I recently mentioned on the Balanced Bites Podcast that I didn’t always love to cook. Even now, kitchen duty can sometimes be a chore. But I’ve always been a gastronome – a lover of good food – and like most people, I’d much rather eat someone else’s culinary inventions than my own.

When I was a kid, that “someone else” was my mom. Later, my super-chef sister took over that role when we both moved to San Francisco. Fiona worked long hours in the kitchens of some of my favorite restaurants in the city, but on her off-days, I’d do my best to weasel my way into her apartment for a meal.

It was easy to score an invite; I just had to pick up the phone and dial.

[Ring, ring!]

Fiona: “Hello?”

Me: “Hey, it’s me!”

Fiona: “I can’t talk right now – I’m testing a recipe for [FILL IN THE BLANK] right now.”

Me:Oooooh…that sounds soooo gooood…”


Me: “And I have no clue what to make for dinnerrrrrrr….”


Me: “I’m soooo huuuungry…”


Fiona: “Do you want to come over for dinner?”



My sister fed me for years…until she got married and moved three hundred miles away. How dare she?!?

Mooching and eating are like second nature to me, but developing kitchen skills has required a lot of energy and persistence – two things in very short supply at the moment. After a long stretch of graveyard shifts, today was my first day of vacation, so I was all about neglecting my kitchen duties.

My first meal of the day was an omelet and shot of espresso prepared by my hubby.

After I dropped the Double-Os off at day camp, I stopped by Philz and treated myself to a small Anesthesia to the Upside with heavy cream.

I’m a lightweight when it comes to java, so the double-dose of caffeine left me jittery for several hours. My heart felt like it was going to punch through my chest. Ugh.

For lunch, Jackie and I met at Steak Out to hammer out details on a little project we’re undertaking. As we chatted, I ate a cranberry and walnut salad with an extra burger patty thrown on top. Yes, sir: We cavegirls love salads, provided the greens are accompanied by a hunk of protein.

Before I knew it, it was already time to retrieve the boys from camp.

At dinnertime, we took a stroll over to our friends’ house down the street for supper. Connie truly is a superwoman. She’s raising a household of five(!) kind, well-adjusted and unbelievably close-knit kids, and still finds time to knit, weave, grow her own vegetables…

…and keep a smile on her face.

Connie prepared platters of dino-chow for us to share, including roasted chicken and veggies, home-grown green salad, and fresh fruit.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Yes, I had seconds.

Ciao for now!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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