Yours Truly with two of my nephews, Corey & Chris!
Who is The Heritage Cook?
I am Jane Evans Bonacci, a native Californian, avid cook, baker, and passionate foodie. I fell in love with cooking when I got my first Easy Bake Oven. It was fascinating that I could put something in the pan and a few minutes later, having “cooked” under a light bulb, I had a cake. It was magic to me then and I still feel the same way every time I pull something out of the oven.
As the blog title implies, my family history is extremely important to me. I am our family’s historian, genealogist and the keeper of the “stories.” I am fortunate to be married to a wonderful man, “The Artist.” We live in the San Francisco Bay Area with access to some of the best ingredients in the country. I am inspired every time I go to the farmer’s market and grocery store. Most of our meals come together once I see what is fresh and figure out ways to combine them into delicious creations. Due to the beautiful weather, our local farmers can grow heirloom, organic, and sustainable crops all year long.
When my grandmother Mimi was cooking, I would stand by her side, captivated by her skills. She could casually make the simplest ingredients taste better than anything I had ever eaten. I still dream of her chicken and dumplings. Mimi made cooking fun. She showed me how to measure seasonings by pouring them into my hand, told me which ingredients I had to measure carefully for baking, and taught me that cooking was a wonderful way to show your love for family and friends. I learned that it was just as easy to make a cake from scratch as it was to use a box mix. Not only did it contain fewer ingredients, but it tasted amazing! I hope that I have made Mimi proud.
After a career in the high-tech industry, I started The Heritage Cook to share my family traditions, recipes, tips, and tricks. While working at local cooking schools, I have been fortunate to meet and assist many talented chefs. I never stop learning. Experiments and the inevitable occasional failures have taught me many lessons, the most important is to never give up. Figure out what went wrong and try again.
I love passing along what I’ve learned from my years of experiences in the kitchen, my passion for fresh ingredients, and my love of cooking and baking. I’ll share tips I’ve learned to make things easier for you and to give you reasons behind why some actions are required. I love to experiment with new ingredients, techniques, and equipment. I hope you will have fun sharing in my kitchen adventures.
UPDATE: I was recently diagnosed as gluten-intolerant so while the focus of my blog will remain the same, the content will reflect my new cooking style. Wherever possible I will include gluten-free modifications to convert traditional recipes and more naturally gluten-free recipes will appear in the future. Click on the Gluten-Free tab at the top of page for additional information on ingredient substitutions and recipes for alternative gluten-free flour blends. I am grateful for my years of experience in the kitchen as I navigate this new culinary challenge!
I have designed this website on WordPress. It is extremely easy to use and offers thousands of themes you can choose from. You can create any look and feel you like. I have found the “Atahulpa” theme to be the most flexible and easy to work with. It is very well designed and you can customize most of it without knowing any programming languages.
Start out as I did with the free version of WordPress and then if you want, you can upgrade to a “self-hosted” site. The primary reason I upgraded was to provide you with additional functionality and to have more control over the formatting of the site. I use Bluehost to host my site. I am very pleased with the fast, personable, and high quality support they provide.
Photos and Photography Equipment
Time constraints preclude me from always being able to photograph my own creations. When I can’t shoot my own, I find photos that match as closely as possible to the way I make each dish. In addition to my own photography, the images on The Heritage Cook come from royalty-free photo sites, the public domain, or are stock images I pay for the rights to use.
I did a lot of research before buying my photographic equipment and got good advice from other food bloggers. I have been very happy with the quality of each item and if you choose to purchase them, I hope you are just as pleased:
Lights / Props
- 2 Lowel EGO Digital Imaging Tabletop Fluorescent Lights
- Neewer Portable 5-in-1 Collapsible Multi Disc Light Reflector Set
- Lowel EGO Sweep Tabletop Background Support Stand
- Black and white foam core boards
- Melamine-coated Masonite boards
I LOVE to hear from you! Writing a blog is a little like living in a vacuum. We never know if we are giving you what you want unless you tell us. So please let me know what you like, what you don’t, and what you want to see more of. You can enter comments at the bottom of any posting. I will answer as soon as possible!
Endorsements / Recommendations
I only endorse products that I use and love. Many of the companies I recommend support the causes I am passionate about: local, organic, seasonable, and sustainable food; protection of heirloom foods; support of local vendors; ecology and green-technologies; re-purposing, and recycling. These are my personal recommendations and do not reflect the opinions of any other organization or individual.
Occasionally there will be links to products, books, and ingredients within my posts. In some cases, if you purchase something, I will receive a small stipend as an Associate Member. This helps offset a portion of the costs of operating this website.
Most of all Thank You!
Thank you for coming along with me on this journey. I hope your house will be filled with the aromas of baking, braising, and roasting, your stove will have pots simmering and skillets ready to sauté, and your grill will be full of sizzling foods. I’m certain you will fall in love with cooking and baking the same way I did when I stood cooking alongside my mother and grandmother!
The Heritage Cook is not affiliated in any way with The Heritage Cookbook by Marlin E. Foose.