Hello world! I'm Tonya and its nice to cyber meet you! So this is my first attempt at blogging as I am a bit of an introvert. However, two of my greatest loves outside of my two children, are cooking and traveling. Therefore I try to combine the two as much as possible. Since I am quite often on the go my specialty is internationally inspired street food (for the most part). Despite being a borderline introvert I love being outdoors, especially the mountains. Mountains, for me always seem to possess a certain serenity and it soothes my soul.
As for my other love, cooking, I gained from my grandmother. I am originally from the South so my grandmothers specialty was soul food with an extra dash of soul and smothered in love. Can I just say that she made the best buttermilk biscuits to ever cross your lips. My grandmother passed when I was in my early teens and with her went my love of cooking.
Several years ago (don't want to tell my age) I happen to be watching Emerald, he mesmerized me with his BAM! Now I had been a long time fan of Martha Stewart and her crafty DIY style which stirred something in me. After catching a few episodes of Paula Dean who wasn't afraid to cook with butter and cream I was once again hooked! I returned to my first love, cooking. Though my grandmother was no longer available to guide me, I realized what I didn't know, I would learn through trial and error.
I remember the first time I made gravy, it looked more like mashed potato cakes, lol. I've come a long way since then. Since I love to learn, no matter what the subject, I try to always go to the source. In this case, I needed an old-school soul food expert. I found several. So I kept that philosophy as I moved on into other areas. As I mentioned, my interest is in international cuisine. I'm always looking for something different. In the Army, my first duty station was Vicenza, Italy. Let me just interject here that Europe is absolutely breathtaking!!! Especially if you love history, architecture and vineyards as I do. (Yes, another love, but I'm a Gemini and we are known for our varied interest, to say the least, lol)
Anywho.....While in Italy, when I wasn't working, I traveled, cooked (which for me was a necessity since I lived of base and didn't care much for the chow hall) and learned. An awesome experience (I also spent time in Germany). Since then I have also learned to make Thai dishes from a great friend and mentor, Nai who is from Thailand. I have also learned to cook Indian and Caribbean dishes from great cooks originally from those areas. In my menus I try to reflect the diversity of America, as it is truly a melting pot, which in my opinion makes it so great! I try to offer my take on flavors of the world, especially street food.
This blog helps to document a new chapter of my life. For years I have wanted my own cafe and ultimately Bed and Breakfast. The cafe is finally within view. I will keep you posted of course! In the mean time check out my site as I currently offer catering, premade meals and of course personal chef services.
Though we hear it all the time, life really is short. Tomorrow is not promised we should bask in the natural beauty that surrounds us each day! No Regrets right!?! So why am I here. My blog is basically to highlight some of my favorite foods, with a few travel photos along the way. Please keep in mind I am a bit sporadic, giddy and love to laugh and have fun. Isn't that what life is about? So I will try to stay focused with my recipes and adventures, but the best part of an adventure is you never know where you will end up!