Food friends! How I've missed you! I would like to offer my sincerest apologies for the long hiatus since my last blog entry. It's been an...interesting last few months. To summarize: I got back on the dating saddle, met someone I was immediately enamored by, became entangled in a whirlwind romance that took the two of us all the way to China, where we ate too many delicious dishes to count, a veritable fairy tale that was in reality a glaring sign that this dreamlike scenario was too good to be true. Less than two weeks after I returned from China, barely over my jet lag, I was unceremoniously dumped.
But this is no excuse! As someone whose biggest pet peeve is when friends disappear as soon as they enter coupledom (I'm not talking about the kind of couple with a mortgage and kids, but a fresh couple consisting of two still-independent adults who freely dictate their own schedules), I had committed this exact crime. However, something positive came out of my blog neglect, something monumental, a truly watershed moment. I realized the direction in which I want to take this blog.
Almost one year ago exactly, I was ending yet another relationship, a far worse one. This ex was emotionally and verbally abusive, fueled by daily heavy drinking. By the end of our year-and-a-half relationship, I was a shell of my former self. I was insecure, scared, and untrusting, least of all of myself. But I slowly regained my self-confidence through cooking.
Cooking solo meals for myself used to be something I would dread, a depressing and tedious task that I hid from the world, like putting on pimple cream. After a toxic relationship, however, cooking for myself became the most effective form of therapy for me, and I soon came to love it.
This was around the same time I launched Aiya! Kitchen. Looking back on this year, most of which was spent in singlehood, I realize now that a large majority of the dishes I've featured on here and on the Aiya Instagram were solo meals, but I had portioned them out to serve at least two. Pictured above and below are some examples of these dishes. Believe me, I genuinely enjoyed preparing these for myself, and I enjoyed eating them even more.
Going forward, I'm going to embrace my solo meals for being just that. From now on, all my recipes will say "serves one." Because I want to show every single man and woman out there that cooking for one does not have to be sad or tedious, that solo meals should feel like treats. So I'm going to keep creating dishes that are visually appealing, but easy-to-make, dishes that are meant to impress the most important person in your life: yourself.