In the Beginning

We all have a food memory.  Maybe it's a taste, a smell, a hit of steam to the face...but its something that is so strongly associated with food that the memory and the item have become one thing in your brain.  My strongest occurred the night before I left for culinary school.  My dad took me to dinner at a very posh French restaurant, and as we were eating our rack of lamb, we discussed the potato side.  What was the secret? Why was it so incredibly yummy? How could we make it our own?  We were eating Pommes Anna.  Thinly sliced potato, layered with fresh thyme and lots of butter.  That was it! The butter! My parents only cooked with olive oil or margarine.  This potato was a butter epiphany!  I never knew it could be so miraculous.

I never ate Pommes Anna again.  I didn't want to ruin the perfection that existed in my head.  Everything tastes better in memory.  I did, however, become slightly butter obsessed.  I made my own, I clarified, I became Queen of Hollandaise.  I even got a license plate that read "Plugra."  The power of butter perfection has been with me for the past 13 years.  I hope it stays with me always.

 

A Brief History

I grew up in my parents' kitchen, learning how to do basic cooking and host family dinners.  I lived to eat, not the other way around.  2 weeks in to my first semester of Oberlin College, I called my parents and said that I had made a mistake, I had meant to go to culinary school.  My mom said she was gassing up the truck; my father said the semester was paid for, thank you very much.  So I stayed until December, started working at a caterer in January, started culinary school in August and never looked back.  I have been a caterer, Bed and Breakfast girl, Executive Chef, cheesemonger and upscale grocery manager.  At heart, I'm a housewife, trying to perfect the recipes that my husband and father have living in their heads, of how only their mother's could bake properly.

I'll share my recipes.  I'll share my family recipes - lovingly "altered" so that they actually work.  I'll show you how to grow a year's worth of veggies in a Chicago back yard.  Or just some herbs on the counter, if that's more your speed.

The recipes have been tasted, tested, approved by humans and one spoiled Lagotto Romognola puppy.  Enjoy, share, cook, bake, eat, live and love.

Meet the Team

The Bunny and Kreplach the Puppy

happy

The Bunny

Chief Taster

Amazing husband, sommelier, best friend.  What more can a girl ask for?

smiling kreplach

Kreplach

Puppy in Resident

Lagotto Romagnola, aka Italian Water Dog.  Hobbies include eating marrow bones, sleeping, catching tennis balls and digging for truffles in the garden.