The Pressure of Flawless Food

On a recent day off, I went to the grocery store and challenged myself to break out of the cooking rut I had gotten myself into. I grabbed a big yellow spaghetti squash to try after hearing raving reviews from a friend. The whole cooking process went seamlessly and my spaghetti squash topped with some pesto, grated parmesan and accompanied by lemon pepper tilapia was delicious.

I was curled up on the couch in my pj’s ready to watch a new Bourdain episode, set my food on my lap and attempted to take a snapshot for the blog. When I looked down at the meal I was just 2 minutes ago super pumped about, I realized I didn’t want to blog about it because the skin on the fish was not perfectly browned and the squash was not very photogenic.

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The reason I wanted to write about the dish was not because of the revolutionary technique or recipe I used, but because I loved being adventurous to try a new dish. I was so proud of myself for cracking open the giant squash, spooning out the seeds, and after it was done roasting, scooping out the pasta-noodle like squash. But the picture was not good enough quality. It was not well-lit, styled or garnished. My neon pajama pants and blanket certainly did not help. This got me thinking…Are the perfect images of food I see everywhere steering me away from trying new foods and cooking more myself?

Our technology has allowed us to mass spread gorgeous photos of food. Our cameras have allowed us to make colors look brilliant and dishes look flawless. We all have collection of recipes on Pinterest that are waiting to be made, but is their perfection intimidating us away from actually making the dishes? I absolutely adore beautiful photography, but I also believe that the story behind preparing the food is almost just as beautiful as the presentation itself.

Artistic presentation and flawless food photography has a place, certainly, but the overconsumption of these images should not be the reason we don’t actually cook and experiment ourselves. We have to allow ourselves to make mistakes and be okay when it does not look exactly like a magazine image. If the kitchen smells amazing and the taste in your mouth is what you were craving, you should be proud!

All I am suggesting is some food for thought. Next time you are hesitating trying a new recipe because you don’t think you can “nail it” as seen on Pinterest, I encourage you to go for it and go out of your comfort zone. Next time I am worried my dish won’t turn out perfectly for the blog, I am going to challenge myself to enjoy it anyway. As long as it tastes close (or spot on) to what we were hoping, we have reason to toast. Cheers to new recipes that are not always going to be be as flawless as Beyonce.

Love food. Love self. Love life.
Gabriela

The Honeymoon Cafe

honeymooncafe

Yesterday I got to walk around Downtown Houston on a chilly morning and explored the area around Market Square. I had brunch at The Honeymoon Cafe and I was so happy I did. The smoked salmon breakfast plate with poached eggs over hash brown pancakes and smoked salmon with a tarragon aioli hit the spot. Isn’t it simply gorgeous? I also loved the atmosphere of the Honeymoon. Groups of friends, families with little ones, and friendly staff. It felt like a French cafe meets trendy downtown spot meets neighborhood gathering place. I haven’t spotlighted every restaurant I’ve eaten at because honestly there have been too many good ones, but The Honeymoon felt like a perfect place to start.

honeymooncafeThe coffee aroma perfumed the quaint space. The Honeymoon serves Boomtown Coffee, local to Houston. I could have ordered every dish and drink and coffee item on their menu, but I suppose I’ll just have to come back another time. (Fine by me!) It has been so fun finding these gems in Houston. Becoming more comfortable with different areas (Downtown, Rice Village, Montrose, etc.) and creating a list of my go-to spots makes Houston feel even more like a home away from home.

honeymooncafe

Love food. Love self. Love life.
Gabriela

Houston, We Don’t Have a Problem

It feels so good to be back on the blog! Last time I posted, I was dreaming about Houston and all the incredible food and culture I was about to experience. Now after two months of living here, I can truly say “wow” to this incredible city.

For those of you who may have seen on social media, we successfully colonized Sigma Kappa at the University of Houston! Now that the recruitment and colonization process has ended, I am returning to a somewhat more normal work schedule and getting into my groove of everyday life working with the colony. I work daily with the new members to educate them about the organization and help them transition into running as a new chapter. Now that I have (a teeny bit) more free time, I want to resume content on the blog! I’m hoping to weave in travel and restaurant showcases, recipes I try and general food/lifestyle posts about latest inspiration.

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Meet leadership consultant Gabriela Rodiles! #GR Gabriela is a recent graduate from the Theta Omicron Chapter at Arizona State University. When she was a collegiate member she served as the vice president of membership. Gabriela writes a food blog called Gourmet Gab. @gourmet_gab When she travels, she likes to try traditional foods or favorite restaurants in the cities she is in.

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I am still debating how to even recap the amazing food I’ve experienced over the past two months. Or how to explain the incredible diversity and culture present here. I’m eating the best BBQ, Tex-Mex and pho of my life, and I don’t even have to leave a 20 mile radius to do so. I’ve had the best fried chicken and waffles (sorry, Lo-Lo’s) for breakfast one day and then Louisiana seafood for lunch the next. I’ll post recaps here and there of some amazing eats I’ve experienced so far and some fun experiences I have had.  There are restaurants, and good restaurants, on every corner. The people are friendly. They are Southern and say ya’ll, yes ma’am and yes sir. It’s has only been two months and I am feeling like I’ve found a niche. Eating lots of food, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures here is going to make this a memorable year. Houston, we certainly have no problems!

Love food. Love self. Love life.
Gabriela