I’m an Italian American who loves to cook and entertain. I have always had a passion for cooking all things Italian, as well as trying out new foods and recipes, and putting my own spin on them.
When I’m not in the kitchen, I’m giving food lectures or demonstrations, teaching classes, visiting wineries (another passion) locally and abroad, or traveling, with Italy heading the list.
I was born and raised in Southern California where much of my Italian family lives, but there are still family members in Italy. Italian ancestors are from several towns in Sicily, as well as the outskirts of Bari in the Southern Italian region of Pulgia. So quite a few of my recipes have a Southern Italian “heart” to them.
If you enjoy reading amusing travel stories, I journal those adventures. You can check out past travels by clicking the Travel tab. If you want to receive current travel adventures when I’m on the road, subscribe to the blog and you’ll be updated once a week. 2020 travel plans have been canceled due to the Coronavirus. I am working on new adventures for 2021 and hope to be able to get back to traveling soon and taking you with me virtually!
Not only do we enjoy food and travel, but my husband and I have also learned an appreciation of wine over the years. When we moved to the outskirts of Portland, Oregon from Southern California we learned that the Willamette Valley is rich with wineries. So for the past 13 years, we’ve been doing our best to visit them all – so many wineries, so little time. We also enjoy Italian wines, so when we’re in Italy, we sample a lot of wine and ship the best varietals home.
Reading cookbooks is a hobby of mine. In fact, I read them as a person would read a novel. I even belonged to a cookbook club called “Cooking The Books” that met once a month to talk about cookbooks, share recipes and food. Back in the day, I had hundreds of cookbooks. Today, I have scaled my collection back to less than 50.
I don’t restrict my reading to just cookbooks — I enjoy fiction and non-fiction books of all kinds. Here is a list of some of my favorite books with Italian themes. Books.
And let’s not forget a good Italian-themed movie to get one in the mood for cooking, travel, a glass of wine, or a sentimental journal. Movies.
VINE TO TABLE SERIES OF COOKBOOKS: Most recently I’ve turned my efforts to writing a series of Vine to Table cookbooks. Each one is focused on a garden ingredient.
From Vine to Table: The Unexpected Joy of Zucchini’s Magic features recipes using zucchini (a result of our abundant garden harvest one summer). From Vine to Table: The Unexpected Joy of Zucchini’s Magic is available on Amazon, at local venues in the Portland area, and online from Cucinari Libri.
From Vine to Table: Everything Tomatoes, the Fruit of Love has over 85 recipes with tomatoes. Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or a well-seasoned cook, this cookbook will take you through a journey of creating fresh, homemade meals inviting. Cookbooks are available on Amazon, at local venues in the Portland area, and online from Cucinari Libri.
From Vine to Table: Food and Wine Pairings of the Willamette Valley is currently in development with a potential publication date of late 2022. Watch for progress in the blog posts as well as in the weekly newsletter.
Enjoy traveling with me through my cooking and travel adventures. I publish a weekly newsletter with recipes, fun foodie facts, and updates on cookbooks and cooking trends, etc. If you are not currently subscribed to the newsletter, you can sign up HERE.