Friday, May 31, 2013

Fresh Green Beans Tossed with Olive Oil and Lemon Juice

An old friend of mine gave me this recipe years and years ago.  It's quick, fresh and delicious!  The Sciabica Sevillano Variety Olive Oil added a wonderful, extra special flavor to the beans.

Fresh Green Beans Tossed with Olive Oil and Lemon Juice
by Susan Whempner

16 ounces fresh green beans, washed, dried and left whole
juice of 1 lemon
garlic salt to taste

Poached Egg atop Jalapeño Spinach with Garlic

Let me start with the amazing, enticing aroma of this oil.  I opened it, smelled it, and irresistibly poured it on my finger and stuck it in my mouth.  Oh my!  Okay, most who know me know that I am somewhat obsessed with poached eggs, to the point that I had to learn the best, most perfect way to poach an egg.  I have to say, I kind of have it down.  I could eat spinach every day, in every way and, of course, you should never eat anything without plenty of garlic.  Toss in some really good artisan olive oil that I could drink straight from the bottle and you have one very happy girl.  The fact that it was spicy was icing on my egg.

Lemon Basil Cake

Oh, how I love basil.  When I came across this recipe, I thought of substituting Sciabica's basil infused olive oil and kept thinking about it until I finally made it. And it is as good as I imagined it would be!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Roast Chicken with Sciabica's Manzanillo Variety Fall Harvest Olive Oil

Roast Chicken with Sciabica's Manzanillo Variety Fall Harvest Olive Oil
by Christine Adams

1 chicken, rinsed and patted dry
5 cloves roasted garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place chicken in a shallow roasting pan.  Fold wings under chicken.  Mix garlic, salt, pepper, paprika with the olive oil.

Gently lift skin off breast and rub 2 Tablespoons of garlic mixture under skin. Brush remaining mixture over skin.
Bake for 2 hours, uncovered, in middle of oven. Chicken is done when leg wiggles easily.

Let rest for at least 20 minutes, before carving.

Lavender-Honey-Walnut Bread with Lavender Cream

My husband Carl had the awesome idea of going with a family recipe and then adding my twist to it.  He's a pretty amazing man and has never steered me wrong in the almost 25 years that we've been together, plus he likes my cooking and has never complained.  Even when I was still learning to cook and made some pretty big disasters, he was always a trooper—but that's a story I'll have to share another time.

Shrimp Creole in Zucchini Boats Featuring Sciabica Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Shrimp Creole in Zucchini Boats
Featuring Sciabica's Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
by Linda Mire
inspired by the many Zucchini Boat pictures on Pinterest

For the Creole:
1 medium green pepper, chopped in to bite size pieces
1 medium red pepper, chopped in to bite size pieces
1 medium white onion, chopped in to bite size pieces
3 stalks of celery, chopped in to bite size pieces
10 ounce can of tomatoes with green chilies (I used Ro’tel)
12 ounce can of tomato paste
½ cup of Riesling white wine
1 to 1 ½ cups of low sodium chicken broth
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
juice from one lemon
2 pounds of peeled, cleaned, cooked shrimp

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Breaded Garlic Chicken Breasts

Breaded Garlic Chicken Breasts
by Susan Whempner

3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and dried well
1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Sciabica Basil Olive Oil and Lime Mini Bundt Cakes with Lime Curd

Basil is so versatile and one of my favorite combinations is basil and lime.  So when I received Scaibica’s Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil, I knew exactly what to make with it.

