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about Spree

My name is Antoinette, though many call me Ani, and some call me Spree. Years ago, a joy overtook me in the kitchen. It all began with the beauty of the raw foods themselves, straight from the ground or the vine or the tree. That beauty leaves me giddy at times, and reaching for my camera.  The joy continues in the simple, and sometimes mesmerizing, processes of the kitchen – the washing, stirring, sifting, chopping – that bring me sweetly back down to earth. The ultimate joy though in working and playing with food comes when we finally put what’s been made onto a plate and  bring it to the table for some dear someone.

For  all the hands, and for all the thoughts and labors of those who’ve played a part in

putting love on our table,

I am so

deeply thankful.

. . .

 The photography in these pages is my own. Some of the recipes have been handed down; others found (I’ve got a bit of a cookbook fetish); and others seem to have found me while at play in the kitchen.   It’s my delight to share these recipes with you. You’re invited to leave a comment, or email me at

I so look forward to hearing from you!

. . .

If you’d like to be notified by email when new posts are published, simply click on the “sign me up” button found in the right hand column or at the bottom of the blog. (Your name isn’t publicized or shared, and you won’t be bugged for any other purpose! Promise!)

 . . .

Some have asked for a photo of Spree, so for you, here…..

Can you guess which one is Spree?


a NOTE on Awards:

Though I appreciate so very much the sentiments behind  blogging awards I find that I can no longer accept them. I’ve learned that the time required to fulfill the obligations contained in them is simply too great for the time I have.  Although I feel profoundly complimented by the nominations, please know that your kind comments are my truest reward!


Spree loves your words!

50 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ashley #

    You’ve got a gift, Spree! I always love reading what you’ve got going in the kitchen and in your heart. Thank you for the vulnerability, light and meaning you bring to all you write. There’s none like you. Keep ’em coming. xoxo

    May 23, 2011
  2. They look like a gaggle of Sprees!

    May 25, 2011
  3. Your meals look delicious and your photography is beautiful. I wish I could cook but I have problems focusing on one project at a time. The only times I’m able to cook whole meals without burning it is when it’s chaotic in the house. Then, and only then, can I block everything out and focus on one thing. Since my life is chaotic but not to the point that I’d be able to cook a decent meal – I married a cook 🙂

    Looking forward to reading your posts – past and present

    December 29, 2011
    • Thanks for your comments, Wendy! What a smart girl, marrying a cook! 😉

      December 30, 2011
  4. Deb schneider #

    Another priceless photo of you & your “littles”. I love experiencing your life through “spree”.

    January 21, 2012
  5. I have only found your blog today and I am so glad I did.
    I am in love with your photography and styling and I look forward to exploring more

    January 24, 2012
  6. Just found your blog today! I’ve got a fledgling cooking blog myself and this site gives me something to aspire to! Thanks! 🙂 -cfc

    February 2, 2012
    • Oh how sweet! Heading to take a look at your fledgling now! 😉

      February 2, 2012
  7. Thanks for great blog Spree! I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award – here are the details! Cheers! Shira

    March 4, 2012
    • Shira, I appreciate your nomination so much! I was nominated late last Fall though and couldn’t possibly put readers through it again! 😉 Thank you so much for the kind thought and gesture!

      March 5, 2012
  8. I really enjoy reading your blog. I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! And although I know that you are familiar with the award, as a beginner blogger I had to recognize my favorite and most inspiring blogs.


    April 2, 2012
  9. Hi Antoinette/Spree
    I absolutely love what you’re doing here so I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Keep up the fantastic work

    April 23, 2012
    • Fiona, I so appreciate the compliment and the nomination!! I was nominated last Fall so don’t want to bore my readers by responding again, but I appreciate your gesture none the less!! Thanks so much, and keep up the good work at Big Hungry Gnomes! 🙂

      April 23, 2012
      • Hello Antoinette
        I just thought I would let you know that my blog has moved and is now Unfortunately, if you want to remain subscribed to my blog, you will have re-subscribe to this new address. I realise this is a little bit of a nuisance but I would really appreciate your continuing support and interest in my blog

        August 12, 2012
  10. Antoinette! Are you ever going to do a book? Muah!

    June 19, 2012
  11. What a beautiful blog you have! I love your pictures and your styling!

    July 31, 2012
    • Thank you so much for leaving these kind words. I just paid a visit to your site, and it’s simply lovely!

      July 31, 2012
  12. Hey Spree, I’ve just nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award and The Versatile Blogger Award! I so enjoy following your blog, and it’s my pleasure to introduce more people to it. To see my comments about your blog and the criteria for accepting the nominations, please visit❦-very-inspiring-blogger-and-the-versatile-blogger/

    September 13, 2012
    • Mar – I feel so very complimented by your nomination…and by the kind words you spoke on your blog! You’ll see in my post today that we’re leaving the country for a few weeks. As grateful as I am for your kindness, I won’t be able to fulfill the requirements. Please know though, that I love your blog and am touched that you enjoy mine! 🙂 xo

      September 14, 2012
      • I was expecting that not everyone would be able to accept the nominations, but to me the most important thing was this forum to recognize inspiring bloggers, like yourself, and help introduce them to others. I’m just pleased you were happy to receive the nomination. Not to mention I’m so happy to hear you enjoy my blog; obviously the feeling is mutual! I never really expected my little piece of the blogosphere to mean so much to me!

