Simply put, I love to cook. It relaxes me – which, for those of you who know me at all – is really saying a lot! Something about the cooking process and being in the kitchen has the ability to reframe the day for me. My husband, Peter, can always tell if I’ve had a stressful day by the number of courses on the dinner table. – if I come home and cook a four course dinner – he knows not to ask about my day!
I was born and raised in beautiful Santa Cruz, CA where I live today with my husband, Peter and our wee little man, Pierce. Peter and I love to travel, trying out new culinary adventures along the way – a passion passed on from my family and one we hope to continue with our own. Peter was born and raised in Ireland, where we recently had the opportunity to live for over a year. We have been lucky enough to spend time traveling across Europe – an experience that was just as amazing as it sounds and our two and half year old already has more stamps on his passport than most. The sights, sounds, and tastes of these trips have inspired me in ways I never could have imagined. Whenever we return home, Peter always wants me to re-create our favorite meals from our travels and you will find this inspiration throughout my recipes on this blog.
My experience and background is as varied as any journey – I honed my culinary chops while cooking for our large family gatherings – which, with the other opinionated (and related) cooks in the kitchen, was not as easy as you think. I have also taken culinary classes, worked in hotel kitchens, had a stint in personal catering and most recently, my husband and I opened and ran a small bistro in a pub in a small town in Ireland.
I typically cook Italian because who doesn’t love anything Italian. However, anyone from the West Coast that has lived abroad can attest to the intense, deep-seeded cravings that stem from missing the Mexican food we are so spoiledly blessed with here on the West Coast. Upon arrival back home, many a traveler’s first (and second and third…) meal is a Mexican food favorite (with a proper margarita, of course!). As I day-dreamed of the tacos, enchiladas and empanadas I missed while in Ireland, I also started coming up with reinventions of these beloved recipes. Needless to say that is why you will see a lot of Mexican-inspired favorites on this blog.
Although my husband’s native homeland is Ireland – not a place typically known for their vino – Peter has always had a passion for unique wines and has become very knowledgeable throughout the years and our travels. He always has a “Peter’s Pick” to accompany whatever it is I’m making. It’s a big running joke in our family that an Irish man would know so much about wine (hope I don’t offend you Irish boys), but my Italian brother-in laws will tease that he’s really an Italian at heart! So in keeping with the theme of Food, Family & Vino!, Peter will contribute his “Picks” alongside my recipes here on our blog.
Through this site I hope to share my love of cooking, my spirit of adventure, and my passion for entertaining. I hope that you will enjoy my blog and that most of all you have fun (and relax) while doing so!
~From our table to yours, we wish you the best of – Food, Family & Vino. Happy cooking!