1. I am Gluten Free about 99% of the time. Ok maaaaybe a bit less, but I am the only diagnosed “gluten intolerant” member of this household so far. Most of my recipes are Gluten Free because sis and I agree, Gluten is really not that good for you and while she and the wee ones are not strict GF, as I do the majority of the cooking sis is more than happy to minimize the gluten in her kids life.
2. Majority of the recipes I will put here are GF but I may have a few that are not 100% GF. Some are recipes I have used my whole life and have adapted to GF with varying degrees of success. Some are absolute stand out winners. Others are still in the experimental stage with my family as guinea pigs, and that includes our mother “Nonna”who lives in the same building. My family has all graciously adopted a GF lifestyle in shared meals with me. It’s rarely been a problem….well now that I have trained them for a few years. That said I will make the distinction for those people who are seriously allergic.
3. I am in no way a professional chef, or even a trained cook. My training is a combination of being an Italian girl with a family full of women who taught me to cook by experience, living on my own for 20 years, cooking for roommates, friends and occasional boyfriends, reading cook books, cooking magazines, watching the food network and of late scouring Pinterest for recipes to try to alter – which I have to say I pretty much ALWAYS change them in some way. I have dated quite a few professional chefs in my time (lucky me) and won a few cooking competitions among friends – we had a thing for Top Chef viewing dinner parties complete with betting and end of season cook-off for a few years – but that’s as close to “pro” as it gets.
4. I am based in Florida at the moment and you may hear me bitch about that at times. I’m from the Northeast. Born and bred in Philly and Jersey and spent my collegiate years in New England / Boston. I then lived in Southern California for (almost exactly to the day) 15 years, and it was there that my food snobbery was well cultivated. An abundance of farmers markets, buying fresh, local, organic as well as being friends with chefs, restaurant owners and many foodies like myself spoiled me. Just a warning, I may complain about lack of resources for the same type of food here in the Sunshine state. In fact you can count on it. I could possibly even rant about major issues in the food industry as well. That’s just the way it is.
5. Unless otherwise noted ALL the photography on this blog is mine. It’s another hobby of mine. In fact I even have another Blog about it. Some is taken with my “good” Canon camera, (for example all of the background images that sis thought were a “stock” photos I pulled from the internet), however sometimes the cooking / preparation / final product shots are taken with my iPhone. It’s hard enough to cook and get food to the table for the kids without worrying about setting up a shot. I hope that someday I will be cooking in a bigger kitchen full of light, space, all the appliances I covet and the background will make my photos sing. A girl can dream. For now, we are in an apartment, with a small cramped kitchen and I do what I can. With tools like Instagram, the iPhone works. Really, how did we live without them?
6. I MAY not always have exact measurements in these early stages. Some days I am very OCD about exact measurements of recipes, particularly with new ones I have never tried and with baking – you can’t mess around with baking – that’s a science. But other times when I start tweaking, and especially when I make something up on the fly, I forget. Apologies in advance.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled many places in the world as a child, being raised with exposure to different tastes and cuisines from around the world and that’s what I am trying to do with Littledude and Ladybug. Train their palettes from a young age to all the wonderful flavors and tastes, textures and colors. Some days they stuff themselves with my food and eat all of their veggies, some days they don’t. Everyday is a new culinary adventure and with that I make this vow:
I will not pretend something is great when it isn’t but I am going to post it anyway. This blog is a chronicle of my adventures in the kitchen. My experiments and creations. Some of them are hits from moment one. Some take a few tries; some I am still working on and some are complete bombs. I plan to share every triumph and failure and all my food experiences in between.
If you see something I failed at and have a tip on what will improve it – PLEASE share! I’m always up to learning new things.
I hope you enjoy food and cooking as much as I do. It’s one of my favorite things. So here we go…..