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garden state

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I’ve found a new place to call home. This summer, I moved with my family halfway across the country, from the Midwest where I’ve lived for the last decade, back to the Northeast where I was born. We’ve landed in New Jersey — not exactly my childhood state, but very reassuringly close to the edge of the Atlantic ocean I’ve missed for so long.

I’m just coming out of the fog of exhaustion that moving brought on, which felt more physically grueling than I ever remembered. Is it my advanced age? There was a time in my life when I picked up and moved every couple of years without batting an eye. Of course, those were days when the tendrils that held me in place where like threads on the end of a baby onion; nothing like the roots that formed after living in the same house year after year, watching my children grow up.

The past few months have been chaotic, and the lack of an orderly kitchen space — not to mention the piles of boxes all around — left me unbalanced and out of sorts. It was until I managed to cook a few simple meals in the new house that I felt some control. Even simply chopping fresh parsley, heating some garlic with olive oil to put over a bowl of pasta made life seem peaceful and predictable again.

There is such a bounty of great food in this part of the world; I feel very lucky and excited at the abundance of beautiful fresh seafood, local meat and produce. In Essex County where I live now, there’s a farmer’s market every day of the week in each different town.

I’ll be getting back to my usual cooking and posting recipes here, but for now I wanted to share a taste of my recent trip to the market.

Talk to you soon!

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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  1. I adore your photos – such fresh produce!! great final product too xxxxx

  2. Karen, I also grew up in New Jersey ~ right outside of Princeton. So I know for a fact that it is indeed the Garden State. Whenever I visit my parents, I always stop in at Terhune Orchard for corn, tomatoes or apples–whatever happens to be in season. Your photos are lovely. Good luck with the transition and welcome back to your home state.

    1. Hi Domenica, thanks! I grew up in RI, close enough to where I am now, but I never made it here as a kid. I have a lot to explore, which is very exciting. I’ll have to check out Terhune when I venture that way.

  3. Oh, I just can not tell you how glad I am to see you back. I figured the move was all consuming. From the look of this work, you are home now! My, but this is an absolute inspiration. What glorious shots, and how grand to have a market that sells produce like this. Welcome home, amica!

    1. Adri, it’s been a longer time away than I imagined. I’m glad to be getting settled and back to connecting over delicious topics!

  4. So glad to see you back online!


  5. Neia Santiago says:

    Hey, welcome back. I miss your writing, you have a great website.

  6. Welcome back to New Jersey. The farmers markets have been great this summer I’m in Summit we have an amazing market on Sundays!