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My earliest cooking experiences were helping my mother and my grandmother as they prepared their family’s meals. Later, when I learned to cook on my own, particularly after I married and was raising my two children, I began to collect recipes that I hoped one day to try. As I enjoy being creative in the kitchen, my recipe collection, drawn over the years friends, family, cooking classes, newspapers magazines and even some restaurant chefs whose creations I had found especially delicious, grew and grew. One day I looked at the pile of file boxes, clippings and stray notes that had accumulated and realized that I had to bring some order to the collection so that its recipes could be more easily accessed. And so I asked my sister Peggy Lowe to help me organize it. The result of her organization, which I gratefully acknowledge, is this volume.

One other note: In my own cooking I have modified many of the recipes to make them salt and butter free. To do that I have replaced salt with herbs and butter with olive oil and have found that the food remained just as tasty, while being healthier.