Tim and Victor

Hi there!  My name is Tim and this is what I do in my spare time.  It’s mostly me talking about what we had for dinner, but it’s also a fun place to gather a recipe or two and glimpse a picture of that dinner, too.

Victor, my husband of 29+ years, and I cook at home almost every night of the week.  Almost. We do go out hitting local brew pubs and neighborhood watering holes for fun food and lively libations, now and again. The lively libations are usually a local Hazy beer on tap and either Jameson or Jack Daniel’s neat. If it’s a bit of a fancier restaurant, martinis are often in order – Vodka for Victor and Gin for me. We both love food, love to eat, and have a great time together in the kitchen or just sharing a meal somewhere.

I started out in a small donut and pastry shop in San Francisco, circa 1961. I was a little kid with a Saturday morning job washing sheet pans for 2 hours for the baker. As I grew, the hours grew, the baker, Hans, took me under his wing, and I stayed there through Jr High School, learning how to make Danish Pastry, decorate cakes, make donuts, fry-cook, work a counter, cashier, and all sorts of fun things.

In the ensuing years, I cooked and baked in Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club on the USS Ranger and at bases throughout San Diego. I also worked in restaurants all over San Francisco and Lake Tahoe’s North Shore (with a brief stint in Portland, OR) before leaving the professional cooking end of things and getting into Hotel Food and Beverage Management.

I spent close to 14 years in the hotel business, first cooking, and then opening hotels all over the USofA, returned home to San Francisco in 1989 where I got into health care – first at San Francisco General Hospital, and then at The University of California San Francisco for about 8 years. I moved to a small hospital in San Leandro, CA for a couple of years as Director of Nutrition Services before we moved to Pennsylvania, in 2001.

In Pennsylvania, I went to work for Trader Joe’s for a lark until I found a real job. My lark lasted almost 17 years. I loved the company – but I love retirement even more!

Victor bartended is some of Philadelphia’s finer and noteworthy establishments and went on to own his own restaurant in Philadelphia’s South Street, spent several years in Atlantic City hotels, and, after moving to San Francisco with me, got into the travel industry. He’s also an accomplished cook, leaning heavily on his Italian heritage to create fabulous meals.  His Monday Pasta Night is out of this world.

The name of the site – tjrecipes – started out as a recipe site for Trader Joe’s in Wayne, PA. A wonderful friend, Ruth, and I were the Demo Duo – we did the demo cooking for many years and this was an easy way to share the recipes we were creating. Sadly, the corporate office didn’t take kindly to a rogue site out there using their name and logo and wanted me to take it down. Being the rather stubborn person that I am, I chose to not take it down, removed all direct references to Trader Joe’s, and rebranded the site as Totally Joyous Recipes. I brought on family reunion cookbooks, a heart-healthy cookbook a friend from UCSF wrote, and my Mom’s cookbooks. Next added were recipes from family and friends, Little Gram’s cookbook – my sister-in-law’s grandmother – and… and… and…

There are now eleven cookbooks and/or recipe collections on the site as well as the blog – and many of those aforementioned TJ recipes we created..  It’s a labor of love.  No ads except for the occasional political stuff since we’re both left-leaning liberals – but no click here and save stuff.  Just fun recipes from some pretty fun family and friends.

In September, 2020 – during the Pandemic and before vaccinations – we packed up and moved back west. To Oregon.

New home, new garden beds, a cherry tree and a plum tree…  New local ingredients…

Life is good.

You can contact me at: Tim@TJRecipes.com