This is my dining room. Which somehow turned into my office, bookshelf, the kids computer room (they were playing a game on Star Wars website) and place for placing miscellaneous doo-dads that you never want found again. The stacks and stacks of cookbooks are essential, while the specific titles on the table change week by week (depends on what I’m cooking), I’m never without inspiration or reference at my fingertips.


It’s not the most ergonomic office situation, but it provides me with an eagle’s eye view on my children, who can cause mischief faster than you can flick whipped cream on the ceiling.

This spot also is just 3 steps away from my front door, my kitchen and my bedroom. In case I need to greet the UPS guy who brings me new cookbooks every day, check on a dish simmering on the stove or go take a nap.

I love working at home.

Well, I’m about to bring my office on the road for three weeks on book tour. I’ve never been away from the kidlets and husband for that long, and I’ve certainly never been that long without my stacks and stacks of cookbooks that I love so much.

steamy-kitchen-book-tour-33So now, I’ve got to decide what’s the best way to work on the go, and I’m thinking that a towering stack of cookbooks might not be wise to pack. Nor is that hideous tropical-ishy fake-flower centerpiece that I assembled together when we first moved in this empty, bare-walled house 7 years ago. After unpacking, I ran to Michael’s craft store armed with a 40% off coupon, all panicked because our house lacked character and hastily started grabbing random stems, bunched them together, stuck them in a vase and …..ta-da! HIDEOUSNESS ERUPTED. Now, that’s character.

For my trip, I can’t pack my kids. They’ve got school, the education system is so strict that if they miss a day of school and they’re not infected with the snifflin’ nasties, they’d get expelled, flunk kindergarten and never ever learn how to tie their shoes. Then I’d probably have to home-school them. Which means the boys would never get a proper education because all I’d probably do would be to teach them how to fluff and fold, empty the dishwasher and take the garbage out. All the stuff that I hate to do, but are essential lessons of domestic engineering.

I’ll have to leave them all behind (the boys, my husband, hideousness and the books).

So that leaves me with my laptop, a camera and you.

Are you in Los Angeles, San Francisco or Seattle? I’ll be teaching at Sur La Table in those cities. I’d love to see you.

Steamy Kitchen Sur La Table Cooking Classes

I’m so excited to have these classes at Sur La Table – I’ll be showing you how to make Vietnamese Summer Rolls, Firecracker Shrimp, Chinese Sausage Fried Rice, Pan Fried Tofu with Dark Sweet Soy and Chocolate Wontons. Space is limited, I think only 18 spots per location!



Los Angeles

Tuesday November 3rd at 6:30pm $69.00
Sur La Table (323) 954-0121
The Original Farmer’s Market
Los Angeles, California 90036
Sign up for the class

San Francisco

Saturday November 7rd at 6:00pm $69.00
Sur La Table (415) 732-7900
Union Square
San Francisco, California 94108
Sign up for the class


Tuesday November 10th at 6:30pm $69.00
Sur La Table (425) 827-5541
90 Central Way
Kirkland, Washington 98033
Sign up for the class


p.s. Thank you to my friend Carrie for snapping those shots of my office!