About me

Edit from April 2018

  So this is where I'm supposed to introduce myself and I let this page blank for a little too long on the English version of my blog, also because I don't like to tank about myself and that I'm not rally good at it but as a blog reader, I think it's more friendly to know a little more about who's behind a blog.

First name : You may have guessed it. Even if not from Tahiti myself, my name comes from this exotic French islands, my father did his military service there.
Age : Let's say I tick the 30-35 years old box.
Location : A small town, near Versailles, between fields, forests and commercial zones, in the South West suburb of Paris, but I plan to move abroad in Europe, finally.
Origins : French (from Basque country and Aveyron in the South West) and Polish.
Particularity : I'm been a veggie since July 1999 and more and more vegan for the past 3-4 years.


  I'm not that kind of people who learnt to cook with their mother or grand-mother or have family cooking heritage. I learnt how to cook by myself when I moved into my first apartment when I was about 26. I mostly tried baking recipes first because, well, I'm a sweet tooth. My very first proud recipe was chouquettes and they may be the best ones I ever baked so far, ha ha.

  At first, I only cooked or baked simple recipes like cakes or pies, then I tried bread and brioches but bakery still remain a hazardous field to me, I never know it it's going to turn out fine or not.

  I also cook and eat savory dishes of course but I have a lot less imagination, matching flavors is less intuitive for me even if I learnt how to use and handle spices I didn't know about before for example. I love veggie pies, pizze, soups or simple but savory and healthy dishes, I don't like to spend that much time in the kitchen after all, I prefer to eat 😇

  While surfing on the blog, you'll also see that my cooking habits have changed a little, I stopped using refined sugar or flour, eggs or dairy most of the time (as a vegan animal lover) and try to vary natural sugars or flours, I now use nut butters, seeds superfood, I only cook and eat seasonal vegetables and fruit - you won't see tomatoes, courgettes or red fruit in Winter here - as a North hemisphere inhabitant.

My food inspiration

  I like Italian food as I went several times there as a tourist but also at my friends in Rome. I also love Indian food for its delicious vegetarian dishes full of spices and flavors. I also get inspiration for Anglo-Saxon recipes because I lived in the US after High-School for a year as an exchange student and went to London or other parts of Great-Britain so many many times and like what we can eat there. Strangely, I way more into French cuisine, it's often too fat or in sauce or just not what I eat, even for pastry, but I learnt how to turn it into vegetarian/vegan healthy food lately.

  Vegetarian for almost 20 years now, I started to cook and bake vegan recipes for the love of animal but also because I discovered eggs and dairy were, after all, not as good and useful for us. I mean, cow milk for cow babies and human milk for... well, humans, logic, right? I'm very curious so I also like to go on the gluten free or raw food path, use veggies in desserts, etc.

  I'm a food show fan, Top Chef (I had the chance to be part of the final jury of French season 2 in 2011, a super experience), Masterchef, The Great French Bake Off and other French shows.

  I get inspiration from TV shows, magazines, cookbooks, blogs, restaurants I go to, travels but also, from my own creation, what I developed for the past years after almost 5 years of blogging, very proud of that.


The blog and food photography

  The blog was born on May 2013 as a recipe note book as people asked me for recipes I sometimes couldn't find, written on pieces of paper or twisted, it was for others as well as for me thus. 

  I have always liked photo, I had my first camera when I was a child. But the first photos of the blog are not the most pretty ones as you may see if you stumble on one of the first years recipe of the blog. I sometimes try to change the most ugly ones when I happen to redo some old recipes. I used to just take my smartphone out and shoot the dish, sometimes at night with artificial yellow light. But thanks to other blogs, food events and curiosity, I began to develop my food photography skills somehow and am still working on it. I had a phase when I would put just too much on the scene, didn't use the right plate, didn't even use photo editing. 

  I still use a basic photo editing software - no Lightroom or Photoshop here, I've got no time or money to learn how to use them - but it works enough for me and I learnt how to use my camera too even if I would need some lessons to use it 100% manual. 

  I think my styling got more simple and focused on the food, I learned how to match colors and not put too much,, also because it can takes quite some time to shoot after all, I want to get to the point and just put the recipe forward in a pretty way, that's it. I always shoot with natural light - this is why Winter is such a nightmare when it's often dark or cloudy outside and that you cannot shoot anything after 4PM. I don't like artificial light photos, even to look at and don't think about using a studio one day, just not my thing.

Besides cooking or blogging

Of course, I don't spend all my spare time on the kitchen or on the blog, I spend a lot of time walking my dog, Jesse, an 5 year-old adopted mixed shepherd, at least 2 hours a day. She's also my first fan and like to taste my recipes - when the ingredients are dog friendly, she also likes to watch me shoot and is so respectful of food, even when plates are on the floor! I'm a real animal lover, I grew up with a poodle called Spirou, I had two mice when I was a student and then adopted a bunny called Sisi, that I was very sad to lose after 9 years of living with her. 

I'm also a fan of series and movies (I try to watch in English as much as possible), I cannot live without listening to music at least once a day, I've practiced Body Pump for the past 10 years (with some breaks), I also like read, do crafts or ride my bike in the nature, travel and discover the world - I won't go to an exotic place and just spend the week on the beach or at the pool, I don't like swimming anyway. I began to develop some other photography skills and learn how to shoot landscapes or cities I travel too or just near home. I used to ride a motorcycle for a few years (on the road or race tracks), I love that freedom you can't feel with the car, but had to sell it when I went back to studies.

I think, you now know a lot about me. You can follow my daily cooking, food discoveries or food events I go to thanks to Instagram stories or posts (also here for travel/city/nature photographs or here to follow Jesse's adventures). I also post several times a week on my Facebook page.

To finish, you'll find me a lot on Pinterest and also Twitter, Google+, Food Gawker and Finding Vegan.

If you want to practice your French, I publish my recipes or good food places where to eat here :

To email me directly cookalife.bymaeva@gmail.com

I love to know you tasted one of my recipes and liked it - or not and understand why - so feel free to send me pictures of what you tried or tag me on the social networks. I have a dedicated album on my Facebook page.

To not miss a recipe, you can register to the newsletter on the home page of the blog and will receive an email each time I publish a new article (once or twice a week at most).

Hope to hear from you soon and why not meet during a travel or a food event! 😀

*** Recipes I publish here have all been tested and approved. All the photos published on the blog were taken by me and belong to me, same for the texts I write. If I get inspiration from others, I quote the source, so please, do the same for any recipe you would publish inspired or copied from one of mine, thank you. ***

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