A hearty menu of mine that's especially welcome in autumn includes Garlic-Mushroom Rib Eyes, Rosemary Red Potatoes, Bacon Cauliflower Salad and Delicate Lemon Pound Cake.

Made up of some of my never-fail recipes, it's a meal my family thinks is terrific. And when we're expecting guests, I know I can count on these dishes.

Garlic-Mushroom Rib Eyes are simple but delicious. My husband, Greg, especially loves the garlic and mushrooms that accompany the steak. I came across this recipe about 10 years ago and, after altering it just a little, added it to my recipe box as a "keeper."

Greg and I have three sons—Mick, Quinn and Cole. I work in Greg's chiropractic clinic as his office manager and also run the boys to soccer, swimming and tennis.


A Patient's Potatoes

One of Greg’s patients is a culinary instructor. During one of his visits to the clinic, I mentioned that I needed an easy side dish for that night’s dinner…and he told me about Rosemary Red Potatoes.

I hurried back to my desk to write down the recipe before I forgot anything he had said. I sure was pleased with the results! I've also discovered that these potatoes are versatile enough to serve alongside chicken or pork, too.

My Aunt Lavern taught me how to make her Bacon Cauliflower Salad while I was still in high school, and I’ve been making it ever since. Lots of flavor and plenty of crunch seem to be the winning combination for this dish. It’s definitely a “people-pleaser.”

I do think this salad is best eaten the same day it’s fixed to appreciate the fresh textures. Good thing there are seldom any leftovers—one serving is never enough!

I started cooking when I was about 10 years old. My first cookbook was a Betty Crocker cookbook for boys and girls—I still have it!

Back then, I just made simple treats from cookies to coffee cakes, but now I’m like a mad scientist, and our kitchen is my laboratory! I’m forever trying to master some skill or perfect a dish.

Desserts have always been my favorite fare, and I treasure the collection of tried-and-true dessert recipes I’ve gathered over the years. I enjoy making them as much as eating them!

The recipe for Delicate Lemon Pound Cake was shared by a good friend who’s an excellent cook. Slices of this cake on a holiday plate make an impressive gift.

Earlier, I hinted at our busy family schedule. At the boys’ sporting events, I’m the mom on the sidelines with a lap full of Taste of Home magazines and cookbooks! Sitting down to dinner as a family is important to me, so I usually cook 6 nights a week. (On Fridays, we order pizza and rent a video or play games.)

I also pack lunches every day for the boys and 3 days a week for Greg.

I grew up in California but went to high school in Indiana. Both regions have influenced my cooking style. I love anything with avocado in it, but good old stick-to-your-ribs Midwest comfort food also has a place in my kitchen.


Honing Kitchen Skills

Since I became a field editor for Taste of Home, my love of cooking has grown and prompted me to seek out ways to improve my culinary skills. In past years, I’ve taken a cake-decorating class and cooking classes at a local gourmet market and the culinary school near us.

It’s quite the juggling act to squeeze my classes into our already packed schedule, but my family has been so supportive of “Mom’s cooking practice”!

Cooking gives me such joy and peace. I’m grateful to have discovered a way to spend time doing something that brings me so much happiness and can also be shared. I hope that’s what you’ll experience if you try any of my recipes!



More Steak Recipes