A little about me

Cooking is life.   Well, at least my life.  As a child growing up in Florida and Puerto Rico, I experienced huge differences in our kitchens.  In Florida, not only did my mother not know HOW to cook, she just about didn’t cook!  When I would play at friends’ houses, I KNEW there was something different. They had things like butter.  I was in fifth grade when I first tasted strawberry jam at my next door neighbor’s house.  Never ours. Then off we’d jet to Puerto Rico where I would be surrounded by the smells and sounds of women who truly knew what to do with guavas, a freshly slaughtered goat or the blood of a pig. I wanted to cook but I didn’t know how. So I would watch. A lot.

I went to college and found me a Southern boy with a SOUTHERN MAMA. Boy, did I start watching! She put the “Angel” in Angel Biscuits, not even needing to measure! Baking and not measuring! But I had figured out how to roast beef…dark, dark, dark on the outside and rare and tender on the inside.  She didn’t know how to work THAT magic.  Did I mention she was mean as a snake? Well, she was.  Meantime, I learned about buttermilk, collards and bream fried in cornmeal (LOVE cornmeal!) I stayed in Georgia working for a major airline even AFTER he dumped me.  And I kept watching. At parties. In cafeterias. I DO think about that boy every once in a long while.  He was VERY cute.

Anyway, fast forward to my late 20’s, back in Fort Lauderdale, and I fall in love and marry a Greek man! The first time we went to Greece my head was spinning! I could just walk right into a restaurant kitchen and talk to the chefs about “what’s that?” and “wait, wait! HOW did you do that?!” So many different vegetables, cheeses, fish and breads! It was fabulous! And what they can do with desserts is simply a Christmas miracle!! Every time we go I learn on the level of Epiphanies.

So, that’s my story. Really condensed. And after all these years of family birthdays, cookouts, barbecues, Sunday dinners and holidays I want my family, my boy, my nieces and my friends to have these recipes. I want them to know THIS is what it’s all about.  And it’s really easy. The essential ingredient?  Time.  That’s all.  Just take your time.

My husband, Jim, me and my son, James. Go Heels!

18 thoughts on “A little about me”

  1. Mary Mapes said:

    Oh my gosh…love what you have done..and you can feel the love you have put into all of it also!! Really enjoyed the humor too. Will try some of your recipes and let you know how they turn out for me. I too enjoy cooking family and friends favorite appetizers and meals as well as the parties…sometimes lots of work but very satisfying at the same time. Great to try out new recipes from a different culture than your own. Great way you did your webpage also..step by step and with the great stories..Keep on a keepin…Mary

  2. Love all this and love you! Best wishes for a journey of joy with this & all you do!
    Hugs!!
    H~~

  3. Dawn Babinec Johnson said:

    You are soo talented. I love your site. Thank you for sharing your favorite recipes and stories. Can’t wait to try some of the recipes out.
    Dawn

  4. Dana Leavitt-Holland said:

    I am so PROUD!!!! What a wonderful site this is and how fortunate the wold is to be able to experience Alicia’s recipes. To everyone who reads this comment, I have experienced Alicia’s cooking and there is no one better!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    Dana

  5. Cindy Skibitsky said:

    Why “Bless Your Heart”, Oh that Georgia boy was so cute but his
    mama was mean. So glad you married your Greek man. Your blog & recipes are amazing. Cornmeal, Bacon drippins , White Lily Flour & Duke’s mayonaise & a tomato are the staples of the South. Never forget to cook with Coca Cola to tenderize meat & pack in the flavor or sweeten or make a fruit syrup with a few splashes of Mountain Dew. Roomie I’ll be watching for the next entry & recipe maybe a version of an Old Sea Grill favorite?

  6. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, with all capital letters!!! I’ve always said the 3 best complements that I can receive-funny, good cook, and good mother (I would say this even before I had kids) You are all three my dear!!! Thanks for sharing!!! I need your e-mails address.

    • Jeepers! Thanks!! I’m so pleased and excited that you like it all! Sometimes I wonder if I’m not going a little too far!! I would love, love, love for you to pass this on!! Here’s my email yasquared@yahoo.com. Thanks, sister! You’re the best!

  7. Sandra Dickerson said:

    Love the blog. Pictures are GREAT!

    • Well, thank you! Right now I’m at that place “I don’t have any stories. I wish somethng had happened to me. It’s all so boring!!”. So, again, thank you!!!!!

  8. mary sefferly said:

    What a special and loving treasure of recipes, family narratives, and rich historical information. An absolute pleasure to read! Beautifully written, great pictures, and fantastic recipes! Thank you for sharing, Alicia. You should add that you are learning Greek, and all your classmates are in awe of your reading ability. your Greek school friend, maria.

  9. Stratis Valakos said:

    Great blog!!! Great stories, make me impatient to start cooking…..

  10. Camille Henderson said:

    Alicia
    How amazing. Thanks for sharing. I just can’t get away from the computer. Everything is perfect and so well done. What to try first…..
    Camille

  11. Would love to have you experience our culinary tours in Miami! If interested, I recommend that you take our Little Havana Food Tour! Contact Grace at grace @ food305.com – it will be a pleasure having you!

  12. Kelly Nation (Morticia) said:

    So nice meeting you this past weekend in Chapel Hill! Love your blog and looking forward to learning how to be a better cook! If the pictures you took of our group turned out, would you forward one to me if possible. We never got another good group shot and I would love to have one to keep for posterity! Thanks!

    Morticia

  13. Grace Della said:

    I would love to have you come and experience my Wynwood Art District Food Tour! If you are interested, please email me at Grace @ food305.com. You can read about it at http://www.miamiculinarytours.com

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