Life’s sweeter moments: a collection of good eats, raising a glass in celebration, and appreciating the everyday happenings with good friends.
I focus on the joy & beauty of life, and I love to celebrate it over mealtime with my family & friends. Taking time to rejoice in both the big and little things in life is so important. I’m for sure a glass is full (hopefully with wine) kind of girl. But cooking is more than about eating. It is an art – a display of care & love. Gathering for a fabulous meal is a way to share enjoyment and connect with the significant people in your life.
But yes, I wake up excited about food. My days are filled with trying new recipes by both professionals and other bloggers, as well as creating my own dishes. I love to cook, entertain & share my passion for the art of hosting. My foods have a heavy Mediterranean focus, but mainly I like to cook simple foods that let the fresh ingredients shine. I’m inspired by my environment… the people, cultures, the season… The recipes I share with you are traditional meals, new takes on old classics, simple dishes, family recipes, farmer’s market inspired creations, quick out-of-the-freezer meals…because that is what is served in my home.
My professional cooking experience happened by accident. During a waiting period for a banking position to commence, I started baking cookies in a friend’s gourmet specialty store – who knew a single-batch recipe of cookies could have 16 lbs of butter?! Next I was asked to assist in chopping vegetables. Before I knew it, I was not only manager of the restaurant but also the catering business. I learned about the importance of fresh ingredients, creating flavor profiles, how to build a menu & plate a dinner. Not to mention, how to keep my cool when things got hot…which every hostess can attest is a hard lesson to master.
Besides being in the restaurant business early in my career, my cooking skills have been homegrown. I am very fortunate to not only have grown-up well-fed, but to have learned the art of cooking and entertaining from the wonderful women in my family. I grew up in a home that centered family-time around the dining table. From weeknight pasta dinners, Sunday brunches of pancakes and fresh squeezed orange juice, to elaborate porch dinners of fresh baked fish with the extended family on summer nights, we have always placed importance on the family gathering to share a meal. I’m also the beneficiary of an incredible group of friends, the DIVAs, who truly cultivated my passion for cooking & hosting.
A friend who is a DJ was recently asked what makes a great DJ. She had many answers, but one response that stuck with me was, “you lead them on a journey.” A true entertainer, whether it be a DJ or a hostess, takes her guest on a journey. From the moment a guest is greeted at the front door, the blank canvas of the senses start to have color: the aroma of a roast wafts in the air, the shimmer of bubbles in the sparkling crystal, the depth of flavor & texture of the tomato pastry, to the laughs around the abundantly filled dining table; a hostess creates a memorable, taste bud -expanding voyage for her company.
My hope is to inspire you to add more beauty & flavor to your surroundings. So, embrace your creativity in the kitchen & inner-hostess and join me in celebrating life’s sweeter moments!