A bit about me and why I am writing this blog: I am not a professional chef and I have never been to culinary school. What I am is a better-than-average home cook, and the purpose of this blog is to share recipes I prepare each day and to pass on some tips I have picked up over the years. I learned to cook when in my mid-twenties I became single and realized that if I didn’t learn to cook I would be the one to suffer. So, I went out and bought Julia Child’s wonderful “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” that had been published a few years earlier. Little by little I learned the basics—and learned to improvise. One of the things that I figured out along the way is that a mere handful of simple techniques opens up a whole universe of good food and that preparing meals at home was much, much less expensive than eating out. Over time, I learned that coming home from work and preparing a meal was a great way to decompress from the stress of the day. And I learned to keep things simple. While professional chefs may feel the need to innovate to prove their mettle, a good home cook can make do with a basic repertoire—and an understanding of what goes into a good meal. I want to make it clear from the outset that I am not a “foodie” who chases the latest trend. My food ranges from simple “mommy food” to various ethnic cuisines. I use recipes to get ideas and so that I don’t forget anything critical, but I adapt them to suit myself and what I happen to have on hand. The recipes I post will be as adapted but when I have used a published recipe as a starting point I will post a reference. I invite feedback and suggestions. I don’t know where this will go but I hope that at least a few people will join me on the journey.

21 responses to “About

  1. Mark Rossi March 2, 2011 at 22:10

    Very good blog Leo! I will check in from time to time to see what recipes you are blogging about.

    P.S. This is Mark from Sam’s Club.

  2. Joe Begenwald March 7, 2011 at 01:18

    Hey Leo,

    Nice blog. I think we’ll try your boiled dinner recipe, although we’ll do it in a crok pot, as that is my wife’s way.

    I guess I’m on my way to becoming a New Englander myself. Been up here in Maine since 2007, and have decided to (eventually) retire here. How are you doing? Still blowing?


    • Leo Cotnoir March 7, 2011 at 08:12

      Thanks! We lived in NH for five years. There were some nice things about it but the state is pretty odd. Here in Binghamton we woke up to nearly 2 feet of snow! Enjoy the boiled dinner!

      • Joe Begenwald March 8, 2011 at 02:12

        Are you who I think you are? Do you remember me from Goddard Spaceflight Center? Your picture on your website sure looks like a Leo C. I knew there 16 years ago. He played sax.
        If you aren’t, well, I’m still going to try your boiled dinner this weekend!

      • Leo Cotnoir March 8, 2011 at 08:44

        Yep, that’s me! I am now retired and living in upstate NY. Are you still at GSFC?

  3. Joe Begenwald March 9, 2011 at 14:12

    Not at Goddard for a long time. We moved to Kansas in 1995, then up to Maine in 2007. Been an interesting life, raising three boys.

  4. Rachel Bethe June 12, 2011 at 14:37

    How about some summer recipes? What are you putting on the grill?

  5. not necessary June 15, 2011 at 18:32

    hi – was looking for something with radishes, thought with pork would be good. didn’t find what i was looking for, but came across your Skillet Pork Spiedies with Greek-Style Vegetables and am setting that aside for future use, and bookmarking your site … nice blog. thanks.

  6. Elizabeth January 13, 2012 at 03:48

    I noticed you as a frequent contributor on P&S. Wondering HOW you like living in Binghamton after you’ve been here a decade. I also enjoy your website, and your critiques of local music events. Keep up the good work, and in the words of Julia Child: “Bon Appetite”!!!


    • Leo Cotnoir January 13, 2012 at 08:45

      Thanks for you kind words! I moved to Binghamton after more than 30 years in the DC area. The slower pace and lack of congestion were a very nice change. Living here can be a bit of a challenge for someone who, like me, enjoys cooking ethnic cuisine because except for a Lao and a Chinese market the area lacks much in the way of ethnic ingredients, Latino especially. But then the local eggs made up for a lot. My time here was interrupted by a few years sojourn in NH which, aside from the fresh fish, made me appreciate the friendliness of Binghamton.

  7. Edibles&Travels February 7, 2013 at 16:49

    This blog is great, Leo! Really enjoy reading it 🙂 Maybe you’ll enjoy mine too?

  8. Annie Anderson May 13, 2013 at 09:48

    Looking forward to seeing the actual recipes, rather than just the mouthwatering descriptions on Glenda’s FaceBook page! — Annie

  9. Karen (Back Road Journal) June 29, 2013 at 15:28

    I just bought some chourico sausage and googled it to see how I was going to use it. To my delightful surprise, I found your blog and all your wonderful recipes using it. For some reason, I thought you had stopped blogging. Nice to know that Dinner at Leo’s is still going. 🙂

    • Leo Cotnoir June 29, 2013 at 16:25

      Did you buy Gasper’s? It is the best and one of the things I miss about New England. Fortunately we can get Michael’s here in Binghamton.

      I have been blogging less because I am rebuilding my kitchen from scratch. I underestimated how much work building cabinets would be. But the end is in sight…barely.

      Thanks for your comment!

  10. Karen July 2, 2013 at 10:12

    Yes, I bought Gasper’s. I can’t wait to try it. I can’t imagine the effort that has gone into your kitchen cabinets. Your satisfaction at the end of the project will be wonderful. 🙂

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