Welcome to Blue Kitchen!

Blue Kitchen is about food. Making it, eating it, thinking about it, talking about it. I’m an omnivore with a magpie eye, always picking up new ideas from every imaginable source. Blue Kitchen isn’t about precious food, though. I love to cook, but I’m not obsessed with it. You won’t find recipes here that involve arcane, laborious processes or require you to start making something three days before you plan to serve it.

Sure, some weekend kinds of dishes may take a couple hours of cooking. Many, though, will be things you can throw together after work in about the same time it would take the pizza delivery guy to get there—okay, or maybe a little longer.

For beginning cooks, I hope you’ll find recipes, techniques and ideas that sound doable and worth tackling. For experienced cooks, I hope that at least once in a while I can make you think, “wow, I didn’t know that” or “hey, that actually sounds good.” For everyone, I hope you’ll find ways of making good—and occasionally, great—meals.

Who’s in the kitchen?

I’m Terry Boyd, an amateur chef in the best sense of the word. I cook because I love it. Not only have I never cooked professionally, I’ve actually had to overcome a childhood in which the most used utensil in the kitchen was the can opener. I started cooking when I was out on my own, out of necessity at first. terry-boyd-2Then I found I enjoyed it. My cooking focuses on fresh ingredients, big flavors and a cheerful willingness to borrow ideas and techniques from all over the world.

I’m a frequent contributor to the Chicago Sun-Times food section and the Christian Science Monitor online edition, and I write weekly food pieces for cable station USA Network’s Character Approved Blog. My recipes have also appeared on the Bon Appétit and Saveur websites.

Sometimes I turn the kitchen over to my wife Marion, a truly great cook who inspires and encourages me in so many ways pretty much on a daily basis. When she gets into the kitchen, you’re in for a treat.

What’s with the name?

Blue Kitchen is the name of the mythical restaurant I will never open, because I’m smart enough to know that it would be punishingly hard work. The name Blue Kitchen evokes visions of a romantic, bohemian place—chalkboard menu, little wooden tables and mismatched kitchen chairs, art on the walls, candles on the tables and jazz on the sound system.

But where the name actually comes from is the use of the term blue as it relates to comedians, as in “blue comedy,” “blue material” or “working blue,” meaning to use lots of obscenities in their routines. When the wheels start falling off things in the kitchen—both measuring cups are in use and I need another one, I can’t find the right pot lid, the pasta’s done and the sauce isn’t—I start cursing with the best of them. The air in the kitchen can become quite blue on a bad night. Appropriately enough, the effect is often quite comedic.

Stick around—and come back often. You’ll like Blue Kitchen. I swear.

A special thanks to my friend Rich Meyer, principal of Swell Advertising in St. Louis, for the superb Blue Kitchen masthead/logo design. I’m responsible for all the words and photographs on Blue Kitchen, unless otherwise noted. All content is copyrighted and all rights are reserved, of course.