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About Amy

I learned to cook, kind of like I learned all the words to The Beatles, James Taylor and Nat King Cole – through osmosis. My Mom loved to cook and my family and I were the lucky recipients of her passion. I grew up watching Julia Child then the Frugal Gourmet on channel 11 saying “bon appetite” before I learned to boil water. My Dad’s small ad agency in Chicago published a pocket guide to their favorite spots to dine, starting in the 60’s, well before dining out was something most families did. And my parents along with 6 other couples started a “gourmet group” that met monthly to savor all Chicago had to offer, be it Japanese prepared in the front room of a family “restaurant” or the famous Le Francais in Wheeling. So, you can see, I was exposed at a young age. I moved to Italy in 1987 and lived in Como working for a textile design firm… la dolce vita doesn’t even begin to describe it. In 1992 I moved to Puglia, the long narrow province on the South Eastern coast along the Adriadic. Monte S. Angelo was a  town that time forgot, literally. And there I was, newly married, with nothing but time on my hands to cook…

43 Comments leave one →
  1. mimi permalink
    March 8, 2010 2:21 pm

    ok… we have to be friends.

  2. Amy permalink
    March 8, 2010 4:58 pm

    I fully believe in kindred spirits and I felt that in you the night we first met.. so we ARE friends already 🙂 and probably were in some past life too!

  3. harry reems permalink
    March 8, 2010 6:57 pm

    I want to be your taste testing guinea pig…Nice job on the blog site. Happy Birthday!

  4. Elaine Eichedlberger permalink
    March 8, 2010 7:27 pm

    I am excited about your blog. You and I have been foodie soul sisters for decades. I still make your red sauce recipe you told me about right after you came back from Italy and have fond memories of many good meals with you. I am still a total “cookaholic” – never afraid of failure as the adventure is worth the risk. Post recipes!
    xxoo Elaine from way down south of Chicago

    • March 9, 2010 12:08 pm

      Thank you Elaine – be sure to “subscribe” if you would like to get an email when I add posts. I added 2 last night. And you should know that YOU have been a cooking inspiration to me for years. 🙂

  5. Pamela Barker permalink
    March 8, 2010 8:51 pm

    Perfect Amy! Reading the bit on Monte S. Angelo had me back a decade (or so) savoring the pumpkin risotto, millet bread with lemon curd and peperonata! mmmmmmmmmmm. Wish you were near so we could be your taste testers!
    bon appetit!

  6. Harriet Yeisley permalink
    March 8, 2010 10:03 pm

    You can come to my home anytime and demonstate your cooking talent. I’ll be your tsster and critic. You name the time and I’ll name the place:-)
    Love from second cousin.

  7. March 8, 2010 7:03 pm

    Funny Dave, you already are a test guinea pig of sorts, you just didn’t realize it.

  8. Barbara permalink
    March 9, 2010 11:58 am

    Woo Hoo. How fun!

  9. Gail permalink
    March 9, 2010 4:55 pm

    I Look forward to reading more updates!

    “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook”

    Julia Child

  10. Madge Sayner permalink
    March 9, 2010 8:05 pm

    Interesting blog, Amy. I was looking for the recipe for the “As Good As Brownies”, but maybe that’s too mundane??? P.S. Where’s my Family Tree? 1st cousin once removed Madge

    • March 10, 2010 6:36 am

      Hi Madge,
      If you click on the link (the word easy recipe) you’ll get it. Still working on figuring out why I can’t get to “you” on the tree. I know I imputted all the names everyone sent me, sorry it is taking so long.

  11. Megan Wertymer permalink
    March 12, 2010 9:19 am

    I’m enjoying all your musings, Amy! Thanks for including me.

  12. Allison Miller permalink
    March 18, 2010 8:14 am

    Hi Amy,

    My mom sent me the link to your blog – looks cool! Hope all is well!!!


  13. Connie Clibourn...Kristen's Mom permalink
    March 18, 2010 7:27 pm

    Hi Amy,
    Your blog is so much fun. I really like to cook & eat & can’t wait to try some of your recipes.

