Hi, I’m Valerie! I am the cook, recipe developer, writer, cookbook obsessed woman behind this blog. I am also wife to my amazingly supportive husband, Paul, and mother to four grown men. I’m from Northern California, born and bred, where we currently reside within a 10 minute drive of the house where I grew up.
I started this blog in August of 2011 to document the recipes my boys had grown to love so when they flew the coop, they’d have this resource available to them. Seven years later, my audience as grown to a level I could have never anticipated and this sweet place where I share recipes and family stories has taken over my life! In a good way, of course.
My focus here is simple, seasonal home cooking, just as it is in my own kitchen. It’s my goal to ensure that my recipes will work for you the same way they work for me. I want you to be successful in the kitchen! Please visit my Recipe Box for my complete and ever-growing collection of beloved recipes.
I am the youngest in a family of six, with four sisters and one brother. My mom taught us all to cook and she is still my biggest inspiration today, both in the kitchen and out. Her influence is why I get excited about things like Tupperware, any type of organizational product, freezer meals (thrilling!), baking from scratch, and great big family parties. And, most importantly, she taught me to be practical.
I’ve gone from being surrounded by women to being the only woman in a family full of men.
Here are my guys.
Connor (standing in back) and seated from left to right – Adam, Ryan, and Jake.
A little bit about them.
Boy #1 – Ryan. Everything you could hope for all wrapped up in a 6’3″ package. Smart, just a little bit good lookin’, and a Civil Engineer by trade. We could have stopped here but …
Boy #2 – Jake. Jake is our artist and I can say with all certainty that he did not get this talent from his mother. Dad gets credit for that one. He graduated from college with a degree in Animation/Illustration and he is the talent behind the videos you see here on Valerie’s Kitchen and on social media. A few years later …
Boy #3 – Connor. Spark plug, generous friend, master of all things plumbing and electrical, and the boy can cook. I will take credit for this, thank you very much! Seem’s like plenty, but lo and behold, two years pass and …
Boy #4 – Adam. A little bit of all of the above with red hair and a ridiculous sense of humor to boot. A recent U.C. Santa Barbara grad just beginning to find his way in the world.
We’re blessed beyond words and so grateful for these boys.
And, my husband, Paul. Without him, none of this would be possible. We met when I was just 16 and he still takes my breath away.
The secret to a long, happy marriage? Pasta, pie and patience. And, he does dishes.
We’ve been proud Boston Terrier parents for well over a decade. You can read more about all of our critters HERE.
Feel free to reach out by email and follow along on social media. Thanks for visiting Valerie’s Kitchen!