About me

My early years


I was the luckiest kid in the world.  And, obviously, adorable. Look at that dapper outfit!  How my parents dressed five kids on a shoestring budget (coat and tie included!), I will never know.

My role models.


I come from a long line of cooks responsible for feeding their families. From left to right – my great-aunt Lena, my maternal grandmother Giovanna, and my mother Joanne.  Each of these women was a gifted cook.  The food they prepared was always delicious, beautifully presented and offered with love, generosity, and hospitality. They set the standards that I strive to live up to today.


As I got older, I gained an even greater appreciation of the importance of genuine hospitality.  To feel welcome in someone’s home and to know they are happy to have you as their guest and are excited to entertain you – is a precious gift.  And, as the saying goes, it is better to give than to receive, so for me, there is nothing more rewarding than serving as a generous host to others


When I was preparing to move into my first apartment after graduating college, I received two gifts from my parents.  The first was a stand mixer and the second was a dining table.


The acquisition of the table is one of my favorite memories of my mother – and her ferocity, especially when it came to taking care of her children. The two of us attended an annual warehouse sale held by a local butcher block furniture manufacturer outside of Providence, Rhode Island in hopes of finding a table.  Crowds had gathered very early and when the doors opened, there was a stampede toward the merchandise – and it was do or die!  The tabletops were stacked face to face and required an accomplice to help lean the tabletop away from the adjacent tabletops to evaluate the wood grain and look for imperfections. But the frenzy was overwhelming, and people were slapping sold tags onto table surfaces as fast as they could be touched.  I will never forget my mother’s heroism as she risked her arm by slapping a sold tag on a tabletop, declaring with glee, “That one is ours!”.


Both gifts helped equip me to become a bona fide host. I still have the mixer and use it almost daily.  I used the dining room table for nearly 22 years and it is now serves as my laundry table.  Both were built to last!


Seen at left – my mother and I in 1983 at a college graduation event (just a few weeks from the time she nearly lost a limb securing my table).  And the famous table itself – in my first apartment – set for a work-related breakfast event I was hosting for colleagues (during the workweek no less!).

Making my way in the world…

This was my first apartment in Bridgeport. I occupied the entire second floor of this small house.  There was no central heating.  I lived there – astonishingly – for twelve years.

This is my second – larger – apartment, also the second floor.  I enjoyed the greater space – and a thermostat!  I lived there for 7 years, and met David Schiffer, my husband, while there.

My home in Fairfield, where David and I have lived since 2003. We occupy the entire house – and finally have central air conditioning!

Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home — and from my smallest unheated apartment to my current very happy (and warm) house, I have always invited people to be my guests.  Together, David and I have celebrated countless milestone celebrations, holiday parties, special events, family dinners, and quiet meals for two here — and the hallmark of each was my sincerest desire to make everyone feel welcome.

My current inspirations

David Schiffer is my partner in life – and my partner in hospitality. He is “front of the house,” and I am “back of the house,” which means he manages the bar, sets the table and gets the house and grounds ready for company.  David is tireless with a broom, which would make his Russian grandmother proud!   I take care of the kitchen duties and serving.  The gift of our partnership has been one of my life’s greatest joys.   He indulges my “need to feed” and he does it with love, graciousness, and generosity.

Lately, I have focused my efforts on more intimate dinner parties.   I leverage my accumulated experience and wisdom to prepare ahead, accommodate my guests’ preferences and, above all, take whatever steps necessary to ensure I can be at my own party.  I love to hear the crescendo of lively conversation and the roar of laughter across the table.  I offer hospitality and I strive to be a generous host!  I will pursue this passion for as long as I live.


This website is dedicated to home cooks like me who want to enjoy good food, share it with those they love, in the settings in which they are most comfortable.  I am here to help – however I can!  We can cook together, commiserate together when things go wrong, congratulate each other on our triumphs – and find community in food, friendship and sharing.