Thursday, September 2, 2010

Brown Bag Beginnings

So how did The Brown Bag Gourmet come about you may wonder?  Well, as I grew up my love of cooking never diminished, but I would say it really came to fruition until I moved out on my own during college.  After two years in the dorms and countless mediocre cafeteria meals later, I was chomping at the bit to get into my own apartment with access to a kitchen and a refrigerator larger than the "microfridge" that inhabited my dorm rooms.  And as soon as I did, I was cooking up a storm; or at least as best I could on my college budget.

While many of my friends relied on the old stand-bys of fast food, PB & J and microwaveable meals as their main source of sustenance, I would go home and actually cook the majority of my meals.  I learned quickly that I could eat well, save money (and some calories) and do something I enjoyed all at the same time.  I mean, what’s not to love!

After I graduated a year ago and stepped out into the “real world” where a mountain of new financial responsibilities greeted me, from student loans to health care and paying my own rent, I gained a whole new appreciation for that little money-saving aspect.  Especially after I decided to pick up and move from California to the most expensive city in the nation- the one and only, New York City.

If you've ever purchased lunch (or just about anything for that matter) in NYC, you know it ain't cheap.  General price over inflation, coupled with the fact that I work within close proximity of uber-touristy Times Square, means a girl really can't eat decently without dropping some dough.  Thus, I began packing my own lunch almost daily.  And I'm not talking just packing a simple sandwich here, I'm talking interesting, non-monotonous lunches.  That boring ham and cheese sandwich should be a last resort people!  My anti-conformist lunch mentality has resulted in more than a few curious glances and questions about what's on the menu for any given day and I often hear "I wish I were a good cook" or "That looks good, but I don't have time".  Well, here I am to show the corporate lunch crowd that you can be a good cook and you probably do have the time to prepare some of my creative, yet simple recipes.  Not to mention the fact that both your bank account and your waistline will likely appreciate the savings!

The Brown Bag Gourmet is a reflection of my passion for both cooking and writing; passions I hope to share with you!  You can also expect to see restaurant reviews from time to time (I do live in one of the top food meccas of the world, after all), as well as interesting culinary happenings in the New York area.  And for even more foodie fun, please follow me on Twitter @BrownBagGourmet!         

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