Sunday, January 9, 2011


“If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.”-T. Allen Armstrong

I love this quote, it really fit what I wanted to write about today.
My favorite brownie recipe from Baked, New Frontiers in Baking.

If you've gotten to know me at all through my blog, you know that I have many passions.  My children, home, cooking, baking, gardening, decorating, crafting, all things I love and feel very passionate about.

The passion I am writing about today is cooking and baking.  It is a passion I learned from my grandmother and mother, who were and are, both amazing cooks. 

I grew up eating wonderful food, so it's something I know a little bit about.  My mom never served us canned pasta, or packaged noodles.  Not to say say we didn't eat Campbell's soup once in a while, but it is my mom's homemade minestrone I remember the most.  My Grandmother started up her own bakery in the early 70's, which is still open today and run by my Aunt & Uncle.  Mazzetti's Bakery, in Pacifica, CA.

I truly believe cooking and baking are gifts from the heart.  You cannot really cook a delicious meal without putting your soul into it.  I love using fresh ingredients and making everything I can from scratch.  I make all my own salad dressings and do a mean Ceasar salad with homemade croutons, one of my kids' favorites.

I love cookbooks and trying new recipes, but I often don't follow them exactly.  I use them more as a starting point, or a basis for something I have in mind to make.
One of my favorite salads:   Roasted butternut squash, feta, and spinach, with homemade balsamic viniagrette.

It goes without saying I am addicted to Food Network, and love that cooking has become so "in" these days.  I've been watching cooking shows since I was a kid on PBS.  I was a fan of Julia Child  and Jaques Pepin growing up.

I dream of having a little cafe, open just for breakfast and lunch, where I could have a standard selection of salads, sandwiches, hot dishes, and baked goods, but also have a seasonal menu using what is fresh and in season at the time.  I'd also have daily specials, so I could constantly try out new recipes.  I love cooking for other people, trying out new recipes on my friends and co-workers.

My youngest daughter has shown an interest in cooking as well, and is often right beside me in the kitchen.  She has even started making dinner for us on her own.  Last night she made a recipe out of Giada De Laurentiis' latest book Giada at Home.  She only allowed me to grate the parmesan cheese and prepare the steamed broccoli on the side (:
This was the past we had for dinner last night, courtesy of my 15 year-old daughter.  Giada's recipe for  Pasta with mushrooms and mascarpone cheese.  We improvised just a little.

I love being able to share this passion with my daughter. I hope to find a way to make this passion more a part of my life, or  maybe someday I will get to watch my daughter on Food Network?

Wishing you a life filled with all your passions!
Happy Cooking and Happy Thoughts,

Caramel Apple cake from Paula Dean's The Lady & Sons cookbook.

Zucchini Cakes, something I make every summer from our homegrown zucchini.

New York Crumbcake

*All pictures cooked, baked, and photographed by me.
Edited- oops, I originally listed the wrong link to Giada's recipe, the recipe actually came out of her book, Giada at Home.  It's fixed now :)


  1. That salmon looks out of this world, my mouth is watering!!!

    I love the Temper Tantrum song you have on your blog. Have you seen 500 Days of Summer? I just got it for Christmas and loved it, this song is on it:)

    I hope things are going well with you and your girls:)

  2. The brownies look like my kind of brownies--not "cakey"--I'll have to try them. :) And the pasta dish--good job, Younger Daughter!--looks great too.

    How neat that there's a bakery in your family. :) When I was really into cake decorating and cookie decorating, I really thought about going into something like that, kind of a party-planning and cake/cookie-decorating/bakery combo kind of career, as a break or side-career from the more stressful counseling-related career. And who knows, maybe someday still. :)

  3. I am still trying to figure out what my passions are!

    Your foods look delicious! :)

  4. Oh stomach is growling now after looking at all those delicious recipes : )


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