I have always loved to create things – and one great outlet of that creativity (being completely aware of how stereotypical this sounds) has always been found in my kitchen.
When I was very young I used to be obsessed with making “potions” out of bath products and “cooking” mud pies! Thankfully, my cooking skills have graduated beyond mud pies and it has become a great passion and pass time in my life.
My food blog and recipe site Kwirky Cooking really began as a personal mission. Tim and I went through a stage (a rather long stage) of having hardly any money for groceries (or much else, really!). When I say hardly, I mean we had times of living off of Mr. Noodle for weeks on end. That or Kraft dinner because hey, Food Basics (Canada) had it on sale for 88 cents a box after all!
Regardless of how few ingredients and food items we had in our kitchen however, and regardless of the little money we had, I always did my very best to have something delicious ready for Tim after a hard days (or nights) work in the plastics factory. Something that would make him say “whoa, how did you do that with what we have?!”
So began my Kwirky Cooking adventure, and yes, I am aware that quirky is usually spelled with a Qu not a Kw. 🙂
Sometimes You Just Have To Improvise
I experimented and combined odd ingredients to make some successful and some… well, not so successful dishes. I thought up creative meals using seemingly boring items that were in the shadows of our cupboards.
Everything I made had to be with the ingredients we had in our cupboards at the time, so following recipes was never an option. It was guaranteed that we would always be short of at least one ingredient that we couldn’t afford to go and buy. Not only were some ingredients expensive, but often times there was only enough gas to get to the store – not back! Thank God those days are over!
Sometimes, on a really good day I would have the chance to create things with more than just back of cupboard items. On those occasions I really realized just how much I loved to create new things. On top of that, there is simply something quite special about the day ending with a husband’s “Yums” of approval.
A Dash Of Enthusiasm, A Pinch Of Hope
Over the years as buying ingredients and groceries became less and less of an obstacle, my creations and ideas flourished. I was continually on a mission to make us meals that tasted better and looked prettier than the last. It wasn’t about perfectionism (talk to Tim if you want help with that one haha), it was about simply pushing myself to see what I was really capable of. You never know how far you can go with something sometimes until you really push yourself (or are given a push by a loved one every now and again!).
Being a vegetarian, I had to learn to trust my sense of smell when cooking Tim meat dishes that I’ve never tasted in my life. Even with all of Tim’s attempts to turn me into a red meat eating mama (he had hoped my pregnancy would convert me but it was the complete opposite) I’ve yet to abandon my own personal food persuasions.
Eventually, as I began to perfect certain meals and recipes, Tim actually started making a list of his favorites so that when I asked him what he would like for dinner he would choose something from his list! The list was cleverly and appropriately titled Café Khaili 🙂
On one occasion, while out driving and Tim came up with the idea that I should write a cook book and call it “Quirky Cooking.”
I instantly loved the idea, and when we got home that day I began writing a list of all the meals I wanted to add along with writing out the recipes and ingredients.
What Does Kwirky mean?
On my own initiative (patting myself of the back now) I started writing quirky with a Kw instead of Qu. The K really has two meanings: One is simply that I wanted to personalize the word and thought it would be fun to use the first letter of my name as it phonetically would produce the same result, and two, it was fun to take an already quirky word and make it even Kwirkier (spell check is really fighting me here)! Simply put, sometimes the best results come from improvisation.
The idea of writing a book just fueled my inspiration to continue creating yummy things, so the mission expanded and carried on.
After a substantial effort in documentation and photo taking I ended up with quite a few recipes. As much as I loved the idea of having my own cook and recipe book, researching publishing and the thought of waiting on a book deal became arduous.
Give (my) Dreams Their Wings To Fly
Tim and I began to talk of things I could do right away to help get the things I’ve learned in front of an audience. I didn’t just want to have a book of recipes, I wanted to help people and share experiences too.
I began dreaming of this big website; one that would be full of my Kwirky ramblings and delicious meals. A site that would become more popular than Martha Stewart’s. If you’re going to aim, you might as well aim high right?!
For a long time these dreams stopped me from even beginning however, because I was trying to do too much too fast, and all at once.
The Birth Of A Recipe & Cooking Blog Website
One day I decided I needed to take the first step towards my dream, no matter how small. With that step came a simple cooking blog created from a free wordpress.org template site.
On my simple and quaint corner of the web, I began sharing and posting whatever meal I made that very day. After a little while, recipes began to get pinned on pinterest. Pins began to get shared, and people started making my recipes!
After a couple years of doing this, seeing just how serious I was about it, my wonderful husband built me Kwirky Cookings’ new home, where it now lives!
Though still in the early stages with more building being done, and though there aren’t nearly as many recipes as I’ve created that are online yet – I have big dreams and plans for the site which will definitely go beyond the kitchen! A Kwirky Cookbook is still in the plans too!
So there you have it. Kwirky Cooking; a place where I can open the doors to my kitchen and the windows of my mind. A place to share the thing’s I have created – yummy things, random things, foreign things, and most definitely, Kwirky things!