Born and raised in Chicago to Italian American parents. Married at age 19 to a nice Italian guy and guess what, we’re still happily married, what can I say, he likes my food! I have one daughter and one son all grown with families of their own.
As a child I can remember platters of food spread all over tables, ravioli drying on beds, family gathering together for special occasions, that’s the kind of memories I wanted to recreate for my own kids.
My blog is about sharing those traditions as well as updating some of the classics with a more modern and contemporary flair.
I love colorful food! I fill my grocery cart with so much produce that I sometimes get funny looks on occasion, I honestly get more joy out of food shopping then buying clothes , my husband says I look like I’m in Disneyland. I also adore fresh herbs, I will buy them in the dead of winter no matter what the price, especially basil!
You’ll always find a casual atmosphere here on my blog because that’s the way I cook, those who know me realize I’m not fond of exact measuring, so many times you’ll hear me say, “drizzle a healthy dose of olive oil” or, “sprinkle a generous amount of grated cheese”, “a handful of this and a handful of that, because that’s the way I was taught, of course I will always give you guidelines but I encourage you to taste along the way and make it your own. Home cooking should be fun and not rocket science!
I started Proud Italian Cook in 2007, it was the best thing I ever did for myself, and it still continues to bring me joy on a daily basis, especially when I get an email like this…
“Hello Proud Italian Cook, I found you accidentally several months ago and since then you have become my hero. I’m not a blogger or a reader of blogs. I have a decent amount of new and old cook books, but haven’t read one from end to end. I never follow recipes, just read enough of them to get the general idea. But I love to cook and I love to eat. Though I’m average at both.
I’m guessing you are up to your neck in e-mails such as this one, so I’ll keep it short. Proud Italian Cook reminds me of the Sunday afternoon baptism feasts in a four car garage, of watching the moms, dads, uncles, aunts play poker after Christmas dinner, of Turkey and ravioli on Thanksgiving Day, of tables buckling under the weight of trays covered in salami and cheese, of the heavy smell of tobacco, wine and sugo, of the regret over never having more than a handful of conversations with my grandfather who barely spoke American, of crying over the parts in movies that other people don’t cry at, of being proud that Freddy Cannon and Dion and John Fante are all Italians, of the sweet aroma of torrone, of stuffed zucchini and zucchini flowers, of being embarrassed in classrooms and crowded doctors’ offices when my name was called out and mispronounced, of being dragged against my will to church every Sunday just to stand next to my father who kept looking at his watch every five minutes, of being in a room looking up at older people who were yelling, laughing like crazy people and dramatically gesticulating like a dozen conductors supervising an invisible symphony, madly trying to out-conduct each other and of so many other things that I can’t think of them all right now.
Please never stop.
Besides creating recipes I enjoy sharing local food finds here in Chicagoland, my favorite restaurants and hidden treasures that I frequent, my favorite gadgets and kitchen musts that work for me.
I cook, photograph and write all content here, it’s my life through food!