Sciabica Basil Olive Oil and Lime Mini Bundt Cakes with Lime Curd
by Tracy Hersh
inspired by Le Almond in The Sugar Cube

Makes 12

1 (7) ounce tube almond paste
½ cup sugar
4 eggs
1 Tablespoon lime zest
½ cup lime juice
½ cup Sciabica’s Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil + more for drizzling
¼ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
powdered sugar for dusting

Sciabica Garlic Pasta Salad

I love pasta salad.  We eat it a lot in the spring and summer.  It is like a breath of fresh air after all of the heavy side dishes from the winter.  This was so much more than that when I added the Sciabica Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  This is amazing.  The flavor, the way it glides around each and every ingredient in this salad.  Please enjoy!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


by Jenny

Serves 4

3 Tablespoons, divided Sciabica Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
1 cup eggplant
1/2 cup onion
2-3 large cloves (1-2 tablespoons) garlic
1/4-1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes 
1 cup Baby Bella mushrooms
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper 
1/2 cup orange bell pepper
1/2 cup zucchini
4 Roma tomatoes
parmesan cheese, freshly grated - to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Grilled Skirt Steak with Roasted Potatoes and Onions

This is a quick and easy meal, even for a weeknight. Enjoy!

Grilled Skirt Steak with Roasted Potatoes and Onions
by Sharyl Wolter

skirt steak, about 2 pounds
4 red potatoes
½ onion

The Perfect Breakfast

I like eggs with a bit of jelly, so I put mine over an English muffin with wild grape jelly.  It’s a leftover pregnancy craving.  Shrug.

This is a beautiful and simple way to really taste this Sciabica olive oil.  It’s smooth and flavorful.  I can’t wait to marinate everything in it!

The Perfect Breakfast
by Allison Donel

1 egg

Pour oil in a small nonstick pan.  Heat until the oil begins to just barely make visible ripples.  Carefully place the egg into the oil (it’s easier to break the egg into a separate bowl, and then pour the egg into the hot pan).  Season with salt and pepper.  Use a spoon to gently bathe the egg with the oil.  I like a bit of runny yolk, but feel free to cook to your desired runniness.

Chiffonade's Blueberry Bars with Sciabica Lemon Olive Oil Crumble

The aroma of Sciabica Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil was the first scent to greet me as these bars emerged from the oven.  The lemon flavor permeates the entire bar.

Chiffonade's Blueberry Bars with Sciabica Lemon Olive Oil Crumble
by Chiffonade

2½ cups dried blueberries
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon finely shredded lemon zest
1¼ cups all purpose flour
1¼ cups rolled oats
¾ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cold butter, cut into cubes

Monday, May 27, 2013

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
by Rachael Tanis
adapted from: A Hint of Honey

1 cup warm water (100-110 F)

1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or pinch of each ground garlic, dried oregano, and dried basil)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons Sciabica's Mission Spring Harvest Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour, plus extra for kneading
1 egg, whisked, plus 1 Tablespoon water, for egg wash
dried or fresh rosemary, for sprinkling on top

Triple-Pepper Hash Browns

For me, breakfast just isn't complete without hash browns.  You can have your home fries, those chunks of potatoes fried or griddled.  I like my potatoes shredded, full of perfect crispy potato shards and onions for flavor.  If I'm feeling dangerous, I might even take a page out of Waffle House's book and add peppers, mushrooms, or cheese.  But, when I had the chance to try Sciabica's jalapeno olive oil, I realized it was a perfect way to infuse even more flavor and heat into the best part of breakfast.  You could use chopped jalapeno pepper if you want your potatoes even spicier!  But, I think that topping the dish with jalapeno oil adds wonderful flavor without overpowering heat.

Olive Oil Popcorn

I’m going to tell you a Weight Watchers secret.  You need to have fat every day to lose weight!  And olive oil is one of the preferred fats.  Since I’m telling secrets, I’ll share the snack I discovered from one of the gals in my old Weight Watchers group.  It’s SO easy!  Popcorn!  My friend used Orville Redenbacher’s 94% Fat Free Microwave Popcorn in the 100 calorie bags, because they were only 1 Weight Watcher’s point.  But, you can use any method of popping you like, including the one I used today.  Once you try my way, I bet you won’t go back to your way!  I used a brown lunch sack and 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels!  I can't believe it worked!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Lavender Berry Gin Fizz and More...

