My name is Donna Pilato. I’ve been married for a verrrrry long time to a man named Joe. We have two daughters – 19-year-old Annie and 16-year-old Louisa. We share our home with three adopted cats named Felix, Tommy, and Marshall who alternate between grooming and fighting with one another. We also have a guinea pig named Fluff – she’s very shy.
I love eating good food and usually prefer to cook my own because I like home cooking, prepared with fresh, whole ingredients. This is where the Tomatoes in the name of this blog come into play. Tomatoes have always played a role in my recipes and menus. When you grow up Italian-American, and you have a father who plants and grows a very impressive vegetable garden, you learn that there will be an abundance of tomatoes every August. Nothing changed after I was married since my husband had a similar father, and followed in his footsteps. Oh, Italian men! Gotta love them. I, too, hold a small piece of the blame for our annual tomato tsunami. When you sign up for a share of a local farm through their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, you have to expect more tomatoes will be rolling into your kitchen.
Don’t worry, there are many other ingredients I love eat and cook. Like bread…. and cake… and chocolate cake… and popcorn… and pasta… let’s not forget bacon… truffles of both varieties… cheeses… you get the point. You can’t survive only on tomatoes! Over the years, my interest in food has moved beyond finding good recipes to a more general interest. I’m always looking for something good to eat, whether I’m on vacation, eating at a new restaurant, or visiting a farmer’s market where I love to try samples and find inspiration.
And now we arrive at the Tangles part of this blog. Despite hundreds of posts over the years that may have led you to believe that I was only interested in food, that was not the complete picture. Cooking food was more than just about eating and nourishing the family. The kitchen was also a place of creativity for me. I’ve always needed to create things and it’s taken many forms. Food in the kitchen. Words on a blog. Crocheting and knitting while I relax in the evening. But the one place I never found creative satisfaction, where I really longed to find it, was in art. As an art observer and consumer I always secretly wanted to make beautiful images myself.
One day I discovered the Zentangle® method, a relaxing way to create beautiful images by following structured patterns (referred to as “tangles”). And I was hooked. I loved the images, clicked with the meditative process, and found the Zen-based life lessons derived from this practice added another dimension. I decided to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher in the spring of 2015. It became such an important part of my life I had to share it on this blog.
Can tomatoes and tangles co-exist? Well, they certainly do in my brain. They are all part of the continuum of my need to create. Who knows where else this urge to create will lead me, but you’ll be among the first to find out.
I was the Guide to Entertaining at About.com for 15 years and during that time I shared advice and tips on how to host home parties with the least amount of stress. That information can now be found in the collection of Entertaining Tips on this blog site.
You can also read more about my current and past work on my Google Profile: Donna Pilato.
Alternatively, connect with me on LinkedIn.