  14. BGP permalink
    March 22, 2010 7:02 am

    Amy – you are amazing. You make me want to cook more, and shop for some of that cool pottery and glassware. The Crate & Barrel 16 year old wedding gift stuff is just not gonna cut it anymore. You are an inspiration!
    Question – since I am stuck in the stoneage – how can I print your great recipes off your site to shop and cook with?
    ~ Beth – just a few doors down on Maple (for leftover purposes!)

    • April 5, 2010 11:51 am

      Hi Beth, Sorry for my delay in replying to your printing question. Someone in my office said he printed the blog and it was 57 pages due to the large images,Yikes! I played around a little bit and found that if you click on the name of the post then hit file > print preview you can see which pages you want to print as you may only want the one with the recipe and not all the photos. The newest Roasted Peppers came up as 7 pages (mostly photos) but the last 2 pages were the comments and other dumb blog stuff. Be sure to choose the post you want and don’t try to print from the home page otherwise you’ll get 60+ pages.

  15. Stella permalink
    March 23, 2010 12:05 pm

    Wow, Amy. So impressed. I love to cook and I will be following your blog so I can learn from you.

  16. brc permalink
    March 25, 2010 9:22 am

    Wow. You already have 3,000+ hits. That is truly amazing for just a few weeks!
    Great job!

  17. Nancy permalink
    March 25, 2010 9:27 am

    Love the blog! the pictures are fabulous! I look forward to seeing more and getting some of your fabulous recipes!

    • March 25, 2010 11:23 am

      Thank you! It’s been alot of fun and I love the challenge of taking good pictures both to show off the food and be pleasing to the eye. Amy

  18. Wendy Burd permalink
    April 2, 2010 3:09 pm

    Hi Amy! What a beautiful & inspiring blog – I can’t wait to try some of your recipes – they look DELICIOUS! Hope to see you soon! xoxo, Wendy

    • April 2, 2010 3:26 pm

      Hey Wendy Burd! Thanks for looking at my blog. I hope you find it helpful. BIG hello to AD.

  19. Lori James permalink
    May 13, 2010 8:52 am

    Wow Amy so glad I ran into you at Target, this blog is amazing and the photos made me hungry!! Looking forward to trying your recipes. Thanks for sharing your talents.

  20. Mary Beth permalink
    May 25, 2010 4:25 pm

    Wow Amy! This is awesome…I will definately be coming here for easy and quick recipes for our dinners…Are you planning on sharing the Limoncello recipe??? Not to blow your cover but I think it might be a must have.

  21. Nancie permalink
    June 6, 2010 6:10 pm

    Oh my, Amy. I did not know food could look so beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing such wonderful, creative recipes with us. Had to sign up to receive notifications of new posts. Yum!! I wish you the best :- )

  22. July 2, 2010 11:42 pm

    I’m glad I found your blog! I’ll be coming back often, my cooking skills and passion for food has grown with my love of this little piece of Italy where I now live.

  23. July 13, 2010 7:09 am

    @ Twisted Vines. I’m glad you found my blog too. Sorry for the late reply. Where do you live in Italy?? Lucky you! It’s the place to be if you love to cook and eat 🙂

  24. October 11, 2010 1:49 pm

    Awesome blog, Amy! Thanks for introducing it to me!

    Eric Fine

    Green Planet Bottling

  25. October 21, 2010 10:08 am

    Stumbled across your blog today. It’s great and your photos are very nice. I look forward to reading more. Have a nice day. Linda

  26. October 21, 2010 7:36 pm

    Linda and Eric,
    I’m glad you found my blog and like it. Be sure to make comments so I know what you are enjoying the most.

