Who am I?
Hi, my name is Barb. I am a self-described Foodie who loves everything food related. I also love vacations and traveling…. Which of course, just brings me right back to the FOOD!
I live in Madison, Wisconsin with my husband Steve. We are both Wisconsin natives who grew up in the Milwaukee area. My husband’s job brought us to Madison in fall of 1995. We have two grown and married daughters and four amazing grandchildren (one girl and three boys).
Love of Food – the Beginning
My passion (or is it an obsession?) started when I was very young. I remember spending a week each summer at my (Polish heritage) grandparent’s house (Mom’s side of the family). My Grandmother would cook everything by scratch. She taught me so much about fresh, local ingredients. LONG before that was a trend. Back then it was more about stretching a dollar and what was available to them at the time.
Hands down my all-time favorite was her Kluski noodles. With me as her avid student, we would measure, mix, roll and cut them by hand. When ready they would “hang” on a clean four sack towels over the back of a kitchen chairs to dry. The noodles were just one step in the long amazing process, because next we would make homemade chicken soup.
Grandma would take a (cut) roasting chicken, purchased from the butcher, boil all the pieces (bones included) with salt, onion, celery tops and a carrot peels to make a heavenly stock. That stock would literally simmer all day. Once the chicken was cooked the meat was shredded and refrigerated. The bones and skin would be tossed back in the stock and reduced some more. Once she was happy with the way it tasted everything would be removed and strained multiple times. Sliced carrots and celery was added in, then back to stove top to simmer. When the veggies became tender, shredded chicken was added back in, along with fresh minced parsley from the garden. Just before dinner the, now dried, noodles were cooked and drained so they could be placed in the individual soup bowls before adding in the soup. It was an all-day process and I was so happy to be helping. Those summers were AMAZING!
My mother was a stay-at-home-Mom and she cooked (almost) every day. It was rare that we dined out. However we would visit my Grandparents often. What I remember most about my Mom’s meals are they were tasty but super basic. Her spice rack was VERY tiny: onion salt, Lawry’s, paprika and table salt and pepper. (Nope not even a pepper grinder)
How I became a Blogger
As I grew older and eventually married I never strayed far from my kitchen. To this day I still enjoy making great meals at home for my husband, family and friends. Most evenings after work I happily chop, dice and cook dinner. … and those “quiet” chilly fall or winter Wisconsin weekends when I can spend a whole day simmering a sauce or stock; or cooking one of those “takes-hours-to-prepare” meals I still enjoy.
My tastes have certainly changed and evolved over the years. Thanks, in large part, to my husband and our ability to dine out frequently and travel to fun places a few times a year.
Which of course sparked my interest of reviewing restaurants and places. I found it fun to do little reviews and post them on TripAdvisor. After my husband, friends and family planted the seed “Why don’t you start a blog of your own?” …. Well here I am!
I hope you enjoy reading about my real life adventures and come back frequently to see what I’m up to. Maybe even tell a friend or two.
AKA: The “She” of She Who Loves Food and Travel