girl in cucina
I have loved to cook (and eat) for as long as I can remember.  My formative culinary experiences are rooted in the kitchens of my mother and my grandmothers, who were influenced both by their Italian roots (specifically, the provinces of le Marche and il Veneto) and by the farmland of Northwest and Eastern Arkansas.  Hand-cut pasta and homemade bread were staples of my grandmothers' kitchens.  I don't think I tasted store-bought tomato sauce until after I'd left home for college.

Above all, my early experiences taught me that cooking is an expression of love and eating an expression of community.

During college, foreign travel exposed me to new cuisines and techniques; time in Italy, including a six-month stay in Tuscany, strengthened the ties to my ancestral home and its culinary traditions.  The focus on simple recipes highlighting seasonal, whole ingredients grown nearby is a major precept of Italian cuisine and one I try to uphold in my own kitchen.  
girl in Italia

il marito
While rooted in my past, my passion for cooking also draws on the new experiences I am having every day -- whether in reading a cookbook or the findings of a fellow food blogger, learning about the science of cooking, eating at a new restaurant, or experimenting in my own kitchen.  My wonderful husband encourages me to play in the kitchen to my heart's (and his stomach's) content.  He's my official taste-tester and self-proclaimed "idea guy."

This blog is a space in which to document, muse, explore, and share.  I hope you'll visit often and leave a comment when you do!