"Find a job that you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life." I've been very lucky to have lived by these words.
I became interested in food and nutrition during my high school years. After pursuing my undergraduate degree in Foods & Nutrition I gravitated towards a field that I didn't even know existed at the time. A career in a Test Kitchen, specifically recipe development, product testing and food styling.
Early in my career, I was Associate Editor in the Food Appliance Department for Good Housekeeping Magazine. In addition to writing articles, developing recipes and food styling, we put everything from garlic presses to cookware to refrigerators through rigorous testing to see if they were worthy of the Good Housekeeping Seal. I gained expertise not only with food, but with food equipment of all kinds. And, I hold Good Housekeeping solely responsible for the food gadget obsession that I still have today!
Next I spent 13 years with Unilever where I managed the North American Test Kitchen. During my time there, the company grew to over 20 food brands (think Ragu, Bertolli, Hellmann's, Knorr, Wish-Bone, to name a few). This was truly, a foodies dream job, as I was involved with all aspects of product development and contributed to the launch of many successful food products. Additionally, I contributed to design and content for culinary websites, supervised countless food photo shoots and oversaw the development of literally thousands of consumer recipes. And there was so much more. This was a job where I truly learned something new every day.
In 2011 I embarked on my own, as a food blogger and consultant for the food industry. I am doing everything from recipe development, to social media, to coordinating food photography to food styling...and loving every minute of it! My clients include Campbell's (Swanson, Pepperidge Farm, Pace), B&G Foods (Ortega, Mrs. Dash, Emeril's, Cream of Wheat, Baker's Joy and more), Frank's RedHot, French's Foods and Unilever.
I am married (to my husband Michael) with children (Alex, 23, Hannah, 21, and Ben, 16). I truly understand the consumer, because I am the consumer. I understand the challenge of providing good, wholesome food, that everyone will enjoy, and that doesn't add to the stress of everyday life.
While not a vegetarian blog, you will see that it's a recurring theme. Hannah and I have followed a vegetarian diet since 2008. Technically we're lacto-ovo pescatarian, which means that we eat eggs, dairy, some fish (most of which we catch at the Jersey shore); we don't eat chicken, beef, poultry, veal or lamb. For me, as a food professional, it has truly opened my eyes and given me a new perspective. I am exploring a whole world of food that I previously ignored to a great extent. And, living as a vegetarian is very different than thinking you know what a vegetarian wants to eat.
I have tried to do a few things with my meals over the years. One, is to find an easy and uncomplicated way to satisfy everyone who comes to the table. Two, is to find vegetarian alternatives to some of our favorite meaty meals. With my family of 5 -- 2 vegetarians and 3 meat eaters, I needed to find a way to make everyone happy. I've done a lot of experimenting over the years and those recipes and meals will ultimately appear here.
I hope you enjoy the time you spend here and come back often.