Il commence…

…ou, “it starts” en français.

Bonjour, everyone!  Welcome to my new blog, “Julia Child Goes Veg.”  If you have seen the film Julie & Julia, you might have an idea of what I’m up to.  If not, allow me to explain, and while I’m at it, introduce myself.

My name is Kelsea Rae Little, and I f*&#ing love food.

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LOOK!  Look how happy that pumpkin is making me.  Instant BFFZ.  Until I sliced it open and toasted its innards, that is…

In all seriousness though, as long as I can remember, food has been a big part of my life.  Feeding people is how my mother expresses her love, and so food and cooking fuels my heart and soul.  It also means I will never be a skinny rail, but in all honesty, I’d rather eat.  Food is the sh%$.  You may have also noticed I like to swear.  I can’t help myself, even when I have the ability to go back and edit it out.  “I yam what I yam and tha’s all what I yam!”  Tee-hee.  Food puns.

I decided to go vegetarian when I was 16 for ethical reasons, but I stuck with it because it was the best decision I have ever made for my health.  I grew up overweight, and in the first two years after I went vegetarian, I went from 185 to 160 pounds.  Then, in college I learned to love exercise and am now at my natural, healthy weight.  I distinctly remember feeling lighter after I stopped eating meat, but not in a body weight sense – it was like my body could finally take a break.  The more whole grains and vegetables I ate, the lighter I felt, and my zest for vegetarianism grew.

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I was vegan from 2009 – 2011, and I loved it.  I worked for Whole Foods Market at the time, and received a 27% discount, so meat/dairy/cheese alternatives were always just a few aisles away.  Going from vegetarian to vegan is an incredibly easy transition in my opinion.  And it was during this time that I truly fell head over heels in LOVE with cooking.  You have to cook a lot of meals for yourself when you’re vegan, unless you want to eat a bunch of crap, or spend a sh%^load of money at vegan restaurants (which I totally still do sometimes.)

My first vegan cookbooks were Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and Vegan with a Vengance, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  That lady kicks major ass, and her recipes are out of this world.  I was completely in love with the act of creating a meal from nothing – it’s the closest thing to magic.  And since my letter from Hogwarts never came, I’m sticking with it.

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So, what does all this have to do with Julia Child?  Well, if you didn’t see the film Julie & Julia, I’ll give you a little synopsis.  The film is based off of the true story of a blogger/recreational chef who decided to cook her way through Julia Child’s cookbook in just one year.  That’s 524 recipes in 365 days.  An average of 1.43 recipes per day.  The story of Julie the blogger (played by Amy Adams, SWOON!) is interwoven with a sort of biopic of Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep, DOUBLE SWOON!), and how she came to write her crowning achievement, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

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The film is extremely endearing, the kind of movie I can watch over and over again, not because it’s cinematically amazing or anything, but it’s my favorite brand of feel-good, bottle of wine, play-on-repeat-while-crafting type movie.  Plus, it’s also inspiring.  It’s fun to imagine writing a creative blog, and then having it take off and change your life.  And then I thought, hey, I could do that!  So here I am.

I had the idea for this blog shortly after I saw the movie in 2009 (at the start of my veganism/cooking obsession) and it’s been in the back of my mind ever since.  I’m not sure what exactly prompted me to start it now, but better late than never, right?

I think this project will be really fun, and really challenging.  I mean, how does one vegetarianize an aspic recipe?  I guess I’ll find out!  I would like to add the disclaimer here that I am not doing this to improve on Julia Child’s masterpiece recipes, as I know that cannot be done.  I am simply creating alternatives of her inspired dishes for an increasingly vegetarian-friendly world.  Shouldn’t us vegetarians be able to enjoy boeuf bourguignon too?  I should very well say so!

SO!  The rules:

  • Every recipe I post will be 100% vegetarian or vegan
  • I must make one new post a week, with a minimum of two recipes.
  • Beautiful photos must accompany each new post – because who likes cookbooks without photos?  NO ONE.
  • I will try to change the recipe as little as possible, but I am allowed to get creative when replacing meat, because no one wants to read a bunch of recipes where I use processed meat alternatives in place of chicken or beef because it’s almost as gross – YUCK!
  • There are 524 recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  I will try to get through them all in 2-3 years.  I might be able to do it a lot more quickly, but I don’t want to set an unrealistic expectation for myself, because if I can’t stick to it, I’ll feel like a failure, and then I won’t follow through.  And I WILL follow through!

I know 2-3 years sounds like a long time, but I’m hoping this blog will reach new friends as it goes, and we can grow into one big happy vegetarian french cooking blog family.  So please, share with the vegetarian in your life!  Try my recipes!  Give me feedback!  This is going to be a lot of fun, I can feel it.  I’ll also pepper in little tidbits from my life, occasional musings on other topics, and lots of fun photos of food, and my kitchen, and my beautiful little redheaded longhaired dachshund puppy.  He’ll probably end up stealing the show.

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Thank you so very much for reading my first post!  My brand new copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking is en route via Amazon Prime as I type this.  I’ll try to get my first post out next week.  Please, comment and let me know your thoughts!  I’d love to talk to all of you.

Bon appetit!

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