Tales from the Table: Why I cook

Series: Tales for the table | Story 1

Great cooking feeds the soul. There is nothing like hearing the sizzle of a skillet, watching a biscuit rise, smelling the spicy aroma of gingerbread or tasting a spoonful of buttery mashed potatoes.

As I learned from my mother, cooking is all about love. One of life's greatest luxuries is sharing a meal that is so good that you want to linger at the table with the people you love - laughing and sharing stories. I believe in the power of a home-cooked meal and its unique ability to bring people together. There are certain conversations that only happen while you are prepping food in the kitchen or flipping steaks on the grill. I am at my happiest when I am cooking and spending time with my family and friends in the kitchen.

I fell in love with cooking when I was young. I cooked my first meal at 7 when my mom was out of town. Alone in the kitchen with my mother's "Joy of Cooking," I made vegetable soup and from then on, a spark was lit. More than 30 years later I am still cooking and writing about food because I am always hungry to taste and create something new.

However, what I appreciate most about cooking is the sense of community that it creates. Those who truly love to eat and cook tend to be generous with their stories, time and recipes.

So come, pull up a chair and join me for one of my family's favorites, Parmesan crusted chicken piccata. This crispy twist on a classic has a delicious nutty Parmesan flavor and a brown butter wine sauce that will have your family lingering and wanting more.