Reblogged from one of the academic blogs I’m writing for this term.

Food seems to have a strong link to memory. Why, then, do Alzheimer and dementia patients lose the ability to cook so soon after diagnosis?

Stop by and discuss your thoughts!

mnenotech

This morning, I came across a cookbook review of Barbara Magro’s Recipes to Remember: My Epicurean Journey to Preserving my Mother’s Italian Cooking from Memory Loss. What struck me most about the review is Kristen’s musing:

“Did you know that cooking is one of the first abilities that goes when Alzheimer’s or dementia sets in?  The victims can no longer remember whether or not they have added ingredients or how long the food has been in the oven” (Kristen).

No, in fact, I didn’t know that cooking is one of the first abilities that one loses when Alzheimer’s or dementia sets in. Why does this strike me so? Because I love to cook (and keep a casual food blog). Because I spend some of my free time learning to cook traditional family recipes from my grandparents. Because I know that their memory is inevitably failing as they age…

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Come Blog with Me!

In my 1-year blogiversary post, I set blogging goals for this year, one of which is to participate in guest blogging. I want to write for another blog at least once. I’d also like to meet a few food bloggers by inviting them to share recipes on my blog.

So, here it is… a call for guest bloggers! I would love for you to share your budget-friendly recipes on The Cook’s Sister!

I have a few requests for guest bloggers, the recipe must:

  • Be your own creation
  • Be budget-friendly (for an everyday meal or a home-cooked meal for a special occasion)

If you are interested in being a guest blogger, please send me an email (the.cooks.sister [at] gmail [dot] com) with your name and blog URL!

Look at my garden grow!

This year I’m not starting a garden. It’s too much work weeding and preparing to plant. It’s a lot to maintain it. Last year’s garden didn’t grow so well (neither did the neighbour’s), all of the herbs died within the first month and I only got two tomatoes from four tomato plants. Or at least, that’s what I kept telling myself.

But, when my Aunt was in town the other week, she brought tomato plants with her. I couldn’t say no.

This year, I’m taking a different approach to gardening. I bought planters and fresh soil, then placed them in the garden. Each tomato plant (Yellow Cherry and Moonglow) and the basil have their own planter. The other herbs (rosemary, mint, cilantro, and chives) are two in each planter. The plants look healthier than last year already.

My brother is growing a Pink Ponderosa tomato plant. This is one of the ones that didn’t work out for me last year.

My herbs are still growing. The tomatoes haven’t blossomed yet. They’ll grow… I hope.

Any tips for a successful garden?

One Year Blogiversary!

One year ago today I started this blog and wrote my very first post. I didn’t post again until July, when I posted my first recipe:

Chip Dip

I learned to make this recipe by observing my family. It seemed fitting as a first recipe post because it is one of the earliest recipes I remember learning to make on my own.

The posts were a bit sporadic. I posted every second week at best. I was a bit nervous about posting. I didn’t really know what to post. I was being very selective about the things I posted. Only sharing my very favourite recipes, such as:

Curried Goat

New Mexican Style Chicken Tacos

I had forgotten my original intention, to share affordable everyday foods.

I had a few pep talks from Jeanette over at This Dusty House / This Dusty Kitchen. She encouraged me to write. Not to worry that what I had to say might be boring and uninteresting. Blogging would come with practice. She was right!

I started using social media to follow other cooking blogs. This helped me to actively participate in the food blogging community instead of neing a more passive reader.

I bought a tripod and took my camera off the automatic setting. I think my photos have been getting better! (I hope you think so too!)

I went to a few cooking workshops, including:

Raw Food with Chef Renee Shaidle

We learned to prepare Raw Zucchini Pasta and Raw Chocolate Truffles with Cashew Kreme Sauce.

Raw Desserts with Chef Renee Shaidle

We learned to prepare Raw Banana Coconut Cream Cake, Chocolate Power Balls, and Raw Apple Pie in Cupcake Tins.

Culinary Tour of Thailand at Relish Cooking Studio

We learned to prepare goog kratiem (garlic shrimp), tom yum (hot and sour) soup, som tam (green papaya salad with peanuts and chilies), pad thai, and coconut lime sorbet.

Sustainable Seafood at Relish Cooking Studio

I will tell you more about this workshop later this week!

What a year! I’ve enjoyed food blogging as a hobby after getting past the initial writer’s block. My photography skills had improved. My cooking skills have improved. I’ve learned to budget our meals a bit better (blogging regularly has helped me keep on track).

Thank you to everyone who has been reading and I hope you continue to do so!

In the next year, I hope to keep blogging, learn to find more creative ways of presenting food (and thus further improving the pictures), attend a few more workshops, participate in a few more foodie blog hops/challenges, and feature a few guest posts (please contact me if you’re interested!).

Food Science from kimmiluu.me

Kimmi, from kimmiluu.me, blogged about Food Science. Her post is a great read! It’s informative and insightful. I especially like how she breaks down the pros and cons of some common foods, such as apples, fish, coffee, and chocolate. Check out her post!

Great suggestions for healthy additions to salads. Yum! Check out the full post at http://kimmiluu.me/

365 Days of Dining

This week, I came across an interesting opportunity for food bloggers. It’s called 365 Days of Dining.

A quick summary, the city of Richmond in British Columbia (Canada) is seeking a food blogger. Their job/adventure is to eat at local restaurants at least once per day for an entire year! Judging by their Facebook page, the competition is fierce.

Check out the job application website at http://365daysofdining.com

Will you apply for this position? Best of luck to all of the applicants!

March Photo-a-Day Food Challenge

Blogger Lesley from The Purple Carrot has proposed a Foodie Photo-a-Day Challenge for the month of March. Visit The Purple Carrot to learn more about the challenge.

I’ve decided that it will be fun to attempt this challenge!

I hope it’s noticeable, but over the last month I have been taking more time when it comes to photos. That is, dinners have been more formal (which is actually very nice!). I set the table. I replaced my old, hand-me-down vinyl place mats with a tablecloth. And, most important, I’ve taken my camera off of the automatic setting and have been taking photos on manual settings.

This challenge is a fantastic opportunity for me to continue working on my photography skills.

Will you be attempting the March Foodie Photo-a-Day challenge?

What can I cook using Hearts of Palm?

I acquired a can of Hearts of Palm from a friend who was moving and didn’t want to take this item. Since then, it has sat in my pantry. Is this even something one would cook, or it is meant for something such as a salad?

I really don’t know what to do with this. Please send me your suggestions and/or recipes!
Hearts of palm

What can I cook using Bamboo Shoots?

I bought these Bamboo Shoots and had planned to add them to a stir-fry. The stir-fry ended up having enough items in it already, so I never used this item.

Any suggestions or recipes that would help me to use up these Bamboo Shoots?
Bamboo shoots

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