View my official contestant profile here!
Here we are, on the first leg of the Project Food Buzz marathon. I've got my running shoes on and I'm ready to go! Competitions of any sort are like a red flag in front of a bull to me. As a Sagittarius, and the stereotypical overachieving perfectionist, if something isn’t challenging, it soon falls off my radar! As a die-hard foodie, I want the recipes to stand upon their own merit.
Maybe I should explain the gypsy thing. I'm not a nomad who roams all over in a wagon with my goats, chickens and belongings in tow, although I may LOOK like a gypsy!
Which do you prefer? The scarf-clad deer in the headlights or...
The Homegrown Gourmet came about as a name for my catering business. I was also serving as Executive Chef for the Orlando based food cooperative, Get Green Organics. The emphasis of my catering was fresh, organic, healthy foods but it became apparent to everyone that I’d set out to prove you didn’t have to eat tree bark and live in a commune to enjoy real food.
I was asked to teach healthy cooking classes for a variety of venues; even being a featured speaker for Central Florida Veg Fest and Earth Day. Someone suggested that I start blogging to share my creative cooking ideas with others. It took six months for me to figure out what a blog was! I’m not the dimmest bulb, but I’m not the brightest one either.
menu from the Get Green Organics booth at Earth Day, 2009
The gardening question kept coming up so I finally wrote an article explaining that “homegrown” alludes to the fact that I am self-taught. It's also a nod to my grandparents; all of whom were amazing cooks. I am convinced that I inherited a cooking gene. I carry with me the memories of all the cooking entailed: heirloom recipes penned by a hand that was gone before I was born, the practical kitchen wisdom of generations, the funny stories of recipes gone awry, holiday tables ladened with the signature dishes of great- aunts. It is part and parcel of who I am and the family that made me.
The “gourmet” part might be delusions of grandeur. I think I’m a gourmet but whether anyone else shares that opinion is purely subjective. However, you find no cocktail wieners in a crock-pot concoction of grape jelly and ketchup on my blog! You will find a lifetime of dedication to learning who I am as a cook and what I deem worthy of the people who take time out of their day to read my posts.
bento without a box
vegan chicken-less chicken salad in whole grain pita
citrus rosemary chicken with herb garlic roasted potatoes
mango swirl yogurt cheesecake
The Homegrown Gourmet Blog is an outlet for the creative cacophony in my head. It may be a play on words that brings a phrase and a recipe full circle. It may be the strangest marriage of ingredients, cultures and anecdotes you’ve ever read. It is the musings of a middle-aged gypsy surrounded by her bohemian treasures and a well-stocked pantry.
Sometimes it is the salve for my emotional wounds which I share in hopes of soothing someone else’s. It has been both diary and a window into my life to the friends I’ve made in the blogging community. Most of all it has become the instrument enabling me to share 25 years worth of original recipes.
"skinny" yogurt panna cotta with triple berry compote
triple chocolate fleur de sel caramel brownies
last year's gingerbread mansion
If it seems a little quirky at times that’s okay because I’m quirky. If you find yourself laughing hysterically, shaking your head thinking, “that girl is nuts”, that’s even better. If you become inspired to get into your kitchen and cook, that is best of all! If you need of an invitation to dinner, give me a call when you are down this way.
Sunday dinner, rosemary and salt crusted, garlic-studded leg of lamb.
Let me gather my wits about me to convince the judges and readers that I am the logical choice for the next Food Buzz Blog Star. “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m the next FB Blog star and you know it too.” It’s catchy but not exactly compelling.
“Little Jillyan, when she wanted to bake,
went to her kitchen and whipped up a cake.
This cake was so lip-smacking good
she won the contest, like she knew she would.
The judges asked for a beautiful picture as well.
She forgot the flash…do you think they could tell?
She’s got mad skills when it comes to cooking;
doesn’t dip her fingers in the bowl when no one is looking!
(but she can't vouch for other people's fingers!)
What kind of food do you want today?
Shall it be from home or far away?
individual chicken pot pies
thai spring rolls with coconut lime dipping sauce
Shall it be something fancy with a snooty French name,
or snacks to nosh watching the football game?
Tarte aux tomates séchées polenta au fromage de chèvre et deux courges
guacamole and mango black bean salsa with organic blue corn chips
There is nothing too farfetched for her to try.
She’s an adventurous gypsy with spatula held high.
avocado fudge brownie with feta cheesecake swirl
individual walnut crusted sweet feta cheesecakes with gingered agave syrup
When end of day comes and the cooking is done,
she turns to her blog and shares what she’s done.
Food Buzz/Electrolux banana split challenge - all vegan coconut chocolate chip ice cream in pineapple boats
If it’s humor, great food and a slice of reality on the side,
The Homegrown Gourmet blog has got it and that cannot be denied!
NOTHING could be more humorous than this! I was obviously out on a day pass that day.
grilled eggplant with gremolata and fresh grape tomatoes is just good food!
and why settle for a slice when you can have the whole thing?