My Story

I've always loved being in the kitchen. Isn't that the gathering place at parties and get togethers! That's where the action is, where delicious smells come from, and where I go to create some really great stuff! My Grandma was my inspiration. She lived her life in Baltimore and she was ALWAYS in the kitchen (or down at the VFW for a crab feast and beer) but Alice created so many wonderful meals for our family. I remember there was always soup before the meal, usually a steaming bowl of crab soup with a rich tomato broth and lots of vegetables. Her crab cakes were incredible, a recipe I use today, and undeniably the best. I would challenge ANY other crab cake recipe to match my Grandma Alice's. The first meal I made for my mom was macaroni and cheese from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook back when I was about 7 years old. I was very proud of it, and it was really good..a creamy white sauce combined with good old cheddar and shells sprinkled with toasted bread crumbs..yum. So off I went through life, cooking and baking, and came to realize that baking was the shizzy. I loved finding a great recipe and making it even better. Funny my kids didn't like sweets much, so I showered friends and neighbors with treats. Later down the road, when some real decisions needed to be made, I decided to attend the baking and pastry arts program at The California Culinary Academy. I was 47 years old and had no idea what I was in for (another blog). So I mastered the art of baking thanks to a dedicated and talented team of instructors. I did a gig in the basement of well known pastry kitchens and had a wonderful time working for a small caterer cooking with a great bunch of gals. But here I am now, still cooking, still baking and loving it, in my own kitchen where I can share my love of this sport with the world. I take all my own photos (another passion) and I hope you will have patience and stay with me in this newest adventure. So thank you Grandma Alice for all those delicious memories, stories and inspiration. Stay tuned..

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Great Pairing

While I was out yesterday, I stopped at my local produce market and picked up this melon for under $2. As far as checking for ripeness, my husband Jim, says to push on the stem and if it gives, it's ripe. He also says to give it a sniff. You should actually be able to smell the aroma of the melon.

I sliced it open and found it to be juicy and sweet. Jim and I both like fruit room temp (the flavors become more intense) so it stayed out on the counter, where I nibbled on it as I prepped. But also out on the counter, was a big chunk of Parmesan Reggiano cheese, which I needed for dinner. I can't resist a small chunk each time I walk by.

It was quite warm in my kitchen, but there was a nice breeze flowing through, and the smell of the cantaloupe and the Parmesan was

I popped a piece of the melon, and with it, a sliver of Parmesan into my mouth. Wow! The wonderfully sweet melon and buttery Parmesan (and slight crunch from crystallization) were a perfect combination of sweet and savory.

A simple, delicious nibble for a gathering..
  • Wedges of cantaloupe
  • A good, imported Parmesan Reggiano
  • A sprinkling of basil ribbons

1 comment:

  1. This is another GREAT idea my dear one! Simple pleasures and your designs of food are amazing.