About Me

I love food - cooking and eating - and great wine. This love has become a family affair with my awesome husband, Craig, my wine guy (who also does a fantastic job cleaning up after me in the kitchen), and our 19 year old son, Connor, who is a student at the Culinary Institute of America. Together, they are tremendous taste testers, adventurous eaters, and always provide brutally honest feedback, both good and bad. They're fantastic sous chefs, too.

I am an oddity in our circle of friends in that I cook almost every day even though I work full time for a technology company (my job is not technical, so creating this blog has been an accomplishment!). For me, cooking is a creative outlet, relaxing - yoga with a sauce pan - and cheaper (and much more fun) than therapy. Plus, we get to taste some good stuff.

We eat mostly made-from-scratch food, and our eating philosophy is pretty simple. Local if possible, follow the USDA's "dirty dozen" list for organic, and no processed foods (if you can't read an ingredient on the label of a food, we don't eat it). I have really gotten in canning vegetables the last few years, and this summer I mastered jam making. I typically prepare a few new recipes each week, which I will chronicle here. I do have a list of repeaters, favorites that my guys request on occasion, as well as family food traditions such as the seafood stuffed shells in a cream sauce we have every Christmas Eve. I love weekend cooking when I have time to make more elaborate fare than what we eat during the week, and along with my wine guy partner, we enjoy hosting dinner parties for friends, who also enjoy good food and vino.

Over the years, I've collected more cookbooks than any person should own, but if I find just one great recipe, I rationalize that the purchase was justified. I love food magazines and books about food and cooking. I am a chef instructor for nutrition/cooking classes through Share Our Strength's Cooking Matter program, and I'm on the board of directors for Food Outreach, a metro St. Louis organization that provides nutritional support to men, women, and child living with HIV/AIDS and cancer. Food really is our passion in so many ways.

At the moment I am an amateur, and who knows where this journey will lead me, but for now I'm excited to learn some new things (food photography - realizing mine need a lot of work!) and perfect some skills (bread making). I would be thrilled to hear your comments, thoughts, and any suggestions.

Feel free to email me at dphelabaumevans (at) gmail (dot) com.


  1. OK, this is way cool. Connor and I are two lucky guys not only because we love Denise, but because we get to enjoy the results of all of her food adventures. I hope everyone enjoys this blog as much as Denise enjoys cooking.

  2. Melinda StoneNovember 20, 2009

    You go girl! What a great place to tell us about all your cool cooking you are doing! Thanks for sharing.......

  3. Susan CritelliNovember 23, 2009


    This blog is awesome. You might even inspire me to cook. You make it sound so fun and exciting. Congratulations on your new adventure. We will stay tuned in Atlanta.

  4. Melinda, Susan, thanks so much for your comments. Stayed tuned for good stuff!

  5. Can't wait to try and replicate the next great receipe. We've done it in the past, with great success. What a great IDEA!!!!!

  6. Hi Denise! So happy to know about the blog. Very impressed with all that you manage to pack in. Happy cooking (and blogging!)...Cabanne

  7. I love "yoga with a sauce pan"! That's a perfect analogy. And I'll go head to head with you on the cookbook thing -- I bet I have more. Crazy thing is, I actually use them! We can start a cookbook swap....



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