What are your favorite ingredients and tools? Anything that grows in our backyard garden—especially fresh herbs. Also, being grounded at home with my family makes my food happy and keeps me wanting to cook. Of course we have plenty of nights where we are in a hurry just to get something edible on the table, but when I have time and ease in the kitchen with my family, there's nothing better. My husband, Paul, and I have been together for 20 years and cooking together has always meant contentment. And I have to say, that man is a ninja when it comes to chopping. Now the kids are in the mix and I love it. They are definitely seduced by the power of cooking a recipe themselves, and I smile when I catch them playing with food in a spontaneous, organic way. My 10-year-old daughter Lilah will meander through the backyard nibbling and picking an odd mix of herbs for her own salad dressing. Or Otis, my 13-year-old, will whip up a pomegranate salsa with rosemary—tasting, adjusting and adding to his concoction. They seem to be finding their own joy in the kitchen. In terms of tools… I cherish sharp knives, cast iron pans, good olive oil, Maldon sea salt flakes, Meyer lemons, aged Parmesan, my lemon zester, and handmade cutting boards from Blackcreek Mercantile.