Glancing over the blog and trying to decipher it’s title, you probably already sensed that it must be related to food. And how right you are. The kitchen is my refuge, my sanctuary, where I can unleash all my creativity and at the same time hide from paying bills, household chores or negotiating yet another fight between my 3 children.

Originally I hadn’t planned for my life to center around the stove, after all, most women in my family have spent a great part of their lives in the kitchen professionally or at home, and I had no intention to step into their footsteps. So instead, I studied medicine in Germany, before moving to Texas to marry my (English) husband. He moved me to Louisiana, which I didn’t much appreciate at the time. Let’s just say ‘boudin’, crawfish and steak topped with shrimp, didn’t do it for me. We had our first child and moved back to Texas, where I studied public health, before moving again, this time to a place even more exotic than Louisiana, Bangkok, Thailand. I gained 10 pounds within the first month of being there and all because of “Sticky Rice with Mango”. It is an eater’s paradise. During the 4 years we lived there, I ventured into every market and my Thai vocabulary became heavily skewed to food related terminology. The greatest luxury in Thailand was our lovely help, who used to patiently await my orders, which I called in from work, on what to chop up and prepare for dinner. I would come home and just have to throw it all in the pan. She taught me how to make ‘Som Tam’, the delicious, spicy papaya salad and ‘Tom Ka Gai’ and in return I showed her how to make ‘risotto’ and ‘perfect turkey gravy’. After Thailand, we moved again, this time to Perth, Australia, where we lived happily for 4 1/2 years. I started growing our own vegetables and my husband built a coop for our 6 chickens. The vegetables proved quite a challenge, with the sandy soil and harsh summer sun, but at least we learned that red currants are not an option and that fall and winter are the best seasons for success. We had a fantastic farmer’s market in Mt. Claremont, just down the road from us and unless you got there by 8 am, all the best stuff was sold out. The seasonal produce was fantastic as were the cheeses and meats straight from the farm. I was constantly inspired to cook something new and as a result started this blog and taught small scale private cooking classes out of my home. In December 2011, we said Good Bye to Australia, which was especially hard for our 3 kids who didn’t want to leave their friends, schools and of course cricket. My husband got transferred to Beijing, China, a fantastic adventure we didn’t want to pass up. We are still trying to find our ways through this vast city and different culture, but we love the challenge and excitement that come with it. In culinary terms, this is obviously a whole different ball game to Australia and Thailand, but as time goes on, I will happily share some of the delicious and weird things that find their way onto our plates with you on this blog.

The ‘healthy’ part of my cooking started in the late 90s after the birth of my first child. I didn’t have much of a clue back then, but because food had always been an important part of my life, I was eager to learn how to cook. I started collecting cook books, made some real ‘Health-Foodie’ friends and tried to replicate at home what looked so tasty in the counters of my beloved organic grocery store. A few illnesses and extra pounds here and there increased my curiosity in nutrition and health and I became more and more fascinated with their relationship. It helps, if like me, you love the taste of ‘real’ food. Salad dressings out of a bottle, cakes out of the freezer section and cream out of a can have always been very strange to me. I am a ‘from scratch’ person, through and through and I love to create meals that are delicious, beautiful and nutritious all at once. I use whole grains of every kind, lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables, plenty of legumes and as little meat as I can get by with at our dinner table.  Shopping takes me an eternity and frequently no distance is to great for me to get the best ingredients.

And if you were wondering how on earth I came up with Foodvergnügen, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdQY_BZE2uE. (when I first lived in the US, many people came up to me and told me the only German word they knew was “Fahrvergnügen”, which means the pleasure or joy of driving). So here’s to the pleasure of food, I hope you will come along and enjoy the ride.