Sciabica’s Lavender infused olive oil smells glorious. Secondly, it’s a lovely scented moisturizer. Thirdly, it is surprising how many flavors work well with lavender. Lavender is not just floral. It has citrus, herbal, and white pepper notes, too. It is marvelously complex. I found myself adding a few drops to almost anything, just to see what it was like. Like the Lavender Blackberry Vinaigrette. I just made a normal vinaigrette, added a little blackberry puree, and a little lavender olive oil to taste. Here’s a few other things I tried:

Chiffonade’s Farro Niçoise with Sciabica Olive Oil

Though I am not a fan of “fusion” cooking (“Sushi parmigiana anyone?”), I felt Italian could meet French with minimal casualties. Italian farro meets a classic French Salade Niçoise. Below are the directions to prepare the components of this salade composeé or “composed salad”. Each individual vegetable salad is placed as a mound atop a bed of farro, which has been cooked till tender but still slightly chewy and tossed with Sciabica's Manzanillo Variety Fall Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This might seem like a tour de force, but many of the components of the salade can be completed early in the day and the final salade can be assembled just before serving.

This quantity can feed six people generously – or eight people as a first course.

Chiffonade’s Farro Niçoise with Sciabica Olive Oil
by Chiffonade

What is "Smoke Point"?

Many of our cooks had a lot of questions about proper cooking temperatures when using the Sciabica oils. The oils are so fantastic; you don't want to waste a single drop on a cooking temperature mistake! We asked our veteran baker, cook, food blogger and all around outstanding 37 Cooks member, Donna, to investigate. Bookmark this article! You'll want to refer back to it in the future. ~37 Cooks

The Sciabica Olive Oil Challenge

We get our sponsors in many different ways. Sciabica was a referral of one of our talented cooks and we could not be happier about it!  With over 90 recipes submitted, this challenge broke every record for participation by our cooks! Here is Chiffonade's introduction to the challenge. Enjoy. ~37 Cooks

My first Sciabica experience was a potent one. I was introduced to these oils by my friend, Patricia. We planned an impromptu get together where she would provide “an olive oil tasting”. At first, I was skeptical of the flavored oils because I was not interested in partaking in a chemistry experiment. “The olives and whatever flavoring agent is on the label are combined in the press and the oil is never heated,” Patricia explained, and as she is the first cousin of Nick Sciabica, I took this information at face value. I tore off a hunk of crusty baguette, dipped it into the oil, and raised it to my lips.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Meet Lori!

Hi, I'm Lori Churchill and I'm thrilled to be part of this group! 

I live in the beautiful mountains and high desert of Salt Lake City, Utah.  I am a transplant from Washington State where I grew up, but I consider Utah to be my home.  I am a proud military wife.  My husband Carl (Army Ret. Lt. Col - 21 yrs.) and I have been happily married for almost 25 years.  We have two awesome kids, our 19 year old daughter, Denai, and our 16 year old son, Trevor.  I completely adore and am devoted to the three of them. 

My life is pretty busy.  Not only am I a mom and wife, but I'm also a licensed massage therapist of almost 9 years, I sit on the board of my son's Lacrosse team and I'm co-founder, along with my husband, of our specialty coffee company - Lock-n-Load Java

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Meet Jennifer!

I love vegetables. I think I could probably be a vegetarian. At least I could if bacon didn't exist. Or shrimp. Or scallops. Or Zewigle's white hots (look them up if you've never heard of them, which you probably haven't unless you are from upstate New York).

I'm not sure how this happened, since I grew up in a family that doesn't like "weird" vegetables. By "weird" vegetables, I mean anything other than corn, potatoes, green beans, lettuce, and radishes. Last summer, I got my sister to try arugula, and you would have thought I'd fed her kerosene. She was not a fan. Regardless of the fact that I am the culinary outcast of my family, a lot of what I cook is vegetable-based. I leave most of the meat cooking to my carnivore husband.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Meet Carol!

