HOW WE GOT HERE

THE PODCAST

Cooking Together

As the blog evolved and my desire to share cooking experiences with others grew, the podcast was born! Cooking has always been a way for me to recenter myself, to calm down from a stressful day, to feel productive, a way to escape, and I wanted to know if this was the same for others. I wanted to know how other people felt about food, were there certain dishes that sparked great memories, were there smells that made them smile, were there ingredients that scared them. I wanted to know!

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The Podcast

As the blog evolved and my desire to share experiences with others grew, the podcast was born! Cooking has always been a way for me to recenter myself, to calm down from a stressful day, to feel productive, a way to escape, and I wanted to know if this was the same for others. I wanted to know how other people felt about food, were there certain dishes that sparked great memories, were there smells that made them smile, were there ingredients that scared them? I wanted to know!

 

 Stage One of the My Tiny Cook Spot Podcast was relatively simple. I had this large recipe box from my mom so I picked the recipe. My guest came over to my apartment where we would set up shop in the kitchen, beginning with a cocktail to help loosen up. We would record in stages, pre and post-cooking, covering our excitement and reflect on what occurred. 

 Then, the pandemic hit in 2019. Suddenly I could no longer have my guests come into my home to cook with me. I did not want the podcast to end after one season, so after some time away to regroup, I restructured the pod. Now, like most things in our life, our session is recorded over video call! Behind the scenes we discover what will be made, I present my guest with a recipe, and they, in turn, provide me with one. This recipe is then added to my mom's recipe box as a way to continue her collection, and I get to pass along the recipes she loved. 

Before, the real meat of our conversations was not documented. People really open up while you cook together, that is how you get to know someone, by recalling stories or just filling the silence. Now, since we record the entirety of our time together, the conversational jewels are not missed but captured for all to hear. 

I hope you give the pod a listen and join us in a few laughs!

Season 3 out now.

How it Began

I have always loved to cook and be surrounded by others, with a drink in hand, a large plate of good food, and wonderful smells wafting through the kitchen. My family has always been close and made up of some pretty phenomenal home cooks, all with different styles. When we are together it is safe to say we are always in the kitchen (the heart of our home).

 

 

That is how my mother grew up and she passed that down to her own family even adding neighbors and their children so there would always be a full kitchen. By my standards, my mother was a master hostess! Being children, my brother and I were not invited to the adult parties and were sequestered to the basement with the other neighborhood kids, in our own little world of games and hotdogs. However, every once in awhile smells would trickle down the basement steps along with full laughter of our parents above. It always seemed happy to me, this was a family, not just by blood but of a group of people who come together to laugh and share, building deep relationships over food and drink.

 

When I was young we had moved from this warm close-knit group of neighbors and a few years later my mother past. I was now a teenager and this once full kitchen seemed to shrink to just two, my Dad and I. Years past and I was not even aware of how much I missed these experiences, I would get small doses of this large family environment over Thanksgiving (when I could afford to visit my mother’s family) or when I found the time to visit our family friends from that old neighborhood, but it was only a passing visit and it was not lasting and it was not mine.

 

In my early adult years, I made the decision to leave what I knew all together, to try and find something that was truly mine. I went over 900 miles and settled myself in Chicago. I have made some fantastic friendships and after a few years of unsuccessful roommates I could finally stop and breathe easy, I got my own space. This 400 square feet of Chicago studio is all mine and I am so proud to call it an actual home.

THE EVENT

How it Grew

This tradition began in 2013, in undergraduate school, where my brother and I would gather with friends over food and beer to watch Game of Thrones. As you can imagine the tradition died down after we graduated and went our separate ways.

 

Fast forward to the spring of 2018 when Melody and I were casually watching Westworld. I wanted to recreate this tradition and began making dinner each week, I started to experiment with cocktails, and extended the invitation to more friends.

 

At the time we had dubbed this event Westworld Wednesday which was a happy alliteration, and even though we have finished that particular show we did not want to give up the gathering and simply started a new one. Now we are now coming together for Westworld Wednesday: Featuring Handmaid's Tale.

The Original Space

Imagine if you will cooking in the kitchen of a 400sq ft apartment. A small galley kitchen lined with a fridge, the smallest counter space imaginable, a single well sink, and an apartment size four burner stove, enough room for one to squeeze around you to get to the fridge and only brush your skin. That was the complete kitchen when I moved in: small, not exactly efficient, and mine!  Since then I have built it up to be more functional and In my eyes….perfect (although I could use another drawer). I have embraced organization, was gifted with a floating butcher block island, set up a wall hanging pot rack and added color!

I wanted to recreate the atmosphere my mother seemed to easily produce. For a while, Every week, a few close friends come by and I see what delicious things I can turn out of my tiny kitchen! Cooking is a form of release and creative expression and I was delighted to be able to make meals that are just too much for one person. Check out what I cooked up during these events and try some of the recipes yourself!

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How it Grew

This tradition began in 2013, in undergraduate school, where my brother and I would gather with friends over food and beer to watch Game of Thrones. As you can imagine the tradition died down after we graduated and went our separate ways.

 

Fast forward to the spring of 2018 when Melody and I were casually watching Westworld. I wanted to recreate this tradition and began making dinner each week, I started to experiment with cocktails, and extended the invitation to more friends.

 

At the time we had dubbed this event Westworld Wednesday which was a happy alliteration, and even though we have finished that particular show we did not want to give up the gathering and simply started a new one.

 

Next came the podcast! 

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The Rules

  1. My guest and I come together over a video call.

  2. My guest offers me a recipe that means something to them, I make this recipe.

  3. Based on what my guest gives me, I sort through my mom's recipe box and select three options for my guest to pick from.

  4. For part one, my guest and I shake up a cocktail.

  5. For part two, we make each other's recipes! We record the whole thing, from soup to nuts...or from shaker to clean up.