About 1 maybe

I have always loved to cook; some of my favorite memories revolve around being a toddler in the kitchen “helping” my mother bake holiday treats, such as fruitcake or preparing stove-top puddings which, while standing on a stool, I got to stir. So when I was provided the opportunity to write a cookbook almost 20 years ago, in many ways it seemed like coming home. I had enjoyed my career as a journalist and editor but shifting gears and pursuing my passion was one of the smartest things I have ever done. Writing cookbooks fully utilizes my skills, abilities and interests in one package. I love every aspect of cookbook writing, from researching ingredients, preparations and techniques, to developing and testing recipes, and, finally, sharing my discoveries with all the people who purchase my books. Few things give me greater pleasure than receiving a note from someone telling me how much they enjoyed a dish. I am truly honored when they tell me that a one of my recipes has been welcomed into their family as part of a festive meal.  
After many years of writing cookbooks, my interest in nutrition took me in an entirely new direction when I discovered the work of epidemiologist David Barker. He was a pioneer in what is now known as the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. For most of my life, I subscribed to the conventional wisdom that chronic illness is pretty much the result of the genes we inherit from our parents and the lifestyle we choose to live.  Now, thanks to the relatively new science of epigenetics, I know that experiences from the moment of conception, as well as vulnerabilities inherited from previous generations, go a long way toward determining whether someone will develop a chronic illness, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Nutrition is not the only player in this scenario but it is a key factor. Although vulnerability to chronic illnesses is to some extent beyond an individual’s control, making positive lifestyle changes — better dietary choices, more exercise and less exposure to toxins — can spark beneficial changes in gene expression that will help to counteract any inherited vulnerability.  It will also help to improve outcomes for offspring and their children.

Aging is a complex process. Why do some people age well and others seem to grow old before their time?  Many different elements contribute to how successfully we weather the advancing years, including thigs that took place while we were still in the womb.  Aging, in essence, results from the accumulated effects of countless tiny changes, many of them epigenetic, that occur over the years. The good news is that science is now showing us that positive lifestyle modifications can slow down this process.


Basque-Style Chicken

This is my version of chicken cooked with Basque ham (either Bayonne or serrano) and plenty of peppers. It appears in my book The Chile Pepper Bible. I love the […]

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Warm Black Bean Salsa

  This dip is a perennial hit…and a perfect dish to serve at a Super Bowl get-together.  I served it at a birthday party for my daughter a few years […]

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