When I was growing up, I remember taking part in helping my mom cook, but it was really mostly in the baking area and not in the actual daily meal planning and preparation.  I took the normal cooking class in home economics in Junior High School (and have some recipes I still use today from that class!).  Somewhere along the way, I never really learned (or was conditioned) to do any meal planning; and I also never learned how to cook without a recipe nor to make substitutions for ingredients.  When it was time for me to move out on my own, I remember begging my mother for her meatloaf recipe and other favorites.  I was flabbergasted when she told me she didn’t have a recipe; so the next time she made my favorite dishes — I made her measure and write everything down!

Well, after many years of trial-and-error; I have made it to a point where I can create healthy, family-friendly, great tasting, easy to prepare meals with ingredients I have on hand.  I can also plan meals so that there is no deprivation for the “not-so-healthy” foods that we crave from time to time.  It is my hopes to share these “secrets” with you so you can take the fast track to becoming an Improvisational Gourmet.

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