        Have a wonderful, wonderful trip. I’m guessing maybe there’ll be a few pictures to look at when you return? 😃 Happy travels.

        September 14, 2012
  13. Hello. I have nominated you for the Versatile Bloggers Award. Thank you for creating a wonderful blog.
    Here’s the link:

    September 27, 2012
  14. I’ve nominated you for the Super Sweet Award. You can find out more details and see my comment about your blog here: . I enjoy your blog and was happy to tell others about it!

    October 22, 2012
    • Mar, you’e so kind to have passed the award on to me! My true sincere thanks – and too, Congratulations to YOU! 🙂

      October 27, 2012
  15. What a delightful blog. I love your story about the bird but could not find where to comment. I liked this story to a poem of mine on Source of Inspiration. Thanks! hugs, pat

    October 29, 2012
    • Thanks very much Pat for the kind words!

      October 29, 2012
  16. After having looked through a few of your recent posts, I can say, definitely, you provide much love with your food offerings and thoughts. I wish I had your talent! Will be Following, definitely. :O)

    November 6, 2012
    • You are so kind! Thank you so very much Janina!

      November 16, 2012
  17. Ani, Only want to inform you that I have nominated you to “The Blog of the Year 2012” Award. Have a great weekend. –

    December 15, 2012
    • Viveka…I’m honored! Thank you so much! And congratulations to you too for sharing such beautiful work on your own blog!! I’m glad to be following you! 🙂

      December 18, 2012
      • Thank you so much for your kind words … they landed straight in my software – I like your world too. *smile

        December 18, 2012
  18. Ani, congratulations!!! I’ve nominated you for the Reality Blog and Sensual Blogging Awards. Your photos are always stunning, simply stunning!!!! 🙂

    December 17, 2012
    • Danny, what a huge and kind compliment!! Thank you so much! (And cheers to you too for the recognition! I enjoy following you!)

      December 18, 2012
  19. I know that you don’t do the awards circuit, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve given your blog a shout out over at my little food making and blogging venture:

    Thanks for all your hard work. Best wishes!

    January 31, 2013
  20. Dear Spree,
    I love the simplistic childlike innocence and joy that you derive from preparing food right from picking it from the garden to cooking and sharing it with your family. This is indeed a gift that we have forsaken. To derive immense joy from the simple things in life is to discover the beauty that is inherent in life.
    Take great care and God bless you and your family.

    February 14, 2013
    • Thank you SO very much Konstantine! That comment really touched me, a sweet arrow straight to the heart! May blessings fall on you like a gentle rain and may joy abound!

      February 14, 2013
      • Dearest Spree, the pleasure and honour are mine indeed. To be able to sense beauty and purity in others is that which I constantly look for, because I choose to believe that there is inherent beauty in each and every person. It is your comment that has been a blessing to myself and for which I’m grateful.
        God bless you in every way

        February 14, 2013
        • There you go, making my day again. 🙂 Thank you deeply for leaving such lovely words behind!! Words like yours make such a difference!

          February 20, 2013
  21. Found you through Bartolini Kitchens. Anyone who makes preserved lemons captures my interest. (I’m a fan of Moroccan food).

    March 20, 2013
  22. You take stunning pictures! I’m suddenly feeling very hungry. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to looking over your recipes!


    May 21, 2013
    • Thank you so much Kelsey! That compliment and your sudden “hunger” are a song to my heart. 🙂

      May 23, 2013
  23. johncpicardi #

    Lovely blog, thanks for checking out mine… looking forward to reading more of you posts! Thank you, John 🙂

    June 25, 2013
  24. Glad to be in your page . your recipes delicious and your picture are beautiful 🙂

    July 23, 2013
    • So kind of you! Thank you!

      July 26, 2013
  25. I love your blog and have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award and another Blogger of the Year Award. Here’s my post in case you’d like to participate & pass on the recognition:

    December 2, 2013
  26. I am so glad I stumbled on to your blog! You have amazing recipes and beautiful photos. ❤

    December 6, 2013
    • Why thank you so much! It’s a pleasure to see you here!

      December 6, 2013
  27. Hi!!! Came across your blog just now and enjoyed exploring it. Yummy recipes you have… Happy to connect 🙂 See you sometime @!!!

    April 20, 2014
  28. loved your Moroccan Orange Salad with Red Onions & Black Olives – I slightly modified it with shallots rather than red onions, and kalamata olives rather than black olives. 🙂

    March 6, 2016
    • Thanks for letting me know! I’ve used kalamatas and milder green olives with this too and like them all. Again, nice of you to let me know you enjoyed it! 🙂

      March 8, 2016

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