Clarisse here, a “professional busy bee” flitting between my day-job and my numerous passions in life. Most days I’m half-crazed from exhaustion, but the thing that keeps me going- and who cares if this is going to sound a tad cliche- is love. I love being able to do them all. (Yes, including my day-job.) What you see on this blog represents just a part of me, but it’s a big part of my life at present. I think it is also a reflection of the kind of time and devotion I willingly give to something I genuinely enjoy and love.
I like to think of myself as a friendly neighborhood recipe tester. In the last few years, I have been spending most of my free time in the kitchen trying not to make a mess (which I have discovered is hard to do when you love to bake). The rest of the time I’m taking pictures of carefully arranged food, though I do spend long hours in front of my computer writing, editing food videos, and searching for inspiration (not necessarily in that order, but usually all at the same time). I also love to travel quite a bit, and you’ll usually know what I’m up to through my Instagram.
Just some random things about me:
- I don’t know if this is going to sound bizarre but I don’t super like to eat sweets even though I like to make them. I generally gravitate towards spicy and sour foods.
- Asian noodle soups are my ultimate comfort food.
- I will devour any chocolate 72% and above, so be careful when you have them around me. 👀
- I love coffee. I drink it everyday.
- Apart from writing and photography, I am also obsessed with reading fantasy novels, watching volleyball games, and doing watercolor illustrations.
- When I’m extra tired, I either go on a Netflix marathon (K-dramas!) or answer Sudoku puzzles until I fall asleep. 😆
- My main inspirations for starting this blog are Lori Baltazar (The OG Pinay food blogger of Dessert Comes First) and Dorie Greenspan.
Now for some blog stuff:
This blog is all about sharing the food and travel related things I enjoy. That’s it!
I am a 100% self-taught kitchen experimenter, and therefore I know you don’t have to be a professionally-trained chef to be able to make food you enjoy. You certainly do not need to be any sort of special traveler to appreciate the wonderful things the world has to offer. This is my belief and the reason why I decided to start this blog.
At the end of the day, this blog is still my big ole diary for all the recipes, food brands, and adventures that have made a mark in my life. It’s as simple as that!
The story in the name
The name The Tummy Train is actually a combination of the two main things this blog centers around: food (tummy) and travel (train).
TUMMY. This blog is first and foremost about the exploration of food, and I like to do that inside and outside my kitchen. You can expect lots of posts about recipes, restaurants, and products.
I would like to mention again that I am not a food expert nor have I ever been trained as a chef. I don’t have an elder who teaches me stuff in the kitchen, and I have only attended classes informally here and there. But I do love experimenting in the kitchen, and that’s where all my learning has happened. I started baking cupcakes for fun when I was 16 because I thought they were cute, but it wasn’t until after graduating from college with an unrelated degree that I realized how much I actually enjoy baking. There’s more to it than cupcakes apparently, though they are a pretty good place to start.
I really enjoy recipe testing and learning new things in the kitchen. I make it a point to chronicle only the recipes that have made an impression on me. Occasionally I try to tweak them to spice them up a little more. I am also somewhat obsessed with replicating delicious things I’ve tried from restaurants, or during my travels. Currently, I am obsessed with pairing stuff with drinks. (Go figure!) Through this blog, you can also get a glimpse of my inner thoughts when I’m learning a new baking or cooking technique for the first time. (I can get pretty chatty!) I guess I just hope that someone could benefit from my trials and errors.
At the moment, most of the recipes on this blog are dessert-related since I really have a special love for baking. Ironically I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but there’s something about turning flour and eggs into beautiful baked goods that makes me feel like I’m doing magic. Since I like spicy and sour food the most, I’m slowly trying out more savory dishes and adding them into my “repertoire”. I couldn’t be happier about becoming more well-rounded as a home cook! And to think it all began when I went into the kitchen one day with zero experience and just decided to make something! I am hopeful this blog also encourages others to take that step. I try my best to share tips based on my experiences, as well as process photos and videos where necessary.
Outside my kitchen, I enjoy seeking out unique dining experiences and trying products that are new to me. (More so if they’re local products!) It’s also been a pleasure to get some behind the scene looks into famous international food brands. What started out as a diary for my kitchen trials has evolved into something more multi-faceted, and I’m still continuously trying to develop concepts for the blog that will make all the foodie things I share more interesting for all of you. 😉
TRAIN. Is there still anyone out there who hasn’t been bitten by the travel bug? It’s the age of affordable flying and wanderlust after all. The world is too fascinating a place to miss out on. I have a love for learning about cultures and histories other than my own; and of course, we must not forget the cuisine!
I believe that travel and food will never be mutually exclusive, because the cuisine is simply too big a part of a country’s identity to ignore. So in the travel visual diaries that I write, I always try to capture the essence of a country’s culture and cuisine as much as I can.
Most of my travels are broken down by blog posts, but I very much enjoy making Travel Videos as well. My enthusiasm for traveling has opened doors for me I never expected, but more importantly, I hope it can help you see a tiny bit of what you can expect out there.
Well this has turned out longer than I expected. I certainly hope that you find the trip with The Tummy Train worthwhile and fun! 🙂
If you have specific questions about the recipes I’ve shared or the places I’ve been, feel free to e-mail me at clarisse [at] thetummytrain [dot] com OR thetummytrain [at] gmail [dot] com. You can also just leave a comment on the individual post. I’ll try my best to help you out!
PS. I put a lot of thought and effort into coming up with my content and photos, so please please please do not take them without proper credit or permission. Thank you!