Who am I, what am I, and why would you want to know? Well I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, a PITA (Pain in the A**), a BFF, Mom, Kelly Lynn. Yes even Smelly Kelly with the Jelly Belly, my fourth grade nickname LOL!
Who am I? Really, let me start by saying I am not a Yankee, although I grew up in Philadelphia till I was 15. But when my family moved to Colorado, I embraced the change. Sure I missed the ocean but for more than 30 years I lived and breathed everything Colorado. Skiing, camping, hiking, renting a party pontoon boat for all of my friends at Horsetooth reservoir. And nothing beats a Rockies game at Coors Field on a hot July night!
Who am I really? Well, I am a lover of life! I like Life and Life likes me. I have been called Mother Earth by a friend, not that I am a tree hugger, don’t get me wrong.
First, I am an entrepreneur living in the Raleigh area. North Carolina is the perfect place for my business. Second, I am a mom and my kids mean the world to me! I love them till they turn 18 then I let them go…. Third and finally, I am a passionate friend and foodaholic. I love nothing better than to cook for everyone and anyone! Nothing gives me as much joy than having someone say, “OMG this tastes so good!”
Cooking came early to me; my first memory as a child was getting up early one morning when I lived in Southeast Philly with my mother and Aunt Sara in an apartment and making my first batch of pancakes. And yes–I did get the oil too hot and started a grease fire and promptly ignited it more by throwing a cup of water on it, but it didn’t deter me on my quest for all things food.
I got luckier from there on out, when my mother married a nice Jewish boy from Scarsdale New York. Joe was my saving grace; the best thing that happened to me. He opened up a whole new world of delicious food. Dumplings in China town–heck yeah! Fresh lobster from Carmen’s down the shore–can’t beat it. A good New York bagel with cream cheese and raspberry jam–a gift from the gods, I tell you!!!
So when I left home at age 18, I already knew how to cook; I just started my quest. When I bemoaned to my mother that you just can’t get good raspberry jam in Texas, and her reply was, “Why don’t you make your own?” I thought, it can’t be that hard, it’s just a recipe. So here I sit, 30 plus years later still making homemade jam, raspberry, blackberry, peach, and now I can make a darn good batch of strawberry, too! I have to admit that is one of the perks of living in North Carolina–they have the best strawberries in May–got the store bought ones beat by a long shot!
Now my other passion is salsa and green chile, they are something I’ve always made from scratch. Green chile is typically used to smother burritos, chimichangas, or tamales, and every version is different in Colorado. Some people make it with just pork and roasted, peeled, chopped chiles. My version is a tomato base which I learned from a chef in Denver at Simms Steakhouse. It has four simply ingredients: onions, roasted chopped garlic, roasted peeled chopped green chiles (typically Anaheim or Big Jims), and roma tomatoes. Slowly cooked for hours until it comes together like a stew, it is what embodies the true Southwestern taste. Green Chile to people in the Southwest is what Pimento Cheese is to people in the South, or Cheesecake to a New Yorker.
So enjoy and get creative, don’t be ordinary be extraordinary!