I spent my formative years in Syracuse and Albany, New York, with a small detour to a very small town way upstate (this is my shout out to Lowville, NY). We don't discuss the short stay in Utica. I went to college at (now) Binghamton University, and to law school at Syracuse University (go Orange!), and worked for a financial planning company called Ayco for 25 years. I retired a year after Ayco was purchased by a public company.

    I have been married to Bob since 1988, and we have three grown children: my stepdaughter Lauren, my daughter Lindsay, and my stepson Patrick. Most importantly, Bob and I have three amazing grandchildren, Lauren's daughter Eloise, her son Elliot and the newest member of the family, Lindsay's son Liam.

    Bob and I divide our time between Chicago and Colorado. I am a passionate fan of (most) Chicago sports teams, with some residual fondness for the NY Giants and Yankees.  And as Cubs season ticket holders, we just had the thrill of a (maybe several) lifetime(s), with the Cubs as World Series Champions.  It has been a long 108 years!

    The story of the genesis of All Toasty can be found on my blog (Finding My Passion.) My hope with this website is that you will find everything you need to host memorable parties with beautiful tables and wonderful food.

    My taste in dinnerware and table settings is fairly traditional, although I do like many of the more contemporary designs that use square or rectangular shapes. Most of all, I love color, and I love designing tables that make maximum use of complementary or contrasting colors.  I don’t really do pastels, although I will make an exception for spring events.

    I love everything connected with cooking: finding recipes, planning meals and menus, grocery shopping, and, of course, the actual cooking. I even, in a perverse sort of way, enjoy cleaning up the kitchen. I have spent years buying cookbooks and reading cooking magazines, and now have literally thousands of recipes filed by category, most of which I have not yet made, but many of which I have. I do have to admit that I am not a dessert person, so I haven’t made many desserts over the years, but I have lots of recipes that I can share. 

    Like many people my age, I grew up eating “American” food—which meant meat, potatoes, and a vegetable (carrots, corn, green beans, all canned). Italian food was exotic in those days. My food horizons have expanded considerably since then, but probably not quite as much as those of many of you, which is where my younger partners will come in. I am willing to try pretty much anything, and especially enjoy trying new produce and different ways of preparing more familiar fruits and vegetables.