I'm a thirty-something lawyer who currently lives and works in Chicago. I love to cook, but particularly to entertain—when my husband and I lived in our Lincoln Park condo (before a brief sojourn in Milwaukee), we had a roofdeck that was the site of many fun soirées. As of October 1, 2015, we will be living in Amsterdam for a planned 3-year work assignment. We are both beyond excited.

    I am a more casual entertainer.  I tend to do large group parties with a buffet or just appetizers/grazing food.  So I have a TON of large serving bowls and platters and fun small plates and am constantly buying more of each (much to my husband's and my movers' chagrin.)  I am not a tablecloth girl, but I do love table runners and fun placemats.  I have been eyeing these placemats for awhile and am ready to pull the trigger! 

    My husband, Jason, and I don't think it is a real meal unless it includes some form of meat, poultry or fish.  So I typically start with what protein I am using and then fill in the rest.  Because my life right now is incredibly busy, with work, renovating a house and being involved in lots of organizations, I don't have a lot of time to cook.  Thankfully, there is a good grocery store on my way home from work, so I can just grab some fresh fish and a couple crowns of broccoli and have dinner on the table within 30 minutes of walking in the door.  My go-to is just a pan-seared fish with roasted broccoli

    I am a "do your best" cook. I don't get hung up on details or making anything perfect (as is illustrated by the photo of me trying, very imperfectly to make pasta!).  Where my mom will conscientiously turn every meatball one by one to brown each side, I take a large spatula and move the meatballs around a few times until eventually they are all cooked. If something calls for sour cream and the closest thing I have is 2% milk, so be it. If it calls for fresh oregano and I don't have any, I'm certainly not making a special trip to the store, so I'll use dried.  This type of substitution is dangerous in baking, which is more of a science. Good thing I rarely bake. And if it doesn't come out perfectly, I always know that Jason will eat it because he's such a good sport.