Having a meal together is where the magic happens
Pouring myself a glass of red wine, turning on my favorite music, and assembling all of the ingredients to get dinner underway is bliss for me. The whole experience of chopping vegetables, mixing up sauces, and bringing it all together on a plate is incredibly meditative and fun. But the best part is sharing it with my family.
Putting away the touch screens, sitting down together, saying a prayer, and connecting about the day is a sacred moment in our house. While it isn’t picture perfect—I’ve messed up many a meal and had to order take out and my boys are often busy with activities of their own—it’s still something we strive to create every week.
To me, this is of the utmost importance in an era where we connect via technology more and more, and face-to-face less and less. I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to bring more heart-to-heart conversation, storytelling, and connection into any home is do it over a meal.
Having a meal together is where the magic happens. Where the walls come down, where the truth comes out, and where we can both nourish our bodies and our souls. Together.
This is something I learned at a young age.
I grew up traveling around the world with my family while my father was in the Air Force. And I lived in eight countries before I turned 18, hopping from where I was born in Taiwan to places like Panama, Brazil, Spain, and in the United States.
While it was certainly a challenge to uproot my life every couple of years, my mother was always able to recreate the feeling of home around the dinner table. It’s what gave me that feeling of stability even when life felt unstable. She also introduced me to the adventure of meal making. Of preparing a recipe. Of choosing the linens to set the table. And of bringing it all together with such care.
All of these experiences shaped me into who I am today. Living internationally made me endlessly curious about the diverse cultures around the globe, and ultimately inspired me to become a journalist. And the example my mother set for me and my sisters is what has inspired me to carry those traditions into my own family.
No matter where home is, we create the feeling of home together.
While life has certainly gotten busier over the years, I’ve remained connected to my roots and built a lifestyle that is both filled with storytelling—thanks to my career and my loved ones—and healthy choices. From finding ways to make even the most decadent of dishes filled with “good for you” ingredients to training for marathons, I make my wellbeing a priority.
As someone who is on TV every day, I’m often asked by fans and friends how I stay fit and healthy, and how I find time to still cook for my family. I understand how challenging it can feel to get it all done, but what I know for certain is that food and gathering together is possible for all of us.
Food and gathering together is possible for all of us.
Within these pages, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned on my journey as a mom and wife with a fulltime career in the public eye. I’ll reveal everything from my favorite family recipes to the balanced approach I take to food (I will never give up bread, butter, chocolate, or wine) to all of the stories that inspire me and have played a role in building the many strong relationships I have today.
So, this is me welcoming you to my virtual home, inviting you to pull up a chair at my table, and to swap stories.
It’s my hope that my recipes, experiences, and advice will be a source of inspiration and motivation for you to bring your loved ones together with great food and even greater connection. Because having a meal together is where the magic happens.
A FEW FUN FACTS
- I’ve been married to my husband for nearly 20 years
- We have two sons; one teenager and one 9-year-old
- We rescued our beautiful dog Zara who is like a daughter to me
- I speak Spanish and Portuguese and studied Russian in college
- I majored in journalism at Rutgers University in New Jersey
- I started my career as a reporter for New12 in the Bronx
- I’ve run 6 marathons and more half marathons than I can count
- I love dark chocolate and red wine
- My talents include cooking and doing athletic things
- I love challenging myself with a new recipe or workout
- I love to sing, but I’m terrible at it (Liza Minelli will tell you)
- I do Victory Pose every morning as a form of prep for the day
- I pray and practice gratitude at the end of every day
- I’m most inspired by my mom and of course, Oprah
- My favorite band is U2 and I got to interview them
- My favorite meal is Christmas dinner
- Bread and pasta are my weakness