One of my first cooking experiences was hosting a surprise 45th birthday party for my mom. I held the party in my teeny tiny apartment, when I was just 22 years-old. I invited not only her close friends, but some of my father’s out-of-town business contacts, who all came! I served Lobster Thermidor that everyone balanced on their laps; my guests spilled out my front door, into the hallway, and up the stairs. That evening sealed the deal for my (not yet) hubby, George, who said he was in awe of my entertaining naiveté, and gumption in pulling the party off.
From there, I went into catering with my two earliest gal pals. Our first party was a luncheon for 300 guests. We created what looked like a giant tool box and served cold salads, homemade muffins and four types of brownie bars from that contraption. This success led to corporate picnic suppers, yacht cruises, barbecues, children’s parties and much more. Raising children interrupted my career, but not my love of cooking and entertaining. I regularly entertained, hosting both small and large parties and chaired numerous galas, fairs and fundraisers. Once, I convinced volunteers to cook all the carny food for a three-day city-wide festival – that was FUN!
The explosion of the internet led to my website, and ultimately to my first published cookbook, At Home in The Kitchen. Several books and hundreds of blogs later, I have developed my philosophy, which I share with you:
– I believe that food, the stuff of life, is meant to be more than eaten; it’s meant to be shared communally with family. I believe that friends that feel like family, ARE family, and nothing is more important than family.
– I believe that fresh food, in its most natural state, is the best food for our bodies, and that this food must redefine our fast food nation.
– I believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and that cooking should be a family activity. From the littlest fingers to the most masterful hands, everyone can get into the act of preparing food, and setting the table.
– I believe that recipes are guidelines that open the door to our own creativity, and that meal planning should include leftovers. A recipe that doesn’t quite turn out as you expected, simply needs to be renamed!
– I believe that each day offers the opportunity to make a new friend, or to reach out to an old one; to explore a new place, or take a fresh look at the place you live in every day. A new day offers you the chance to taste a new flavor or share a comfort bite.
– I believe that each new day should be embraced and lived well. I bet you do too!