Hi! I’m a longtime cook, starting at about age 9, though not a gourmet chef by any means. For a long time, I wrote the “Bites & Pieces” column in the now-defunct North County Times in north San Diego County, where I was also the newspaper’s Features Editor. Unfortunately, the paper became defunct in October 2012, and so did my column. But that hasn’t stopped me from still reaching out to readers through this blog and on Facebook to share recipes, techniques, money-saving tips, helpful hints and sometimes just reminiscences of food adventures gone by. My goal has always been to help people enjoy and improve their time spent in the kitchen, so if you have a question about cooking, ingredients, recipes, etc., please ask! I truly believe cooking is a wonderful activity on so many levels: practical (feeding your family healthfully and economically), creative (trying new things, mastering skills and techniques), fun (sharing time cooking with others) and sometimes humbling (see my June 2013 post “Farm Cooks vs. City Gal” on entering the county fair, for example). The kitchen is so important to our daily lives, and I want to help people feel comfortable and capable in theirs. I enjoy hearing from readers at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave your comments on the blogposts. And thanks for reading!