My name is Maria Holmes and I love to cook and eat fine tasting food that's good for you. There are few things as satisfying as sitting down to a homemade meal with those you love. I am by no means a professional chef, but I would like to think that I'm a good home cook. I especially love to create delicious meals that are easy to prepare and made with a minimum of fuss. I believe that if it takes too long to prepare, then it better be worth it! My interest in cooking came to me while I was working as a waitress in a small local cafe. I loved everything about it ... the amazing smells of simmering soup and freshly baked bread, the spicy aroma of a healthy bowl of gumbo, and the melt in your mouth goodness of an apple pie that just came out of the oven. The art of baking and cooking captivated my soul. My Incurable "Disease" But my newly found love for cooking came at a cost. I have developed a severe (but non-life-threatening) disease called "Low-Resistance-to-Yummy-Recipes-Syndrome" (a.k.a Cookbookitis). One of the symptoms of this disease is the complete inability to resist collecting cookbooks, magazines with recipes, even those little brand name mini-cookbooks positioned oh-so-temptingly next to grocery store checkout lanes. For years I tried to get around this by doing most of my major grocery shopping at Costco. But guess what? Costco started selling cookbooks and now my collection continues to grow. I'm slightly embarrassed to say that I have at least 500, maybe more, cookbooks (now I did say it's a disease!). I am going to try to inventory my collection of cookbooks soon. I'll let you know how many I have when I finally catalogue and classify all of them. With soooooo many cookbooks, I am always trying to find the best foods to feed my family. I am passionate about only serving my family meals that will strengthen, grow, and energize them. I have been reading my many cookbooks and started thinking about creating my own cookbooks and sharing my many creations with other avid home cooks. There is always so much to learn! You will notice that I try to keep my cooking style clean and simple. I know that the more simple I keep it, the more likely I'm going to succeed in consistently preparing beautiful and tasty meals. It's been a journey of learning and experimenting in the kitchen, but one that I've greatly enjoyed. I hope that my cookbooks will help you in your journey as well!"