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As early as I can remember you could always find my mother in her happy place, the kitchen. She is the ultimate giver and pleaser with all things in life, but for her, one of her greatest joys is to feed her family healthy, nutritious, and spectacularly delicious food! I’m a firm believer that food tastes so much better when made with love. Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition is also a big believer in this theory as well.

Growing up my mom had a wonderful organic garden with an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits. She always cooked with these hand-picked goodies straight from the garden. My mouth waters just thinking about those tasty fried green tomatoes! I grew up at that breakfast counter bar stool watching every move my mom made. She rarely used a recipe. She made her best meals on the fly. She makes a killer pasta dish. Oh, and she never does the dishes! That seemed to always be my job, but I was always happy to oblige as long as I was in the kitchen soaking up her culinary skills and life lessons.

It was in the kitchen where we talked about struggles with boyfriends or pressures in school, somehow we solved all the world’s problems over the delicious smell of browning garlic in the skillet. Today I now enjoy these special moments with my own daughter in the kitchen. I know the importance of learning to cook at a young age.

My heart is most happy when I’m blessed to have my favorite chefs by my side in the kitchen, mom, and Lilah. As I watch my mom teach Lilah the basics, as she does so well I’m grateful she is a healthy, strong, breast cancer survivor and is here with us today. 

I have always admired my mom’s culinary talents in the kitchen and my friends and family tell me I’m just as good as her; I tend to disagree.  Maybe it’s the love of your own mother’s cooking that makes every bite taste so good! Whatever the secret recipe is- I’m grateful for the moments at the kitchen counter; while learning how to cook I learned so much more and it’s formed me into the woman I am today.


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