About our little website

It is easy to overlook the value of what we learn in the kitchen from our parents. I owe much of my cooking knowledge to my mother, but I did not always know the value of it.

My mother, Hisako, started this recipe website in 2000 after learning HTML at the local community college. Back then the website was hosted for free on Geocities.

The old home page, circa 2005

She intended the website to be a personal reference for when she was traveling and cooking in Japan. She also wanted to share her recipes with friends and relatives, but her deepest wish was to teach me how to cook using her recipes (see: Macaroni and Cheese).

Unfortunately, I never had time to cook. At my first real job I had to work long hours and most weekends. My "cooking" consisted of boiling Pasta Roni and baking frozen pizzas, when I wasn't picking up fast food.

In 2010, I thought it would be fun to apply my web design skills and help my mother with Anyrecipe.net. I was itching to improve the appearance and usability of the website, especially after hearing my sister-in-law point out how confusing it was to navigate.

California Rolls recipe, circa 2005

So, I got to work. The only problem is that you get hungry editing dozens of recipes. In the interest of testing the recipes and saving money, I began to cook real food. The more I cooked, the more I enjoyed it. But it wasn't until I found out I had high blood-sugar spikes that I really started getting serious about it. I wanted to know what I was eating and to make better choices for my health. I have been shifting away from a carbohydrate-heavy diet and adding more fiber to my meals. I started eating probiotic foods like yogurt, kefir milk, and sauerkraut and I began using koji salt in my cooking.

Today, Anyrecipe.net is a collection all kinds of recipes, from unhealthy butter-laden cookies to low-carb experiments. We believe in keeping the advertising unobtrusive so you won't see annoying popups here. That way the focus is on the recipes. You can see my mother's background in her numerous Japanese recipes, some of them learned from her own mother, including our anko bean recipe. You might also notice her insatiable passion for sweets from her large collection of dessert recipes, which far outnumbers the recipes in any other category on our website.

With less and less Americans cooking these days, I wonder about the future of cooking. For me, cooking is the freedom to make our food exactly how we like it and it gives us back control over what ingredients we put into our bodies.

I hope that our little website contributes in some way ó even if itís just a small way ó to continuing an important human tradition and that it will help you on your journey to becoming a better cook.

- Jasmine Ray

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