I will always be a Texas girl, no matter where I live, even though I have never cooked a brisket, and never made enchiladas, or chicken fried anything until I moved to St Louis.  The Texan comes out in the ingredients I use more so than the style of my cooking, although I do like my food spicy, which should come as no surprise.  I'm a little caliente myself.  I have always been fascinated with fresh ingredients and I have a special affinity for Italian food.  Luckily, I got to spend some time in Amalfi learning to cook the Italian way and I think these two strong, seemingly disparate cultures blend very nicely.  I love many things, but cooking is what I do and nothing excites me more than getting creative with ingredients, exquisite or exotic, or just fresh from the garden, and materializing masterpieces from next to nothing.  A glass of wine and good friends to share it with makes it that much better.  Go ahead and get to know me, you'll think I'm amazing!  And funny as hell, too

Meet Aimee!

Aimee (left) and Carol (right) meet in
Knightdale, North Carolina!
I'm a 42 yr old single mom living in Raleigh, NC. I have a fantastic daughter, aged 6, and wonderful friends.  I don’t think I have any particular style of cooking and I KNOW I am surrounded by much better cooks in this fantastic group! Let’s just say I am competent, always learning, willing to take chances and try new things and I pick things up easily. I grew up with PA Dutch (German) and French food. I can make good, rib sticking meals that my mom always made and every holiday I make the traditional food we had growing up. I don’t think anyone really taught me how to cook. I sort of learned on my own out of necessity. I either lived at home or with a boyfriend who was a professional cook (very convenient!) so it wasn't until I met my ex-husband that I really had to learn how to cook because he certainly didn't know how! I'll never forget that first Thanksgiving turkey I butchered (and not in a good way). I don’t have any particular type of food I like to cook. I don’t do overcomplicated stuff either. Mostly because I don’t want to spend a lot of money on ingredients I’m going to potentially ruin!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Meet Sarah K!

That's me, Sarah, on the right!
Hello everyone! I'm Sarah, the creator of The Garden of Earthly Delights, a food-centric blog for which I write and photograph from my home in Toronto, Canada. 

The love for making, sharing and consuming good food was instilled in me from an early age, and part of my childhood was spent living in close proximity to maternal extended family, who are all incredibly fond of food and see it as a way to bond and show their love. We spent countless days at our grandparents’ – my grandmother always saw to it that there were at the very least three different main dishes on the table and an abundance of rice; my grandfather marinated chicken and ribs for the grill while we collected ripe plums and crabapples from their backyard trees – and countless hours in restaurants, sometimes driving almost an hour outside the city just to visit a particular restaurant that my grandparents (and by extension, the rest of the family) favoured, where they laid dish after dish on the table(s), and carved our meat tableside while we watched with greedy eyes. Over mouthfuls of food we talked and laughed, and ate till we were stuffed, and there were always plenty of leftovers to take home. 

Meet Matt!

I'm Matt, a.k.a. Matt the Butcher!  I hate talking about myself, but here it goes.  I live in central Florida, where it's way too hot for eight months out of the year.  I've been cooking for most of my adult life.  I really can't remember cooking as a kid, or what got me started cooking.  I just know that I do love to cook, for myself and my family, and I get great pleasure watching others enjoy the food that I've prepared.  I don't think I have any particular cooking style so to speak, but some of my favorite things to cook are a nice Boston butt that's been on the smoker for 10 or 12 hours, a Detroit-style pizza that I've been experimenting with, and any odd cuts of meat I can find, which includes most any kind of
offal.  I'm a butcher by trade, working in a large grocery store. I absolutely love cutting meat and sharing recipes with all of my customers.

I'm also a self-taught cake decorator.  When my kids were very young I started making their birthday cakes.   Just the usual round 2 layer cakes, but as they got older the cakes became more and more complex, up to the point where I've made wedding cakes for a couple of my kids!  So, if I could learn to make candles, I guess I'd be the person you've all heard of but never met:  The Butcher, the Baker and the Candlestick maker!

When I'm not working or cooking, I like riding my old Harley or playing racquetball with my kids and grand kids.  I'm addicted to tattoos, having about 15 or so.  I'm in the process of getting my entire arm completely covered in ink.  I like to think I've had a big influence in my kids being interested in cooking.  My oldest son placed third in a Boston butt cook-off last year, and most of my other children love to cook, as well as my grandchildren!  I can remember my oldest grandchild, Kay, sitting on the counter watchin' Grandpa cook when she was just a baby.  She's 17 now, and cooks for her brothers and sisters when her Mom works late.  At the moment, we have our 3 year old grandson living with us and he's my little sous chef, taking every pot and pan out of the cabinets and cooking along with me on the floor in the kitchen.  My namesake grandson, Matthew, is 7 and he likes to cook on the BBQ while his Dad keeps an eye on him.

