Hey, I'm Ashlee, the author of Veggie by Season, an accountant by day and food blogger for fun. I have been blogging for about three years. I began my former blog, A Year in the Kitchen, to chronicle what I cooked during the first year of marriage. After the first year, I really found my niche in blogging, and decided to stick with it. Now, three years later, I've found myself at a crossroads. I still love blogging, but my life has changed so much, and I'm going to move the blog in the same direction. You can read the "About the Blog" section to learn about that.
As for me, I was born and raised in St. James, New York (Long Island). I lived there until I was ten years old. During those ten years, I was exposed to many of the foods people around the world know New York for – pizza, bagels, seafood, and authentic Italian cuisine to name a few. To this day, I could eat a plain bagel for breakfast, mushroom pizza for lunch, a plate of eggplant Parmesan and spaghetti marinara for dinner, and a chocolate Italian Ice for dessert.
When I was ten, my family moved to Ohio, where I was exposed to the Mid-West way of life and food. Gone was Nick’s Pizza and Italian Ice, and in its place was Little Caesar’s. Pretty devastating! However I soon found that Ohio, and Cincinnati to be exact, had their own gems. Skyline Chili, Graeter’s Ice Cream, LaRosa's Pizza (for the sauce, it's plentiful and sweet!) and Montgomery Inn Barbecue Sauce became my new favorites. I also decided that I was meant to be a vegetarian. On my 12th birthday, I gave up meat. This lasted about 7 years, until I went away to college. I probably would have continued it there, but anyone who has eaten in the college cafeteria knows that you have little to no choice, and on many nights, chicken nuggets and pepperoni pizza are your only options!
When it was time for me to go away to college, I found a small school in Hickory, North Carolina that was perfect for me. I quickly became a fan of pulled pork, collard greens, cornbread and Yuengling (because you can’t get that in Ohio!) During this time, I met JJ, my future husband. We spent many nights at Lenoir-Rhyne football games, Crawdad baseball games, and NASCAR races in Charlotte. I also spent some time in class, and earned a B.A. in accounting. After four years in North Carolina, JJ and I got married! He decided graduate school was the best option for him, and we found ourselves headed to Indiana.
We lived in Bloomington, Indiana for two years. Bloomington is a small, college town about an hour south of Indianapolis. Though it’s small, Bloomington is extremely diverse in ethnicity, religion and cuisine. It was in Indiana that I decided to begin my cooking blog to not only have a place where family and friends could view my recipes, but so I could scrapbook our marriage in food. It was in Bloomington that I tried my first Afghan meal that I then went on to recreate for example, as well as many other cuisines. I started a feature on my blog called the Country Challenge. Each week, I chose a different country and learned about the history of their cuisine, the influences, and traditional cooking methods.
So that brings me to today, if you’re still with me! I moved to Jacksonville, FL, bought a house where the kitchen window provides a view to our pond, the closets are vast for baking supplies, and there's plenty of room for my three dogs (though weaving in and out of my feet while I'm cooking is where they usually are).
I'm a happy vegetarian, loving the abundant Florida produce and the occasional chocolate dessert!
Contact me: email@example.com