According to Instagram, I first used the phrase “cook it pretty” in 2012 while exploring the wonders of making my own dressing for a quinoa salad recipe I found on Pinterest. I found myself marveling at the simple beauty of spices sitting in olive oil.

Cook it Pretty

Around the same time, I started insta-chronicling my “Pinterest vs. Reality” projects, which were intended to catapult me from the obsessive pinning I had been doing into the kitchen for some actual cooking. I wasn’t bad at cooking, but was uninspired and didn’t have much of a repertoire. I needed practice. Wife practice. Life practice.

Cook it Pretty

My Pinterest perusing inspired me, so I jumped into turning some of those pinned recipes into reality. It was an experiment – could everything really turn out as perfectly as it appeared on Pinterest?

I hoped my experiment would ultimately show that my own imperfect ways could create something just as tasty as the Pinterest Perfectionistas. In the process, I’ve found some really great go-to recipes that turned out delicious, shareworthy, and sometimes pretty too. There’s a lot of natural pretty in food, even without a fancy lighting setup and professional styling.

So I started tracking my kitchen adventures with #cookitpretty, and what I like to call my Insta-blog was born. I found that friends often asked me for the recipes I used, and usually there was a little more to the story than one Instagram could tell. So the seeds of this blog were planted in my brain…and here it finally is on the internets!

Cook it Pretty

That’s me. On a camel. In a maxi dress.

Some big changes happened in my life which opened new doors and windows. In 2014, I quit my job, sold my home, and moved from San Diego, CA to Dubai, UAE to be with my now-husband. In 2017, we moved from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. I’m taking my kitchen experiences and throwing in some global flavor, displaced California girl struggles, and (maybe) metric conversions.

This blog will not instruct you in the ways of making all things that come from your kitchen perfect. Cook it Pretty is about the natural beauty in food – preparing it, sharing it – and not just presentation. It’s also about the fact that, like life, it’s not always pretty – as much as I might like it to be. Sometimes the stars align and everything looks good too. But don’t worry too much about the unpretty parts of your journey to get inspired in the kitchen.

Cook it pretty with me!

xo Laura


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