photo: Steph Goralnick

I like to cook. I like to discover new ingredients, dishes and techniques, and learn to cook them. I don’t always do a good job of it, and I haven’t had any formal culinary training.

From September 2006-September 2008, I went AWOL from eating restaurant, take-out, or street stand food throughout the five boroughs of New York City. While becoming an office brown-bag queen and eating pretty much only food prepared by myself, I tried to explore other avenues of “not eating out” — diving into dumpsters, foraging for edible weeds, cooking for communal dinners and supper clubs, and throwing or participating in amateur cook-offs and events. I wrote a book about this experience, called The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove.

This is still a blog about not eating out in New York. I’ve compiled a list of Top 9 Reasons For Not Eating Out here, and frequently post a “Reason of the Month” on this blog. I like to profile people with a passion for home cooking and spotlight local cooking events, markets and farms. Since 2009, I’ve enjoyed interviewing guests on all things home-cooked on Eat Your Words, my weekly show on Heritage Radio Network. I’ve written for other publications and am publishing a cookbook on Taiwanese cuisine in Spring 2015, titled The Food of Taiwan.

The recipes on this blog are all original and have been tested in my kitchen here in Brooklyn. The ones you’ll see are only those which are, in my opinion, good enough to make one not miss eating out (save for the occasional disaster). There are plenty of vegetarian entries, though I myself eat — and cook — just about everything, from tripe to sea cucumber, and try to do so seasonally, locally, sustainably, cost-efficiently and healthily while I’m at it.

Write to me at cathy[at]

“None can be an impartial or wise observer of human life but from the vantage point of what we should call voluntary poverty.”

–Henry David Thoreau, Walden