Hi, I’m Anna. Welcome to Garlic Delight.
I’ve been obsessed with food and cooking as early as I can remember. My mum worked at a Thai grocery store from when I was 9 months old, and I grew up hanging out with her, sticking price tags on fish sauce, playing hide-and-seek behind 50-lb bags of jasmine rice, and stacking boxes upon boxes of instant noodles.
When I met Alex—my physicist husband—in 2015, I learned French and American cooking techniques because his family is big into Jacques Pépin, Ina Garten, and Julia Child. I taught him Chinese stir-frying and braising methods. In 2017, we started Garlic Delight together to share our passion for cooking and the results of our kitchen experiments.
Then everything changed
In 2021, our son, the Little King, arrived (born 9 pounds and 9 ounces—ouch!). He turned our lives upside down. For the first time in my life, I struggled to cook dinner. I couldn’t go grocery shopping on a whim. I constantly felt HANGRY (ahem, breastfeeding) but never ate dinner before 8:30 p.m. Do these feelings sound familiar?
- Living off store-bought food: “I’m a FTM to a 3 month old who feeds every 2 hours and wants to be held all day, and I’m subsisting on frozen entrees, sandwiches, and takeout that I can wolf down during his (painfully brief) naps. Not proud of this, but it’s my current reality.”
- Burning out from preparing meals: “I used to enjoy cooking. Now it’s stressful because the kitchen is usually messy to start (kids snacks as soon as they get home). Then we have time pressure. If dinner isn’t ready then they just get cranky and the whole evening schedule goes off the rails. And the whole demanding toddler thing as you are handling hot pasta or trying not to burn something.”
- Dreading meal planning: “Kitchen PTSD, man. The struggle is real. I had such bad anxiety about this EXACT thing every night, I finally made myself meal plan for the week. Which I hate.”
- Out of inspiration and hope: “I seem to have chronic trouble creating interesting and simple menus for my family (husband and one four year old). I’m a full-time parent and wish I could manage things better.”
We survived on store-bought food during the newborn stage. We heated up frozen food and ate the occasional salad during the infant stage. Quickly, cooking became a chore. I was tired of eating the same old tortellini and marinara sauce. I felt drained going to the grocery store with the toddler and standing in the pasta aisle, trying to figure out what to make for dinner…again.
The biggest motivation for change came when we stepped on the scale during Thanksgiving break and noticed we had gained 40 pounds combined. During an annual physical, our blood tests began to show borderline high cholesterol and pre-diabetes.
Life had to change.
Today, we have an 18-month old toddler, and we cook almost every meal. Not every meal is from scratch, but there’s always a homemade component. Here’s how our life looks:
- We’ve dropped 20 pounds combined in just 7 month
- My toddler helps me cook in the kitchen almost every day
- We sit down as a family for dinner every night (as long as Alex isn’t traveling for work)
- Cooking is fun again, and I feel in control
How are we doing it? I’m far from perfect, but I love sharing what’s working for us. Here’s what you’ll find at Garlic Delight:
- Anti-recipes: Flexible recipes with endless variations so you never get bored and you can adjust them to fit your season in life and your family’s taste (like my delicious flexible cabbage soup)
- Anti-waffling: Kitchen organization tips so you can get dinner on the table without decision fatigue (have you tried mise en place?)
- Anti-perfection: Real-life stories show you how unpolished my kitchen life is and systems we’ve developed to avoid power struggles (how to develop kitchen confidence)
- Stories about my ongoing, neverending kitchen remodel with a toddler under foot (how to cook when you kitchen is demolished)
Join our journey
Get my best tips on feeding your little ones, straight to your inbox: