Hello! My name is Andrea and I am so excited to finally have a way to share my recipes with you all. This is a collection of dishes that have excited my family and friends, and have inspired the reaction: “You should really send me that recipe!”
I am a stay-at-home mom with two little boys and a husband who all love to eat, but my food journey began very early. I grew up watching cooking shows such as “Yan Can Cook,” “The Frugal Gourmet” and I eagerly anticipated the one cooking segment during my mom’s favorite, “The Victory Garden.” As soon as I could safely work with a knife, my mom let me loose to start experimenting in the kitchen. Sure, I would help her with some family dinners, but my mom knew what made me tick early on…she knew I just wanted to take over the kitchen and make my own stuff. So she would buy me cookbooks and take me on ingredient hunts to the grocery store, and I felt so grown up cooking when I was 12 or 13.
I had some great successes, like stuffed chicken breasts, Mexican casserole and the first time I made the Too Hot Tamales’ Potato-Poblano Soup. And then I had some hilarious failures…like the second time I made that soup, with habanero peppers! It was so spicy, my mom was the only one who could muscle it down! I was always tough on myself for the missteps, but never discouraged from getting right back in the kitchen and making something else. And years later, the list of requested dishes has gotten pretty long, so it’s time to share!
Before I go another step in this journey though, I need to thank some people who make (and have always made) cooking and eating an absolute joy for me. My mom. She has always trusted me in the kitchen. But even before she trusted me, she inspired me. She is the best Italian-born, Asian-ingredient-loving, French-omelet-making, cake-and-pie-perfecting mom the world has seen, and many dishes you will read about are just my spins on her originals.
My brothers Rob and Dan. Rob was my first fan—he ate the pasty dough I made as a 5-year-old and told me it was good! He still encourages me with his well-worn saying, “Hey, I am always ready to eat!” And now, he pays me the ultimate compliment and asks me for some of my recipes. Dan is a better cook than me, but he doesn’t have the patience to write this blog, so HA! Beat you to it, buddy. Our “Iron Chef”-style competitions will inspire many an entry. You can mess up my kitchen anytime.
My husband Mike and our boys. I have been cooking for Mike for…wow, almost 20 years now, and our palates have grown together. And he’s become the baker of the house! May I always have the privilege of cooking for you, and with you. And boys, your teeny plastic bowls may be filled with black bean soup or guacamole now, but that’s just the beginning. I can’t wait for all the fun we will have with food together.
Writer Myra Chanin. When I was a magazine editor, our restaurant critic Myra loved Mike the first time she laid eyes on him, so she invited both of us to the review dinners. We ate our way through Philadelphia (an amazing food city!), and Myra exposed us to sushi, Indian food, beets, quail, caviar, oysters, plantains, osso buco, frog legs, you name it! We owe her big time.
To my family and friends, I will keep cooking if you keep eating. And to the new friends I will make through this blog, I look forward to trying your recipes, so go ahead and Send Me That Recipe!