About the Cooks

I’m Justine. I married this guy named Dan, referred to as Dale from here on out. We’ve been married for a couple years. We live in Grosse Pointe, MI currently, but we’ve lived all over. I’m from Horseheads, NY and Dale’s from Fairfield, CT.

We have a hot babe living with us who just turned one year old. Her name’s Evelyn. We made her ourselves– she’s pretty cool. We also have a shagtastic Old English Sheepdog named Burton. You might see these two from time to time.

We live in an old-ass brick Tudor that needs a lot of work but is really pretty and quirky. When I’m not cooking, I’m working on this old lady.

If you see us throwing out random restaurant recommendations from elsewhere, it’s because we’ve either lived there or have traveled there. Here’s a list if you’re into that sort of thing:

PLACES WE’VE LIVED:
NEW YORK – NYC & All over Upstate
AUSTRALIA – Adelaide
COLORADO – Avon
NORTH CAROLINA – Winston-Salem & Charlotte
ILLINOIS –  Wicker Park Chicago
MICHIGAN – Midtown Detroit & Grosse Pointe

 

MOST RECENT WORLD TRAVEL:
CHINA – 6 months in Guangzhou & Hong Kong
ITALY – Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, Rome & Torino
ICELAND – Reykjavik & Westmann Islands

 

The History

I grew up cooking and watching all the men and women in my family cook. My mother’s Polish – so it was pierogis, and kielbasa, and the best cherry rhubarb pies you’ve ever had. My mom has a flair for cooking too much food with too much butter. Definitely not a bad thing.  My father is Italian and Irish. He makes the best meatballs in the family – which is saying something. Every week growing up we had 30+ people for Sunday Sauce at my great-grandmother’s house. Christmas can see close to 100 people. We’re all cousins. I recently found out some of the cousins aren’t even blood related – doesn’t matter. My family owns a chain of pizza restaurants – Pudgie’s Pizza. This place was my first job, and the first job of every sibling, cousin, aunt and uncle in the family. If you’re ever in the area, stop in for a slice. It will be something like you’ve never had. “In Pizza We Trust” – our family lived by this motto guilded at one of the locations.  I fully realize this is all major cliché Italian family stuff and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Both sides of the family were big gardeners growing up. Their fruits and vegetables always tasted so good – I didn’t think it was possible to find the good stuff outside of our backyards. Then I moved to a city. I discovered organic cooking and buying and realized the good stuff does exist. So I made the switch. Yes, because chemicals suck. But more importantly –organic tastes so damn good. The color of a pasture-raised organic egg yolk? The smell of grass-fed beef cooking in a pan? No seasoning needed. No filter needed. It’s effing delicious. My husband has definitely raised my standards for quality ingredients over our 7 years together. If he can’t have the good stuff, he’d rather skip the meal and wait for the next chance. I respect that and have adopted the same approach. We’ve found it’s very easy to justify eating chocolate cake for dinner in this manner.

I started seriously cooking in college, right around the time my sister, Sara, started baking. (Another eternal sisterly argument about who found the stove first.) She is an amazing baker and I hope you’ll see her on here sometime.  My sister and I don’t agree on much, but in the kitchen, we are a well-oiled machine. She becomes a legit cook and I become a killer frosting maker. Like all good therapy couch talks “its all because of our childhood.” Getting dinner on the table was always the top priority. Any argument or family issue could be discussed and solved once we sat down. Many times, we all forgot what the problem was by time dinner was on. It’s a wonderful way to get through life.

Everything else you need to know about us, you’ll learn through the food we eat. In the meantime, thanks for letting us creep into your kitchens and spare time.