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A bit about me…

I love what I do.

I make my living writing, teaching and speaking about food, cooking, nutrition and travel. In the name of work, I have to eat a lot, meet  interesting people (many of whom, like me,  are passionate about their work) and travel near and far to see where food is made, grown or  raised. I am saved from a life of extreme obesity by the fact that I truly love to exercise, but I am always one forkful away from not being able  to button my jeans.

It helps that much of my writing and recipe development is for publications with an emphasis on healthful eating. I am a regular contributor  for Cooking Light (my husband, David Bonom, and I are listed on their masthead), and frequently write for publications like Self magazine, Health,  Prevention, and Fitness. I also contribute to many other magazines, including Better Homes & Gardens, Coastal Living, Every Day with Rachael Ray and more.

I review restaurants (not waist-friendly!) and write about food and cooking as they relate to lifestyle issues– like being too crammed for  time to spend more than 30 minutes making dinner or wanting simple, do-ahead  recipes for entertaining that taste and look like they took  you days. After all,  most people want to fit cooking into their lives– not change their lives in order to cook.  My weekly column in Newsday, Three Simple Dishes, and many of the classes I teach at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) address how the home cook can more easily get meals on the table- whether on a harried weeknight or when hosting a more formal holiday dinner. (See the calendar page for a listing of upcoming classes. You will also see my Food Writing classes at NYU and ICE listed there). When I teach, I meet all kinds of people and all kinds of cooks, and inevitably, I learn from my students. I learn what home cooks are concerned about (how do I know which fish is okay to buy?), what they wish they could cook and the questions on their minds. In fact, those questions are now a daily column for MyRecipes.com called Ask the Expert.

I especially love writing about the people and places that make, grow and raise food. I am fascinated by the process and love the adventures I have learning about them. I wrote for the New York Times about a cheese maker who raises grass fed cows to get the best milk for his cheese; got to tour a Willy-Wonka like ice cream manufacturing plant where treats whirl by on conveyor belts in a blur of happy colors; went out on a boat in Alaska with a commercial fisherman; and trudged through hot, dry tomato fields to the on-site canning factory to understand the issues, like lack of water, that farmers face. There is a life and a back story to every ingredient we use.  You’ll find some of  those stories on this blog.

When I travel (and lucky for me, that is fairly often), I try to learn what people who live in the region cook and eat. When I discover a great dish (and  there is great food everywhere) I find local cooks to show or tell me how its made. I’ve learned that just about everyone likes to talk about food, and most cooks love to share what they know. Food is, after all, a source of pleasure.

My Back Story

For those of you who (like me) like tangible facts, here are a few.

You can read my work in these newspapers:

* Newsday (columnist)

* The New York Times

* The Bergen Record (former columnist)

…and in syndicated form in many others.

And, in these magazines (among others):

* Cooking Light

* Better Homes & Gardens (features and former columnist)

* Prevention (features and former columnist)

* Self

* Parenting

* Coastal Living

* Fitness

* More

* Health

* Eating Well

I contribute a daily blog for MyRecipes.com called Ask the Expert and my work has appeared on numerous other sites (both with and without my permission).

In addition to Dinner Tonight, the cookbook based on my Newsday column, I have contributed to more than 20 books. I make guest appearances on morning news programs, had a weekly segment on  local television news, a weekly radio program and and my recipes have aired on the Food Network.

I am a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Society of Professional Journalists, and Association of Food Journalists. I was awarded the Libby Hillman Award for Culinary Excellence and the Food Writers’ Symposium scholarship.

After achieving success in the corporate world at a young age, I pursued my true passion: I traded my business suits and heels for a chef’s coat, keyboard and clogs and never looked back. I live with my husband (chef David Bonom), two nearly perfect kids and four constantly shedding but lovable creatures just outside New York City.

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Awards

Strawberry Cupcakes  (Newsday) Best Essay, Association of Food Journalists, 2013

Honk if You’re Hungry (Every Day with Rachael Ray) Best Travel Article, FOLIO, 2013

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