About Me

Hi, I'm Susan. This blog is mainly a fun way for me to recall what I've been cooking (literally, I have a terrible memory) and share recipes with friends, family and total strangers while I'm at it. Like many of you (although some of you may not admit it), my favorite past times are eating, watching tv and openly swearing after my daughter finally falls asleep. I also enjoy obsessively checking my blog stats. Side note: In the interest of full disclosure, I should inform you that this photo is at least 13 years old, but it was the only decent one I could find. Let's face it, people with food issues don't always want their picture taken.

I live in New Jersey with my husband Chuck and my 9-year-old daughter Madeline. I'm a graduate of the French Culinary Institute's Pastry Program, but I enjoy cooking savory dishes too.  I did an internship at Le Cirque 2000 with Jacques Torres (which was both fun and terrifying).  I was a pastry chef at The Health Shoppe in Morristown, NJ for a while--which was great because they let me fill the pastry case with anything I felt like baking (as long as there was a nice variety with a few vegan pastries thrown in).  I've also done some private cooking (catered a few parties, made tons of birthday cakes and even one wedding cake, pictured below).
The bride, who is Sicilian, requested a cannoli filling, but left the rest up to me.
I called this a "Sicilian Cannoli Cake" (a genoise cake soaked with orange-rum syrup,
filled with cannoli filling and frosted with Grand Marnier buttercream)
I've been working at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC for over 19 years (currently as a recipe editor).  I've done some teaching over the years, but none since I had my daughter (what can I say, I'm tired).

I was a vegetarian for a very long time (from about ages 12-35).  In many ways, I'm still a vegetarian at heart, but I have to admit, eating meat has opened up a whole new culinary world for me. I do buy organic, grass-fed, hormone-free and antibiotic-free everything as much as possible. Also, whenever you see me refer to sugar, I'm using evaporated cane juice. It is sugar, just less refined. I also like to use brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup.

My daughter has food allergies, including the dreaded peanut--that's why my blog is peanut-free (otherwise I would happily include them because they are scrumptious).  As a matter of fact, our whole house is peanut-free and (this probably isn't surprising), as a result I get big cravings for them.  Oh well, human nature I guess.

Favorite Foods/Drinks/Flavors:  Popcorn, fresh apple cider, eggplant parmesan (only when done really well), pizza, pasta, ice cream, malt, goat cheese, garlic, caramelized onions, fresh ginger, cinnamon.

Fun facts about me:  When I was 21-years-old I went skydiving and spent a year as an intern on the Howard Stern Show (see, I did do fun stuff back when I had more time and energy).  I probably shouldn't have told you since those are the two most exciting things I've ever done* (now we have nothing left to talk about).

*Does not include getting married and having a baby or that time I found a hundred dollar bill on the sidewalk.

Not-so-fun facts about me:  I grind my teeth while I sleep, so I wear a nightguard to bed (very attractive). But it's okay because my husband is hooked up to a C-PAP machine anyway (we're a regular match made in heaven). I also have M.S. (Multiple Sclerosis). No, I'm not one of Jerry's kids, that's M.D. (Muscular Dystrophy). I only mention this to spread awareness, or in case some of you would like to donate to M.S. research. Also in the event that one of you out there has been newly diagnosed, you can see it's possible to have M.S. and still function (although it can be challenging at times, just like for everyone else on the planet).

Ask me anything:  susanbk@optonline.net