About Me

Love the vintage kitchen Kitchen

The word alone has different meanings, depending on who you ask. For me, it’s a place I go to relax, to think, to listen to everything from country music, to 80’s, to opera. I go there to create, to taste, to smell, and to show my family and friends how special they are. It’s the heart of my home, and the gathering place for laughter. You’ll find me there at 4:30 am, waiting for the Keurig to brew a perfect cup of vanilla coffee, and you’ll find me again at midnight, making a late-night snack of parmesan and avocado slices with balsamic vinegar.

In any sense, “Kitchen” seemed an appropriate word.

Welcome to Sockmonkeys Kitchen!
Welcome to Sockmonkeys Kitchen!

Sockmonkeys

I just like them. They each seem to have a different personality when you look at them. The same goes for my cooking. At times I’ll make a traditional pot of chicken soup, and other times you’ll find me making Chocolate Euphoria Cookies, recipe courtesy of my wacky friend Darlene. So “Sockmonkey“, makes perfect sense too. (I could have called it “Kitchen of the Sockmonkey”…but that’s just weird.)

If I could make a sockmonkey, I would…but I leave all sewing projects up to my friend Donna, my mom or my sister. They are all quite talented.  As for me,  I cannot sew…but that’s another story.

Actually, that’s probably why I’m here.

History

Way back in junior high, boys were taking woodshop and girls were taking sewing. I still remember my older sister making a lavender Gunne Sax dress, and it was perfect. No pressure there… So, I rebeled in the best way a dorky 12-year-old could…I took “foods” class. Twice. No sewing for this girl, no sir-ee-bob.

Because of it, I learned quite a bit from Mrs. Thierfelder, like how to cut the good part of the banana bread from the part that didn’t bake, and call yourself a decent home cook. But I digress. Even though that part of my cooking world was somewhat marred, I do have others who taught me a multitude of amazing feats in the kitchen.

Influences

Isn't my Grandma Casey pretty?
Grandma Casey

Grandma Casey
This woman had a sweet tooth that makes mine pale by comparison. She always had her Monster Cookies in the freezer, and put a lot of sugar and real cream on her homegrown figs. She also made the very best berry cobbler ever. It was the kind that had a sweet crust dusted with a crunch of sugar, and tart juicy berries.
She liked to bake a large spoonful of brown sugar over her sweet potatoes, and  she put extra cherries in her Waldorf Salad.  She even taught me the fine art of throwing Reeses Pieces into the air and catching them in my mouth. In my defense, I was a bit of a clumsy teenager, so of course she won that competition.

They're so cute!
Dad and Mom

Mom
A shining example of what a home cook should be. I don’t think I realized how talented she was until I started eating meals at friends’ houses.
She taught my sister and I that the more (natural!) colors on the plate, the better.  She makes beautiful pies, and her roasts always come out juicy. She has this ability to make anything out of the leftover contents of her fridge. And it tastes fantastic. Always.
For many years, she was involved in all types of weekly potlucks through church and womens’ groups, so I learned at a very early age, the importance of presentation. Hers were always so pretty! Also, with mom being trained as an RN, we had the advantage of learning about the benefits of nutrition, and balance in our diet.

Wheeeeeeee!
Here I am with Dad around 1970

Dad.
These days, I’m really impressed with my dad’s garden. He’s always growing lots of different vegetables, and he wants to share. I can’t remember the last time I left my parents’ home without a lot of fresh, organic produce 🙂 PS: Dad’s tomatoes are the best, in case you’re wondering. He’s also got an apple tree that fruits uncontrollably. He also makes the best avocado toast ever.

Me.

 me at s&sHmmm… well, I started dabbling with baking in my late teens/early 20s, and started being a full-fledged lover-of-cooking-and-food in my early 30s.   Now in my later 40s, I’ve come to realize that life is way too short not to enjoy the taste, texture, and appearance of the one thing we all have in common: food.

I love to buy organic, and I think one of my favorite things is to search out farmers markets in new cities. I also have a love for a freshly baked cookie with a good cup of coffee. Oh yum. Because of various food allergies and intolerances, I have learned to watch everything I eat, and it’s made a huge (and very positive!) difference on my physical health.

I live in Southern California, and I adore my husband, and the 4 kids and 2 doggies we have between us. I love cooking for them! I also love God, and am so thankful every day for all He provides and blesses me with!

I picked this up from the Farmers Market
I’ve got over 100 postings on this blog, so you’re sure to find one you like!

Content

In this blog, you can look forward to stories from my kitchen, tales of food outings, recipes I love, and food memories from way back when. Whether it’s an italian pasta dish, a food festival,  a new cookie recipe, a cooking technique, or a Thanksgiving side dish, I’m hoping I can find at least one item that sparks your interest, and makes you want to come back and read more.

Now, while I’m a carnivore, I still enjoy eating a vegetarian meal now and then. When I’m with my friend Donna, I’m making the meal gluten free. Every so often, you will be treated to the culinary wonders of my dear friends.

So sit back, and take a moment to enjoy. And, if you ever feel like commenting on any of the posts I write, please feel free to do so – I’d love to hear from you! Bon Appétit!

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