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Fine. I'll write a cookbook.

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Food is not merely functional to me, it is an art, a simple joy meant to be savored. It's nothing for me to spend an entire day cooking, often beginning at midnight and going into the wee hours. Entertaining is as natural as breathing and I love a houseful of guests. Flavors and aromas dance in my head and grocery shopping appeals to me much more than any mall. I have friends who claim I am the MacGuyver of the kitchen..I can take three seemingly unrelated items in a bare pantry and create a feast for four. I can't deny it...it's been done. Creativity flourishes when I've got people to feed.

"Princess Dinner Party" I've been called but it's less of a lording over the food I create and more of an attitude of service and fellowship that has always driven me to cook vast quantities of foods to share with my colorful flock of friends and family. It's also these things that prompt me to maintain a "kitchen's always open" policy and has helped hone my "best of what's around" cooking style.

I've often been asked why I don't just become a chef and I typically reply that it's because I enjoy cooking so much. Feeding people is just a part of me and equates to a very tangible amount of joy in my life. It might be thanks to a food-friendly grandmother, we'll call her Moppy, who is never without "good bread" and "nice rolls" in her bread drawer and keeps a fully stocked pantry closet from which emanates a heavenly glow and holds the makings for countless, bountiful feasts. And her fridge? Well, it never fails to please, so help yourself. Moppy and her kitchen have always associated an at-home comfort to me and she is the well-spring from which I draw most of my sense of open hospitality. To break bread together, even with something as simple as a sandwich, are moments worth cherishing and so, I do. Often. My kitchen is filled with sentimental tokens from some other great cooks and bakers who have always inspired me and have helped fill all my kitchens over the years with not only tools of the trade and cookbooks galore, but an abundance of love as well. (Thanks, A.L.!)

In response to the overwhelmingly positive response my food seems to muster, the accolades I've earned and the non-stop pleas to share recipes coupled with the insistence that I 'need to write a cookbook, already! For real.', I shall begin by sharing my cooking adventures here on Examiner while my cooking blog is in development. (Domain names cookingwithmemyselfandwine.com and bakingwithmemyselfandwine.com are purchased, just not built yet, so stay tuned!)

I'm a fan of market shopping and possess a farmer girl "use everything" fashion, and believe strongly in maximizing the appeal of leftovers and making the most of your grocery dollars. Though single, I rarely cook small, so look forward to blends of flavors and recipes that I divine from somewhere inside that make your meals go far. I'll share tips and tricks to gain the most variety with just a few items and trick your kids into eating vegetables and loving it. I hope you'll enjoy my simple, farm-fresh features that prove there is elegance in the every day and I welcome your feedback. I thank you all for your encouragement and I think this is another great way to Stay Foodie, Friends!

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