In August 2009 I found myself without gainful employment. Knowing I wouldn't be contributing cash money to my household, I figured the least I could do was save us some money by contributing labor. Thus began my adventures in cooking and eating from fresh.

British superchef Gordon Ramsay informed my endeavor. Specifically, I'd gotten addicted to the British version of his Kitchen Nightmares series.

If you're not familiar with the show, it involves Chef Ramsay traveling to struggling restaurants to help them return to profitability. For a "trophy wife on a budget" (which, let's be honest, sounds way better than "unemployed broad") his approach was perfect: simple dishes prepared from low-cost ingredients.

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

Cutting out the fast food and prepackaged god-knows-what quickly cut our monthly food spending in half. Half! Then we started noticing other changes: increased energy, better moods, even weight loss -- and we definitely weren't going hungry.

In early November I had the chance to fix a fresh, healthy chicken stir-fry for a friend. She was amazed at how easy, and how delicious it was. She planted the seed in my head to start blogging my cooking adventures, to share what I was learning with others. It would be another two months before I worked up the nerve to go public.

Now I'm trying to post at least one recipe per week. Peppered in (get it?) will be my thoughts on media and random musings about my life. I'll talk straight about my screw-ups. I'll improvise, and occasionally revisit dishes as they evolve.

Also, I love comments. Please tell me what's on your mind. Blogging is boring without audience interaction.

It's my sincerest hope that this effort will lead other people to eat better and healthier, using as many fresh and local ingredients as possible.