Hi there!  I’m Ashley.  I used to be a terrible cook.  My husband likes to joke that he suffered through quite a few awful meals when we first started dating.  Baking was always my strong point, but cooking?  Not so much.  After a few particularly horrendous meals, I decided it was time.  I’d had enough.  I’ve been in the kitchen ever since, learning, trying new things, having a blast, and generally making a giant mess in the process.  I’ve never had any formal training in cooking or photography, just a lot of trial and error.

About the blog.  While this blog started as simply a creative outlet, it has become something that means so much more.  I hope that it inspires you to try out new recipes and cook more at home.  I believe in approachable recipes with real ingredients – eating healthy but with some indulgences thrown in here and there.  I believe in cooking from scratch as much as possible.  Trust me, if I can do it, you can too!

A little about me.  After living in DC for over 7 years, we recently relocated to the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina, where I live with my wonderful husband and our awesome beagle Emma.  I also work in higher education.  I love coffee, any type of dessert, snowy winter days, watching old episodes of The Office, snuggling with our dog, shopping at Pottery Barn and Anthropologie, the mountains and spending time with friends and family.

Why the name Cookie Monster Cooking?   It all started when I decided to work with a personal trainer in the weeks leading up to my wedding.  He wanted me to keep a food journal of every single thing I ate.  After weeks of dragging my feet (we eat pretty healthy so I figured I didn’t need to do it), I finally wrote everything down.  When my trainer looked at the sheet, he got quiet and then started laughing.  He asked, “What are you, a cookie monster?”  Apparently I do eat well, except for those after dinner cookies.  I went home and told my husband (then fiancé) the story – who also found this all very amusing.  The name has stuck ever since.

About Me - Cookie Monster CookingPhotos by Elizabeth Tate (<— she’s super awesome!) from Nancy Ray Photography