Howdy! Welcome to Snixy Kitchen. I’m Sarah (aka Snix) – a California girl married to a Texas boy.
Shortly after returning to my home state after two years in Philadelphia, I found myself sharing a miniature in-law apartment with my then-boyfriend now-husband down the street from an organic produce market, fishmonger, butcher, and cheese mart in the Bay Area. I began this recipe journal in 2012 to chronicle my culinary stunts in our pint-sized kitchen, as I cooked my way through the multitudes of seasonable vegetables on my back porch. We’ve since tied the knot and upgraded from our 26-square foot kitchen, but I’m still using every inch of counter space to create recipes with fresh local ingredients to tell my life stories. I cook from scratch, make up rules, use seasonal ingredients as much as possible, and reinvent classics to create special occasion sweets and everyday staples.
With no formal kitchen training, my primary job is as a Ph.D. student writing a dissertation in math education. My expertise is education, and accordingly, my hope is that you’ll take on culinary challenges, experiment, burn a few batches of cookies, and keep learning new things right along with me. On Snixy Kitchen, I share with you pages from my life-inspired recipe journal.
My sweet tooth is wicked strong and I tend to prefer non-chocolate desserts (although, I must admit, chocolate is growing on me). My kitchen is usually stocked with: fresh parmesan, pine nuts, lemons, mushrooms (especially enoki mushrooms), and shrimp. My husband Lucas joins in the cooking, eating, dishes, and photography; he also loves food so much that he just joined a food-product related start-up. We’ve got two cats named after our favorite California crop and its dipping sauce: Artichoke & Aioli. Their favorite foods are bok choy and kale.
What you won’t find traces of in my cooking: cilantro, bleu cheese, and cooked ricotta cheese. As of May 8th 2013, I cut gluten out of my diet in a last-ditch effort to combat chronic migraines. Many earlier recipes have flour in them, but if you’re looking for gluten-free recipes, you can find them here. Soon you’ll be able to find these noted in my recipe index.
Where it all began…
When I was young, my mom taught me the unparalleled pleasure of homemade baked goods (and of licking the spatula as soon as the cookies hit the oven). At that age, it’s unbelievable that someone can figure out how to put these seemingly unrelated components together into something so delicious (it’s as awe-inspiring as watching your parents drive from one place to the other without even thinking). The idea of a recipe is utterly preposterous when you don’t yet know how to read; my mom was a magician and I wanted to be just like her.
My Nana further fostered my interest in culinary arts by providing all the finest tools and allowing me to select the ingredients of my choice from her cupboards to be mixed into the most delicious pie you ever saw. Humoring me, she baked my (often green) hodgepodge concoctions until they appeared somewhat edible. Although, come to think of it, I have no recollection of what happened after the piping hot pastry emerged from the oven. This experimental kitchen practice continued into my late elementary school years when I called on a partner in crime to help me whip up some dangerously disgusting “muffins” to feed to any unsuspecting boys in our class, who would soon regret trusting me with their taste buds. I’ve since grown out of these mischievous food preparation antics, but remnants of the trial-and-error method still remain (with perhaps a small dose of well-meaning guile when sneaking mushrooms into Chuy’s food).
As a theatre major in college, I cooked between rehearsals to ensure nourishment, and occasionally dabbled in a few of my mom’s and Big Sarah’s (my namesake and home chef extraordinaire) passed-on and time-tested recipes. When I moved to Philadelphia to teach math after college, my roommate Ashley and I prepared nightly dinners as a way to let off steam from the surely stressful day we had in our classrooms, but fresh seasonable produce was not yet part of my vocabulary. In 2009, I moved back to California, and more specifically, to a neighborhood where not taking advantage of the local shops would have been a crime, and cooking became a more serious endeavor of mine. Seasonal cooking.