOD SECTION: There aren't very many of these. For a while I was reading the food section religiously and I often had responses or thoughts about what was in it, or it would correspond to something else I had already been interested in. I haven't had as much time lately to read the food section, especially now that the LA Times seems to be dropping as many employees (and any sort of moneycosting thing) as they possibly can. But the tag is still there for historical interest. And maybe someday it will become relevant again.

GIFT IDEA: Every once in a while or around the holidays I might see some things that would make great gifts. I will tell you about them!

If I come across some fascinating aspect of food history, I will tell you about that too!

INFO: Sometimes I just like to learn about a certain subject or ingredient or cooking technique and these posts are where I share the information I have learned from these studies.

JAPANESE: I've been slowly but surely working on learning some Japanese cooking. I've done a few posts about some things I've made and I hope to do a few more as well.

LA.FOODBLOGGING: I recently joined the stable of posters at la.foodblogging, a site that compiles restaurant reviews from various L.A. denizens. This is now where I post all of my accounts of visits to restaurants around Los Angeles. Each time I post a review there, I will post a short blurb and maybe sometimes some extra material here.

LINKS: In my internet travels searching for information about food and wine and other epicurean subjects, I often come upon fascinating websites that I want to read regularly. If they are really good, I will do a post about them.

LOCAL: If I come across some cool local products, I will write about them and do a review.

LOS ANGELES: This tag is for a series I did about hidden Los Angeles, where I surveyed friends of mine about the places they like in Los Angeles that are "locals"-type places that aren't necessarily famous, but represent the real Los Angeles, and what makes L.A. so great (yeah, it really is, sometimes.)

Sometimes I go to the farmer's market (you may have heard of those) and sometimes I find some interesting stuff. If I get anything particularly unusual, I will post about it.

Well, this is a blog and the internet, so ... every once in a while someone will force me to participate in some meme. If I do, I will put this tag on it.

MISC.: Sometimes, probably more often than I should, I get something in my head that has nothing to do with the regular subejcts of this blog, but that I feel like I just have to say. If that happens, and I must post something off-topic, I will tag it with 'Misc.' and you can feel free to skip it if you're just here to learn how to cut a pineapple or something.

NEWS: This tag is most often used to post news about restaurants opening in my neighborhood and what I can find out about them, but will sometimes also be used to post about any other interesting food news I come across.

PRODUCTS: One of the best ways to make good food is with good ingredients and good tools. If I discover an especially scrumptious gourmet item or a fabulously handy kitchen tool, I will post about it under this tag.

RECIPE: And of course, there are the recipes. Most of the recipes are taken from various food magazines, or my two major cookbooks, The American Woman Cookbook, circa 1940s (old school) and the new edition of the Joy of Cooking (new school) or perhaps from somewhere else in my ever-growing collection of resources.

RESTAURANT: This is the tag I used for my restaurant reviews before I started posting them on la.foodblogging. I will probably not use this tag again, since restaurant reviews I don't post on la.foodblogging will generally come under the travel tag, but I am leaving this tag so that my previous reviews still show up.

TRAVEL: I don't get to do nearly as much traveling as I would like, but we try to take one big trip to some foreign country once a year. For 2007 we are planning to go to Tokyo and Kyoto, and for 2008 we are thinking about Spain and Portugal. Here is where I post about the foreign food experiences and anything else of interest I find on my travels. We also tend to travel to certain other places when we can, such as San Francisco (where I left my heart), San Luis Obispo (my hometown), and less frequently, Las Vegas (site of our wedding) and New York (just a fun place).

WINE: I am a great appreciator of wine, although I don't know much about it. Here I will post my impressions of certain wines. I have also begun to put myself through a beginner's course of study on wine and will share what I have learned.


Glad you posted this. I did a bit of a revamp at my site since the article. Just in time. Livejournal has decided to feature me on their homepage, too.

What do you use to track your traffic and such?

said by Tableau Vivante at 5:37 AM Delete

Thanks! I use Statcounter to track. With the free account you get every kind of report but it only shows you your last 100 visitors.

If you want a good resource while you're remodeling, I would also check out Food Blog S'cool ( the FAQ in the sidebar will lead to posts with all kinds of helpful information, or search for the topics you're looking for.

I've gotten a lot of tips and good advice from there.

said by KT at 7:30 AM Delete

you need to add a category to the list: Hijack

'cause one of the most fun things about your posts is they often digress into:

frisky innuendo, hidden code, or fun factory snappy chatter

I put a vote in for 'acme'

said by madame x at 10:44 AM Delete

*Deep bow to Madame X*

Hey KT, I know i asked earlier, but have you made the switch to the new Blogger yet? It seems that they've smoothed some of the initial bugs and I'm considering making the move this weekend.

said by Acme Instant Food at 11:57 AM Delete

The things that make a blog about "X" good reads are how and when the blogger chooses to deviate. Blogs that stay 100% on point can be boring, dude. Me like KT's blog. Gets better every day.

said by Jeremy at 12:04 PM Delete

Thanks Jer! Does this mean you are back and thinking up more stuff for *your* blog?

said by KT at 12:08 PM Delete

Hmph, I forgot I had a blog.

said by Jeremy at 1:29 PM Delete

Dear KT:

Your blog fits perfectly to some of my own ideas.

I personally believe that food and culinary arts is all about caring and loving what we eat, finding the magic of the kitchen and beginning by experimenting different ingredients, utensils, and crazy recipes.

Please check my blog:

Enjoy it,

said by Carolina Daza CarreƱo at 5:31 PM Delete

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


said by Anonymous at 1:13 AM Delete

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