Matt the Butcher's Almost World Famous Mac 'n Cheese

Of all the different things I cook, I think this is my wife's favorite.  Kinda her comfort food.

1 pound elbow macaroni
6 Tablespoons butter, divided in half
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
3 Tablespoons flour
3 cups milk (any kind)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon annatto, if desired (for coloring)
1 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Cook macaroni until it's about 2/3 of the way done (remember, it's gonna cook more in the oven).  Drain macaroni and set aside.  Melt 3 Tablespoons butter and mix with the bread crumbs; set aside.  In the same pot that you cooked the macaroni in, over medium heat melt 3 Tablespoons butter and whisk in the flour, stirring and cooking for about 5 minutes.  Turn the heat up to medium high and add the milk and spices, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens.  Turn off the heat and add the cheese in 2 batches, stirring until all the cheese is melted.  Add the drained pasta and mix well.  Turn the mixture out into a 9x13 inch baking dish, cover with the bread crumb mixture.  Place in a 450°F oven for about 15-20 minutes, until the bread crumbs are browned and the cheese is bubbling.  Try and wait for about 15 minutes before serving.  :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Meet Sarah!

My twin brother and I were adopted from Costa Rica when we were three.  We grew up in a very loving home by the best Mom and Dad anyone could wish for.  My Mom was the main cook in the house, always preparing a comforting classic meal that included a protein, a vegetable and a starch.  In 8th grade, my Grandmother moved in with us and did a lot of the cooking and baking.  It was always delicious.  While my Dad didn’t do a lot of the daily cooking, he is quite the master when it comes to things like chili, pasta sauce, ribs and shrimp scampi.  Thinking back, I grew up eating very, very well!

I never took an interest in being in the kitchen except for when it was time to eat.  I now regret this because the beloved foods I grew up eating were lost when my Mom passed away in 2007.  I wish I had taken the time to learn more about how she did things in the kitchen.  I still dream of

Meet Maurita!

My name is Maurita Plouff, and I'm a rustic cook. 

When I was growing up, I was only allowed into the kitchen to dry the dishes. I started cooking when I went off to college, because I figured it would be cheaper to cook for myself. I was right, but along the way, I had to learn to accept some fairly horrible meals. Thus I had an interest in improving rapidly, and fortunately I learned quickly. Cooking soon became an abiding interest. Sometimes I wonder if this is an ongoing act of rebellion, because to this day I refuse to dry the dishes with a towel.

My interest and skills grew over the years. I have worked in the food biz as a personal chef, and my business did well for 7 years, but I'm cooking only for my family and friends now. I prefer to eat local foods in season - they're fresh! they taste fabulous! - and do my own canning and preserving. I suppose I'm an old-fashioned cook. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Meet Donna!

I really don’t remember a time when I wasn’t helping in the kitchen – peeling, chopping, mixing … or standing on a kitchen chair in front of the stove melting butter for popcorn.
Growing up, we lived in a tiny apartment, so I was never far from the kitchen. Even if I wasn’t paying attention, my mother was nearby, chopping, stirring, seasoning, and serving. She seldom used recipes – everything was done by taste, and that’s how I learned to cook. I can’t really say that she taught me how to cook – it was more like I absorbed it from being around it all the time.

I have to say that I was completely surprised when I found

Meet Susan W!

Hi everyone, I’m Susan Whempner.  I live in pretty, sunny Southern California with my wonderful husband of almost 28 years, and our 24 year old son, who is a recent college graduate.  I enjoy quilting, photography, gardening, travelling and my husband and I have recently taken up the hobby of target shooting.  Of course, I also love to cook.

