About Me

I was raised with a wooden spoon in my mouth.  The product of a long line of great cooks and bakers, I attribute my skill in the kitchen to the patient generosity of my mother, aunt and grandmother, who tried to impart upon me, everything they knew about putting a good meal on the table.

As a teen and young adult, I never had to be asked twice to help in the kitchen, and enjoyed a life-time of hands-on experience under Mom's tutelage.

While Grandma was a tasty cook and connoisseur, Mom was a gourmet. Both used the best ingredients available to them, and neither ever scrimped on flavor to save a dollar or shave a calorie.

My aunt, on the other hand, was an experimentalist, always tweaking a recipe to reduce the sugar, salt or fat in an effort to create a more healthy, yet tasty dish.

Though never formally enrolled in cooking school, I was provided the opportunity to prepare a few dishes in the kitchen at the Culinary Institute of America's prestigious Graystone in Napa Valley, California, an experience I'll never forget.

Though a true lover of good, old-fashioned, mid-western, farm fare, I have a sincere appreciation for international foods, having lived in both western Europe and South America.

My own eastern European heritage continues to influence my culinary palette through the recipes of my paternal grandmother, a little woman who made big things happen in the kitchen.

A series of business moves across the United States, afforded me the opportunity to experience cooking regional American dishes as well as California's nouvelle cuisine.

Country-living in northwestern Pennsylvania is much like living in rural Belgium, where stops were made each day at the boucherie (butcher shop), epicier (green grocer), boulangerie (bakery), and fromagerie (cheese store), for farm fresh, local fare.

When possible, I prefer the natural goodness of organic meat, dairy, eggs and produce, usually available from small family farms, and the local Amish community.

In an effort to lead a more wholesome, self-sustaining life-style, I've returned to home canning, pickling and preserving locally grown fruits and vegetables.  And, when possible, I enjoy growing, and picking what we eat!

I'm a fifty-something wife, mom, grandmother, daughter, sister, cousin, niece and heirloom-dish diva.  I cook, bake, can, garden, scrap, blog and photograph my way around the countryside.

Feel free to browse my gallery of recipes and borrow whatever you need, or think you'd like to try. Bon Appetit!