All About Me:

Hi! My name is Janet and I am the oldest of six children. After me is Angela, then the three boys, Daniel, David and Stephen. We round it off with the youngest Becka – but don’t tell her I called her young. My parents had quite a challenge feeding all of us growing up, but they did it and since my mom did all the cooking, she’s pretty darn good at it. I would say she is definitely one of my earliest inspirations for the food I have cooked all my life.

I have lived in southern California my entire life and currently reside only a couple of miles from the Pacific Ocean itself. It’s an awesome feeling in the summer to open the windows and smell the warm salty air and of course the beach bonfires at night. My daughter Juliet is in high school and addicted to hockey, and my boyfriend Bradley is extremely supportive of the whole blog concept – as long as he taste tests everything he will happily hold lights and pour the drinks.

I remember making all kinds of things in the kitchen when I was a kid, chocolate chip cookies from scratch were a top requested snack from all my siblings – and my neighbors! The very first recipe I think I created was more out of necessity rather than want. It was one of those days where grocery shopping was tomorrow, not today, so whatever that could be made out of the refrigerator and pantry was free game. That’s when my “potato hash” was born. Basically it consisted of chopped potatoes and usually a mix of the following: spices, eggs, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and sometimes even leftover guacamole or sour cream. I actually made it quite often because it was just so good!

One Fine Shindig

Clockwise from top left: Me!, Daniel, Angela, David, Becka and Stephen 

One Fine Shindig was the brain child of one of the toughest years of my life. When my younger sister Angela was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2015, my life became a surreal dream. She had always been the adventurous one that would try litterally everything. She was very interesting in the kitchen too! Every thing she cooked was a dramatic experience and quite often I would get a “what does braise mean?” call. The last few years she got much better, even making her own yogurt and vanilla extract. Exactly two months after her diagnosis and after unexpected complications, she left this world to begin a new adventure in the next. 

After Angela died, I realized I could grieve but still live a happy and fulfilling life. If the tables were turned, I would never have expected her to wallow and be sad year after year. So yes, there are those sad moments… how could there not be? But for the most part I have a new appreciation for the life I live today. One of my favorite expressions of how amazing life is, is by cooking amazing food and having get together’s with friends and family. 

One day… actually a couple different days Bradley mentioned to me that I should start a food blog. I have no idea what gave him that idea in particular and at first I thought “no, I wouldn’t be any good at that.” After probably the 3rd or 4th time he mentioned it, I actually did some research and realized it wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it would be. See, this is totally his fault! So thank you Bradley for annoying me to the point of discovering an awesome creative outlet in my life. You are the best taste tester and editor around! I actually love creating recipes and I’m really excited to be on this journey!

Life itself is One Fine Shindig! It’s a great big party that should be celebrated each and every day!