When I was growing up, my mom was a very good home cook, as were both of my grandmothers.  I have fond memories of my mom’s Toll House cookies, her spaghetti sauce, and her wonderful meatloaf, which she made on top of the stove instead of baking it in the oven.  I

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Meet Traci!

Hi! I am Traci and I live in The Piney Woods of East Texas. I consider myself a comfort cook. It is just my husband and me, so we kinda play it by ear when it comes to meals. While I do try to plan for the week, something will happen, like

Meet Christine!

I get my fondness for cooking from my grandma and mom. My grandma was a stay-at-home-stick-to-your-ribs kind of cook, and my mom was a wrap-it-in-foil-then-bury-it-in-the-campfire kind of cook. We spent the summers waiting for my grandfather to get home from work so we could go down the hill, dig for clams and catch fish, or whatever happened to

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Meet Jenny!

I was taught to cook by my grandmother at a very young age. My grandmother is also my inspiration for attending culinary school. I am currently a junior at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, studying culinary nutrition and hope to become a registered dietitian after graduation. I graduated with my associates degree culinary arts in November 2012. I was diagnosed in 2008, at the age of 26, with Celiac Disease and have been cooking and baking gluten-free ever since. I started my website, Creative Cooking Gluten Free right after my

Meet Chris!

Hi there! My name is Chris, and I'm SO thrilled to be a new addition to 37 Cooks! I am a true Texas gal, born in Fort Worth, raised on a ranch out West, a UT- Austin grad, and a current Houston resident!!! I love my Longhorns, Astros, and Texans (amongst others), but more than any of those, I love to cook!!! I am a bilingual elementary school teacher who loves her job, puppies, and cats. I love my hubs, "S", as well. But that's another story. I

Monday, May 13, 2013

Meet Diana!

Well, hey. Hi there! I’m just a nutty woman who loves, and I mean loves, to cook. While I love cooking for everyone, my family and dearest co-workers are the ones I like to cook for the most. They’ve got my back, and so therefore my food, ya know?!

I tend to cook spicy, savory foods. I rarely do sweets, but when I do, they often have something hot, like my beloved Aleppo chile pepper in them.

Bread and flour are my current passions. I have a flour stash from hell (try 90-120 pounds of different flours). My dining

Meet Luke!

I am Luke Deville and I am from the metropolis of Ville Platte, Louisiana.  We have a whopping 10,000 people that live "in" the Ville Platte area.  We are a small Cajun town, with strong family ties and we all love to cook.  Cajuns cook, that's what we do.  When we get together we usually have ten times the amount of food than we actually need.  I really don't know why other than we like to cook and eat!  My family loves to cook and we cook often.  That is what drives me to cook like I do.

Friday, May 10, 2013

You're Meeting the Cooks and We're Meeting Too!

Most of our cooks started off as folks who met through Internet cooking groups. Over time, people have developed friendships and today's cooks, Gary and Susan R, are just that! Great friends! Gary lives in Houston and Susan in Ambler, PA so when the opportunity arose, they and their spouses met up in New York City! They wanted to share this photo of them!

Most recently, Sus and Gary also met up in West Palm Beach for The Wine Dive/37 Cooks Recipe Challenge and when Gary was unable to be there for a television appearance for the event (he was a finalist in the competition), Susan was right there filling in for him! 

We are 37 cooks from all over the United States and Canada but we are all doing our best to meet! This year there are or have been meet ups in Houston, Denver, New York City,  Atlanta and Knightdale, North Carolina!!

Meet Susan R!

When I think back to my earliest memories, they all seem to center around food and cooking. I now live in Pennsylvania, but I grew up in Maine. My grandfather was a Lobsterman in Cape Porpoise and my grandmother had the biggest vegetable garden I have ever seen. (Well, I was a little kid so it seemed big to me!) I learned at a very young age to respect the resources our land and sea provided. My grandmother canned fruits and vegetables, and she also made her own root beer. We loved to see the few bottles that fermented and pop the tops so they hit the ceiling. That didn’t win us any points! My mother was an amazing home cook. She loved to experiment and I learned to use my imagination in the kitchen after watching both my parents

Meet Gary!