  27. Anne McCabe Lobelson permalink
    March 19, 2011 2:30 pm

    I love reading your posts and while we were not close friends in High School, I feel like I we are through your wonderful blog! We have some interesting things in common! My brother Frank and I loved Julia Child and we would race home from elementary school to watch Dark Shadows, then the Galloping Gourmet(remember that show) And Julia Child – My Mother is from New England, and when you grow up in New England from the end of March until the second week in November you buy all of your vegetables and the Farm Stand. My Mother never used canned vegetables, even in casseroles. They also took us downtown every weekend to different neighborhoods where we were taught the architecture, food and language of all of the neighborhoods that made up Chicago in the 60’s and 70’s. Most of my friends in Winnetka stayed in the suburbs venturing only to the Country Club for dinner, or Mattie’s or the Willow Inn or Hackney’s, but my parents (especially my Dad) loved the city – My Mother loved food! One fun fact, Newly married, I lived in Cambridge, MA my first year of marriage near the shopping area of Huron Avenue, that is where the really great food shops were and I would often see Julia Child shopping at various shops – One of my favorite food moments was standing in line behind Julia Child at the Fresh Pond Fish Market, Julia did not recognize Bill Weld(Mass Governor at the time) standing directly behind her in line, after Julia ordered, Bill exclaimed, “I’ll have what she’s having!” He stole the line from “When Harry met Sally.” Everyone in line started laughing, but everyone waiting in line said the same thing. The owners of the market said it happened all the time!

  28. Robin permalink
    August 30, 2011 12:27 pm

    Just stumbled on your phyllo apple strudel from 3-10-10. It is in the oven now and the whole house smells wonderful. If it tastes half as good as it smells I will have one happy husband!
    Nice blog. Keep it up.

    • September 13, 2011 6:19 am

      Robin – just seeing your comment. How did it turn out? I’m thinking of making something savory, along the lines of chicken pot pie but baked in phyllo. Somehow it so often is used with desserts so I want to see how it will compare to traditional pie crust.. I’ll post when ready.
      Thanks for checking out my’s been a slow Summer. I’m cooking but haven’t posted much. Will pick up the pace soon I hope.

  29. May 19, 2012 9:25 pm

    this is heavenly. i love this story. i love this cook…..

  30. December 31, 2012 4:50 pm

    Are we related? I grew up in a family that loved to cook, with a dad who worked in advertising in Chicago who started taking us to ethnic restaurants back in the ’60s — and, my parents were part of a group that got together to cook exotic food. I didn’t move to Italy, but I have been there four times. Oh — and my business and website are WorldPlate. So I’m sure there’s some cosmic link somewhere. 🙂

    Anyway, fun to find your site. Lots of great, fun recipes. I look forward to exploring further.

    • June 6, 2013 12:52 pm

      I know you wrote this long ago… sorry for the late reply. Funny coincidence. I wish I had a relative in Australia! Maybe you can be her. 🙂

  31. February 3, 2015 2:55 pm

    Hi Amy – Did we grow up together? Your “About” describes my life, more or less. Ok, Dad was a Chicago lawyer, not Ad man… I went to Florence before Como… I’ve never even been to Puglia, but have dreamt of it, and sailed the Adriatic coast, if that counts. Now we both write about food… Can’t wait to learn more. Thanks for visiting my blog today. I look forward to roaming yours.

    • August 19, 2015 7:11 am

      Hi Laura, LONG!overdue reply. We both grew up in Wilmette and I think we might have been in Girl Scouts together. I lived on Birchwood Lane and went to Locust and NTW but we are the same age. Maybe we went to GS camp together? Anywho, I enjoy your blog and have passed it along to several friends. Wishing you the best.

      • August 20, 2015 5:05 pm

        Amy – Wow! While our families shared such similar interests what are the chances that of all the places, and ages, of people who grew up in Chicago, we grew up so close in space and time. GS? I was in the Mariners. Were you? Are you now in Puglia? Or where are you on this heavenly course of yours? Thanks for replying (and sharing).

  32. Stephanie Gale permalink
    December 3, 2016 1:06 pm

    Which Amy is this??? We’re about to make this recipe and based on the post, I would assume I know you! -stephanie gale

    • December 3, 2016 2:21 pm

      I don’t think we know each other, Stephanie… where do you live?

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