I have been eating good food since I was a little kid and have been cooking since I was about 13 years old. My mother was a good cook, not a great cook but she cooked a good variety of all kinds of food and did a decent job of it. I was always interested in the food we had for dinner and learned to help, and then to cook the whole meal, from a fairly young age. I never thought that the food we had was exotic but when I went over to my girlfriend’s houses for dinner and had some really very boring meals of tomato sauce spaghetti (with no Italian spices) I started to realize than my mother had exposed me to a decent range of ingredients of spices and kinds of food. When I was 13 I have entries in my dairy about cooking spareribs and corn on the cob from our garden for our family dinner so since I am now 56 that means I have been cooking for over 40 years. My dad used to bartend at the Elk’s club on Friday or Saturday nights (I am not sure why other than he liked it since I don’t think it paid much and he had a full time job for with the local power company as a meter reader which I think paid fairly well) when I was a kid, which I have some funny stories about, and he would bring home the leftover crab they had for the Friday night specials and I remember not that many of my friends ever had crab. I remember taking a brown bag lunch to school by my preference when I was in grade school because I thought the food they served in the lunch room was terrible, and so did a lot of other kids. They served plain boiled navy beans with catsup (the only beans we ever had at home were black eyed peas and ham hocks, this was partly because dad had been in the navy and he pretty much hated almost all beans except for black eyed peas and green beans because he said they had to eat a lot of beans), “bologna boats” which were a fried piece of bologna (my mother never bought bologna, salami but no bologna) with a scoop of instant mashed potatoes on top with a piece of American cheese food on top “Yumm- ugh!”, instant mashed potatoes with gravy (I was used to real mashed potatoes with real turkey and gravy) so it was no wonder I was thrilled to have a half a tuna sandwich with a cup of “campbell’s soup” in a thermos for my lunch. As I got older I started collecting recipes, some of them were very time consuming and intricate to make but as I got older and had to work 8 hours a day I started cooking easier things that still had lots of flavor and that is the principal guiding light to the recipes I love to cook now. I had a boyfriend who loved my cooking and had me teach him some of his favorite dishes and he always used to love it when I would tell him that something he liked was so easy that “even he could make it”! That is what I strive for in the recipes I share with other people, make then really flavorful and fun and easy to make, there really isn’t any reason cooking has to be complicated. Yes “even you” can make it is my motto. I do have to say I subscribe to the axiom my favorite “5 star” restaurant subscribes to, “if you are making blue cheese dressing then it should taste like blue cheese and if it says garlic anything you will be able to taste the garlic!” I can’t stand it when a thing is advertised as “garlic” and you can’t even tell they used any, if you don’t want garlic chicken then you shouldn’t order it! I have always said there are only 2 foods (and one is not a food as far as I am concerned and the other barely is) that I don’t like and the first one is jello – colored sugared gelatin is not food and is not natural – and the second one is slugs, oh I mean snails, and yes I have had them slathered in garlic and the dish was good but only because the rubberized snails tasted like garlic rubber! So that being said I wouldn’t say I am a picky eater, so I hope you enjoy my recipes and happy eating and cooking!