In the Kitchen With: Mariko of The Little Foodie

| Apr 15, 2010 Food & Party

  • Meet Mariko of The Little Foodie


    Meet Mariko. She has a toddler and a baby on the way, and is one of two bloggers behind The Little Foodie. We met her co-blogger, Damaris, last week; today's In the Kitchen With feature takes us inside Mariko's Hawaiian kitchen.

  • Mariko's family


    Mariko's husband, Jake.

    Tell us about your family.

    We're a family of three with a fourth on the way. My husband, Jake, and I both teach (I: English; He: ceramics). My toddler and my husband are full of energy and love to be outside all the time in the Hawaii weather. We love to eat and make meals a big part of our family life. 

  • Cooking style


    Mariko's daughter.

    Tell us about your blog. How would you describe your cooking style?

    The Little Foodie is about discovering food with our children. I am determined to expose our kids to the variety of good food out in the world and to have a healthy relationship with food. I like to try new foods all the time and to be excited about the food I'm cooking and eating.

    I believe that you have to feed your kids what you cook instead of trying to shield them from what they might not like. My daughter was extremely finicky for the first two years -- which drove me crazy. But I've been persistent, and she respects food even if she doesn't always love it. I think a lot about what she is putting into her body, and it makes me think about my own eating habits.

  • The kitchen


    Especially-made-for-me bowls (which have to be periodically replaced because of my clumsiness).

    What is your favorite thing about your kitchen?

    I'm happily married to a ceramist who makes functional pottery for me. I love the bowls, cups, and pitchers we use daily, and I like discovering their colors, ridges, and dimples when I use them.  


  • Inspiration


    Our windows are always open ... Glass balls my husband finds on the beach decorate our house.

    Where do you find inspiration?

    I get excited about different ethnic cuisines when we try out new restaurants and that usually leads to a lot of obsessive research. I'm also a die-hard Cooks Illustrated fan; when I get a new issue I read it front to back and make note of which recipes I want to try that month. I love reading about cooking techniques. 

  • Family traditions


    A Japanese curtain to block some morning light.

    What traditions or rituals do you and your family have with respect to food?

    Most of my relationship with my Japanese heritage is through food. I could eat Japanese food every day and never get tired of it. I've learned a lot about cooking from both of my parents, and now that I've grown I see that we have the same passion for good, quality food and seek it out everywhere we go. 

  • Indulgences


    We keep our counter bowls full of fresh fruit and vegetables.

    What is your one indulgence?

    Pretty much every food I eat is an indulgence. I believe in eating well all the time. I always eat full fat ingredients and don't skimp. This doesn't mean I don't concern myself with healthy eating -- I just think that eating real food that you make yourself is the way to eat healthy. If we're talking about sweets, I am a sucker for S'mores. I make 'em in the oven all the time. Yum. 

  • The food


    Perfect pie crust from The Little Foodie.

    What do you make better than anyone else?

    I make really good sandwiches. I know that it doesn't sound like "cooking." Sandwiches are something that can be so boring that most people don't even consider the variety of combinations you can get between two pieces of bread. Bahn mi sandwiches are my favorite, but I like to try strange combinations and experiment with savory and sweet. I also make perfect pie crust (thanks to Cooks Illustrated).

  • And, more food


    What are some ingredients/food items that you could never, ever live without?

    Rice -- short grain, new crop, good quality Japanese rice. My daughter couldn't live without it either. If we don't have a huge variety of vegetables around, I think we have nothing to eat. Basically when I want to cook something, I look at the vegetables we have and work from there.

  • Favorite sites


    Ceramic pitcher and vase my husband made.

    I love Refrigerator Soup and Tastespotting and rely on those sites to get me where I want to go. But other than that I come back regularly to A Table for Two, Cannelle et Vanille, and Smitten Kitchen.

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