Recipes: tried & true.

Ever since reading this post, I've had tomato sauce simmering in my mind.  A while back, we took advantage of a killer sale on San Marzano canned tomatoes and stocked up... whole, diced, crushed, and paste.  This weekend - the first weekend of Autumn - was the perfect time to prepare a good ol' spaghetti dinner ~ homemade salad dressing, croutons, ice cream and all.  Thanks to these guidelines, with a little pancetta and Cabernet, the sauce was the true highlight of the meal.
As corporate & coffee savvy as I once was, the opposite was true in my own kitchen.  CLUELESS, would be an apt word to describe my former culinary abilities.  God bless Ryan [and Top Ramen] during those years.  When leaving Starbucks behind, my first goal was to learn to cook (and entertain), really well. I spent the first three years purchasing cookbooks and really studying food- through these books, magazines, food shows, websites, etc... and of course, experimenting with lots of recipes. Last year, my focus was learning to cook smarter- more economical, planned, creative use of leftovers, freezing/storing/labeling/prepping.
This year, my goal is to take all of what I have learned and develop the confidence to adapt recipes, to create new ones, and to manage my timing, so that cooking remains a passion, and not a chore... and not something that will take so much time that all else is sacrificed. Needless to say, the Three Many Cooks blog is 'coming to me' at the PERFECT time in my life.   When sharing my kitchen woes and aims with my sister-in-law, she recommended Pam Anderson (no, not that "Pam Anderson"), and lent me this cookbook.  Coincidentally, others pointed me in her direction as well- crediting her for truly teaching them to cook.  A couple of recipes later, and I was hooked.    The first cookbook that empowered me to be the chef of my own kitchen.
After reluctantly returning the cookbook, I came across food52's post, a perfect description of her {new-to-me} blog that she shares with her two amazing daughters.  Their unique styles, their dialogue with and support of one another, their detailed- yet simple and 'loose' recipes, and each accompanying story, makes me feel like I've either attended a cooking class or spent an evening in the kitchen with my friends and family.  I cannot wait to cook and entertain my way through their fabulous new cookbook, Perfect One-Dish Dinners
This time, along with the links to some favorite posts, I thought I'd share a few of comments I wrote, which truly reflect my appreciation for the three many cooks - Maggy, Sharon, and Pam.
A One-Dish Dinner Celebration...I cannot fully express just how much your style of cooking and writing (as well as your – and your daughter’s – stories on this blog) resonate with me, in general, but at this particular time in my life.  I just want to say, thank you…

For teaching me to be a better cook, to rely on the knowledge that I have built since ’staying at home’ over the past few years – instead of following every recipe to a “T”- and most importantly, for eliminating feelings of frustration- that I was 'spending my life' in the kitchen! I honestly stopped entertaining and have cooked much less, because although I LOVE doing both, I just wasn’t up for giving up everything else! And thanks to you, I know now that I don’t have to.

Confessions of a New York Cook...I love reading your ‘comments’ and discussion with one another. You each have such an amazing talent in writing, you offer a support that is inspiring and uplifting, and you share great points and unique aspects to the topic at hand!
Freezer Peaches...This is why I love this site. Simple recipes that you just don’t see in fancy cookbooks or food blogs, but that I love and need of equal (if not, greater) importance!


  1. Dearest Torrie! Thank you so much for your lovely post about Three Many Cooks and about mom's new book! We can't thank you enough. I loved how you used the word "empower." As cooks, our food empowers us to build relationships, build our families - because as Sharon says, that's what really happens around a table. How amazing is that?! A simple meal builds community...and really...LOVE.

    It has been so wonderful getting to know you through your comments and tweets these past few months. Hugs to you, Maggy, Pam and Sharon. xoxo

  2. I love this post, Torrie! I cannot wait to take a look at all of the links.

    ...that sauce looks great, BTW! It is being added to my list of things to try!

    And I agree with the above comment about getting to know you through your comments. You are so thoughtful in all of your posts and responses to others' posts and it is so refreshing and wonderful. :)

  3. Torrie-I am just loving your blog especially for all these wonderful recipes. I absolutely must try this sauce esp since it has wine in it! We eat a lot of veggie food and of course the kids can live off pasta right? I will definitely try this. (and stay tuned...I am finally posting recipes this week)

  4. Wow, Torrie. This site and these cookbooks sound lifechanging. I love cooking and experimenting with new recipes but it is so time consuming and I definitely need a break sometimes. I'm going to check out the site. Thanks for the info! And your spaghetti looks excellent. I love the way you're evolving your culinary skills over time. I need to work on that!


  5. Maggy's comment is a true depiction of their friendliness and unpretentious manner... Makes my day:).

    As does your very thoughtful comments do (Suzie, Naina, & Valerie)!! Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

    I know it was a long post, and honestly wasn't sure if anyone would want to take the time (Some posts, in my opinion, just can't be shortened or further simplified!)... so I sincerely appreciate that you took the time to read this - and I do hope that you click on the links. I promise, it will be well worth your time!

    Today, there is an absolutely wonderful video of Pam and her daughters on the blog... so cute and incredibly touching at the same time.

  6. Love this post, Torrie. I'm right there with you in wanting cooking to remain a passion and not a chore. I've been so darn busy lately, that I haven't enjoyed it as much. I need to get back into it again!! Thanks for the motivation...


  7. Oh man, this post could've gone on longer as far as I'm concerned. I do appreciate your honesty in describing your culinary journey. I love to cook and bake, but having to do it everyday when there are so many other things I enjoy doing wears on me sometimes. Your post has inspired me to delve into this ambivalence to try to resolve it.

  8. Jess & Minnie-
    I'm so glad to hear others out there feel the same as I do, and more importantly- that you are inspired (as was I) to keep cooking, while not sacrificing all else, so it's not either/or, but *both:).

  9. wow congats...13 years!! I am not too far behind you :) Great pics and what a visit down memory lane. Gotta love those 90s trends right?


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