I believe that every meal should be special. I don’t mean it should be a hassle or a big production, but the art of eating deserves a little attention. It’s how we nourish or bodies, connect with the people we love, and satisfy our souls. What could be more important than that?
I cook with wholesome ingredients and I try not to do anything too fancy. I keep things simple because I want the ingredients to shine in their own right. I’m also too busy to fuss all day in the kitchen… I’m a working girl and I have a pretty full social calendar. My idea of hosting a good party is doing as little work as possible so I can enjoy myself with my friends. I know that if I’m having a good time, they will too.
So, here on my blog you’ll find recipes and tips for cooking, eating, and laughing. My aim is to do all three things together, as often as possible.
I am unbelievably, ridiculously excited to be the host of a new television program about cooking and entertaining. The pilot was filmed in June and July 2010 and the full season will air sometime in 2011. We don’t even have a title yet! Stay tuned for more details, my loyal Facebook fans will be among the first to hear the broadcast details. Click here for photos from the set and a sneak peak at the program.
Still want to know more about me?
I live in the Bay Area and this is where I grew up. In my family, we sat down to dinner as a family every single solitary night of the week thanks to my father, who always made sure to cook a full meal. My grandmothers also had a big impact on my approach to eating and entertaining, and you can read about them here. In grade school, I started testing recipes from an early Betty Crocker cookbook that had belonged to my older sister. When I was 9, my lemon bars won first place in my hometown’s Fourth of July baking contest. I stood proudly onstage next to the second- and third-place winners, who were women three and four times my age. I was hooked. I attended culinary school with a focus on pastry arts and I teach pastry classes on the weekends. (Although currently my classes are on hold while I focus on my new TV show!) I make custom birthday and wedding cakes, do food styling and food photography, and love all things food-related. I travel a lot for my day job (in software) so I also try to share occasional photographs and stories here from my adventures around the world. I enjoy gardening and most things that have to do with house and home, so I occasionally write about and photograph items related to those topics, too.
Other tidbits about me:
Favorite kitchen tool: Chef’s knife. You don’t really need anything else.
Music: Indie bands… Bon Iver, Jose Gonzales, Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes, Angus & Julia Stone, The Isbells, Sufjan Stevens, The National
Style: Anthropologie, almost exclusively
Movies: Dinner Rush, Mostly Martha, Memento, Run Lola Run, Grosse Pointe Blank
TV: I don’t have one. Really!
I’ve photographed everything here except where noted, and I’ll gladly grant you permission to use my photography if you just ask.
Please drop me a line to say hello! You can reach me at mirileigh [at] gmail dot com. I’d love to hear from you.
Upcoming Speaking Engagements:
October 23, 2010 – Wharton School of Business, San Francisco Campus
November 13, 2010 – Bloggy Boot Camp, St. George, Utah
I make regular appearances on NBC’s Arizona Midday, airing in Phoenix, AZ and the surrounding areas.
My recipe and photography was featured on The Daily Meal.
I’ve been featured on the Wharton School blog as an alumna success story.
I’m so honored to be featured on the Aspiring Fempreneurs website.
I was interviewed by the lovely folks at Inspired Taste.
California Strawberry Commission featured my recipe and photography in their very cool iPhone app.
California Strawberry Commission selected me as the spokesperson for their PR video on how to select and store fresh strawberries.
ReadyMade magazine featured my recipe and photography in Four Course Fridays.
Filmmaker Stefan Sargent featured me in his amazing project, 2-59.
The folks at Foodgawker give me lots of love by posting photographs of my food styling.
The folks at Tastespotting give me lots of love by posting photographs of my food styling.
Many thanks to…
Matt Armendariz for bestowing upon me his food photography wisdom.
Denise Vivaldo and Cindie Flannigan for bestowing upon me their food styling wisdom.
This blog is powered by WordPress 3.0.1. Design work by Jesse Eisenhower. Early photos were taken with a Sony Cybershot digital camera. More recent photos are taken with a Nikon D5000 D200
This blog is edited by Elise Cassel, an award-winning copy editor and headline writer who has worked for The Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Daily News and The Oakland Tribune. Elise is available for freelance work and can be contacted at elisebc at gmail dot com.
A note about endorsements and advertising.
I do not accept sample products for review, nor do I accept compensation of any kind for advertising (formal or informal) on my blog. If I mention a product, service, or person, it’s because I believe in my heart that you will like it/him/her as much as I do.