Quick Bite: What you’ll find here

Visit bi-weekly for original and adapted recipes as well as cooking tips to make your kitchen life easier — and more delicious! I’ll include simple, straight forward instructions along with recipes that are truly worth your time making. And, recipes that elevate the familiar and introduce you to the new and unexpected.

My Food Philosophy

“My general rules of thumb are simple: use seasonal ingredients, avoid the fuss, and simplify processes wherever possible.”

To me cooking is also about self-discovery and being in the moment. For example, it’s hard to be thinking about your job, your kids or other activities when you’re in the middle of cooking. How often have you found yourself re-reading a recipe five times? Cooking and baking also forces you to be aware (timing, senses, ingredients and your environment).

Awareness makes cooking and baking exciting. Do you hear a “sizzle” when you place food in oil? Does the cake spring back to your touch? Can you use the stove top instead of the oven especially if you have other dishes that need oven space? Has the first side cooked long enough before it’s ready to turn?  Being in the moment, having awareness, and regular practice are the answers to these questions.  Additionally, they help eliminate fear in the kitchen. (As I still remind myself, nothing is ever a complete disaster. Why? Because I’ve learned something. And, I can always order carry out for delivery!)

Things to consider

  • Are the ingredients fresh (not only produce and proteins, but also things like flour, spices and baking powder)?
  • Is the produce in its natural season and organic, if possible?
  • Are all the ingredients available, or is there an interesting/suitable replacement?
  • Can I accomplish it, even if there are new techniques (assessed after reading recipe several times, and breaking it down into chunks)?
  • Will I learn something (about an ingredient, a culture, a technique)?
  • But above all – will it be good? Will I/people enjoy it?

About me

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I am a home cook. I began baking and making breakfast as a kid. I liked dessert so much (and still do!), I’d cut out recipes from newspapers, page through cookbooks and just… create! Baking is still a passion and I’m the go to person for dessert when a friend’s dinner party or pot luck comes calling. Happy to oblige. But this man cannot eat sugary goodness alone.

My training comes from both the “front” of the house, as well as the “back.”  From numerous fine dining stints as a server and caterer in Michigan and New Mexico, to training from intensive pastry workshops at the San Francisco Baking Institute.  Other training has included cooking classes spanning years including the wonderful Rosetta Costantino (cookingwithrosetta.com). Countless books, blogs and other means, have also greatly influenced my palette and method of cooking and baking (resource list to come).  My training is continuous.  I’ve never stopped cooking, baking, experimenting and learning. I’m constantly adapting and developing original recipes while simplifying the process so your kitchen life is easier and more delicious!

I currently live in Lucca, Italy with my husband, Tom.

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