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..

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Dog, A Burger, and The Bay

Late last winter, when the hills were green and the air was wonderfully cold and crisp, Jim and I had a really good burger know, one of those motivating cravings that get you out the door and put you right at the source of the craving.

We both knew of a place in the City where we could satisfy that need, and even better, do it on the cheap.  I'm a sucker for any excuse to make the 35 minute drive in to San Francisco...I think Jim is right there with me though. I had been looking for an excuse anyway, ( burger and a trip to the City) so we gathered the dog, and off we went.  First stop was Red's Java House. Red's has been sitting at the end of Bryant St on the Embarcadero for years.  It's where folks go for one of those simply delicious burgers, made that way with good beef and a traditional San Francisco sourdough roll (the famous sourdough comes from the yeast in the SF air...seriously!).  No crazy fixins', but you can add your own rule with this burger is just a dab of mustard, a bit of onion and that's it.  Another rule of thumb with us is, if you're going to eat a Red's burger, order it with a beer.  So we did. Fries too.

But with Brody waiting in the back of the car...hoping for a stop at the beach for a romp in the surf, we downed our beer, licked our fingers clean and headed over to Crissey Field where we strolled the beach, laughed at our deliriously happy, salty-wet pup running himself ragged, and ended our incredibly wonderful day with a salute directed straight up to the Presidio.

That was one happy day.

Red's Java House  Pier 30 San Francisco


  1. Kate girl, love the fries in a cup!!! I would drive to SF for a burger. 50 miles south of me. Hey if you are in the neighborhood let me know. Neat you had the hankering for a burger, and drove to it. I admire people like that. I have not met your husband, his shirt is interesting. I can see you in the restaurant setting up for your photos. Nice seeing your dog. Take some more photos of him to post. I adore the labs. SUPER post girlie.

  2. i love the shot of your hubby - such an expressive, handsome face! and LOVE labs! such happy beasts!!!