Oh hi!

I’m Nicole (Leggio), the blogger behind all of the recipes, photographs and words splattered around Cooking for Keeps. I am beyond excited that you found us, and on top of that want to learn a little bit of me and what we do here.

About Cooking for Keeps

I love to eat. And I love to eat EVERYTHING, so here you’ll find a hodgepodge of recipes I love to make, and of course, love to eat. Just like anyone else, I indulge some days, and eat healthy other days. Some days I feel like making easy meals that require only five ingredients, like this Five Ingredient Spaghetti and Meatballs, other days, I want to cook all day long, and use less common in ingredients like saffron and curry paste. Some days I feel like savory, and some days I feel like sweet. You get the point, there’s no niche here, I just aim at sharing delicious recipes that inspire you to get in the kitchen.

If you’re looking for a specific level of skill, we have conveniently labeled and categorized all recipes, easy, medium, and hard, so you can take your pick.

A little bit more about me, personally.

First and foremost, I blog because cooking is my passion, and not just a passion that I acquired as an adult, but a passion that has been in the forefront of my life since around five years old. Yep, at five years old I fell in love with cooking after I got my first Barbie Bake Oven, and not one of those Easy Bake Ovens that came with a package mix; Barbie’s baked goods were the real deal, and used real ingredients – my friend Meghan and I made a mean Ken’s Deep Dish Pizza.

But! Let me back up for a second, I really have to attribute my love of cooking to my Mom, because she was (and is) a wonderful cook. As a kid I watched and helped her in the kitchen, and from day one, I couldn’t get enough. She gifted me with my first Barbie Bake Oven, and from that point on; I was a gal on a food-driven mission. As a seven-year-old little girl, I can remember whipping up homemade crab cakes for my parent’s holiday parties. When I was in high school, I was teaching my friends how to make eggs benedict and biscuits and gravy from scratch. And when I was in college, I was inviting friends over for full-on Thanksgiving meals, with everything made by yours truly.

My plan was always to go to business school, followed by culinary school, with the ultimate goal of opening a restaurant. However, I realized early on that I wanted a family, and wanted to be as present as possible, so I just wouldn’t be able to make a restaurant career work, so instead, cooking became a passion.

While in college, I was creating all of my own recipes, and documenting them, and started hearing about this little thing called a food blog. I started following my first food blog shortly after I graduated, A Cozy Kitchen, and after a year or so of acquiring more blogs I loved, realized that a food blog would be the perfect place to store all of my recipes I’d been creating over the years, and on top of that, with a lot of hard work, I could maybe even make a little bit of extra money. Win, win.

I published my first post on May 15, 2012, and haven’t looked back since.

Initially my goal was to just make enough money to pay for fun little extras like vacations, fancy purses, and shoes (because priorities), but over time, I started to make enough to potentially leave my desk job and pursue the blog full-time. I made the switch in May of 2015, and luckily, the timing was perfect because we were preparing to welcome our son, Teddy into our lives, and this would allow me to be at home with him every single day. It’s been 10 months since he’s come in to our lives, and while I have slowed down just a touch on the blog, I’m still 100% committed to bringing delicious recipes to you every week.

Thank you so much for all of the support, and I hope you continue to visit as often as possible!

If you’d like to chat (I’d love to!), please see my Contact Me page! If you have any questions about starting a blog, please click here. If you would like to work with us in some capacity, please click here.