Allow me to begin by letting you in on a little personal secret (while we enjoy the view here from my favorite perch in Denali National Park). Although friends know me as a lawyer, I spend way more time in the kitchen than the courtroom, and the truth is this…I have accomplished far more persuasion with a warming bowl of winter stew or a comforting slice of freshly baked pie than I have ever achieved with a law degree. In my experience, the kitchen can be a vastly influential place. Sometimes it’s the hand that stirs the spoon that rules the world.
Here's something else that I have learned along the way...whenever I spend time in someone else's kitchen, I always discover something new. And frequently, that something is revelatory. Despite the flourishing culinary conversation which has developed online in recent times, there remains an extraordinary wealth of knowledge tucked away in home kitchens everywhere...a sort of secret kitchen society, if you will. And some secrets are not only delicious, but also simply too good to keep to yourself. So in the spirit of conviviality and sharing the wealth, the aim of this site is to reveal the best recipes, cooking tips, and culinary secrets I have thus far encountered in the course of my life long love affair with the kitchen. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do.
Curious to know more about me? Here are a few highlights…
- I am an Alaskan, hailing from the “golden heart" interior city of Fairbanks, and this origin will no doubt become apparent as you explore the site. It certainly influences my cooking, although perhaps not always in the particular ways you might expect. Sometimes this means simply making the most of fresh wild ingredients that can only be procured in the stunningly beautiful, but unforgivingly perilous, land of the midnight sun. While at others, it means being driven to seek out flavors that just might be exciting (or comforting) enough to make a gal forget about the unrelenting winter cold and darkness lurking ominously outside her front door.
- I am also fortunate to spend a great deal of time in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where I am continually inspired by the jaw dropping mountains of seasonal produce, the unbridled culinary creativity displayed on menus everywhere (be they fancy or humble), and the extraordinary food scene which thrives especially in Portland, OR.
- I love a good shortcut in the kitchen, and many of my favorite recipes are easy and fast, but I will also happily become consumed in an elaborate cooking project when the mood strikes. A dear friend once said to me ”You are the only person I've ever met who will make herself a three course dinner for one.”
- There is an ”extra” freezer in my house dedicated almost exclusively to the storage of foraged wild berries.
- I am a big classic film fan, and this has also probably influenced my ideas about the kitchen (and my affection for classic cocktails). As Alfred Hitchcock famously once said, “Happiness is a small house, with a big kitchen,” and I couldn’t agree more.
- I take my martinis with a twist and my manhattans made with rye.
- Despite being well fed, and never once poisoned, my husband (we will call him Nick) is still very suspicious whenever I am in the kitchen.
- In previous lives, I have also masqueraded as a waitress, restaurant hostess, salesgirl, road construction flagger, writing tutor, and English professor. (And occasionally, a casual stage performer on the side.)
- When I am not otherwise indisposed, you can usually find me puttering around the kitchen with a glass in hand, a pot on the stove, and Julie London or Nina Simone crooning in the background to keep me company.