A Cooks Dream!


pan 2

Ruffoni Hammered Stainless Steel 7-qt. Braiser……I am in love!

It’s a new year and I am especially looking forward to two big milestone celebrations in 2014! In a few days I will kick off the year by celebrating my 45 Birthday, six months later, my  husband and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, and a month after that our twins celebrate their Sweet 16 th Birthday! Time truly flies by when you’re having fun!!

I have joked for years with friends and family that every woman needs to be given a bridal shower every 10-15 years to replace and/or update broken or worn out kitchen gadgets and appliances. How many times have you secretly wished for this? It amazes me that marketing companies haven’t presented this idea to the thousands of companies out there that provide kitchen items.

There seems to be a tunnel-vision focus on targeting newlywed brides. Married women (who actually have kitchen experience) and 10 or more years of kitchen experience under their belts have been pushed aside and placed on the back burner. It doesn’t seem possible that I could be the only one who would love to have another bridal shower! There must be others with this same dream?

Hundreds of thousands of women/ men/ cooks would be thrilled to be the recipients of a 10-15 year bridal shower party, don’t you think? If only one person stepped up to the plate and pitched this idea to the world, everyone would team up and follow with the same game plan. It would be a home run for everyone. Cooking equipment sales would increase  and American kitchens would be updated with the newest cutting edge culinary technology!

Most of the time over the past three years was spent writing my first cookbook “Gifts of Gold and a Sicilian Kitchen with Sister Felicia, Harvest”.   Last year was spent in full-blown production mode, meeting deadlines to get  the cookbook to print.  In the process of production my kitchen gadgets and appliances have taken a beating.  Many are either broken or on their last leg!

I’ve loved every moment of the journey.  From compiling, writing, editing, creating, photographing, re-photographing, and actually making the recipes to the marketing and  shipping of the book it was all an exhilarating experience and I am so grateful to my family and team for their integral roles in making this dream a reality!


I recently took a stroll through one of my favorite stores, Williams-Sonoma and spotted the most gorgeous pan I have seen. I was there to return my broken pepper mill. Just another casualty left behind in the wake of making that cookbook dream a reality. If you have never been to a Williams-Sonoma store before and you enjoy cooking, you simply must find a location near you and make a special visit. This stores wide range of products, will trigger all your senses!



 There are amusement park destinations for children…and there are William-Sonoma stores for cooks!

What is important in my kitchen might not be important to you in yours. But Williams-Sonoma is a place every cook (good, bad, experienced or not) can dream.  On this particular visit I spotted dozens of items I dream of buying some day.  Some items that need replacing and other items that in creating a dish warrant a specific new tool.

Every time I visit William-Sonoma I think about that “10 year married woman bridal shower concept” for long time married brides that I have been joking about with my friends and family for years.

19 thoughts on “A Cooks Dream!

  1. No difference from your husbands likely love affair with hardware/home improvement stores….
    Except we don’t get a shower where people give us tools.


  2. Get intouch with the Hallmark card company. They are famous for getting the ball rolling for new holidays or special occasions.


  3. That is an awesome idea! Or maybe a *My favorite kitchen item* party. Count me in. My kitchen is kind of a little embarrassing right now. Not sure I even have one lid that matches a pan. And I have 4th of July dish towels out. BUT…..I did organize the utensil drawer with a fancy new piece from the Container Store. But that is another whole article. LOL!


    1. A “My Favorite Kitchen Item” party is an awesome idea! My girlfriends have hosted a few “My Favorite Things” parties in recent years. They were so much fun, and always informative. A great way to learn about products others love to use. If I remember correctly my friend Keri gifted us a bottle of “Fabreze” several years ago when it first hit the market. It was a product she and fellow hockey moms’ had newly discovered worked great to treat the odors from smelly hockey bags and equipment. How fun to put a kitchen gadget twist on this idea. I’m in Dee…Love the idea, I am up for hosting the first one! Who is in?


  4. Here’s hoping that you made the braiser pan purchase. It is a business expense. Equipment needed for your recipe testing, cookbook writing, and publishing. And therefore tax-deductible.

    Your cookbook is terrific and your weekly recipes with accompanying photos and narratives are something to look forward to at our house.

    Kind regards,

    Charles Parker, MD
    Santa Barbara, CA


  5. As an occasional cook and frequent dishwasher in our household, I saw the ornamentation around the handles, and saw a lot of detail work to make it clean. Just a guy’s viewpoint. I love that store, and wish I had the money to shop there.


    1. Me too Fred…I visit their store mostly to dream! I have saved up and stockpiled gift cards to purchased a few items, and have been the very appreciative recipient of a few gifts, like my Panini Press that I absolutely LOVE and use all the time. They carry a high quality product line, and with that comes high prices. I’ll make a deal with you Fred…We can dream and save our pennies, wait for a good sale, make a purchase, and someday I will cook and you can clean the dishes!


  6. Big sales going on at the Annapolis Williams Sonoma ~ thinking about upgrading the juicer but they are not on sale so I bought a tin of the Christmas Peppermint Bark to eat while I decide on the pie baker ~ which was a real deal. Agreed ~ It is wonderful to graze through that store!


  7. I am an an experienced cook who loves being in the kitchen and have bought a few things from Williams and Sonoma. However it pays to shop around. An example is the Le crueset Dutch oven that I purchased from Williams for over 150. A year later I wanted another larger Dutch oven as it is a great pan. I did not want to spend over three hundred dollars for it and I was able to find the large Dutch oven at Costco for eighty dollars. This pan is also made in France and to be honest has held up better than the Le cruset. So I guess the morale of the story is shop around and don’t be too quick to spend top dollar because of a brand name. Also when it comes to kitchen tools beware of gadgets that take up more room than they are worth. Why would you want a garlic press that is a pain to clean and takes up more room in your drawer when all you need is the flat blade of a knife to crush the garlic. The idea of replenishing your kitchen pans and gadgets after so many years is not a bad idea. But rather than a ‘shower’ why not use your experience to figure out what works best for you. Let’s face it, do we want to be going to more showers. I don’t think so.


  8. It’s is a beauty and you sure have your items well organized bu then again it’s the love of chef showing through! Excellent!:-) And the idea of the parties with friends goes back to tradition for sure! And love the top and sides crafting:-)


  9. Back in my Mother’s Day (pre-1986). she and a diverse group of women she knew – mostly from St.Ann’s Parish – thought the shower thing was a good idea. So much so they formed a little club and held showers for each other to do exactly as you describe.
    They had a budget and ‘registered’ their wish lists with each other. Didn’t limit themselves to kitchen ware either….PJs and robes wear out too.
    I remember them fondly. After Mom’s funeral they quietly came to our house and hosted all the guests with their cooking and baking..and cleaned up afterwards and just as quietly left.
    Such a nice idea – I’m surprised my eclectic women don’t get together and share the fun.


    1. Than you for sharing that wounderful story about your mother,her friends and the times they shared together. It sounds like they were way ahead of their times creativly thinking out of the box with the shower idea. I love it!


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