About This Blog

photo by Emily
Hello and welcome to Playing with Food!  I was born in Laos but grew up all over Asia in Thailand, India, Japan and Hongkong. I came to the States as a college student, graduated and after marrying my husband Eric,  made the US my home.  When our first son was born, I quit my job and stayed home to raise Sam. Three and half years later, his brother Tim arrived.  It was during this time, the era of Julia Child and Gourmet magazine, that I became interested in cooking. I taught myself to cook by reading cookbooks and cooking magazines and watching Julia and Jacques Pepin for inspiration.

Feeding family and friends became my passion.  Stir-fry, chili, home-made pasta, bread and pizza, Chinese roasted fish, pulled-pork barbeque, Vietnamese pho, home-grown squash, Mexican Lasagna - there was nothing I wouldn't try at least once. Leftovers became a new meal because I learned that just about anything can be cut up and served again in Ramen, or what we call "package noodles."  The four of us loved the eating adventures and meals at our house were happy times.

So I came to enjoy cuisines from all over the world and felt the need to learn how to make them all.  I started Playing with Food to share this experience and to record favorite family recipes as a gift for my sons, who, all grown now, are as passionate about food as I am.

Lately, I've become more interested in Lao food. I didn't always embrace the food of my native land and now I can't seem to get enough of it.  There are only a handful of cookbooks out there on Lao cooking so my mom and my four sisters, all of them great cooks, are my sources for how to make "real" Lao food.

You can probably tell from my blog that my love for cooking is matched by my love of gardening.   There's nothing like fresh picked fruits and vegetables to help me look like an accomplished cook :)  During the growing season, what's cooking in the kitchen is very much dictated by what's picked from the garden. Harvesting and processing all that the garden produces is when I truly feel like I'm Playing with Food.

Thank you for stopping in for a visit.  I hope you like what you see and that you will join in the conversation and share your thoughts. Let's learn together while Playing with Food!

I would also like to thank my husband for being such a good sport about eating and appreciating anything I cook up, for driving me around seeking out obscure restaurants and food markets and for being the editor of this blog.  Thank you Eric.

Ma kin kao der!  That's "come eat rice" in Lao, a common greeting of a people who love to eat.

--Ting Gough