Flour. Eggs. Salt.

Those three basic ingredients sparked a love for food so intense I just had to write about it here. 🙂

My name is Jo Ann and I grew up in a small New Jersey neighborhood to immigrant parents. My father hails from Molise, Italy and my mother is a German-born beauty, mixed with Azeri. If you don’t know what Azeri is, think Caucasus region, south of Georgia and north of Iran. Basically my family tree looks a bit exotic, yet Mediterranean roots prevailed.

Growing up, our home was filled with Italian chitchat, music and the aroma of fresh caffè; it was a place where pasta was gold and culinary experimentation was king. And like most pint-sized little girls, I considered Sundays “fun days”. Often I found myself propped up at the kitchen table watching Papa’ make polenta or helping Mom work her magic. My sister and I share some of our best memories in the kitchen looking through cookbooks, kneading dough and letting curiosity get the best of us. Unbeknownst to those with their backs turned, we gladly took care of quality assurance, eating on the sly, laying out fresh pasta only to savor a few noodles. You can just imagine the joy we found in filling ravioli.

When I was finally ripe enough, my mother realized the odds of me burning down the house were significantly less. Thus, I was officially passed the wooden spoon and allowed to play culinary maestro. Menus were planned but always ended up with a twist.

I love a good twist. Lemons! Limes! Oh my!

The same can be said about life; it’s unpredictable, colorful and occasionally spicy, or at least it should be. After all, if the journey were mapped out to the “T”, then where’s the fun?

You want to know where?

In your twenties, or at least that was my experience. At ten years old I loved cooking, by twenty-one I was obsessed. I was also a blooming culture junkie. To get my fix, I regularly ventured across the Hudson and eventually as far as Europe. I had a map, destinations in mind and taste buds to satisfy, but when I landed, I let my senses and good company lead the way.

Today at the age of “I’m not telling”, I am a wife, mother and professional marketer with an insatiable love for tasty eats and adventures that feed the culinary imagination.

I never planned on taking a turn towards blogville. And that is why I say “life is a lot like a bowl of pasta”.

It is yours to create, savor and share!

So sit back, pour yourself a little liquid pleasure, and join me in this virtual food bazaar. Here you will find recipes paired with stories, music, reviews and more. Expect some personal favorites and that of my muses too. To them I must say: You affect my creative palate more than you could ever know… until now. Love you!

Now lean in for the double kiss and relax while I dish!

Cheers!

Jo Ann

P.S. Sharing is caring and the same applies to the hoopla behind every bite here. If you have something you are dying to try or talk about, then serve up questions or comments.

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