About Tia

I didn’t have a lot of cooking experiences as a child, mostly because my parents had that you’ll-poke-your-eye-out mentality in the kitchen and outside of peeling carrots, most everything I did was nothing but clean up.  But I grew up in a family where there were no shortcuts in the kitchen.  From my parents to their parents and so forth, I don’t think any of them would even contemplate purchasing a box of Hamburger Helper or similar processed foods.  Canned vegetables was a walk on the wild side.

When I would go home for the summer though to my grandmother’s, I got to get my hands dirty and my grandmother could have rivaled Julia Child for skill.  I loved sitting in the kitchen with her as she whipped up miracle after miracle, most generally off of the top of her head.  When she did need to reference a recipe card, the box was a wooden monstrosity that would not close for all of the notes crammed within.  I have her to thank for the desserts and candies and baking lessons and some of her wonderful down home style cooking.

Myself and Angela, the landlord's daughter, when we lived in Sicily, looking down at their garden from our apartment.

Myself and Angela, the landlord's daughter, when we lived in Sicily, looking down at their garden from our apartment.

This was our apartment and me helping my mom with our herb garden we grew on the patio.

This was our apartment and me helping my mom with our herb garden we grew on the patio.

My parents though, gave me my passion for Sicilian and Italian cooking.  We lived in Sigonella for about 5 years and I have very vivid and flavourful memories of that time in my life.  We rented an apartment over the main home of an older Sicilian couple and we would be invited down for meals often.  Many of their family recipes they were generous enough to pass on to us when we moved back to the states.

My first real attempt at cooking began when I was 19 years of age.  Armed with the standard gingham covered cookbook and a family one, I made a shopping list of everything that I loved to eat or longed to try.  From biscuits from scratch to fruit cake to stroganoff to cheesecake, I got my feet wet and gagged a few times along the way.  I learned quickly that improvisations belong in the hands of the knowledged and experienced; that just because you have a remaining spoonful of lemon juice it doesn’t necessarily mean it will turn out well if you toss it in anyhow.

When I began dating my husband I learned that his idea of gourmet was frozen lasagna and that hot pockets were suitable as a main course for dinner.  It shocked me because I never cooked from boxes like that.  Dinner was a meal you made with love, not a microwave.  But after moving in with him and seeing that many box meals can be made palatable, I began using them a lot.  So now I do cheat and grab a box of Hamburger Helper now and then, but nothing beats the real deal.  Oh and frozen lasagna is never decent.  Ever.

My kids gave me the inspiration to start this site as they have constantly urged me to put my recipes down for them to be able to have them when they finally have a kitchen of their own.  I contemplated a self published cookbook but once you go to press, that’s it.  The idea of an online cookbook that could be continuously added to and built upon was perfect.  After trying several different sites out for my e-cookbook, this blog setting worked the best.

I decided to incorporate images as a how to for this site as so many sites fail to show what the aftermath would look like, much less the along the way pictures.  It was something that was so great about my first cookbook I ever owned and something missing from so many that are now abounding and even lacking on cooking web sites.  The big to do in our house since I started this site has been who is fortunate enough to get the plate chosen for the picture.

I welcome feedback, questions and comments, so don’t be afraid to send in your two cents!

~Tia

I realized tonight that I don't have many pictures of me actually cooking, I always focus on the food, but since I was working on inputting some pictures here I figured I would throw in a recent picture that had more than just my fingers in it.

I realized tonight that I don't have many pictures of me actually cooking, I always focus on the food, so I figured I would throw in a picture that had more than just my fingers in it.


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