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Hey Everyone! My name is Julianne and I’m going to be one of the regular contributors here to the Lasagna Love Blog. Some quick facts about me:

  • I live in New Hampshire with my husband, Chris, and our 6-year-old cat, Freya.
  • My top loves are my family and friends, food, travel, and every single dog that I meet.
  • I have also been known to do a lot of reading, stained glass, playing of video games, driving, and gardening in my spare time.
  • I LOVE fresh herbs! Last summer alone, I had over 50 pots of various herbs growing on our balcony.
  • I have spent most of my time thus far during the pandemic in my kitchen, looking for new recipes and trying them out.

Like so many other Lasagna Love Mamas and Papas, over the past year I really wanted to find a way to help other people in my community and beyond, but I hadn’t found a really involved way of doing so beyond donating food and household items to shelters and food pantries. When I saw someone post about Lasagna Love on Facebook, I immediately knew that I wanted to be part of it. I’ve been in this group since November and it has really meant a lot to me so I’m thrilled that I can share my writing with you all now, too! You’ll see posts by me on here about Lasagna Love events, as well as this group’s overall mission: spreading kindness. I’ll also be featuring recipes by our Lasagna Mamas and Papas, and occasionally my own! If you have a great recipe of your own that you’d like to have featured, feel free to tag me in a post on Facebook!

Cooking for Lasagna Love has been the perfect blend of two of my instincts: helping people and cooking. My history of volunteer work started with my mom. When I was growing up, we would go with the Women’s Guild from our church to volunteer at food pantries and homeless shelters. There was one shelter in particular that we visited a few years in a row around the holidays to bring them presents and cookies and sing Christmas Carols.

Later, when I was 20 and home from college over the summer, my mom was working as the Meal Site Manager at our town’s senior center and she encouraged me to volunteer to be a Meals on Wheels driver. For the next few years, I delivered meals to senior citizens in our town whenever I was home from school. I have loved cooking since my early twenties and my motivation for doing so has evolved over the years. I love to create as many elements of a recipe as I can from scratch, but I also won’t hesitate to use something from a box, can, jar, or freezer when I’m in a pinch. I first started experimenting with cooking for myself when I would come home from college to work on weekends, and it became a way for me to feel less lonely in an empty house. Being able to make a hot, homemade meal for myself always made me feel happy and less alone. I still cook to feel less lonely when I’m missing my family and friends, but cooking has now also become an outlet for my creativity and sharing my cooking with others has become a way for me to connect with people. I can’t think of a better way to contribute my time to this movement than to help share kindness, news, and great recipes with everyone so please stay tuned for more to come soon! I so look forward to getting to know you all through recipes and more!

Thanks for reading!

Julianne Gengler