Alyssa Zoellner

Connecticut born, Columbus living. I discovered my love of cooking like most people do, helping my parents in the kitchen. My mom is an experimenter in the kitchen. I have very early memories of being her helper in the kitchen, starting with our family food traditions like blenukas, a Lithuanian crêpe, to making pie dough at Thanksgiving, and always letting me craft something new. My dad on the other hand, always replicates a tried and true recipe, like Monday night chicken, comprised of a crispy spiced skin a top a juicy bone in chicken breast usually served with rice pilaf and steamed green beans, or his famous pesto pasta complete with spicy shrimp and sausage.

On both sides of my family I am fortunate to have food traditions. Like Polish pierogis with my Great Aunt Vic that were a day long family affair complete with scarves a top our heads and dough stuck to our fingers. These recipes you only learn by making with a family member. Recipes that are rarely written down and are measured by the eye and hand. Recipes made with love.

So on December 23, 2019, after losing my corporate job in a mass layoff and not knowing what to do, I turned my attention back to what makes me whole: sharing a meal with my family. Enter – Cooking in the Hills. A collection of recipes, stories, and photos, from my home to yours. Enjoy!