If you know me well, you probably already know that I’m a bit of a Food Network addict. I guess I’ve always had a cursory interest in cooking. I mean does it count that I spent many a Saturday afternoon baking peanut butter chocolate chip cookies when I was growing up? Ok, probably not, but it’s a decent start, right?

Now fast forward past the Ramen noodle phase in college and my years of being single in Nashville to just three years ago when I got engaged. Like many brides to be, I embraced my upcoming domesticity with fervor. I definitely went a little crazy with the registering. First, it was the waffle iron. Then it was a creme brulee set. Next up: A fondue pot was a must-have. Later, it was a bread maker and more kitchen gadgets (melon baller, anyone?) from Crate & Barrel than I probably really needed. But everything on the list seemed downright essential at the time, especially when I dreamt of dazzling Will with gourmet meals that were as effortless as tying my shoe.

And low and behold, all my friends and family began purchasing these incredible items for us, and my love affair with cooking officially began. In fact, there are still days when I want to give my Kitchen Aid mixer a big sloppy kiss. It’s seriously one of the coolest things ever invented. I mean look at it…isn’t it dazzling? And if you saw how quick it mixed cookie dough or whipped cream, well, you’d be amazed.

Ok, back on topic now…I really, really started loving the whole cooking thing, so I subscribed to Cooking Light and began watching The Food Network to get different recipe ideas. And before I knew it, I was hooked on watching Everyday Italian with Giada DeLaurentiis, Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals (yes, I’m fully aware that she has annoying pet phrases like E.V.O.O and garbage bowl and talks about her love of garlic and anchovies too much) and Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa.

Now while Will definitely loves the fruits of my cooking labor (he agrees that so far I haven’t made anything totally nasty, except when I tried to make a low-fat mac & cheese—a combination that should never be attempted, for the record), I’m pretty convinced that he doesn’t exactly see the entertainment value in watching some random lady cook. He’ll occasionally watch Giada just to count how many times she says “perfect,” but unless it’s one of these ladies’ travel shows, he’d rather watch ESPN or CNN. And that’s totally fine with me.

One particular day when I was oohing and aahing about something Ina Garten was making, he asked exactly why I enjoy watching her (a.k.a. Barefoot Contessa) so much. I mean she doesn’t exactly crack jokes while she’s making her world-famous peanut butter chocolate chip brownies. She’s not loud and overly dramatic like Emeril. She doesn’t grill everything known to man or challenge random people to “Throwdowns” like Bobby Flay.

But the reason I like Ina so much is because she uses really simple ingredients to make what looks like really delicious food. Note: Every recipe I’ve ever made—including meatballs, something I’ve never attempted before—turned out fabulously. Plus, she’s got this great grandmotherly quality about her that makes me miss my own grandma. And if that wasn’t enough of a reason to tune in, well, she and her husband Jeffrey are the cutest couple ever. They’ve been married for what seems like eternity, and she’s always thinking of some way to surprise him when he’s getting home from a routine business trip. I mean, to borrow one of her favorite lines “How gorgeous is that?”

And because I’m such a nerd, I was super excited to hear that Ina is actually going to be signing copies of her new cookbook at a nearby Borders store in November. So guess who’s going to be getting to say hi to Barefoot Contessa in person very soon?

Yep, that’s me…The Food Network geek.