Welcome! My name is Shannon. I love to cook, especially when I’m cooking for others. My happy place is standing behind my kitchen island as loved ones arrive for a marathon dinner party (someone else answers the door). I routinely feed one man and two boys but we frequently find reasons to fill our home with friends and family and celebrate over a meal. Holidays, out of town visitors, someone moving to or from the area, engagements, babies, new job, “it’s been too long, let’s catch up” – any excuse really and sometimes no excuse at all. The occasion, guest list and season dictate the menu which is sometimes light and bright, at other times rich and decadent.
Whether you are cooking for two, hosting twenty, making something to deliver to someone who could use a home cooked meal, or looking for an appetizer to take to a friend’s party, this will be your new favorite go-to site for recipes and casual family-style entertaining tips.
Keep reading to learn more about this site and the kinds of recipes you will find here. I would love to hear from you so let me know who you are cooking for and how you make these dishes your own!
Oh yeah, everything you will find here just happens to be gluten free.
What do you like to cook?
I like to cook what I like to eat. I consider myself an adventurous eater but there are certain foods that feel familiar, that are part of my life story. The smells and flavors of my mother’s and grandmother’s and aunt’s kitchens and my dad’s and uncles’ grills and smokers. Regional cuisine from places where I have spent a lot of time and that have become near and dear to my heart. I grew up on Texas country cookin’, grilled and smoked meats including game and Tex-Mex. One of my favorite smells is that of skin-on garlic cloves and serrano peppers blistering in a dry skillet. Otherwise, I love and am inspired by Pacific Northwest seafood and produce and all things Mediterranean.
Why gluten free?
Gluten and I broke up around 2011. It wasn’t me, it was gluten. I’ve moved on. All of the recipes on this site are gluten free meaning none of them call for any variety or derivative of wheat, barley or rye. However, some products such as oats may contain trace amounts of gluten due to cross-contamination from storage or shared processing or packaging equipment. If you have a severe gluten allergy or sensitivity or otherwise are serious about eliminating gluten from your diet, always check your labels carefully and buy certified gluten free products.
Do you bake?
Yes! But most of what you will find on this site is a deviation from the homemade breads and traditional cakes that probably come to mind when you think of baked goods. I prefer desserts that are naturally gluten free (there are more than you might think) or use alternative flours. What you will find here are flourless cakes, meringues and custards, baked goods using nut, oat or rice flours, and chocolate dipped chocolate covered everything.
What is your favorite food?
Nachos, extra jalapeños.
Are there any foods you do not like?
The short answer is very few although there are still so many things that I have yet to try. I don’t love green bell peppers but I’m all about the other colors. And with few exceptions I don’t like cinnamon in savory dishes, particularly red meat. It’s like dancing to rock music, it just feels unnatural. And I lived with a girl from New Jersey so believe me, I’ve tried.
Why “anatomy of a pineapple”?
Great question. The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality; anatomy, the structure or composition of something. So it denotes a hospitality how-to of sorts. The inspiration for this site was not just food and cooking but cooking for people. We have hosted hundreds of guests at our family table – hundreds. I counted. Inviting someone into your home and serving a good meal, made with love, as cheesy as that sounds, is one of the most basic ways you can care for someone. Likewise, meals or goodies made and delivered to new parents, grieving families, someone recovering from surgery, teachers, clergy or a special someone can be a huge blessing/stress reliever/treat. It’s a gift.