Hi there. I’m Nicole Spiridakis (small confession: I’m not Italian but have appropriated “nicolina” for the purposes of le blog just for fun. I am 1/4-Greek, though, and have the name to prove it.), a writer and avid home cook based in San Francisco. Here you’ll find lots of vegetarian/vegan recipes, always with an emphasis on seasonal produce, many baking experiments (see the “Tuesday Treat” posts for more), a weekly chronicling of my Sunday Dinners, lots of photos every Wordless Wednesday, and much other food-and-life-related meanderings. My first cookbook – all about naturally flourless desserts – will be published by Chronicle Books in 2014.
I grew up in Sonoma County in a small town where I spent many happy hours exploring fields and trees and coast. Some of my most vivid memories are of picking blueberries in my backyard with my brother, shooing away crows and cramming in as much fruit as we could stand. I went to college on the East Coast and stayed for ages — Washington, DC, for the most part — before finally moving back to the Bay Area
four almost five six and a half years ago. I’m so happy to be home.
I write about food, California, and life — but mostly food. I contribute regularly to NPR online’s Kitchen Window series, and have written for the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Home and Garden section, the New York Times, Washington Post, chow.com, Backpacker magazine, and Reuters, among others. If you’re interested, there are lots of clips on my website. I also bake celebration cakes for any special occasion but particularly weddings (please let me know if you’d like to discuss a project).
I’ve been writing here since 2005, though I really picked it up after I moved to San Francisco in 2006. I’ve been cooking since I was a kid, but after renting my first apartment in Washington I found myself spending countless hours in the kitchen poring over Gourmet magazine and ancient cookbooks, trying out all sorts of things (hand-rolled pasta?!) and plying my very patient friends with my experiments. I haven’t stopped since. My major achievement remains a 17-person, six-course, sit-down dinner party in my studio apartment in DC (I might still be recovering), but of course any night I get to have people over for dinner is a good one.
Some things I like, in no particular order, include: baking decadent treats, roasted cauliflower, avocados, sharpsharp cheddar cheese, black labs, swimming in the ocean, West Marin, backpacking, small towns, yoga, organic leafy greens, Woody Guthrie, farmers’ markets, Scotland, chard, freshly-laundered sheets, Dylan Thomas, Ravenswood Zin, Sebastopol, Calif., getting out of town, new books from the library, heirloom tomatoes in season, dark chocolate, John Steinbeck. Some things I don’t like include: eggplant, goat cheese, being late, turbulence on airplanes, missing phone calls.
When I’m not in the kitchen, I usually can be found out for a run, playing with my doggie friends, with my head in a book, backpacking in the mountains with my husband, drinking countless cups of coffee, or getting outdoors as much as possible, preferably along the coast.
Please let me know if you try my recipes — I’d love to hear how they turned out for you.
You can reach me at cucinanicolinaATgmailDOTcom, become a fan of cucinanicolina on Facebook, see my photos on flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicspir, or follow me on twitter at twitter.com/cucinanicolina.