Preface to a Beautiful Food Special Edition

Rosemary and thyme with salt and pepper

The kitchen is not just a place for cooking everyday food for my family.  I am a cook by profession. Despite and perhaps because of my profession I believe that food is not only essential to life, but equal to happiness among friends and family. My mother taught me the love of cooking and I am intent upon extending love and good memories to my children from the kitchen table.

I realize that we are a bit out of the ordinary as a family. My oldest child sat next to me while I cooked at nine months old, playing with tea cups and measuring spoons. As a toddler he stood happily on a wooden chair leaning against the countertop. His preferred toys were wooden spoons, mixing bowls and flour. My youngest came to work with me as a baby and often slept in a vegetable crate filled up with blankets while I cooked and chopped my way through a professional kitchen.  Later she pushed around her own wooden cart through my work space, pretending to shop for groceries and prepare for dinner by filling up her miniature grocery cart with tomatoes and eggplant and any other ingredients within her reach. At preschool she decided she wanted to open a restaurant when she grew up. She even had a name for it. Her restaurant fantasy was called “Mmmmmmm”.

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Beautiful Food Special Edition : Fall Vegetables and Jam Jar Dressings

Rainbow carrot bunch on newspaperPart IV.

Fall Vegetables and Jam Jar Dressings

With herbal salts and infused vinegars as building blocks, making vegetables interesting is a question of picking and choosing. The following series of recipes are made with the fall and winter vegetables chosen by Jennifer Tyler Lee in her book “The 52 New Foods Challenge”.  Each combination illustrated can be modified by exchanging one in-season vegetable with another. Cooking is an intuitive process and my recipes are blueprints to creativity in the kitchen. Continue reading