Hey! Welcome! I’m so glad you found me. My name is Anne. By day I’m a social media and marketing person at a startup on the sunny island of Tenerife, and by night (well more in the weekend honestly) I like to cook.

I’m a pretty normal 24 year old woman, I love music and festivals (though my friends tell me I have a horrible taste in music), I have a masters in entrepreneurship, I like to have drinks with friends and go to the movies. I will read anything I can get my hands on (provided it’s fiction and not actively trying to teach me something). I like art (though I’m not sure I understand modern art completely), and my phone is more important to me than I like to admit. Travelling is a big passion of mine and I like to learn how to cook new things as I go. I am also very openly lactose intolerant (because if you don’t tell people how are they going to know?).

The idea for this blog was a recent one, but the story of this blog started when I found out I was lactose intolerant. 13 year old me thought that her life had ended. I could only remember ever liking anything if it had dairy in it. Favourite food? Ice cream. Breakfast? Yoghurt with fruit and muesli. Apple pie? Only with whipped cream. Any soup? Yes! Cream of mushroom please. Sauces? Anything based on butter. Thirteen year old that I was I first spent a while feeling very sorry for myself and listing all the things I would have to give up. Chocolate, did I mention milk chocolate? I never thought I’d eat pure chocolate (blegh).

Then it occurred to me that I had always enjoyed helping my mum cook. She taught me how the egg whites are only done if they stick to the bowl when you turn it upside down. I watched my dad cook, and he taught me that a good cook is a tidy cook (because we would turn the kitchen inside out when making bread on Sunday morning). I discovered a love for baking. Slowly I started to experiment with different substitutes and over the years I have learned that there is actually surprisingly little that I cannot eat anymore. I just have to put in a little more effort to make it myself instead of buying it at the supermarket. I learned to appreciate dark chocolate (and honestly the milk stuff is too sweet for me now).

Me in Peru

I grew taller (I did that a lot around that time) and before I knew it my mum had given me my own day to cook for the family. At that point it became a chore and I didn’t want to do it anymore. Mostly because I had to get groceries as well. I used to try and convince (read bully) my little brother to go the shop for me. Poor guy didn’t know how to say no at first, but luckily he’s learned that now. I grew up a little more, moved to Rotterdam to study. I learned to drink beer and discovered the beauty of Belgian craft beers. I learned to cook with those as well.

One day a friend told me that he was lactose intolerant too, and quite badly. He had the same experience as me when I was 13. He thought he could never eat anything ever again. That’s when we came up with the idea for a recipe book with dairy free recipes for ordinary foods. That idea has now transformed into a blog, and I’m writing it by myself.

The lion sleeps tonightThis blog is not only for dairy free people but also for those of you who find themselves cooking for a dairy-free person and have no idea where to start. Perhaps you’re wondering if we can have eggs (I get this question a lot). Here’s the answer: Yes we can have eggs (mostly). A good rule of thumb is this: everything that comes from a cow while the cow is alive is bad. A chicken is not a cow, so therefore we’re good.

I like to cook using recipes, and I substitute whatever I need to substitute. Some of the recipes on this blog are recipes that I have found online and tweaked to my satisfaction. Where appropriate I will always post the link back to the original recipe. I welcome suggestions for posts so if you’re experiencing the devastation of not being able to eat your favourite food anymore, let me know what it is and we’ll find a way for you to enjoy the happiness of eating that wonderful food again.

Don’t hesitate to comment here, or if you’d rather drop me an email you can do that at anne.somsen[at]gmail[dot]com. Happy cooking!