collardmeganI won’t lie to you – like most cooks I enjoy the night off every now and again – but the highlight of my day, in most cases, is the moment I get to share a meal with my husband, our families, or dear friends. The lead-up to this event is all part of the fun; thinking ahead to what I can conjure up with the ingredients we have in our kitchen, or knowing I’ll satisfy a craving for homemade bolognese, grilled trout, or even a simple charcuterie with just the right wine. Then the transition period, when the activity of the day begins to give way to the familiar aroma of garlic and olive oil, fading with the simple motion of a well-sharpened knife on a well-worn cutting board.

As an only child, I had ample opportunity to sit quietly with my markers and an unending supply of paper, drawing, imagining, creating. Many of these received my special signature, megansmark. These days I have less time, and am not so much in the habit of the meditative doodling that once filled my notebooks and afternoons. In many ways cooking has replaced this sacred act, spoon for colored pencils, pot for paper. Thus this little blog carries forth an old title as I continue to make my inventive mark, however humble, in this wide world.

The writing and recipes found here reflect my ever-expanding culinary inspiration, a love for food that originated in my mother and grandmother’s kitchens, and grew with the Italian families who welcomed me into theirs. They are, in most cases, complemented by the food-flattering photographs of Justin Gove, my partner in life as well as the kitchen. We hope that, together, they offer you a virtual seat at our kitchen table, and perhaps inspire you to cook up something new tonight! Thanks for reading and sharing this site with your friends.