My name is Brooke. Originally from the sweet little town of Concord, New Hampshire, I knew from a young age that I was hungry to explore other places, broader horizons, to race my way towards excitement. Upon venturing to Italy (my first time in Europe) during college for my studies, I was hooked. Europe left me totally smitten. Fast forward 10 years when the stars of timing aligned which resulted in my packing up my life into four suitcases and purchasing a one-way ticket to the Czech Republic.
Living in Prague, for me, felt as though I had stepped back in time. The older part of the city is a labyrinth of curving streets lined with inviting cozy cottages. The Charles Bridge, enigmatic, mysterious, enticing by night within the warm glow of the street lamps which casts the statues in eerie silhouette. Old Town Square, bustling, ornate, eye-catching, possibly the most beautiful square I have seen in Europe, dominated by the awe-inspiring swirling wonder of the astrological clock. Most of the streets narrow and cobbled. The sweet, doughy swirl of trdelnik dusted in a glittering of cinnamon and sugar, a Czech specialty dessert (and what became the name for my travel blog, Travels and Trdelnik). I was enchanted with Prague.
A couple of months after my arrival in Europe, finding myself wrapped up in idealism and romantic whimsy, I took a leap and moved to Germany. The reason for which I originally moved didn’t pan out, but sometimes, not getting what we thought we wanted is actually a wonderful stroke of luck. In every other regard, my move was a fantastic thing and absolutely meant to have happened.
While living on this side of the pond, I have added a newly acquired passion to my already long-established burning desire to write. One day, the big dream is a memoir. For now, the other half of my heart has been captured by food.
I have always been down to eat (who isn’t?), but over the past couple of years, my love of food and all things related has slowly crept its way quietly into my soul and seems to have set up shop there. With the progression of one recipe here, a new idea there, an interesting flavor pairing that results in an excited figurative light bulb glowing over my head, the list goes on. What was originally a lighthearted hobby has rapidly picked up pace and depth.
Now, I spend my time leafing through cookbooks, magazines, searching out websites for inspiration and ideas, my hand barely able to write fast enough in any one of my notebooks that lay littered across my desk. Ideas for flavor pairings popping into my head during my morning commute, forcing me to pull out the fixture notebook from within my purse and sketch in a sidebar in one of the margins, “flavor pairing ideas,” where I then begin to list. “Chocolate and cranberries…earl gray and lavender…”
Cooking a plethora of pancakes in all different flavor varieties. Baking sugar-free sweets and boxing them up for thrilled friends to sample in the beginning drudges of their workweek. Spending hours during my Saturday morning outside, my hair in a haphazard ponytail, dressed in my pajamas, crouched in front of my stoop with an elaborate food photoshoot set up which stretches from minutes to an hour (or even more) in an attempt to capture the perfect shot before the midday light fades.
Hosting dinner parties with my fabulous friends, all crammed around the small island in my closely quartered kitchen, reveling in the details beforehand of decorating a cake for their visual pleasure, or writing small cards that I tuck into an envelope for each person and then filled with an additional special sweet treat for them to take home at the end of the evening. Scrolling through the impossibly amazing food photos on my favorite Instagram feeds. This is just a smattering of the food-related ways in which I spend my time.
Recently, I have found myself especially intrigued by the concept of a diet that is largely a mixture of the following: refined sugar-free desserts, raw foods, gluten-free and finally, lactose-free.
Health has been a topic that has fascinated me and felt important to me for over a decade now. The first half of my college education was spent pursuing a degree in Health and Nutrition (which I later switched for Communications). I have read (and continue to read) numerous books, articles, magazines and more, all in relation to health (both physical and emotional) as well as diet and nutrition.
And so, all of this has culminated in the concept and starting of this blog. Having been a devoted lover of sweets for most of my life while only recently deciding that the vast amounts of sugar I had been consuming for so long were without question, horrible for my health, I stopped eating refined sugar.
Alongside of this recent development, I have experimented with sampling and eating a number of raw foods and have geared the majority of my diet towards being gluten-free as well as mostly lactose-free (though I cannot and will not give up Greek yogurt heaped with a pile of berries and drizzled with honey. I. Love. This).
Follow along with me on my pursuit of healthy living, recipe testing, food exploration, and delicious eating! All of the recipes will fit into at least one (though oftentimes more) of the following categories: refined sugar-free, raw, gluten-free, or lactose-free.
PS. If you’d like to check out my writing, more in the vein of topics such as romantic relationships, friendship, familial relations, health, psychology, feminism, and culture, you can do so here on Medium.com! I’d be honored and thrilled to have you as a reader.