I’m a 30 year-old Spanish teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. That has little to nothing to do with this blog, its just an interesting fact, and explains the random Spanish words and factoids that may appear every once in a while.

I was brought up in a household where dinner as a family was a huge part of every evening. My mom grocery shopped and cooked nearly every night, and if she didn’t, dinner was always something great. I’ve continued this tradition by cooking dinner for myself and husband nearly nightly. Sometimes, there are written recipes, and sometimes, I make them up…usually the latter! I’ll do my best to put what I cook in recipe form!

I believe that cooking should be something that someone truly enjoys. I think that when someone cooks out of necessity rather than desire, the food does not come out nearly as well as it would if it was an act of love.

I cook my meals with true thought about what would taste good, be interesting, and be an enjoyable experience. Food that doesn’t taste good isn’t worth the calorie intake, nor is it worth the effort of even eating the meal.

“Cooking is like making love, you do it well, or you do not do it at all”

- Harriet Van Horne

Leave a Comment

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

nancy October 17, 2008 at 2:08 AM

Hi Mara:
Great blog! Your dinner sounds wonderful. When I roast my brussel sprouts I buy the big fat ones, cut them in half, spray with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, then roast at 400 for about 10 minutes. I love them!!

Happy day,
your fellow WW shoe wench!


Joy October 21, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Hi Mara,
Well, I have to go eat something because your blog made me hungry….haven’t had breakfast yet.
I enjoyed your blog. The wedding foods sounded fabulous, can’t wait to hear about the cakes.

Good eating, CORE style,


Erin October 26, 2008 at 1:28 AM

Yay! What a fabulous blog! Thanks for stopping by my blog so I could find yours. :) Here’s the recipe for the butternut squash butter. IT’S FANTASTIC. http://wholefoodswholeme.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/bsi-butternut-squash-innovation/


Jo October 28, 2008 at 2:07 PM

hey! Nice blog :) so nice to meet you :)


coco November 12, 2008 at 2:47 AM

Tu nombre es Mara? wooooooo…….. es el nombe de mi mejor amiga tambien!!!
Me alegro que nos hemos encontrado en el mundo de blog.


Amy November 12, 2008 at 11:58 PM

Hi! You have to start sending me a note when you start a new blog, because I am waaayyy behind. Didn’t even know you had a wedding website!! (Yes, I know, I never have time to devote to Facebook surfing). Anyways, this site is a lot of fun! I will probably make that white chili sometime soon (I am not much of a cook and only try things I know will be good).


tangstein November 18, 2008 at 7:09 AM

Hi – thanks for the link! I’ve been getting to your blog via tag surfer off and on and have always enjoyed it. I love your “cook and eat at home” approach – it’s a huge part of our family life, too. Since you’re in Chicago area, you should check out Cook from Scratch (http://www.cookfromscratch.com) – great cooking classes in your area!


Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) November 30, 2008 at 11:53 PM

Hi Mara, thanks so much for visiting my blog! Your blog is great and I can’t wait to read more!


Jackie December 10, 2008 at 9:31 AM

Mara- Just checked out your blog. Love it!!


Lara December 10, 2008 at 9:31 AM

Hi Mara!
Thanks for your comment on my blog–it lead me to yours and I think it’s great! I also grew up with big dinners so I am _constantly_ asking myself, “What’s for dinner?” You have some great ideas on here. Can’t wait to read more!


cassandra January 9, 2009 at 2:08 PM

I just found your blog, great eats! I love the concept, I too am aiming for a goal weight!!! Good luck with everything!


Terri January 13, 2009 at 2:07 AM

I love your website and plan on trying some of your recipes. I’d like to learn how to make one of these websites!


Grant Hodges January 13, 2009 at 3:07 AM

I just found your site by reading the WW filling foods site. I am always on the look for new ideas. Thanks.


luckytastebuds February 18, 2009 at 5:31 PM

Hi there again!!! I’m so excited but I just realized you’re not on my blogroll (uNacceptable!) and just wanted to let u know you’re TOTALLY going on it. :)


Matt February 20, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Hey Mara! Awesome blog! I am gonna have to try some of these recipes!

