I’m not a grandma, and this isn’t a Chinese food blog (although I do have some great easy Asian recipes). I’m a mom of four, a native Californian, a Midwesterner by marriage, a home cook, a former investment banker, and definitely not a marketing genius.

I am just a believer in old-school food and philosophy, inspired by my real Chinese grandmas. Being a chinese grandma is about hard work and resourcefulness, caring for friends as family, carrying traditions while adapting to the ever-changing flow of life.

Chinese grandmas are full of practical wisdom. It’s those nuggets – food and otherwise – that I try to share here, in an effort to make daily life a little easier.

Feeding people is casual in my dream kitchen. I make simple food with real ingredients. I entice you to eat your vegetables. I always have a sweet treat on hand.

The first question Chinese people ask when someone comes to the house is “Have you eaten?” Preparing and eating food is a cultural excuse to linger together.

The Californian in me geeks out over fresh fruits and vegetables, farmers markets and artisan food makers. I believe the first step to feeling well is eating well.

I think food should be fresh, comforting, nourishing. I like my meals light and plentiful, so that I can eat generously and still have room for dessert.

I write a lot about food because to me it’s the root of daily life – the foundation of personal health, the center of family life, a communion with others, a connection with nature. Meals are the breaks in our busy days to connect and reflect, and good food is nourishment to body and spirit. Food is about sharing.

My heart is in home cooking – uncomplicated, healthful, satisfying food you can live on. I feature recipes that are easy and reliable, and I write recipes and take pictures to guide you if you need extra help. (I keep a recipe index, my own virtual recipe box, from which you can print off a quick recipe or read through a detailed post with pictures.)

I write about other things too. About the humbling, challenging, gratifying experience of having four kids. About being married to the perfect husband and our evolution from young single New Yorkers to near-midlife suburban adults. About losing my brave, stoic dad too quickly and my energetic, funny dad-in-law painfully slowly.

A decade in New York City got me hooked on stimulation. I’m always seeking new sources of inspiration and knowledge, and I like to share my discoveries here.

I value your time. I post when I have something to share that may make your day easier, better, tastier, healthier – usually once a week.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’ll make a habit of it.

I love hearing from you, so please comment below if you like, or contact me directly.


{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily W 19 August 2010 at 11:05 am

I am a friend of Mike and Dawn H. It’s at Dawn’s suggestion that I check out your website.


cg 22 August 2010 at 10:22 am

hi emily, thanks so much for coming by. hope you enjoyed your visit – come back soon!


Nancy B 19 August 2010 at 7:19 pm

I love it! Keep it coming…..you are a natural for this. Very cute!

P.S. I’m Sandy’s sister in good ole’ Shelby!


Sharice 20 August 2010 at 3:43 pm

Aloha from Hawaii! I totally love your blog and the topics…its great! I can relate in so many ways! I am also venturing back to school and getting a Masters degree in Educational Technology so its fun to see what you have created from taking your class this summer! Great topics and life lessons! I am a cousin of Dawn H. Thank you for sharing!


cg 20 August 2010 at 6:01 pm

thanks, sharice! dawn is sweet to forward the site. keep coming by! i’m constantly evolving the concept, and i love getting feedback. envious of you in hawaii. hang loose. =)


Derek Isetti 23 August 2010 at 10:40 am

What an amazing creative outlet! I put myself on the mailing list so I can receive the latest updates. 🙂 I’m making a couple writer friends of mine watch that Elizabeth Gilbert speech you posted. Congrats on such a beautiful site!


Lucinda 9 September 2010 at 11:58 am

Lilian – LOVE the blog! The other day I saw your post for chicken and green beans, and rocked it the next night. Awesome. I substituted snap peas because that is what the hubby craved, and it worked like a charm. Keep on posting!!! – Lucinda


cg 9 September 2010 at 12:25 pm

hey cutie – love that you came by! how is life in the caribbean?? hope i get a chance to visit st martin so i can use lucinda’s list someday! xo


Joy 29 September 2010 at 12:17 am

I LOVE your blog! Thank you for sharing your discoveries and experiences. Now I feel like you live so close :). Miss you guys so much! Xoxo


Judy 22 December 2010 at 11:11 am

I really have loved your stocking stuffer blog as well as your food recipes. I am also in envy of your kitchen…WOW! Saw the link to your Website through PAMP. Cheers!


cg 22 December 2010 at 10:26 pm

thanks, judy! so fantastic of you to take the time to comment. i really appreciate it! very glad to know you’ve found useful information here. happy holidays!


Trey 25 November 2011 at 5:42 pm

Hey, thank you so very much for having me and my family over for thanksgiving! it was fantastic and we all really appreciate you having us over. -Trey


Marie 20 October 2012 at 4:18 pm

Got lucky & happened onto your website while looking for a balsamic vinaigrette. Love the recipe!!! I will be a regular on your blog.
Thanks again!


cg 21 October 2012 at 12:11 am

hi marie – so glad you enjoyed the vinaigrette and hope you find other useful info here. welcome!


Sascha Jones 1 May 2013 at 1:04 am

I found your blog while looking for simple recipes to cook for my 18 month old son. Thanks! I will list it as a fave on my blog.





cg 2 May 2013 at 3:01 pm

hi sascha – thanks for coming by! hope you found it useful.


Melanie Meren 14 June 2013 at 6:37 pm

Just discovered your blog, via a friend. I love the concept. Looking forward to reading.


cg 15 June 2013 at 10:52 pm

warm welcome to you, melanie – i appreciate the note!


