Why I’m writing about food this month

- 31 days --rectangle

Here at Pink-Briefcase we hold on to the good things in life, and food is one of those good things. A delicious meal, a warm cup of tea, a freshly baked loaf of bread to surprise a friend, a fancy iced cake for a grandmother’s birthday, a casserole to fill in the gaps left from sickness or loss: these are the ingredients of my favorite life moments.

I wouldn’t have told you this in quite this way before reading Shauna Niequest’s beautiful book Bread and Wine, but the truth is I love to eat. I enjoy making something delicious and sharing it with others – 50% joy in making someone I love happy, 50% pride from surprising someone with my hidden talents (YES I DID make this and YES IT IS delicious, thankyouverymuch) – but sometimes I don’t have anyone to share with. Then I either make nothing or make something delicious for myself, eating ALL OF IT so it doesn’t go to waste. Makes total sense, right? (I’m feeling squiggly writing this already!)

As much as I love to eat, it’s important that I don’t lose focus and live to eat. And while that may sound crazy to some of you, it’s easy for me to fall into unhealthy food habits. I can bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies and eat six warm from the oven without even noticing. I might grab a few chips to eat during a television show and suddenly I’ve watched four episodes of Mad Men and eaten half a bag of puffy Cheetos. (It’s called binge watching for a reason.)

I have a weak stomach too, so on the days I feel good I indulge because I can. Now that I’m thinking about it, this probably isn’t helping my stomach situation any, but that’s really the problem: too often I don’t think about it at all. I know I need to think about what I eat to make wise food choices, but then life gets busy and I forget to buy groceries and end up eating Chipotle or cold cereal for dinner three nights in a row.

I like to be straightforward here so I’ll be the first to say this is not a food blog.  I’m not a chef and I don’t write too many of my own recipes, and I’m pretty terrible at food photography.  (Thank God for Instagram filters!)  Even so, we’re focusing on food this month for two reasons:

ONE. I love to talk about food and share recipes and teach my friends the tricks I’ve learned from reading cookbooks and food blogs for years and growing up in a Southern kitchen. I thought about starting a food blog for a while, and still would if it weren’t so dang hard to remember to photograph what I cook before stuffing it in my mouth. One of my most popular blog posts is a recipe I posted years ago, and I think writing about food is fun.

TWO. I want to spend October thinking about my food choices more. These last few months I’ve been away on work travel a lot, spending weeks at a time in a hotel room and eating too many meals in crappy restaurants. As I gear up for the holiday season I don’t want to lose weight (who can afford new winter clothes in a different size? Not me!) but I do want to be intentional about what I eat and enjoy my kitchen the way I haven’t been able to since April or May. It’s time to make this apartment a home, and I’m going to do that by spending some quality time with my gorgeous kitchen.

Every day for the 31 days in October I’ll share with you something from my kitchen. We’ll focus on using our kitchens smartly: plain-old, real-life kitchen tricks for eating well, hosting guests, planning a killer party, or otherwise fueling an awesome life.

If you aren’t into cooking, I hope you’ll still enjoy this adventure. Like all of the things I write here, the underlying story is the struggle to balance the impulse to be perfect at every single thing against the cold hard truth that life is pretty great just the way it is, mediocre meals, messy rooms, dirty mirrors, and mismatched socks.

Thanks for joining me.  Let’s try not to catch anything on fire.

A Few Technical Things:
  • Here is the page for the #write31days posts I’ll be doing.  Each day of this series I’ll add a link to that page so you can follow along or just skip to what you’re interested in.  I even made a button over there on the right sidebar. (Hope it works!)
  • Here is the website for #write31days. I’m sure there are a lot of cool things others are writing about too, so you may want to take a look and add a few interesting topics to your reader.
  • I’ll still be posting regular content, but will sometimes weave it into these posts for efficiency’s sake (for example, I’ll include good-looking recipe links along with my 5-things wrap ups each weekend).  For you email subscribers, I’ll try not to overwhelm your inbox, but you may see a few more posts than normal.  Hopefully that’s a good thing!




  1. Pingback: The Kitchen Principles | Pink-Briefcase
  2. Caris Adel (@CarisAdel)

    Sitting here and catching up on a ton of your posts. So excited about this. I am *so* unhealthy when it comes to my food and I think it’s causing stomach issues for me too. (I think I’ve lived on salads, potatoes, and coffee for um….like 5 years.) I’m finally going to start meal planning again. It’s been so long since I’ve cooked a meal…..o_O The kids cook their own food, which is handy, but it means they are eating the same stuff all the time, and we’re never having ‘family meals’ and I have got to get back to that. So excited for this.

    • Mary Beth

      Meal planning is such a hard practice for me. I did it regularly in the spring, and I wrote a blog all about it, but since I left for DC in June — well, actually since work started getting insane a few months before then — I’ve been eating poorly and putting no thought or effort into my planning at all. Somehow when I plan out our meals in advance they are healthier, tastier, and we spend less money at the grocery store so I think it’s win-win-win. I’m trying to re-start that effort too.

  3. Pingback: Day 5 - Self-Care Sunday - Caris Adel

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