Welcome to Cooking to a T!


I’m very excited to share my love and passion for food and cooking with food lovers everywhere, especially the food lover who enjoys clean, fresh and healthy meals.

A couple of years ago, cooking was a necessary skill in order to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Instead of going out to breakfast at a fast food restaurant and ordering take out nearly every evening, I went to the grocery store and bought fruits, vegetables, and food with whole grains. I read recipes on how to make healthier versions of my favorite meals, learned to wean myself off refined sugars and reduce my sodium intake. With regular exercise and my new cooking habits, it was only a matter of time before I saw the pounds drop. I started to look and feel better – on the inside and outside.

Since then, cooking is more than a hobby to me now, but is becoming an art form. I’m at my most creative when I’m in the kitchen. When I’m in the kitchen making a meal for myself or my family, there’s no place I’d rather be. Of course, the perks of cooking food is being able to eat what I make, but it’s the process of watching the meal come together that makes me happy. Slicing fresh tomatoes and chopping fresh basil for bruschetta or hearing that lovely sizzling sound of a nice cut of sirloin steak on a cast iron pan always makes me feel like I’m making something grand or extravagant, when I’m actually making something super simple but still delicious.

Through the trials and errors of creating recipes, cooking continues to teach me something new, even if it’s something I’ve a dozen times like spaghetti and meatballs. With a classic staple like that, I can experiment with making my own pasta, using different types of spaghetti – whole wheat, quinoa, brown rice or regular pasta. I can adulterate a basic tomato sauce and add red wine to add a deep, rich flavor and turn the sauce into a nice burgundy color. I can add parmesan wedges to my tomato sauce to add a salty, cheesy flavor or add sirracha for a good kick. Meatballs? Man! I love adding greens to my meals. So why not add a chopped spinach to my ground beef or ground turkey mix? Maybe throw in some fresh basil or fresh cheese? Meatballs can be cooked on the stove top or in the oven.

I’ve developed a deep appreciation for food and where it comes from, what its benefits are, how to enjoy it and use it to nourish myself rather than use it as an outlet for emotional eating, an issue that’s plagued me for a very long time. I spend a little more time analyzing the freshness of vegetables at the market or reading a nutrition label at the grocery store. I visit the local Farmer’s Market for produce that’s in season. And I’ve begun to learn how to garden, thanks to my mother.

I may not be a professional chef or food writer. But I’m a girl who loves to eat, loves to cook and I use my time in the kitchen to improve my skills and find new dishes to make or new ways to make old meals. I hope you enjoy my website and my journey to become a better cook and a healthier me.

Happy cooking,


T'ara Smith