Michelle 6 December 2013 at 8:33 am

I love your blog! It was so great to have lunch with you yesterday at the TEDWomen conference. I appreciate our honest on conversation about finding the balance in life. Cheers to being present and finding quite time;)


cg 12 December 2013 at 9:04 pm

hi michelle – i loved our chat too! wish my son were in your science class – he would love it.


Mimi 28 March 2015 at 5:16 pm

Just read that you live in Ohio. I do as well…….wondering where in ohio?


cg 29 March 2015 at 10:34 pm

hi mimi – central ohio, just outside columbus. go bucks! 🙂


Anne 22 August 2015 at 3:51 pm

Hi CG – I just discovered your blog site – I was looking for a chicken and green bean dish. I found it and I found you too! I have already made so many of your delicious meals and look forward to many more. BTW I have the Wild Boar sauce simmering on the stove as I write. YUMMY


Diana 26 September 2015 at 12:39 pm

My sister from Florida sent me the link to your blog. Love the balsamic vinaigrette recipe.


Shari 24 November 2015 at 2:36 am

Lillian! Is that you?!? I need to talk to Alli and the fact that she never told me you have a blog! I stumbled upon it looking for a blondie recipe and I especially like it when the comparison is done for you to figure out which is best! So job well done! Plus, I’m a die hard ATK, Cook’s Country, etc. fan. Roar, Lions, Roar! All the best to you and your family!


cg 24 November 2015 at 8:27 am

shari!! it’s totally me. too funny that you found me randomly. hope all is great with you and yours! and good luck with the blondies. 🙂 happy thanksgiving!! xo


Coni 25 November 2015 at 1:26 pm

Hello from the deep south!
As a Southern girl I was raised with the sure knowledge that southern hospitality is always present at the table. With lots of family, friends and the occasional stranger to share meals with, nearly every meal was an occasion. We cooked with lots of butter and animal fats, lots of gluten packed dishes. Everything was heavily salted and always washed down with syrupy sweet tea.
I want to keep the traditions that are so wonderfully southern but create a lighter, brighter and healthier lifestyle to share and keep as a legacy for my children and grandchildren. In researching these changes, I came across your recipes. Exactly what I was looking for. Many ideas this Alabama Nana will be incorporating to menus, potlucks and gift dishes.
Your entire blog is a refreshing joy to read. Thank you.


cg 8 December 2015 at 1:22 am

hi coni – oh i am so behind on replies here! your comment made me so happy. i love food, sharing and hospitality too, and i agree with you about providing ourselves and and our loved ones the best possible fuel for health. thanks so much for taking the time to write.


Matt 1 April 2016 at 10:02 am

Love this page!


Erika 7 January 2017 at 6:23 am

It’s nice to meet you, we have a lot in common. I like the format of your website/blog. What are you using? Or what company did you use for the build? I have quite a story to tell. Please email me.


Erika 7 January 2017 at 6:25 am

It’s about surviving untreated illness with food. Thanks for the spinach dip recipe. Msg hurts my hubby’s gut need alternatives.


Dan C 3 July 2017 at 8:11 pm

I came to your website via a Google search for non-mayonnaise-based cole slaw, but your site and personal information pulled so many personal strings that I had to message you. I was born in Columbus but have lived in the south since 1986, thus being forced into becoming a BBQ -afficionado 😉 and thus my search for the cole slaw. (The next time I’m in Columbus I’ll have to give your recommended BBQ place a try!) I learned my basic Chinese cooking skills while taking a night school Chinese cooking class taught by a Vietnamese woman whose main western language was French in Upper Arlington in the 1960s. ( My old mimeographed recipe sheets have some interesting French phonetic spellings such as H’uen T’uen for WonTon.) And I marched in the OSU Marching Band to boot! I’ve enjoyed looking through your website.


cg 18 July 2017 at 7:30 am

hi dan c – sorry i am late replying to you! thank you for this message, i loved it! i hope the cole slaw worked out for you. go bucks!


Amy Escobar 21 January 2018 at 8:27 pm

I don’t supposed you’ve thought about doing a YouTube channel?


cg 28 February 2018 at 11:32 am

hi amy – i think about it all the time! i know there’s a whole audience that would rather watch than read. video scares me, but maybe i’ll manage to learn…?!


Kim clough 13 March 2018 at 2:13 pm

Found your recipe for everything muffins and made them for friends today for a birthday luncheon. They were a hit!! We live in Louisville and love eating at Wild Eggs but I can say this recipe is even better than theirs. Thanks!! These will be a regular in our house.


cg 15 March 2018 at 11:32 am

hi kim, this makes me so happy! by the time i get to the end of testing a recipe, my taste buds are utterly confused about whether it really achieved what i wanted. so i love getting affirmation! from a louisville resident, no less. =) thanks so much for sharing back!!


Susan 23 March 2018 at 11:30 pm

I have never commented before, so I cannot without telling you how much I enjoy your writing–both food & experiences! We are also a carnitas-loving household, so I thought I’d share an alternative method. I have tried many recipes over the years & have pretty much settled on braising first in a liquid like your recipe but with the addition of carrots, celery & a bottle of cerveza, a big bunch each of fresh cilantro & oregano & chicken or vegetable broth to nearly cover the meat. When falling apart, after fishing out of the broth & draining, we grill the pork–it is honestly never dry. I am just lazy & hate frying & it doesn’t need the added fat. The braising liquid remaining is a savory pork broth, an excellent base for minestrone. I then refrigerate to eliminate the fat & reuse or freeze for later. Efficient–I like finishing one dish with the beginnings of another!

Thanks for all the wisdom & inspiration!


cg 27 March 2018 at 10:00 am

hi susan – this warmed my heart so much! i love that you came out of the woodwork to share your ultra-resourceful carnitas method. i can’t wait to try it! thank you so much for sharing with everyone here.


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