Hi, I’m Nicole. I started this blog in February 2014 as a way to catalog some of my family’s favorite recipes. Some old ones that have been handed down through the generations and some new ones that we discover and create every day. Many of these recipes hold dear memories for me. The memories of loved ones and times we spent around the table sharing a meal. I hope by sharing these recipes it will also be a way to keep their memory alive.
I live in a quaint New England town with my two children ( 20 something son and teenage daughter), mom and dad. Living with multiple generations under one roof can get a bit chaotic. Most people probably can’t imagine living like this but it really does work for us and my children have had the opportunity to really know their family. (Whether they like it or not. :). It has taught us all patience, support and compassion. My sister lives less than a quarter mile up the road and my brother lives next door so we invite them over to join in the chaos often. We all usually get together at least once a week to share a meal. The numbers at the table has grown over the years. It now usually includes: My parents, my sister and her boyfriend (who is an executive chef!), my brother and his two children, my two children and sometimes their boyfriend and girlfriend, my boyfriend and his three children. And me! Ok, chaos has now turned to bedlam! I love it though. Our house was always filled with people growing up and there was always enough food for any surprise guests so it just feels like home to have so many people at the table.
I love to cook but my true love is baking. I’ve never had any professional culinary training so my knowledge of cooking and baking comes from the people who surround me. When they can’t provide the answer to my questions I turn to books and the internet. Thats how I’ve developed my cake design talent. I have made many specialty birthday cakes and wedding cakes. Usually, for family members or their friends. Its been a rewarding hobby that has developed over the years. I love the look on peoples faces when they see what I have created for them. With the designer cupcake trend in high gear I thoroughly enjoy turning some of my specialty cakes into smaller versions. It’s such a great way for cooks of any level to make something special. So you can expect to see many of my favorites here.
There have been many other experiences in my life that have led me here today. After high school I went to college to learn about ophthalmic dispensing. I became a licensed optician and went on to work for companies such as Sterling Optical, Cambridge Eye Doctors and Pearl Vision where I managed and trained employees for 9 years. After giving birth to my second child I wanted to be able to make my own hours and be around my children more so I left the optical field and started my own residential cleaning service. Maybe not my dream job but I have actually really enjoyed my work over the past several years. Who wouldn’t love coming home to a clean, clutter free home after a long day? So most days I’m kind of a hero in many of my clients eyes :). Doing this work has enabled me to do what was most important to me… Being a mom. I think I probably volunteered for pretty much everything my children were involved in over the years. Soccer (coached my daughters team for 9 years), karate, horse back riding, pony club, dance, gymnastics, boy scouts, girl scouts, basketball, baseball, football, lacrosse, tennis, cross country, track and last but not least, Destination Imagination(team manager for my daughter’s team)! Phew! When I see the the incredible people that my kids have turned into there is not one ounce of regret in the career decisions I made!
My love for cooking and creating mouth watering, eye catching desserts and cakes comes from my Polish grandmother and mother. Grammy always had something delicious cooking on the stove or baking in the oven. I can still close my eyes and remember the wonderful aroma that would hit me as soon as I walked through her door. Every Sunday we would gather at grammy and grampa’s house for dinner. There were only 7 of us but there was enough food for an army! My mom is a multi-talented cook, gardener, decorator and all around beautifier! She was my Martha Stewart growing up. She can paint a beautiful landscape on a canvas or create a stunning arrangement of flowers. The plans for the house we live in now were drafted by her and she designed a breath taking rose garden on the grounds. She didn’t just design it….she turned all the soil, lugged away unwanted rocks, built the stone walls and planted every plant! So as you can see I am surrounded by very hard working talented people! I hope to share some of their inspiration here.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey as my blog evolves. Gather family and friends, start new traditions, try something new and make memories around your family’s table!