Running The New Deli for over 20 years, I learned to cook fast, healthy, and well while raising two kids, producing a cookbook to share with other harried homemakers. "From the Land of Milk and Honey" has favorite recipes seasoned with Christian commentary. I'm still developing and sharing recipes, running that deli daily, doing some organic gardening on the side. As a wife, mother and grandmother, I'm inspired to make the most of my culinary efforts, to have enough family time left over.
My favorite things to cook
Salads, Soups, using whole food ingredients. Main dishes with short cuts, best cooking techniques to optimize flavor in most efficient way. I love Black Bean Soup, Green Salads w/ homemade dressings, quick-style Polenta. Nothing horribly fancy, just incredibly fresh and tasty!
My favorite family cooking traditions
I love getting family and friends together for great food and great company. I do a lot of preparing ahead- it means more time for visiting. And given that we get a New Deli lunch rush every day, I must be prepared! I need to know how to throw various menu items together fast! Another cooking tradition: Besides catering, I help put on a big event every Christmas at church (close to 300 ladies). The challenge is to prepare mass quantities of exceptional food. So far, I think we've accomplished that! But another important cooking tradition is: Making it fresh. Having the pies/breads/goodies come out of the oven just in time for dessert makes everyone happy!
My cooking triumphs
Feeding almost 300 people at a time, at several weddings in the past few years. The challenge: To serve authentic Italian-style meatballs and other entrees, pulling all the other dishes together into a sumptuous feast. More cooking triumphs: Feeding our daily deli crowd the best homemade soups, plus salad dressings from scratch, still making our own cookies. But even more triumphant: Being able to serve family home-made dinners, no matter how busy life gets!
My cooking tragedies
Trying to keep some pasta warm at one of our catered events. Warning: Do not "hold" pasta in a cooler. It works great for baked potatoes, grilled veggies and the like, but not for pasta! (Unless you have need for a "spaghetti brick".)