Baking has been a love of mine since I was a teenager...actually, much younger than that as one my favorite toys as a child was my Easy Bake Oven (for which I never had enough baking mixes!). The first recipe I recall mastering was for chocolate chip cookies.

Fast forward to my late teens when my second love arose: Ireland. With my grandparents, mother, and sister, I began traveling to Ireland to meet and visit family at the age of nineteen. My maternal roots go back to County Tyrone and the small townland of Derrytresk near Coalisland where my great-grandparents ran a general store. We had some wonderful meals (and craic) in the homes of cousins and sampled homemade treats like sloe gin made from the sloes found in the hedges right outside their doors.

Although the renaissance in Irish cooking had yet to begin back then, I've watched it evolve over the past twenty-odd years. I've been fortunate enough to have visited more than thirty times - ok, so maybe I have a significant other there as well!  If you've never been, I highly recommend a visit - it's a stunning place.

Each time I return to the United States from Ireland, I try to bring a bit of it with me. Once I went as far as to smuggle in a plant that my cousin, Seamus, had given me from his garden. Needless to say, I was unsuccessful in growing it here. Nowadays I bring back inspiration for baking, photographs, stories, and other bits and pieces as the saying goes. 

Have a look around - I'm glad you're here!

You can reach me by e-mail at weekitchen@gmail.com.