May 2, 2019

Jess S. Scott, in his book The Intern wrote, “When somebody loves you, the way they talk about you is different. You feel safe and comfortable.” I used this quote earlier this week as our thought for the day. We all know what it feels like to feel loved. For me it is like being wrapped in a blanket where I feel the warmth, safety and comfort of those who love me.

I could edit this quote a bit and say “When somebody loves you, the way they cook for you is different. You taste the love and the positive energy.” You may be able to think of a meal or a person whose food you can taste the love in. For my friend Tom, it is my Smac n Cheese. He and his wife drive 90 minutes each way for him to eat this. The look on his face while he is doing so is priceless. He consistently tells me he can taste the love. I am so glad because I do think about how much I love him when I make it for him. My friend Laura, who is no longer with us, would always request a tray of lasagna and a tray of orange brownies for her birthday. I would think of her and how much I love her as I made it and I would always be rewarded by that look and the smile and the joy that radiated from her as she slowly savored each and every bite. She would then take the leftovers home and savor them and make them last as long as possible.

I was at a vending event once and a woman told me how she hated chocolate chip  cookies and then she tasted mine. She was floored. She asked me what my secret ingredient is and I very humbly told her love. We are not always conscious of how love and the positive energy we carry with us while we are cooking changes the way we cook and the way the food tastes.

A friend of mine shared a story with me about a time he was cooking dinner for his family. It was a dish he had made hundreds of times. However, this time he was not thinking about his family and how much he loved them. Rather he was thinking about all the things on his to do list and the frustrating day he had experienced at work. As he shared nothing came out right. His mother asked him if he had a bad day. She could taste it in the food.

It is not about the complexity of what you are making, but the love and attention you pour into whatever you are making. So as you prepare to make your next meal for yourself or others, fill yourself with love and then start cooking.


August 12, 2015

I know it has been a while since I have written here, but this morning seemed like a good time because what I have been reminded of recently was that I need to have faith in my senses and gifts when I am cooking. Cooking is all about having faith in one’s self and one’s abilities.

It all started with a simple zucchini. I was sautéing some shredded zucchini to cook off the water in it. As it was cooking, I began seasoning it for inclusion in what I thought would become a recipe I was going to make. However, watching this broth develop from the juices being released from the zucchini inspired me to try making this into a zucchini soup. I had to have faith in my inspiration, my taste buds, my vision, and my abilities. It was so good that I wound up drinking the whole pot of “soup” and I know I will make it this morning.

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January 23, 2015

Over the last few months, I have had to make major changes in the way I eat and therefore the way I cook. Initially, I felt a little overwhelmed at the growing list of foods that I could no longer eat and for the first time in my life, cooking seemed stressful. It was then that I had to return to my basics and go back to some of the basic lessons that I had learned across my lifetime. One being that cooking is like meditation. When I stop, relax, and focus on being at one in the moment and with the ingredients, my creativity would kick in and the answers to what and how to prepare would flow like a river.

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September 3, 2014

I have often talked about the importance of cooking with love. It is that secret ingredient which people seem to be able to taste in your cooking. However, I have found that love without humility seems to affect the outcome of the dish. One of my favorite stories about this is told by Mary Beth Crain. She tells the story of making a dish for her mother which she should not have been eating as it was not a diabetic friendly dish.

I feel, however, that I must issue a warning: cooking with love doesn’t always bring great results. Over the holidays I got an old American Home Magazine from 1937, in which I found, of all things, an ad for Royal Baking Powder featuring a recipe from none other than the mother of famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart. For some odd reason I was entranced by the tinted color photo of white-haired old Mother Earhart, looking maternal and saintly, presenting her beautiful platter of fried chicken, gravy and biscuits made with foolproof Royal Baking Powder. The promo read, “’Amelia’s Favorite Dish is My Fried Chicken and Biscuits!’ Says the Mother of the World’s Most Famous Woman Flyer.”

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Z is for Ziti

May 14, 2014


Whoo hoo! I am so excited that I have made it through the alphabet one more time. I am sure my fellow blogger Julia Fox is going to miss seeing me post each week, but I am not sure I am ready to do it a third time, well at least not yet. Blogging my way through the alphabet food wise has been fun and I have learned about some interesting dishes and foods along the way. Today, I am going to end with one of my favorite foods Ziti. Baked ziti, for me, is so comforting. It is not because it is something I grew up with fond childhood memories of, as my mom was not a good pasta cooker. Well, her pasta was fine, it was the sauce that was memorable and not in a good way.

Ziti like elbow macaroni and any pasta with a whole in the middle catches my attention because it provides a tunnel for all the sauce to travel in and through. When I get a tray of baked ziti with the sauce, sausage, and cheeses melted throughout, it just makes my mouth water

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