I was born during blackberry season, and my summer memories are filled with recollections of dusty trails, mounds of thorny thickets, and fingers and lips stained red with the sticky juice of stolen berries.
I have a passion for flavor and a reverence for ingredients, which I love to share. Thanks so much for visiting!
What I believe in eating is a low fat, low carbs, small portion, Mediterranean diet—
Half the plate—Plentiful organic greens and colorful vegetables
(local, seasonal produce if at all possible)
One-third of the plate—wild-caught fish and pasture-raised poultry
(only occasional grass-fed red meats)
Extra virgin olive oil (tiny amounts of Kerrygold butter)
No sugars (sugar, honey, molasses, fruit juice)
Desserts of fresh fruit
Whole grains and legumes in tiny quantities, and only when weight is under control
In 2017, my husband had a heart attack, followed by open-heart surgery. On his hospital’s recommendation we first tried a vegan diet, and then, after a year, we transitioned to a low fat, low carb, Mediterranean diet featuring plentiful seasonal vegetables and small amounts of wild-caught fish and pasture-raised poultry. For dessert, we eat berries, melon, and other fruits in season. We skip processed meats, foods made with wheat (I’m sensitive to gluten), and sugars.
Although I have red meat recipes on this blog, we very rarely eat it, and any recipe calling for milk means it’s lactose-free in our household (another intolerance).
My interest in making food began when I was very little, by helping my mother in the kitchen. I’d stand on a chair and stir chocolate chip cookie dough, making a glorious mess on counter and floor. My mother finally bought me a recipe book for children, trying, no doubt, to reign in my maniacal enthusiasm. The book started out with oatmeal (and a face made from raisins) and progressed to a cake. I think I completed it in about a week.
I spent summers with my grandparents in what was then a very rural Napa Valley. My grandmother had a huge garden with apple, pear, and walnut trees, chickens for eggs, bees for honey, herbs, vegetables, and berries. I learned how to can foods, make breads and pies, and tend a vegetable garden. And that vision of delicious self-sufficiency continues to be my dream.
During college, while working on a Fine Arts degree, I supported myself by working in restaurants during the summer, including the Silverado Country Club and what is now Tra Vigne Ristorante in the Napa Valley, as well as several Kauai and Oahu resorts. When I began, I knew zip about fine food, but there’s nothing like working in a good restaurant to get a crash course in world-class cuisine, wines, ingredients, and tools. Tasty classrooms!
While working in advertising and marketing in the Napa Valley, I became a member of several wine organizations: the Academy of Wine Communications, Women for WineSense, The American Institute of Wine and Food, and the Wine Market Council. These affiliations deepened my knowledge of the world’s wines and, by extension, the foods that pair well with them.
I joined Schramsberg Vineyards, wearing multiple hats (advertising, design, marketing, public relations), and worked with James Beard Foundation chefs from all over the US, creating winemaker dinners for the Davies family. After that, I represented Mumm Napa Valley, Champagne Mumm, and Perrier Jouet, and organized Napa Valley Wine Auction dinners, as well as gala events for those clients. Several years later, I began working with Emeril Lagasse (“BAM!”), writing articles and creating recipes for his website. He was a ton of fun to work for, and unfailingly polite and creative.
Following that, I was staff writer and editor for vineSwinger.com, a website featuring all things wine, cheese, and chocolate…from a young, hip, perspective. We had some amazing wine and food tastings in evening vineyards, on shady summer decks, and around bonfires. Good times!
These days, I live near Puget Sound, in Washington state. Here, it’s the Pacific Northwest’s bounty that inspires. Apples, berries, asparagus, tomatoes, greens, winter squash, salmon, and shellfish, all grace our table, and local farmer’s markets influence our choices.
So although my life has sometimes lead me in other directions, food, wine, and writing have been constants. I think that first of all, food should deeply nourish us with enticing flavors and the types of flavors only fresh and organic ingredients can provide. But I also believe that good food is about the experience: meals shared with friends and family with visually appealing presentations, filling our senses with happy delight. That is true nourishment.
Please stop by again, and thanks so much for visiting…