My lucky self grew up in an Italian family and I’m blessed to have a mom and dad who are both pretty handy in the kitchen. As a kid, trips to Grammy and Grampy’s were always extra special because they were never complete without a great homemade meal. My Sicilian Grampy and his mother, my Nonna, would prepare the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes every Christmas Eve and big meals were always associated with a lot of love, laughter, and family. If only I had been lucky enough to inherit my other great-grandmother Meme’s talent for baking peanut butter cookies…
I was also lucky to live in a house where family dinners were mandatory. The TV got turned off, we all sat down around the table, and everyone talked about their day. So when my boyfriend Nick and I moved in together, I wanted to make it a point to keep up the tradition. Although we usually have Jeopardy! on in the background, we sit down to dinner every night at the antique dining table that my Nonna gave my parents as a wedding gift.
Most New Yorkers are happy to eat out or order in night after night but even if that did work with our budget, I wouldn’t do it. I love cooking and I love trying new foods all the time. I love duplicating the meals I couldn’t get enough of growing up and then I love putting a whole new spin on them. It’s not always easy in our tiny kitchen where one of our stove’s burner’s doesn’t even work and our microwave occupies nearly 50% of our counter space, but I make it work. As a result of the space, a lot of my dinners are “one pot meals” which Nick appreciates given that he’s the dish washer in the house.
Since I rarely use recipes, I was facing quite a dilemma. Nick would ask me to re-make something and my goldfish-like memory wouldn’t really know what he was talking about. This blog was created as a way for me to remember all of the goodies that I’ve made and has also served as a way for me to share my love of food and cooking with the blogging world.
It is worth noting that unless stated otherwise, my recipes are intended to serve four adult portions; I usually cook every other night and then we eat the leftovers. Any time I talk about reheating or making ahead for lunch, you can assume that after the first meal there will be five lunch sized portions for the coming week. I also tend to eyeball things like herbs, oils, and sauces; rarely do I actually pull out the measuring spoons when cooking (unless it’s a rare occasion where I’m baking). I encourage you to do the same as you become more comfortable in your own kitchen. After a few meals, you’ll know what a teaspoon of something looks like and you’ll be able to adjust the flavors to your own palate.