My name is Jess. I live in Holyoke, MA. I love life, family, food and fun.

I work as a Consultant and Project Manager for an IT firm based in my home city.  I am mama to a pug who answers to Duncan and a kitty, Petunia.  I am a partner in Life with Neil.

I am adamant about utilizing local products.  I hit up Farmer’s Markets and/or farm stands each week .  There’s really something special about eating eggs that were laid in the last 24-48 hours versus ones that were laid two weeks ago and have sat in the grocer’s cooler for another.  The yolks are bright and almost orange in color rather than dull and yellow.  I am lucky enough to live in an area that offers a wide variety of heirloom organic veggies to choose from- hundreds of types of tomatoes; carrots that are not just orange, but also yellow and purple; several types of beets.  I could go on forever about the beautiful produce of the northeast.

I am passionate about food and about its preparation and about its nutritional value to our bodies.  I am currently studying for a degree in nutrition.  Last semester I took a commercial baking class just for fun and this semester I’m taking some additional specialty add-ons like “The Decadent Ganache Torte”, “Petit Fours Glaces & European Macaroons”,  and “Contemporary Chiffon Layer Cake” at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute.  I’ve worked in commercial kitchens in the past and I’ve baked at home for years, so the combination in a course seemed logical for me.

Home food preparation is something that I learned early in life. Way back in the early 80s my mom didn’t have a kitchenaid stand mixer. She had two little girls and two strong arms of her own. At Christmas time she would bake all varieties of cookies and quick breads and artisan breads and we would help by creaming butter and sugar together in a big mixing bowl or by cutting out sugar cookie dough in various shapes and decorating with colored sugars before baking. Our friends and family would get tins brimming with fresh baked cookies, or a loaf of sandwich bread, or maybe a handmade apron.  To these roots I have returned as an adult.  Buy it locally and fresh, prepare it yourself with love, and teach your children/nieces/nephews/neighbors how to do it too.