Hello and thanks for stopping by! I’ve had this blog for over seven years now, but only just recently made the switch to WordPress.

My name is Katy and, though once upon a time I lived in Berkeley, CA, where I earned a Ph.D. in Russian Literature (and whence the name of this blog was born), I now live in Newark, DE (long, but simple story) with my husband and beagle, Elektra. Despite the provenance of this blog, I am no longer an academic who spends most of her days with Dostoevsky–after eleven years of immersing myself in all things Slavic, I decided it was time to shift course and find a new calling–but work as a legal researcher at a small law firm in San Francisco. Given that I live in Delaware, I am now one of those supposedly lucky people who works from home and inspires envy, although I promise you that this isn’t nearly as exciting as it seems. I have always liked to say that few things in this world are permanent, so it’s only a matter of time before we see what is next…


While I come from a family in which food was always important–and was always good–I didn’t start cooking, truly cooking, until graduate school. I baked muffins and cupcakes for my classes, especially for the days when I had presentations, and I also cooked as a way of relaxing in the evenings. Surprisingly, I found that I liked it, so I started doing it more. By the time I passed my qualifying exams, it seemed only right that I should start a food blog to chronicle my adventures in the kitchen–my adventures both with dining and Dostoevsky (Dostoevsky was the reason I got into Slavic studies to begin with and, even though my work didn’t focus on him, you might say he’s one of the leading men in my literary life).



And then the Greek, my sidekick and sous chef extraordinaire, came along and, both because of and through him, long Greek words and foods started making their way onto the menu–seriously, even my grandma now makes baklava. So, really, on this blog, you get a mix of Mediterranean flavors, family recipes from the heart of southwestern Pennsylvania, simple Californian-inspired fare and whatever just happens to strike my fancy either on our various travels or in cookbooks and cooking magazines. While baking originally stole my heart, I also like playing with savory flavors. I’ve recently become interested in Persian cooking, started making my own pasta and jam and continue to work on my fantasy of baking a lot of bread. Most importantly, I will never say no to ice cream.
As a final note, the above picture of me was taken on the beautiful island of Milos several summers ago. I just want to point out two things: Firstly, I do not normally look this glamorous; secondly, I do not normally drink Coca-Cola. Although you would never know it thanks to the fact that I become more photogenic with a fever, in this picture I had just left the small island health center, where the doctor had recommended that I drink Coca-Cola to settle my stomach. The nurse also suggested that I buy a hat. As you can see, I followed their orders to the letter.

P.S. Once upon a time, I was part of the Blogher network. Late last year (2013), I decided to leave it because I didn’t really care for the products being advertised on my blog, nor did I feel that ads really made sense for a small blog like mine. In any case, I’m happy to be independent and ad-free again. I buy all of the food and books featured on this blog and my endorsements and expressed interests are wholly mine.

If you want to contact me about a recipe or with any questions, you can reach me at diningwithdusty@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

15 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi katy! My name is Dylan and I work at Panera bread in lil ol' Mansfield Ohio where I actually happened to meet your aunt kathy! She's such a nice lady we got to talking about the fact that I love culinary and cooking and such and she told me about this blog of her nieces that I must read! So here I am! It looks great just by the pictures so excited to start reading through all of it!! Best wishes and as julia child always said “Bon Appetite!”

  2. Hi, Dylan and thanks for writing! What a small world that you should have met my Aunt Kathy; I agree that it's definitely a small world!

    Hope you enjoy the blog and thanks so much for stopping by!

    Best wishes to you, too, and sending lots of Julia Child good culinary vibes your way! 🙂

  3. Hello!

    I just saw your blog on the FB page about the Mediterranean food, and Dostoevsky, of course, attracted my attention:)
    I was born and raised in Serbia and Russian literature has a special place in my heart:) My daughter is a senior at Berkeley, majoring in Slavic Studies, History and Human Rights (Russian is her foreign language of choice:) She has many Russian friends and a Ukrainian boyfriend:) She is also one of the editors of “Troika”. Ronelle Alexander is her advisor and she has taken every one of her classes.
    It was a great pleasure to meet you and your blog! I am looking forward to reading more:) Best luck with your studies:)

  4. Lana, hello! Thank you so much for stopping by and for commenting! What a small world (как сказал Толстой, мир тесен!)! I'm sure I must have met your daughter, at least in passing (I attended the “Troika” launch party last year)!

    And I'm so glad to hear that you like what you've seen here; it's always nice to meet a reader!

    Best wishes and perhaps I'll even meet you at the Slavic graduation reception this year since I'll most likely be graduating!

  5. Hi Katya,

    Thanks for sharing your blog with me.

    Sending you a link to the book I mentioned today, Book of Tofu: http://books.google.com/books?id=7rmfYjEYyu8C&pg=PA317&lpg=PA317&dq=book+of+tofu+anthropology&source=bl&ots=b3Z_9ZyuDp&sig=aXIxyIm6_8XM7rLWMSMuVwL6vBw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uWSbUMyQIMXciQKl0YDABQ&ved=0CFoQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=book%20of%20tofu%20anthropology&f=false

    It was published in the 80s when tofu was first becoming a 'thing' in the US. It contains little gems of insight into Japanese country/rural life. Great illustrations too.


  6. Hi Katy,

    I am not exactly sure how I found your blog but I am certainly glad I did. Can you tell me what kind of Camera you use to shoot with?

  7. Lisa, thanks so much for the tip! I'll have to look this book up or maybe get it out of the library. And I always like a cookbook with illustrations. 🙂

  8. Hi Pippylou9! I'm also glad you found my blog; it's always nice when people stop by and leave a comment. I'm always happy to know that people are reading!

    As for the camera I use, it's a Canon Rebel T3 with an 18-55mm lens. I haven't even had it for a year, but I really love this camera. It took some getting used to, though; in the past, I had only used a point and shoot.

  9. Hi, Lisa!! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet comment! Glad you enjoy my blog! And, should you be inspired to try the parsley juice, I hope you like it!

  10. HI Katy, I just stumbled on your blog yesterday and wanted to let you know that I really enjoy reading your writing and recipes. I love the simplicity of a simple blogspot blog. I am online most days and it's been a while since I have visited somewhere simple where the words and thoughts were still present, not overtaken by fancy layouts, oodles of design and boxes to click and empty words written simply to 'generate content'. It's nice to find actual content and I share your experience of sitting down, reading through old essays from along the academic path and the missing of it, yet also the relief of not participating in the strange rat-race mentality that infiltrated education which should exist purely for the sake of knowledge.. Nice to meet you. I am even considering typing my email in the above 'subscribe' box and I NEVER EVER anymore subscribe to anything because my email inbox is so unbelievably overladen with material that every day opening it is an ordeal… But I like your thoughts that you share. Dilemma.. I hope to meet again in this virtual cafe. (I always think of any place where people meet as bohemian cafe)

  11. Birgit, first of all, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. Reading it, I felt like I had met a kindred spirit–one who wants blogs to be about ideas, rather than sponsored products, and one who also shares my concerns about the turn the field of education has taken. I hope that you will stop by again!!

    I like the idea of a blog being a virtual cafe of sorts; I think that's a pretty accurate comparison. Nice meeting you, too!

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