About Me

I am a Portland, Oregon area food enthusiast. I was born and raised in Kentucky. In between I have cooked across the south and called Texas, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia my home. I have been baking since I was a girl and have been master of my own kitchen since I was in my teens. Southern cooking is my heritage and strongly influences my food preferences while the fresh perspectives and ingredients of the Pacific Northwest inform my choices.

My passion for food has known many phases. During my baking phase I decorated elaborate cakes, baked homemade breads and beautiful cookies. During an exotic food phase I experimented with spices and ethnic cuisines, tried new ingredients and flavor combinations and learned new cooking techniques. During a health food phase I haunted health food stores, mixed nut flours into baked goods to balance proteins and developed recipes with reduced sugar and sodium content. More recently, while building a teahouse in my backyard I developed an appreciation for sushi and an interest in the artful presentation of simple seasonal ingredients in Japanese cuisine.

Another phase engaged my passion for writing. Several years ago I compiled a family history cookbook. As I sifted through old cookbooks and gathered memories and recipes from family members across five generations I gained a whole new perspective on the role of food in family life. The final product included photos, recipes, stories and food anecdotes from the late 1800’s to the present.

Today my explorations in the kitchen are marked by a synthesis of all of these phases into a less obsessive, but no less determined, effort to provide an enjoyable, healthful and meaningful experience around my table for both family and friends. I try to be considerate of what I know about individual preferences while offering gentle challenges and opportunities to experience something new. I hope to stimulate and satisfy the mind and the senses while encouraging an awareness of diet and health. I also hope to encourage a love of cooking and exploration in the kitchen.

By way of my own experiences in the kitchen I have come to realize that food is more than a technicality and cooking is more than a skill or even an art. Cooking is about nurturing the future with roots that dig deeply into the past. Cooking is a channel for transmitting love, faith, understanding, pleasure, history, geography, culture, chemistry, art and adventure.

The kitchen arts encompass metaphors for, and lessons that apply to, every aspect of life. Cooking and eating are daily pleasures that connect a need for creativity and expression with the need to nourish our body and soul. Please join me as I explore the art of cooking in My Own Sweet Thyme. It is my hope that the stories and recipes I share here will inspire you to make new discoveries of your own.


drjoan said...

Your recipes look great and so does the blog.
You are inspiring me to start one of my own!


Christi Krug said...


Your ghosts are so adorable, they look too good to eat! Your site is beautiful, helpful and worthwhile. I am also affirmed about my own lack of Halloween festivity after reading your blog. Thanks! I can't wait to see what new wonderful ideas you'll share. Take care of that porch pumpkin . . .


Suzan said...

I love your blog. It has all that I love: great pictures, thought provoking and memory inducing text, and yummy food. Honestly what could be better? Waiting to see what you do with those Brussels sprouts spears! I made mine into a Chiffonade...(even though it pained me to cut it up. I am sure you will amaze us!

drjoan said...

Let's see if this works!

drjoan said...

I think I finally got the password right!
Now, remember we talked about Brussels Sprouts and filberts? Just wanted to remind you to try them.
What are you doing for Thanksgiving in the way of new food?

Anonymous said...

Hey-I love it! I will try your apple cider for 1st Friday in January-Happy Holidays!

Sarah said...

I love the idea of a family history cookbook - I've received several "family" cookbooks but generally they are recipes from people I don't know (second great aunts twice removed who live in Oklahoma) for things I'd never cook (they're big on jello and Velveeta back there). However, I have accumulated several recipes from favorite aunts and grandmas over the year that I turn to over and over. As the oldest of three girls and the first one out on my own, I may have to make a family cookbook for my sisters and parents for Christmas. . . great idea!!

Thank you for making a great site!

Sophie said...

WOW! What an admirable foodie past you have! It's so nice to come across folks that have real passion for food. :)

I have to agree with the last comment, the idea of collecting generations of family recipes is truly amazing.

The Loser said...

Christi, you totally reeled me in with 'sangria fruit salad'. Wow.

Elizabeth Madrigal

Christi Krug said...

A belated thank you to Elizabeth for giving me all the credit - wish I could take it, but you really meant Lisa! It's a great site for all of us to enjoy.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Elizabeth, I'm a bit late to the fair but I wanted you to know how much I appreciate your blog. It's beautiful and you, my dear, are as interesting as your recipes.

theUngourmet said...

Lisa- this is wonderfully written and inspiring! It's such a pleasure visiting your blog. It is both peaceful and welcoming! I look forward to discovering many more fun recipes over your way as time goes by. :0)

Bunny said...

Hi, Lisa! :)

I came across your blog today while looking for an old recipe I'd lost -- Bourbon Cocktail Franks. Your recipe is exactly as I remembered mine. Thanks for posting it!

I was intrigued by your blog and read several posts. I'm a southern girl, too. Had to chuckle at your describing the difference in Pacific NW weather and the humid southern heat.

My husband is from OR and his family all still live there (in fact, his mom is in Portland). He says it's impossible to do anything outdoors here in the south from May through the end of September and that he can now personally attest that humidity really does make a difference in comfort level.

Like you, I've been cooking since I was a young girl and love it so much. I have bookmarked your site so that I can come back and read more of your wonderful posts and try some of your great-sounding (and looking!) recipes.

Thank you again for sharing. May God bless you in all your endeavors, cooking and otherwise! :)

... Bunny

Lisa said...

Bunny -Thank you for your comment. It is a treat to hear from you! I hope you'll stop by often.

Anonymous said...

I follow a lot of blogs but I have to say YOURS IS THE BEST. I love the way you present recipes (the name, a photo, a descriptive history/story, then the recipe). I enjou the fact that it is uncluttered with unnecessary images ... the enire site is neat and clean. I can (and often do) spend hours reading and copying your recipes. Thanks you for sharing!

Unknown said...


I have been silently following along for about 5 years now. I'm Canadian born and bred and married to an American. He calls Arizona home, but has lived in California and Texas.

I grew up on the cold Canadian prairies in Manitoba and find myself fortunate to be living in the Toronto area of Ontario. Winters in this part of Canada are so much warmer, it even makes me smile thinking about that fact!

Every year at Christmas I make your Gingerbread Biscotti for my friends, neighbors and my own family. It gets absolutely rave reviews. Yes, people rave about how good it is and ask me throughout the year if I'm going to be making it again at Christmas time.

I love reading through all the recipes, particularly the ones with that special southern 'accent' to them. Hubby adores that I can recreate foods that he enjoyed when he lived down south.

Thank-you for sharing your recipes with all of us. I guess some of the thanks should go to Aunt Hen, your mom and your dad (yummy dressing!).


Lisa said...

Jan - I am so glad to hear that you enjoy my recipes and, better yet, that you like reading along. Your comments are a blessing as I return to posting after a season of challenges. Thanks for taking a few moments to write and say hello!

Dr Joan said...

Hope all is well with you and Gary and your family. You spoke of a season of challenges. What is up?