By day, I do cooking segments for TV shows around the country….by night, I’m a culinary goddess who gets her groove on in a kitchen that should have a dang disco ball spinning, there are so many ‘happy dances’ going on at meal time! My man, JP, is hands down, the best fed man in the world, just sayin’… We have 2 amazing fur-babies, brother and sister pit bulls named Bonnie & Clyde, whom we rescued from a dumpster in 2009. They are the loves of my life!
I have a super cool day gig producing and hosting sponsored cooking segments, including “What’s in Season” on The Weather Channel. Each month, I go to farms around the country to learn about how the weather affected the crops, from the Honeybell groves of Florida to the cranberry bogs of Cape Cod.
Then, I get to feed my favorite meteorologist, Sam Champion, on set during our segment! Talk about a cool gig, right?
I also get to work with incredible companies and use their products to cook up scrumptious recipes on satellite media tours and road tours. If you’re interested in having me represent your brand/company, please contact me directly. If that wasn’t enough on my professional plate, I also do some catering, because, well, you know by now that I love to feed people!
People ask me all the time what my favorite thing to cook is…honestly, it totally depends on the day. I love imaginative combinations of texture and flavor, so you’ll see a lot of ‘encrusted’ proteins so you get some crunch with your tender. You’ll also notice numerous experiments with savory and sweet, because I think it’s OK to be greedy and want it all in one bite! I do cook low-fat, healthy meals a few times a year on a semi-regular basis, and you’ll find there is a “low-carb” and a “gluten-free” section to my recipes. For some reason, the Allergy Gods curse me every time I eat anything with white flour, so I often have to opt out of meals that would normally induce a decadent carb coma. I also found that I can stay squeezed into my skinny jeans when I stick to low-carb eating. I’d much rather give up bread than steak. This from the girl who went vegan for a month and gained 15 pounds. Going low-carb and cutting out sugar helped me drop nearly 40 pounds in the last year.
Some of my earliest memories are in my grandmother Ronnie’s kitchen, in Berlin, Connecticut. My grandparents actually had a couch in the kitchen. I would lie on that couch, watching Ronnie cook and listening as my grandfather read to her from his chair at the kitchen table. I remember vividly the incredible aromas of Ronnie’s roasts browning in the oven, the whistle of her pressure cooker, the buttery sound of my grandfather’s voice, and how safe and loved I felt. Ronnie could throw down in the kitchen and embodied the “Hostess with the Mostess.” I actually have an old notebook of hers where she documented her dinner party menus and took notes afterward, like, “Double the dressing next time” and “Dr. Roberts loved the potatoes”—she took such great care with every meal she prepared, every group she entertained.
When we would sit down to dinner, Ronnie would always watch everyone at the table, her big brown eyes widening as first bites were tasted, studying our reactions. One time when I was 7, I asked her, “Ronnie, why do you always watch us eat?” And she said, “Someday, darling, you will understand the joy of witnessing someone enjoy a meal you’ve prepared.” It would be years before I finally knew exactly what she was talking about.
Ronnie taught me the most important culinary lesson of all: Cook with love. Everyone will taste it. And I do. And they do. It’s become my mantra in the kitchen. And in life. All that energy, that passion, that laughter and that love is seared, baked, broiled and Southern Deep Fried into every meal I make. She taught by example—and every person who experienced her roast chicken dinner or tasted her famous chocolate cake felt wrapped in her affection. She barely topped out at 5’ tall, but her spirit was enormous. I miss her every single day. I just wish she had lived to see me turn out to be half the cook she was.
These days, I have a couch in my own kitchen and a man who regularly ensconces himself there, relishing the deliciousness that comes from the recipes I prepare with pure L.O.V.E.
I encourage lavish praise feedback from my recipes, so please feel free to comment and if you have a request, let me know! Want a recipe modified? Need a meal to land a husband? I’m your girl.