I credit my parents for being the most important culinary influences in my life. Having been raised in a restaurant environment, I was exposed to not only classic Cantonese cuisine, but also what could only be described as genuine Soul Food. Chicken Fried Steak would often mingle with Chicken Chow Mein at the same table! The sights, sounds, and most importantly, the flavors of these restaurant years would inspire me to not only seek out and eat, but to learn to create delicious, balanced, Asian-fusion comfort food. An avowed carnivore, I love to take large cuts of meat (run, piggies, run!) and prepare them in delicious, often frugal ways, sometimes even making the leftovers more spectacular than the original meal (Spicy pork tacos, anyone?). I live in my hometown of Houston with my partner of 15 years, who eats most of what I cook. I currently work in Conference

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Meet Tracy!

I am a graduate of the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. After graduating from college I was hired by the Army to run an Officers' Club in Washington State. I met my husband there and we have lived all over the country for the past 21 years.

I spent most of my career working in catering and event planning. I never had an interest in cooking because I spent

Meet Rachael!

Since I was a little girl, I have had a love for baking. It started by making cookies from scratch, with the help of my grandmother, who always let me lick the beaters. I had my own apron, my own special whisk, and a nagging sweet tooth. I continued to bake over the years and fell in love with cake decorating. A few years ago, I founded La Dolce Vita Cakery, where I create custom cakes for clients.

In addition to cake decorating, I also work part-time from

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Recipe Round Up! Chiffonade’s Sweet Potato Pizza with Teet’s Smoked Sausage

Chiffonade’s Sweet Potato Pizza with Teet’s Smoked Sausage
by Chiffonade

When using a gas grill, resist the temptation to crank the heat under these pizzas as the bottoms will scorch while waiting for toppings to heat through and melt.  The smokiness of the sausage complemented nicely the smoky flavor imparted to

Meet Louise! You can call her Chiffonade too!

I grew up in an Italian household in Brooklyn, NY with two parents and a brother, ALL of whom loved to cook. We ate dinner together every night where we discussed problems, triumphs of the day –everything. This fostered in me a great feeling of “community” around food. High School Home Ec was a favorite class and I strong armed my classmates into letting me cook everything. They liked the good marks – I got to have an afternoon snack – everybody wins. I cooked a lot as a teenager and into my 20’s but I really became

Meet Julie!

Hi! I'm Julie and I live in Atlanta, GA by way of South Jersey/Philadelphia, PA (Go Flyers!). Throughout my childhood, my food standards were set high by my mom. Most nights, she presented us with amazing homemade meals that she labored for hours to prepare. It's embarrassing to admit that we took these efforts for granted until the night that Mom served Hamburger Helper. My brother and I refused to eat the offending casserole, opting instead to stay hungry. Our tastes ran towards food prepared from scratch, with love.

As a kid, I always loved to play in the kitchen. But when I went to college, my cooking really took off. Tired of cafeteria food, I tried cobbling together my favorite meals in a dorm

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Meet Linda!

I'm a native Houstonian. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 37 years and I have two adult children. I started my insurance career as a file clerk right out of high school, and I retired 10 years ago as a licensed Property & Casualty Insurance Agent. My faith and family are my priority. I love to hunt for vintage items and high-end bargains. Much of my home is decorated with things I have inherited or found at garage sales and secondhand stores. I enjoy traveling, especially to see my daughter in Kansas.

I grew up in a household with a single, working mom and elderly grandparents. Since my grandmother was ill, most of

Meet Judy!

Hi, I'm Judy! I live in Oklahoma City and have a photography business, Visuality Photo, that keeps me busy most of the time. I have three true passions: photography, cooking, and travel. My first adventure in cooking was at age 9, when with the help of a neighborhood girlfriend, I attempted to bake my dad a birthday cake. She was reading the recipe to me and I was following orders. Somehow, instead of putting in a cup of sugar, I put in a cup of salt--it made for a memorable cake! I was teased about that a lot growing up.

Although I'm not from a family of cooks, I did grow up eating