Janelle Maiocco


Welcome to my blog. I live in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle on an Urban Farm (w/ five laying hens and a huge garden). I am a trained chef (w/ a certificate in food preservation), taught at a cooking school & like to share 'kitchen hacks' - culinary tips that save time, money & maximize flavor. If that isn't enough, I also run a food+tech startup called Barn2Door.com - a platform to help everyone easily find & buy food directly from farmers, fishers & ranchers (from CSA's to urban farm eggs to 1/2 a grass-fed cow).

DIY tartar sauce

The truth is, I make a lot of default dinners. We are a busy family, with school and extracurricular, sports, music and you name it pulling us in a million different directions. Though my pie in the sky would be to cook an elaborate meal with new recipes every evening, it just isn't practical. Instead, I aim to add maybe 1-2 new recipes in a given week, hoping that one will be a 'keeper.'

When I am not trying a new recipe, I am grabbing, tossing and otherwise throwing together a meal for my family. My priorities in the midst of fashioning a family meal are 1. well-balanced and 2. quick. So, with no room for thought I start making 'the usual.' Though if you know me, I take great pride in my list of usuals and have even given these fall-back recipes the token term Default Dinners. This week I leaned on some old favorites:

AND I have to admit, when time is screaming in my face, I even reach for meals from my freezer. Battered cod was baked this week; my contribution was tartar sauce. I confess it is hard for me to use jarred tartar sauce (or salad dressing for that matter). So while the oven bakes the 'it'll do' meal in 18 minutes or so, I grab my little blender and make a nice tartar sauce from scratch.

This little recipe has traveled with me for years; I have almost lost it numerous times (which nearly caused me to panic). But alas, it is still lovingly tucked in my semi-organized but adequately disheveled recipe binder. And now, you too can have it to use and to lose:

Tartar Sauce 1 cup mayonnaise 2 tsp dijon mustard 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice 1 T minced shallots 1/4 cup dill pickles pinch cayenne pepper

I know: lose it? With this short ingredient list, you would think I had this one committed to memory. I figure I will memorize it right around the time my memory begins to slip. Timing is everything, right? The instructions, however, I can remember: place all in blender and blend. And this tartar sauce is also great on a salmon burger with big leaves of basil... yet another easy meal...

it's that BOOtiful time of year again. #HalloweenCocktails

it's that BOOtiful time of year again. #HalloweenCocktails

what to do with 2 fennel bulbs?

what to do with 2 fennel bulbs?