flowersI’m Natalie. Over the last 30 years, I’ve cooked in quite a variety of kitchens: more than a few in tiny apartments, some spacious and well-appointed, a couple that were a couple of commercial kitchens, on vacation at cabins and in beach condos. With top notch pots and pans or improvising with folded aluminum foil and drinking glasses as equipment. A few times with a metal trash can as an oven. Alone and with others. Sometimes for just myself, also for friends, family, roommates, or the occasional date. I’ve cooked dinner as rent, the caterer, a favor, a gift, and because no one else was interested.

A friend once noted that I’d be “At Home in Any Kitchen.”

Chances are, your home has a kitchen. You might be mastering molecular gastronomy there, or you might just use it to make coffee and toast. If you’re interested in getting more out of it,  I’d like to help you figure out what it will take to get set up and running, then making some delicious (and healthy) meals.

Recently, especially with the explosion of Pinterest, I realized that there were more than enough sources of recipes: cookbooks, magazines, television shows and networks, food blogs, professional websites, etc. But there aren’t too many central sources on approaching and interpreting recipes, their instructions or overall quality. Nor is there an accessible place to figure out what you need your kitchen to do or how to get set up.

The idea behind At Home in Any Kitchen is not to throw more recipes out into the internet but to explore the basic components of cooking:

  • putting together your kitchen from tools to food
  • planning menus, parties, grocery trips, etc.
  • understanding recipe words, including differences in techniques, cooking types, etc.
  • evaluating a recipe for quality, ease, timing, etc.
  • building a repertoire of easily accomplished recipes/meals you can rely on
  • giving away secrets, shortcuts and tips that will save time and frustration
  • exploring individual ingredients and how to use them
  • improvising with what you’re dealt – ingredients, location, time constraints, etc.

I’d love to start a dialogue with other cooks about what works in your kitchen. I’d also love to get questions from readers to keep this interesting.

I hope you enjoy the site and get something out of it. Thanks for stopping by!

A very quick bio:

I am an avid home cook and food enthusiast.  It’s something running through my head waking hours. I’ve been an event planner and cookbook reviewer/food columnist; eating, cooking, and entertaining are beyond hobbies for me. I live in Nashville, TN, which is a terrific place for eating, cooking and growing your food. The first time I visited my (now) husband’s house, I remarked on his nice kitchen and that I hoped I’d get to try it out sometime. Years later, I have made myself most at home there.

Thanks to Keith Raines for the design work! You make me look good.