Hello everyone!  My name is Kelly and I am a structural engineer by day and a wanna be chef by night.  I will be the cook, photographer, and writer for Learn by Cooking.  I just purchased my first house and with my amazing husband and will be celebrating my 27th birthday shortly after starting Learn by Cooking.  My husband will be serving as my taste tester, idea giver, and “hotness” level (or “heat meter”) expert.  I started this blog in January of 2013 as an excuse to try out new recipes, expand my palate, and to share what little I know about food and what I learn by trying new recipes and techniques.


(Sadly, the only picture I could find of myself where I am not making a face is my wedding picture.  Taken by Bergreen Photography)

The name: Learn by Cooking came from the philosophy I learned in college.  Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo’s motto is “learn by doing”.  Putting into practice what I learned from books and lectures really helped make it easier to comprehend teachers’ lessons. The idea is to learn about new cooking techniques, foods, and cuisines by getting my hands dirty and working it out.  I won’t always succeed, in fact, I guarantee I will fail repeatedly. However, I’m sure I will learn something along the way and I will share with you both my failures and successes.

My food background:  Growing up, I would watch and help my mother in the kitchen.  During college, I started to cook for myself and it turned into my way to relieve stress from homework, finals, and part time jobs.  By the time I took my first cooking and nutrition class in college, I had pretty much finished my structural engineering degree.  It was too late to change my major, but I have been cooking ever since with what little free time I have.  After graduating I obtained a structural engineering position, and have been working full time as a structural engineer since. Like many of you, I watch many food cooking shows and try to absorb as much as possible. I have taken a few cooking classes at community colleges or at private companies to expand my food knowledge, and while very rewarding and educational, they really helped me to realize how much I still need to learn. I am really hoping that Learn by Cooking will open some doors to the culinary world for me.  At the very least, I am looking forward to eating lots of great food!

My tastes in food:  I will pretty much eat anything with cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, wasabi & soy sauce, or chocolate.  I have learned to include my husband’s tastes into our food, though he is not as adventurous as I.  He will eat anything with chili and lime.  If it doesn’t have chili or lime in it already, he will almost certainly add it.  I also like to know exactly what is in my food.  Maybe its because I have watched one too many food documentaries, but I have slowly been learning that there are too many non-food ingredients in mainstream food.  I try to make as much as possible from scratch,  but don’t have an infinite amount of time, so sometimes I will cut some corners or eat out.