Tag Archives: family

My Two Favorites

As we’ve been working on our new home for the past two months (we’re so close to the move in date!), I’ve frequently been asked “What are you most looking forward to when you’re all settled in?” My answer is always the same: cooking yummy meals for my friends and family of course! I can’t wait to be host to our friends for a taco and margarita game night. I can’t wait to serve wine and crostini to a small crowd gathered on our back deck overlooking the ravine as the sun sets behind it. Most of all, I can’t wait to invite my brothers and their girlfriends – or my potential sisters as I see it – around our dinner table for a warm home-cooked meal.

With these thoughts buzzing in my head as of late, I thought it appropriate to dust off a post from an old blog:


I love these men. It’s weird to use the word “men” for boys who used to poke and kick and pinch me. It’s weird to use the word “men” for boys who used to watch Power Rangers and Batman movies with me, for boys who used to engage me in their Hot Wheels and G.I. Joe  play, for boys who used to crash on the couch with me after school, bowl of Cheetos in hand.


I love these men. I miss flinging mushy leaves out of the old creek with them. I miss riding bikes along the old railroad tracks with them. I miss squishing onto a bunk bed along with 300 stuffed animals and them. I miss singing “You can build a cellar in a day, a cellar in a day. Even if it can’t be done, do it any way” as we spent an afternoon together watching the same old VCR tapes over and over again.


I love these men. I look forward to having a beer in the bar many more beers in bars with them. I look forward to fulfilling the pact of spending a night on the beach-hoping we don’t get caught- now that everyone has turned 18. I look forward to collecting $2,000 dollars from a bet made when we were kids that Anthony would have a Corvette at age 16 and muscles like the guy on the Bowflex commercial. I look forward to meeting their wives, to being their kids favorite aunt, to fighting over who gets to take Dad in when he gets old.


I love these men. That may be what I have to call them, but they’ll always be little brothers to me.

The Chefs in My Life

Hi friends! I’m starting a new series today to introduce the many chefs in my life who have influenced my own kitchen style.

This first chef has inspired me to be more adventurous with my cooking, to not worry so much about perfectly measuring ingredients, and to experiment with different flavor combinations.



A techie by trade, my mother-in-law loves to cook. I mean LOVES to cook. When asked to describe her kitchen style, she said, “Very casual. I put together good tasting food, but present it buffet style.” Having been in rooms full of people devouring her delicious eats, its very evident that no one cares about presentation when their mouths are full of Tracy’s food.

Her kitchen is quite cozy. It’s semi open to the dining room, where a baby grand piano serves as the table and sliding glass doors reveal a beautiful backyard view.


Now, lets dive into some Q&A with Tracy to learn more about how she works in the kitchen to craft food sooo good it’s hard to stop yourself from over eating.

Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Totally prefer cooking to baking. I feel I have more leeway with cooking and can add ingredients or up the measurements. I don’t feel you can do that successfully with baking.

Who inspired you to cook the way you do?

Not sure, maybe my mom. But, I didn’t get the “bug” until I was in my 40’s or 50’s.

What is your favorite food to eat?

Anything savory with cheese. I LOVE cheese.

What is the most unique or adventurous food you’ve ever made?

Indian cuisine.
And, I’ll say – given I was fortunate enough to be around when she chose to be adventurous – she definitely knocked it out of the park.

How do you find balance in health and taste?

I use to not even think about it, but now that I have lost 70 pounds, I think about it a lot. I have gotten rid of sweet desires. Still working on savory high calorie things. So, balance is still a challenge for me. I feel I have conquered sweet but have a LOT to work on for savory.

Where do you go for new recipe ideas

Google is my best friend.

What is the best event or holiday to cook for?

I was expecting this answer 🙂 : Thanksgiving. I like Christmas too, but Thanksgiving usually involves more people and is more of a challenge and more satisfying.

What is your favorite kitchen tool or gadget?

My Chef’s knife.

What item has been in your kitchen the longest?

My cast iron skillets and dutch ovens. They came from my mom or husband’s mom.

Do you like to listen to music while you cook?

I actually like to put TV on and watch the Food Network while I cook. But, I have been known to listen to Sirius XM radio while cooking – usually the Bridge, which has a lot of old school music.

Hope you guys enjoyed getting to know one of the many inspirational chefs in my life! Check back next Monday to meet another.