Do you think you could help me with my header? My blog is http://runliveandenjoy.wordpress.com


Monica February 20, 2009 at 9:48 PM

hi mara :) thanks for commenting on my blog! you are adorable and i can’t wait to keep reading your blog!


Matt February 21, 2009 at 8:51 AM

I think I want like a collage sort of thing with running on one side, cooking on one side, and sort of like a transition in the middle with my blog title… Do you know what I mean? Do you have an email we can talk through?


Peggy & Kasey March 3, 2009 at 4:55 PM

We love your website!!!! We are going to be on the lookout for “Cute food” to send to you. Move over Rachel Ray


Khara March 17, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Good Afternoon!

My name is Khara and I work for Cookware.com, part of CSNStores.com. I am interested in creating a partnership with your site. I would like to talk to you about an opportunity that I believe would be mutually beneficial.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to continuing our conversation.



Violeta March 17, 2009 at 3:33 PM

I just found your blog and am so excited to try some of your recipes. Keep up the great work!
Also, I’ve added you to my blogroll, hope that’s okay!


chocolatecoveredvegan March 31, 2009 at 5:54 PM

I didn’t know you were a Spanish teaher! That’s my major– I loooove everything about Spanish :)


Janis April 17, 2009 at 9:18 AM

Hi Mara,
Saw your recipe for pork tenderloin. Can’t wait to make it. II’ll buy pork tenderloin this weekend and make it next week, sounds easy. I’m also from the suburbs of Chicago – isn’t this weather wonderful. We’ve waited a long time for it.


Peggy & Kasey April 21, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Those apples are amazing! I wonder what they taste like??? Thanks for the pics!!! The dog cupcakes are adorable! P&K


Cindi April 23, 2009 at 3:41 PM

Hey Doll!! I just love your blog and thought I’d let you know :) You’re fantastic and I miss you!


Victoria May 22, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Hi Mara! It was great to meet you last weekend. Thanks for telling me about your site!


Penny July 28, 2009 at 12:31 AM

I just came across your site and I LOVE it. Definitely one of my new faves. Very nice work.


Heather Antonelli August 12, 2009 at 11:09 PM

What an impressive woman you are! I applaud and congratulate you, on being you! The site definitely speaks to me. You have done a great job voicing yourself. I cant wait to learn more about your adventures.


Larissa January 26, 2010 at 6:52 PM

chi town! awesome… i hope you are a cubs fan.. :)


Jessica Lee March 24, 2010 at 2:28 AM

yay chicago :)

i just looked through some of your recipes. i like that everything is actually do-able for most people. your food pics looks really good too!


Autumn April 1, 2010 at 9:15 PM

Love your blog! I’ve used some of your recipes and they are great! I hope it’s okay if I add you to my blog roll!


annie April 13, 2010 at 1:55 AM

I wish I had more family dinners growing up. It is so fun to cook together and enjoy a nice meal! I’m slowly getting into cooking for myself and my boyfriend. Between food costs and school schedules it can be tough. Your blog is really inspiring me to try new things out!


Mara @ What's For Dinner? April 13, 2010 at 8:26 AM

Thank you for reading!! There are definitely ways to make meals without breaking the bank… good luck and keep cooking!


Rachael April 15, 2010 at 7:59 PM

Hey Mara! I just found your blog on Twitter and I can’t wait to read more. I’m a Spanish teacher too! Maybe we’re blog soul mates ;)


Mara @ What's For Dinner? April 15, 2010 at 8:35 PM

¡Que fabulosa!


Jeanette September 1, 2010 at 8:35 AM

I loved reading about your hobby and perusing your recipe! I will make a big pot of chili this weekend using your recipe. You have a great interest and talent. This was a surprise to me as I haven’t heard you spread the word at school


Roz September 7, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Hi Mara,
I recently found your blog, and love it. Your photos are FANTASTIC!!!! I’m a FGIT too, and over time, I hope my blog is as good a read as your is. Thanks!!!


thesaucedude October 4, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Mara, love your blog; enjoy your tweets.
By the way, my daughter teaches Spanish in Philly and also loves good food.
Good cooking!


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