Thursday, September 16, 2010

Good Cook Doris' New Adventures

In December 2008, I decided to start writing down what I made for dinner as way to avoid eating the same thing every week. Then I thought, if I'm going to write it down, why don't I take a picture? And if I'm doing all that, why don't I blog about it?  I signed up, started cooking, photographing, and writing!  When I started, I didn't know where blogging would take me. Looking back over almost two years and 165 posts, I am amazed at where I am today. That simple idea to document dinner has developed into a passion to not only explore my creativity in the kitchen, but two take on two very exciting new adventures!

My childhood apron bears a striking resemblance to my current one!

Adventure #1: Turn my passion for all things food into full-time fun

How will I do it? To start, I’ve enrolled in part-time classes in the Masters of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy program at Boston University. I spent many hours last year computing accounting and finance problems in the part-time MBA program, when what I really wanted to be doing was cooking. When it came time to enroll in economics and IT strategy, I decided that if I spend my free time thinking, eating, and reading about food, why not take that passion and run with it! The Gastronomy program is not culinary school – it’s a program about the study of food – food business, marketing, culture, history, tourism, and more.

If you know me, and if you are a regular reader, you know that food is a big part of my life. It starts with my family – we discuss lunch over breakfast, dinner over lunch, and breakfast over dinner. Everyone has a specialty and the family table is a place for laughter and fun. I love to learn about the history of foods (sorry if I’ve bored you about the history of ketchup and bagels – both fabulous books). It makes me happy to share recipes, share food, and share meals with family and friends. I’m fascinated with how something as simple as the bluefin tuna has such wide-reaching impact on every part of the global economy. And isn’t it crazy to think that there are more than 10 different gadgets for mincing garlic? These are just some of the things that I think about.

Who knows where a degree in gastronomy will lead, but I’m excited to start the adventure! If you need to find me this semester, first check the library and then check the kitchen. Where ever you find me, I’ll be happy to share whatever I’m doing with you!

No question about my signature dish - brisket.
 Braised, smoked, on its own or on a biscuit.

Adventure #2: Win the title of Project Food Buzz Next Food Blog Star

That's me with my winner's sash and bouquet
(as I imagine it to be)

Project Food Blog is a contest hosted through Foodbuzz. Contestants participate in a series of challenges and a certain number advance through to the next rounds. You can see my official profile and entry at: Please take a minute to 'like', tweet, and vote! One readers' choice winner automatically advances. 

Why should I be crowned the Next Food Blog Star? If my passion for food didn’t come through in the description of my first adventure above, let me answer a few questions about me, my blog, and why I think I deserve your vote.

Question 1: Is your name really Doris?
No - every great cook in my family is Doris! My Aunt Shirley’s family had a tradition of saying “Good Cook Doris!” after great meals. It turns out that back in the ‘50’s, there was a bread commercial where a little girl makes a little boy a sandwich, and he says “You’re a good cook Doris!” My aunt brought the tradition over to our family and since I was a toddler, every family meal has ended with a rousing “Good Cook Doris!” Inspired by the good cooks in my family, I gladly carry on the moniker and hope my cooking lives up to the delicious family standard.

My brother hard at work in the kitchen.

Question 2: What’s your angle?
My tagline is: Creative Cook, Food Blogger, and Local Food enthusiast.

My approach to blogging is simple, I love to take inspiration from cookbooks, restaurants, and friends and family and get creative in the kitchen. I challenge myself to use local ingredients and try out new-to-me techniques, recipes, and ingredients. My blog is a place to record my successes, my not-so-successful dishes, and my travels. It’s also a place where I share the stories of who grows the ingredients I cook with, the local farmers market scene, and how it really is possible to eat local and seasonal year-round. Every so often you’ll see a guest post from a great cook who has influenced my cooking. You won’t find true restaurant reviews, but sometimes I have such a fabulous experience out that I want to document the experience for the blog. The bottom line is that food = fun and the blog is my way to share that fun with you!

Question 3: What is (are) the most rewarding thing(s) about blogging?
1. Sharing! I’ve been blogging almost two years and one of the benefits I didn’t expect was a wonderful network of new friends who share the same passion as me. It’s wonderful to be able to send a tweet to a fellow food lover and then end up seeing them for dinner every month! Nothing makes me happier than hearing that a post, a recipe, or a tweet of mine has inspired someone.

2. Community Involvement! Boston is a big city with a lot of people. I work in the city, but live in the suburbs. Indirectly, blogging has helped me to feel a sense of community. I visit the same farmers markets weekly and get to know the vendors. When I go out to eat, I support locally owned establishments and try to learn about their history. Every food experience, at home or travelling, is an opportunity to learn someone’s story, learn the local culture, support the local economy, and promote a sense of community.

Me with the Local in Season team.
Hosting a recipe contest at the Farmers Market.
3. Taste testing! I can’t just post recipes that I come up with on paper! The hubby (and my coworkers) have been eating pretty well since I’ve started blogging. Food isn’t any good if you can’t share! I’ve tried new ingredients almost every market visit since I started and the results have delicious (most of the time). I know there are new cuisines, techniques and ingredients out there waiting for me and I’m excited to keep learning and expanding my cooking knowledge.

Grandma's recipe for pecan pie and my own recipe for local red kuri squash pie.

I’d love your vote for me as the Next Food Blog star! I bring passion, a killer polka-dot apron, humor, creativity, and an adventurous spirit into the kitchen and onto my blog every day.

See my official profile and entry at:

Happy cooking, eating and farmers market shopping!


  1. How exciting, Lara!! I can't wait to hear more about your studies, and I'm pretty awe-struck and inspired that you're turning your passion for food into a career. Hugs!!

  2. I can vouch for the taste testing! And for the fact that Lara inspired me to FINALLY get my blog going regularly after years of stop starting! She also introduced me to the local food movement, so to me you already are a star! (Does this comment get me a taste testing on Monday?)

  3. Great blog post Lara! I am so looking forward to reading everyone's entries for PFB...and I'll gladly vote for anyone who will travel for food :-)

  4. I love this!!! Your new endeavors are all fantastic- and I can't wait to experience them through your writing!!!!

  5. Good luck!!

    I wish I could do that gastronomy program. It's too bad I didn't figure that out until after I got my master's in publishing. I'd love to hear all about your courses and live vicariously through you though!

  6. Fab post!! And congrats on the classes!! I can't wait to hear about them :) I've always wondered about your blog's title... Now I know!


  7. What a great post! And how cute about the "Good cook Doris" saying!! Best of luck in PFB!!

  8. I gotta give you props for the sash and boquet, so I'm voting for you! Good Luck!

  9. You have my vote! And my best wishes with the gastro program. I am discovering what a bad student I am as I start the wine program :) I am such a procrastinator, but still love what I am learning. Hope to see you soon!

  10. Congratulations on diving into the gastronomy program, and good luck with all your new adventures!

  11. Studying gastronomy sounds so interesting! I wish my school offered that. Congratulations on making it to round 2 - looking forward to seeing what you make next.

  12. Fantastic to meet you. I've come across your blog through The Foodie BlogRoll, have enjoyed reading all about your passion for food & will enjoy connecting through the blogosphere ;) I love it when I meet a kindred soul, your passion for food comes through your words & what an awesome thing to come from generations of 'Good Cook Doris!'

  13. Good luck!!

    I wish I could do that gastronomy program. It's too bad I didn't figure that out until after I got my master's in publishing. I'd love to hear all about your courses and live vicariously through you though!

  14. Studying gastronomy sounds so interesting! I wish my school offered that. Congratulations on making it to round 2 - looking forward to seeing what you make next.


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