It all begins in.... GRANDMA'S KITCHEN!
These words have fueled my passion for cooking since I was five years old. I come from your classic Italian family. I was born in the Bronx, where my entire family lived on one street. Who didn't?? My mom married the boy next store and we obviously lived on the top floor apartment of Grandma's house. Who doesn't??
I was lucky enough to have my two grandmothers live right next door to each other. Of course, that included all my aunts, uncles and cousins as well. Being the baby of all the cousins, I absolutely got teased alot ( I remember well... Lisa) but, I also got babied the most (my idol in life...Aunt Vivi!!).
My Aunt Vivi could invite the whole family over for dinner at like 3:00 in the afternoon and have enough food on the table at 6:00 to feed our entire family and everyone else in the neighborhood. She always made you feel like it was nothing. She was incredible and someone I always wanted to be exactly like. I wish those days would have never changed.
Need I say more? Our lives revolved around family and FOOD!! All centered in Grandma's kitchen. Now, I'm not the only one in our family who likes to cook, but I was definitely the one who at five years old... needed to be involved!! I had a Grandma that enjoyed letting me. Snapping the ends off of the string beans, throwing them in a pot and putting whatever else I wanted in is one of my fondest memories. She didn't just let me play with whatever dough or food she was making... she actually let me cook....Real Food!!
No matter what I threw in that pot, it never seemed to matter to her. I remember saying to her over and over again..."Hey Grandma, do you think this will be good?" And I always got the same response.
"There's all good stuff in there...of course it's gonna be good!!" No matter what was in that pot or how good it actually was to her, she always put it on a plate when I was done. And she called it "JUMBOTH." That's the Italian word for... who knows what it is??
My Grandma Mae gave me the fun and freedom to experiment with food at such a young age. The memories of Grandma's kitchen are now priceless to me, but not having these family recipes on paper makes them just that...memories!!
I became a Grandmother myself five years ago. Now with three grandchildren of my own, I would like to pass down our family recipes and continue the memories of her while making new ones of our own. Because the tables have turned somehow and now, at 49 years old....I am Nana's Kitchen!!!
So the saying goes "always listen to your mom" or "dad knows best". But I wanted to start this day off...my very first day as a blogger..with "sometimes your children know best". Sometimes we must really hear what our children are saying. We've taught them well.
It all started last weekend when my daughter, Chelsea and her boyfriend, Roger, were here for the weekend. We woke up sunday morning and I decided it was the perfect day for a family breakfast. So I gathered them all up which is never hard. Of course, if you cook, they are all here in five minutes. I am incredibly blessed with an amazing husband, three beautiful children, three grandchildren, a couple of add-ons (son-in law..boyfriend...haha) and my mom!! They are my life...my world...and what makes me happy. I am so grateful everyday!!
I will share along the road my many different options for the spectacular traditional Italian Frittata that I love, but that morning I put together an omelette bar. We all love different choices in our eggs and I wanted to make sure everyone was happy. Besides all the usual veggies, cheeses and meats for the omelettes, I took it one step further by browning up my delicious chicken meatballs, homemade hash browns and adding an Avacado Mango Salsa. This is perfect on top of an omelette. I also am lucky enough to have the two best omelette makers ever!! My son, CJ, and son-in-law, Ryan love to help in the kitchen!!
That was the moment when my daughter threw her fork down and said....that's it!! She told me that I needed to start sharing my world of food with the world outside of our home. All of my life I have thought about following my passion for food. But could never make that commitment to myself. My life always has revolved around my kids, my husband, our business, my grandchildren and anywhere else life has taken us through the years. But...it was at that moment that I thought to myself, she was right. I looked at her and said.."your right". Its time....but what will I do. Her boyfriend, Roger stepped in and offered his professional help. He is a website designer and he suggested that I let him begin a website where I can share my cooking and recipes with anyone and everyone. I thought what a great idea. I am going to do this as a way to share ideas with housewives just like myself. I am a home cook probably like so many other women out there that have that chef inside of them who just want to talk about food and share recipes. This makes me so happy. Lets do it!!
Eventually, through my journey of this new blogging thing, I will tell you my story of where I came from, my crazy crazy italian family, how I leaned to cook and love creating new recipes and mostly how food keeps my family together. We all love food!! I can't wait to share my stories which I am so grateful for and my recipes and ideas along the way. There will be a huge variety from traditional italian, which I grew up on, to all sorts of different dishes for today. From quick and easy weekday meals to your holiday tables.
So this blog is dedicated to my family, but especially my beautiful daughter, Chelsea. Thank you for inspiring me to live my passion as you do everyday and begin this journey. I promise to bring you lots of healthy recipes!!