Hello and welcome to the AOI!

I started this blog because I really love to cook and believe in the power of improvisation in the kitchen to help us eat better food, more sustainably. Improvising in the kitchen isn't just a great creative outlet, it's also about eating with the seasons, using what you have, managing food waste, and of course nourishing, nurturing and delighting whoever you're feeding.

Some examples:

Improvising is the way our grandmothers cooked, using different techniques and careful hands to make something delicious out of what's available. A lot of my connection with food comes from my own grandmother mamaia, who lives on a rural farmstead in Romania and at over 80 years old, still grows most of her own food, makes her own cheese and wine, keeps chickens and goats, pickles vegetables every fall, and delights all of us with everything she makes.

Growing up I spent every summer with my grandparents in Romania, and that early experience of farm to table life gave me a strong appreciation for eating traditionally - starting with real whole-food ingredients, using what you have, eating with the seasons, keeping fasts and celebrating feasts. These influences shape my cooking today. Since I live in the city quite far from farm to table life, I try to eke out my own way of eating traditionally in the modern age. I love making wholesome food from scratch and improvising with what's seasonally available. So in these pages you'll find recipes for everything from easy weeknight meals like Curried Cod Stew to decadent celebratory dishes like Apricot & Almond Cream Cheese Tarts. There's also brunch, bread, and lots of savoury baking.

While I do share recipes, my focus is more on sharing good techniques and inspiration for how to use what you have in creative and delicious ways. You'll find lots of tips and variations for swapping out ingredients or changing ratios. I like to think of recipes more as roadmaps, but the map is not the territory. Solid technique in the kitchen makes food go a longer way so I hope to share those lessons, techniques, insights, and experiments with others so we can all enjoy our food more and waste it less.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy creating it.



More About Me

I was born in Constanta, Romania in 1987 and grew up in Toronto in the 90s. I lived in Royal Oak, Michigan for 3 years with my husband Bogdan and our pup Oliver before moving to Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2017 in search of a more sustainable and more enjoyable life. So far it's been a dream.

I love connecting and chatting about food so please drop me a line in the comments or find me on social - I'm very active (probably too active) on Instagram at @ms.cristina and you can also find me trolling Pinterest, where I save my favourite recipe inspiration.

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