Welcome to my little corner of the web!
I'm guessing you stopped by to find out a little more about me.....so here it goes!
I'm Lisa, home cook, mom of two, almost empty nester (not quite sure how to feel about that!), married 23 years, binge watcher (but really trying to read more!), coffee drinker, sun lover (by far my favorite season is summer.....sand in the toes, flip flops and sunscreen all. day. long), and California girl at heart (even though my home for the last 13 years has been the PNW).
So, how did this website come about?
Weeeeellll.....do you want the long version, or the short one? Ok, who am I kidding? If you know me at all, you know I am pretty much incapable of giving the short version of ANY story.
I had always planned on being a stay at home mom, so after our first was born that's what I did. Although, I'm honestly not quite sure why they call it "stay at home" when I was pretty much everywhere but home. The park, the doctor, the grocery store, back to the park, mommy and me group, another run to the grocery store......well, you get the idea.
But kids grow up (far too fast, if you ask me!), and mine were getting to the age where they didn't really need me as much. My school volunteer and chaperone days were behind me, and carpool days were coming to an end (so long third row!!).
I wanted to create something for me. Some type of creative outlet around something I love to do.
And cooking is what I love. It's what I've always loved.
My personal favorite meals are the long, lazy summer dinners where we eat outside, under twinkly lights (which, as I get older, I appreciate more and more!), passing platters of bbq and pouring ice cold drinks. We eat slowly, savoring instead of rushing. Like those people in outdoor cafés in Paris. They lounge about the table, leisurely enjoying a cup of espresso, or steak and frites, while the world passes by. Whenever we travel to Europe, one of the absolute loveliest things is the much slower pace. My husband and I grabbed a cab and were late meeting friends for a drink. The traffic was awful. There was a protest, so some of the streets were blocked or closed completely. I kept asking the cab driver to go faster. After telling him numerous times, he slowly turned around, and with an enormous wide grin, said "Hurry, hurry, hurry....why, hurry? You'll miss all the beauty around you" and then he pointed out his window. I turned to follow where he was pointing......and it was the Eiffel Tower, just as it began to sparkle.
When our kids were little, dinner could be mass chaos. Literally, tossing food on plates or grabbing it to go, as someone headed out the door to practice. BUT, amidst the chaos, we always planned 1 dinner a week to all eat dinner at the table together. I'd even pull out the cloth napkins. And those were the nights we would chat about our day. The kids would fill us in on teachers and friends, lessons and struggles.....and, when they were younger, there was lots and lots of singing the Sponge Bob theme. You're welcome for that earworm.
Those times around the table were little windows into our kid's lives, and the conversations deepened and developed as they got older. Some weeks, we would manage 2 0r 3 dinners together. In the summer, sometimes even more.
Activities and the busyness that so occupied us when our kids were younger has evened out a bit, so we're able to do dinners together most every night. We're down one kiddo, who is off at college, and sometimes we Facetime so we can get a "virtual" meal together. It's still one of the most precious times of the day to me.......besides my very first cup of coffee in the morning.
By creating this website, I want to create menus and recipes other families can enjoy around their own tables. I want to infuse the European way of taking meals slowly, deliberately and thoughtfully into the way we approach food and meal time in our own homes. There is so much joy to be had in planning out meals and cooking them. And even more joy when you sit around the table, with no rush to check email or social media, and listen to the conversations that happen when you slow things down a bit.
As you scroll through the pages of my website, whether you enjoy the recipes and meals with yourself, a few friends or a huge gathering, I hope you remember to eat slowly, laugh loudly and save room for seconds!
My philosophy about cooking is VERY simple:
- Recipes are guidelines -- you can always tweak and change them according to what you like to eat
- Cooking can be fun (don't laugh, it's true!)
- You don't need fancy equipment, or to spend countless hours in the kitchen to prepare something delicious
- Enjoying a meal with those you love is an amazing way to refuel your soul
- And, last, but definitely NOT least......I don't believe in diets. I believe in the 80/20 rule (and some weeks the 70/30!) . You won't find keto or paleo or Whole30 here. But you WILL find seasonal, whole, organic ingredients.
Intrigued and want to learn more? Click HERE to head over to How it Works.
5 things you should know about me:
- I'm a 4th generation California (making my kiddos 5th generation!) and was born and raised in Los Angeles. Even though I LOVE living in the PNW, I do miss the sunshine (especially from February to July!) and really good, authentic Mexican food.
- Growing up, the majority of my summers and vacations were spent visiting my grandparents ranch near Santa Barbara. My most favorite memories are horseback riding, making homemade jam with my aunt, mom and cousins and eating fresh tart blackberries right from the vine.
- Before I moved to Seattle, I had never lived outside Los Angeles. Ever. To say it was a challenge would be a HUGE understatement, but now, 13 years later, I can't imagine living anywhere else.
- My husband is from Hawaii (born and raised!) and we dream about someday moving there.
- When I'm not in the kitchen cooking, I'm driving my daughter around (I'm also counting down the days until she gets her license!), binge watching (current favorite is The Crown and Ozark) or reading (I'm really trying to read more, so my new routine is to read before bed instead of check email and social media).
Wow, did you just read all the way to the end? Thanks!
Want to stay in touch? I'd love to have you join my inner circle and be the first to know about the latest blog posts, menus and tips. Click HERE and I'll add you the list! As a bonus (and a thank you for signing up) you'll also get 5 menus, absolutely free!