About the One ReCP Culinary Blog

Hi, I’m Aya! I got into cooking before I could even walk… or so I’d been told.

Aya leaning against a brick wall

When you think about it, cooking has all of the ingredients of a heroic journey.

This journey typically features a young apprentice who is full of optimism but struggles to complete simple tasks such as chopping down an onion.

At first, the apprentice fails to see the limitations imposed by her own eagerness which leads her onto a path of confusion, frustration, and many overcooked meals.

However, as time goes on, she overcomes her inner struggles and learns the value of patience and perseverance which help her immensely.

As her journey continues, she becomes well-versed in the forbidden arts of broiling, braising, and searing meats.

Until one day, she’s finally able to cook one meal that satisfies all of her family, friends, and relatives.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

We all have that one recipe that caught everyone by surprise and made all of those sweaty hours in the kitchen worthwhile.

about Aya

Aya in an old village's backyard

I grew up in Phoenix, AZ but moved to Virginia when I was 16. However, both my parents are Bulgarian and as such I’ve been raised with mostly Balkan cuisine.

So things like our Banitsa, Leek pie, this incredible shredded potato casserole with feta cheese, the classic Pork with sauerkraut, and, of course, seafood were a staple at our home.

Although there’s an ongoing debate in the Balkans where most of the dishes originated from, we all technically eat different versions of the same things.

Traditional Balkan cuisine includes a wide range of foods and recipes, some originating from as far as the Middle East, and generally falls into the Mediterranean cuisine and diet. As such, we Bulgarians regularly eat our own spin offs of recipes that worldwide may be more popular as German, Italian, Greek and Turkish. Cuisine-wise these countries have always had a better marketing than our tiny Bulgaria, so don’t be surprised if our food seems similar.

Finally, growing up in the US gave me a great perspective and I’ve come to appreciate and learn how to make some good American barbecue and sweets. I don’t have a favorite cuisine style and love them all equally as long as it’s delicious (is this even possible?).

But enough about my culinary background!

A fun fact about me is that I’m now in my early thirties and I still don’t know how to ride a bike.

One thing beside cooking I’m really passionate about is gardening. In my ideal world I’d grow 100% of my food myself and then cook it. This is not the case in real life, however, as currently I look after a couple of succulents and some other non-demanding houseplants. One day though!

Quick trivia about me:

  • If I could be any animal: A red panda, obviously
  • My favorite flower: Passiflora
  • Something I regret: Honestly, not starting this blog earlier…
  • Hours of sleep I need each night to feel good: Probably twel..ahem, eight.
  • Do I dream when I sleep: Only if it’s crippling nightmares

my goal with oneReCP

Aya showing the peace sign

Ever since I made my signature Mushroom Risotto, I’ve been pursuing different ways to perfect my recipes so no one at my dinner table is left unsatisfied.

Of course, things don’t always go smoothly. When researching new recipes I have to go through a lot of misleading and redundant information before I find exactly what I need. And as you might imagine, this can take a lot of time and effort which doesn’t really help when you want to stay motivated enough to master a skill.

Unfortunately, when I first began doing this, I couldn’t tell whether the cooking advice I found online was helpful or not, which often led to mistakes.

So after gaining more experience and plowing through more than enough pages of useless content I finally decided to take matters into my own hands and create oneReCP to help readers like you (so you won’t have to go through the same ordeals as me).

My goal with this blog is to share my culinary knowledge and all the research I’ve done with readers who are eager to learn while sparing them the mistakes that are part of building up experience.

Besides recipe ideas, every informational article on this blog goes under careful scrutiny and fact-checking before it gets published as I’m trying my best to help my readers and avoid feeding them misleading information.

All of my articles are listed here if you’d like to browse them sorted by date of publishing.

my top 7 tips for new cooks

  • Any combination of two or more of the following will always taste amazing: potatoes, feta cheese, the Savory herb, and garlic.
  • Read the recipe in full before you start cooking. The key to perfect execution often lies in the additional notes, instructions or tips within the text. Just skimming over the recipe card is not enough as sometimes the golden nuggets lie in the body of the article.
  • Combine salty and sweet in the same dish. This may sound outrageous to some but it’s actually a well-established technique in Chinese cuisine for example. And for a reason. You won’t believe how good macaroni with just feta cheese and some sugar taste (my grandma’s quick dinner solution).
  • If you want juicy meat cook at lower temperatures. Sear the meat if you want it crispy on the outside and ALWAYS blot it with a paper cloth before searing. Searing wet meat is prone to failure and not-so-great browning.
  • Get a food thermomether. This will help you tremendously if you’re a punctual person and happen to always overcook or undercook your food.
  • If you’re cooking something that’s done fast like fried eggs or chicken drumsticks for example, make sure you set everything up before you put the food on the stove top. This way you won’t spend valuable time looking for that one spice while your food is already overcooking.
  • Try to make your own sauces and salad dressings. Most sauces really are best when prepared fresh and some of them require surprisingly few ingredients. You can’t go wrong with a homemade mild Buffalo wing sauce or its garlic parmesan alternative.

follow OneReCP.com on social media

If you’d like to connect with me on social media and stay up to date with our content you can follow OneReCP.com on Pinterest, and Facebook, and also subscribe to our YouTube channel.

I also expect you to tag me if you end up trying one of my cooking tips or recipes!

got any questions for me?

If you are looking to get help with a recipe or have a general question about my blog check our FAQ help center.

If you want to ask something about a recipe or article that I’ve published:

Please leave a comment in the comments section of the article or recipe post! Comments are way more convenient for me to answer and also other readers will be able to benefit from our discussion! I do try to answer every single comment.

contact me

If you have any other questions, email me at recpadmin[@]onerecp.com.

How soon I answer will depend on the volume of emails I’ve received that day! 🙂