I am not a lucky person. I don’t win lotteries, contests, or prizes (well unless you count the set of steak knives from my dad’s company picnic- I was 7). But I do feel FORTUNATE! I have some great friends that humor me by filling my cup and their bellies with many of my home-cooked meals. You see, I love to cook. I designed a hardworking kitchen to make those meals easy to prepare…and when I ask- people show up. It’s awesome.

As we roll into the month of March and we are tired of the snow and cold, I turn to warm meals and time with friends to get me over the “is this winter ever going to end” hump. My kitchen where you will find me most evenings and, on many Sundays, planning my week of meals is where I feel great joy. I was recently asked by a fabulous customer, how I put my meals together for a busy work week.

Here is my top 5 list of what makes my kitchen work well for me.

#5- A well-stocked pantry. I don’t enjoy grocery shopping (my husband Bob does 99% of the grocery shopping- #besthusbandever). And you must have cans of beans, tomatoes, artichokes and many other little “toss in” items.

#4- A stack of white plates and platters. I appreciate restaurant quality products, like the Fortessa brand that we carry at the store. I am not a delicate chef. I don’t want to break every plate I own.  

#3- Rows and rows of cook books- my favorites- What Katie ate, any and all Ina Garten cookbooks and some of the oldest ones- the Joy of cooking, Betty Crocker and Better Homes and Gardens. My sweet girl bought me- Julia Childs- Mastering the art of French cooking for my last birthday! I have not tried one recipe yet…must read the book first. 

#2- An imagination and a willingness to try new things…because never do I follow a recipe exactly.

#1- Hungry friends and family

Some notes about me regarding the above- yes, I read cookbooks like most people read books… I can feed a small army with what is in my pantry and I have been mocked many times for it (I wear it like a badge of honor)…Every kid (and many adults) that come into my house, know that they can walk into that pantry- anytime- and find something to eat… I have never been turned down for providing food to others… In the event of the apocalypse, stop by I’ll be making lots of food! In the meantime, happy eating!