I’m Ethel, cook, baker, traveler, photographer, and writer behind eating in instead. I believe eating in can be as delicious as eating out (and it’s a whole lot healthier!). I started eating in instead to share my recipes made with real food, local ingredients, and an international flair. These days, I also share stories of our travels and living life abroad.
Healthier, not healthy. I strive for healthier on most days. Do I make a lot of quinoa? No. Why? Because I can’t get it in Tunis. For me, healthier food does not mean it has to taste or look like rabbit food, but it’s also not doughnuts and fried chicken. There’s a happy medium. I try to live in that place. I’m not a vegan or gluten-free. I eat just about everything. I try to limit and minimize processed foods and opt for grilled or roasted, instead of fried. I love chocolate cake and apple pie. And, I drink wine every day. But, I also eat my fruits and veggies and start almost every day with a bowl of oatmeal.
Local ingredients. This is by default, and not some foodie trend. Since we live in Tunis for most of the year, I buy what is in season and local because that is all there is to buy in the markets. There are no blueberries (ever!). 🙁 Brussels sprouts are available 1-2 weeks of the year. Oranges in winter. Cactus fruits in summer. Chicken, beef, and lamb are plentiful and and locally raised. My cooking and recipes are made with what I can get where ever I happen to be living or cooking. In Tunis, this means a lot of white beans and chickpeas.
International flavors. Cumin, Turmeric, Caraway, Coriander, and Ginger are some of my staples. If you are afraid of spices, you’ve probably come to the wrong place. Picky eaters make me nervous. Want to try some recipes with curry paste, miso, ras el hanout or za’atar? C’mon over, we’re gonna get along splendidly!
Globe trotting and gluttony are my faves. My husbandy and I love to travel and we do it as often as we can. When we travel, we tend to eat out, and we make it count. All that healthier eating in pays off when I’m enjoying duck confit in Paris or ramen in Tokyo! If I’m not trying out a new recipe, I’m reading about which restaurants to try on our travels.
My cooking style. I love evoking the “vacation feeling” by making recipes from around the world and places I’ve visited. Sometimes, I’m trying to bring back the “home feeling” when I’m homesick for some place I’ve lived in the past.
From quick weeknight meals to dinner parties, I enjoy making things from scratch. Most days, I make the most of my kitchen (see the page “Our Kitchen” for pics).
I want everyone to start cooking and breaking bread together because in my world, great things happen over cozy, home-cooked meals, maybe even big things can happen — like world peace. After all, I believe that home-cooked meals are one of the truest expressions of love.
Want to contact me? Send me a note at eatingininstead [at] gmail [dot] com.
CREATURES I FEED
My official taster, kitchen clean-up man, co-conspirator, and husband, Omar.
Beed and Capties. These were our two cats who lived in Washington, DC; Indianapolis, IN; Rabat, Morocco; and Tunis, Tunisia with us. After being with us for 12 years, Capties passed away in 2014 and Beed followed in 2015. Our bellies may be full, but we’re “empty-nesters” for now.