About Rookie With A Cookie

Hi Friend! I’m so excited to have you become a part of my family.

I’m Izza, the girl behind and in front of the camera. I blog from my cozy apartment in downtown Seattle while working fulltime at Amazon. It really is the best of both worlds. Rookie With A Cookie is my little haven that has me making mischief in the kitchen for YEARS! I love food–creating it, photographing it (actually that’s my least favorite part because the food always gets cold!), devouring it and then soon after, burning it off in the gym. But more than food, I like yapping about it, mostly on Instagram. Are we connected on Instagram, yet?

My Background

I grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, before moving to the US for college. Growing up in a big Punjabi family with a big appetite, it goes without saying that there was food galore. A simple gathering with my extended family became a feast because my paternal grandfather would have it no other way. Although growing up, I was least interested in being anywhere close to the kitchen (maybe just for stealing cake :p), I had a very peculiar interest: I would spend hours watching BBC food. While my mom and sisters watched melodramatic TV dramas, I would sit in front of a second TV, one leg thrown carelessly over the arm of the chair, and watch Ainsley Harriet throw down the meanest jerk chicken in the middle of a forest somewhere. Then there was Ching-He Huang with her killer stir-fry recipes and of course my all-time favorite Nigella Lawson. Truthfully speaking, it was more the host’s personality that kept me hooked. Going back to those shows now, the food wasn’t unusual; it was your everyday meal, but there was this indescribably magic in the ambiance. I still experience it today when I watch food shows that are not competitive with a timer over the poor contestants’ head.

How I Got Started

I was a bratty kid growing up; if there was a scuffle, there was Izza. Trouble really had a way of finding me or was I secretly in search of it;) Up until the age of 15, I could only make a fried egg really, or the 2-minute life-saving Maggie noodles that were never really done in 2 minutes…psst. I watched all the BBC food shows but never ventured into the kitchen; it looked like a matriarchal chore, even though my grandfather was a huge force in the kitchen. It was only after I landed up at UCLA for college and somehow secured a work-study program at the UCLA pastry kitchen did something in me stir (with a whisk :p). I loved my part-time job! I would wake up for early morning shifts, slip into my pastry chef uniform and cover the short walk from the dorms to the kitchens, the morning dew beading the grass. I attempted making a few of the recipes but the kitchens mass produce for 20,000 some students and realistically those recipes can’t be adapted for a single batch. I did get to eat a LOT of cookie dough though! As soon as I graduated with my degree in hand, I had my sister shoot my first recipe: this Banana Bread and named my blog Rookie With A Cookie (up-voted by a dearest friend) because it embodies MY mischief. And that was it! This space was born and I’m so glad. It keeps me passionate about all things sweet and savory.

I hope that as you browse through my recipe videos and connect with me on here and through my socials, you feel my passion and joy for food, life and story-telling.



Welcome to my Food Blog!

I’m Izza, the Rookie behind and in front of the camera. Here, you will find all the delicious recipes I’m whipping up in my cozy apartment in downtown Seattle while juggling my 9-5 in tech.

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