Hello from Shine's Food Editor! (That's Me.)

Let's pretend we're meeting in person. I'd bring a plate of these chocolate chip cookies.Let's pretend we're meeting in person. I'd bring a plate of these chocolate chip cookies.Well, hi there! I'm the new food editor at Shine, but hopefully my face isn't new to you. I've been part of the Shine community since the beginning, first as a user, then as part of the Shine staff writing about making life as joyful, meaningful, and healthy as possible, and now here's why I'm so excited to be hanging out in the kitchen:

I'm super passionate about figuring out how to live well. That means different things to different people. But for me it means that between work, the gym, and trips to the laundromat, I want to find time for the things that fill the everyday with meaning and delight.

And one of those things, no matter how simple or thrown together, is cooking dinner.

Now, let me be clear: sometimes dinner at my house is cheese and crackers eaten to the soundtrack of The West Wing. Other times it's a special, slow-cooked meal that I get to take my time with. But mostly it's a quick weeknight dash: at its worst, another task I rush through; at its best, a time to chop an onion, be quiet, and find my center again.

And that's where things start to get really interesting. Because when we talk about nourishing ourselves with food, we're not just talking about eating.

So many stories in our life happen around the table, like how your grandmother taught you to make pie dough on a cold winter day, or how your first dinner party was a hilarious disaster that ended in bowls of Frosted Flakes. And so much of our time every day is spent asking food questions: What can I eat for breakfast that's super fast? What should I cook with this all this eggplant I bought on sale? Do I need a crock-pot? Crap, it's 6 o'clock: What's for dinner?

Have you ever noticed how in almost every house, people always gravitate to the kitchen? I hope you'll feel as comfortable sharing your stories, recipes, comments, frustrations, questions, quandaries, solutions, and ideas here as you would pulling up a chair at a friend's kitchen table.

Best of all, no one has to do the dishes. Let's eat!

So how about a little ice breaker? (Yes, I was an RA.) What ingredient do you always, always have on hand?