Shared with Deep Creek Times by Maureen Sheaffer and originally posted on Tapas and Sunshine…

To those of you who don’t know me, I’m Maureen, and I’m so excited to be here sharing my new project with you.

Tapas & Sunshine is a food blog sprinkled with personal stories from the place I call home: Garrett County, Maryland.

I chose Tapas because it’s the perfect way to describe my approach to food. Small plates, snacks, charcuterie, apps, amuse-bouches — they may have different definitions and origins, but to me, they all describe the perfect way to share a meal. A way to gather, eat and enjoy other people or some low-key quality alone time. (No judgment here!)

 

In my opinion, tapas is the best way to try new flavors, fit in a quick bite before your best friend gets you laughing so hard you can hardly breathe, or simply spend time with those you love without the formality of a sit-down dinner.

Whether it’s nuts and cheese before a big holiday meal, a simple crostini for lunch, or even a potluck where everyone hangs out in the kitchen and “snacks,” it’s truly my favorite way to eat. So, it’s no surprise it’s also my preferred way to entertain. What can I say? It’s a lifestyle! (She says while flipping her hair back and rolling her eyes.)

It’s an approach to eating that I’ve always enjoyed, but especially during these last 13 months when we used it as a way to gather with family or friends from a distance. Whether we were in a separate room, chatting across the backyard, or over zoom, food created a shared experience — even if we couldn’t be together.

And Sunshine?

As a mental health advocate, I believe in the healing power of nature. I also believe strongly in therapy and medication for anyone, anywhere, any time. Period.

I want this to be a space where I can share the tools that have helped me personally, including soaking in as much Vitamin D as possible.

In fact, my original plan was to introduce this blog in May but, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I decided to wait and take some much-needed time for myself. As an introvert, I need alone time to recharge, and since having my daughter in September, I have been more mindful and deliberate with my time — and it’s made all the difference.

So, what should you expect from this, my little corner of the Internet?

I enjoy learning about how food can fuel my body for different reasons or outcomes, as well as seasonal and local options, and I look forward to sharing that with you.

What you won’t get is nutritional or medical advice. I’m by no means an expert, and I don’t follow a prescribed diet. I may throw around terms like “vegan,” “vegetarian,” “regenerative,” or “plant-forward,” but my intention is not to tell anyone how to eat (or live).

Above all, I just want to encourage people to do what feels right for them. Good food and company make me happy, and I especially love talking about the incredible local food community we have here in Garrett County. And I especially can’t wait to start conversations and get feedback from you.

 So, pull up a chair and let’s dig in, shall we?

 

Follow along with Maureen and her blog at www.TapasandSunshine.com