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2012: Though the last year has been an emotional roller coaster with many trials and tribulations, life is good. When a door closes, the good Lord makes sure to open a new window. I feel blessed to have such a wonderful family, and many long-time friends, around the world. And now I have added lovely new friends to my life and table, in my new state Arizona. As always, cooking remains a constant passion that brings joy to my life and I have re-started my aviation career, another life long passion. As the old old saying goes, and no truer words have been spoken..... Good wine, good food, family and friends truly are the spice of life! Cheers.
2011: This Expat has just moved back home to the good ole USA. Praise the Lord! I am now living in Arizona and so happy to be back in my country, culture and much better weather. Arizona is a State I have not lived in before, so it will be fun to explore all it has to offer and experience yet another area of the US.
I lived in the Netherlands, for 8 years. It was a big adjustment in country, culture and weather. I think it was a good experience to live abroad. Nothing like moving away from one's culture for a good reality check and firm appreciation of home! I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder!
I love to cook and I believe it is in my genetic makeup. I started as a small child helping my mother in the kitchen. She was a fabulous cook and delighted in baking. My grandfather was a baker by trade. I acknowledge, though I can bake, it just does not bring me joy. I grew up with mostly Spanish and Italian cuisines, taught to me by my mother and cousins. I still have several generations of family still living in Spain. To watch all the women cook, in my family, has bought such joy. Family gatherings and nightly dinners were fabulous times with lots of love, laughter, great food, wines, and conversations in different languages.
I grew up in Florida, surrounded by many of my relatives and extended family members. I was always in one kitchen or another, listening, helping, & learning about all those cuisines and the different languages being spoken! Mealtime was always a celebration with lots of family, friends, food, and wine. Mom's saying was 'the more the merrier'. I do try to replicate this tradition in my life as an adult. Cooking and meal time is truly a celebration of love and togetherness. I enjoy having family and friends, from around the world, over for a dinner. They are invited anytime and I try to carry on the my mother's motto 'the more the merrier'. Though many of the women, who were so inspirational to me, have now passed on, they live forever within my heart and in the recipes that have been passed along. I try to follow those wonderful traditions, they taught me. My mother will always be the voice in my head and heart. She was a truly fabulous role model.
I have had a wonderful career. I worked for an airline for 25 years, and loved every minute of it. With much contemplation I took an early retirement when I married and moved to the Netherlands. My (ex) husband, worked for another airline, and we traveled almost monthly, I still missed my career. So when I returned back to the USA, I decided to start chapter 2 and now am working for another airline. I have gained another pair of wings! Working for an airline, for so long, one becomes a airline 'nomad'. I have lived in 5 different states (Florida, Minnesota, California, Nevada and now Arizona) and also a country in Europe. While living in different cities, one of my favorite hobbies has been taking classes from different cooking schools. I adore learning different types of cuisine and having themed dinners in my home. To name a few classes I have taken Spanish, French, Italian, Greek, Mexican, 3 types of Chinese, Thai, Swedish and American Bistro classes.
My poisons of choice are good chocolate (Lindt), raw oysters and French champagne. Love them!
Favorite cities; Minneapolis, Seattle, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Boston, Montreal, Vancouver, Paris, Amsterdam, and Barcelona. I thought I would provide a list of some of my favorite restaurants in cities I have lived.
Kincaids, Palominos, Forepaughs, Oceanaire, Manny's, Fuji Ya, The Vintage, Zanders Cafe, St.Paul Grill, JD Hoyts, Sawadi, San Pedro Cafe(Hudson Wi.) Goodfellows was a favorite, although sadly it has now closed.
Etta's, Dahlia Lounge, Lola's, Wild Ginger, Anthony's Homeport, Chez Shea, Salty's on Alkai, Metropolitan Grill.
Reno/ Lake Tahoe;
LaStrata, Rapscallions, Cafe De Thai, Louis Basque Corner,
Lone Eagle Grill, GarWoods, Jake's, The Passage, Rainbow Inn, The Squeeze
Berns Steak House, Columbia Restaurant, Donatello, Colonade.
Mustard's Grill, Bistro Don Giovanni, Domaine Chandon
Mikasa, Baton Rouge, Au Pied de Couchon, Cavalli's, Gibby's, Bar-B-Barn, Le Keg,
Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Restaurant, Song Kwae, Zushi, Japanese Restaurant Ans, Molenaarsbrug (Alphen a/d Rijn), Alfreds Dinner (Alphen), HongKong City (Alphen), De Jong Dikkert (Amstelveen), Tijdloos(Groningen).
Favorite California Vineyards;
Domaine Chandon, Domaine Carneros, Roederer Estates, Rombauer, Clos du Val, Ferrari Carano, La Crema, Ravenwood.
Bollinger, Louie Roederer, Laurent Perrier, Ruinart, Veuve Cliquot