About Allison

I grew up in the restaurant business since I was 10 years old. My mom and dad built a restaurant in the 1970s next door to our home in the little town of Dexter (population 3500). T.J.’s Family Restaurant was well received by the area and our family quickly became family to many. Years later I married my co-worker and best friend Brian. We moved to Manchester, NH, where Brian attended culinary school and I attended hairdressing school. After I graduated we moved back to Maine just in time to work at my dad’s next restaurant, T.J.’s Giant Grinder and Pizza Shop. I worked at the pizza shop while having two wonderful children – my first, Eric, is now 24 and my second, Courtney, is now 21. I am now a bookkeeper at a whole different type of business. We own a scrap metal recycling facility and I work there as a support system for my husband. I also meditate and read books on Metaphysical studies. At this point in my life I feel my job is to do whatever I can to help people, to educate where I can and to be a compassionate and caring individual. It is really a difficult job to be conscious of everything we think, say, and do. But it’s really important, and I work at bringing awareness to this part of our world. I may begin to share with you the inspirational and informative books that I read and information that can be of great value to you.

My husband and I are huge fans of many bands, one in particular is Dave Matthews Band. We see as many concerts as we can now that our kids are grown and on their own. Life truly feels like it has just begun for us. We are so glad that we had our children at the ripe young age of 21 and 22. We are still young enough to have fun. Sometimes our kids get mad because we do so much. We tell them, hard work and dedication pays off. My dream in my years ahead is to go on the road with Brian for DMB and cook our food for the band and families of the band and rock out to every concert. Really, it is!

We were then approached to open up the restaurant my father and mother had built in the 1970s, T.J.’s Family Restaurant. We did at the ripe ages of 25 and 26 years old. It was a very difficult thing to run a restaurant when you haven’t fully matured. We grew up pretty fast, and we had some pretty big shoes to fill, though we did it pretty well. It was rewarding, challenging, discouraging, and frustrating. It was a love-hate relationship, but some of the fondest memories of our lives came from that restaurant. We had no choice but to make the same items day in and day out. The menu was the menu and there really wasn’t time to be creative; we were the cooks and we didn’t have money to hire a professional chef. Despite that, we always changed the menu every year (for the sake of all involved).

Now I cook because I want to and I do it for who I want. These recipes are important to our family and to the people who have been frequenting our restaurant over the years.

If you are one of our faithful customers (and friends), I hope I can bring back some memories when you make these recipes and replace something that has been missing for years.

-Allison

10 thoughts on “About Allison

  1. Man, I miss TJ’s , I remember when it first Opened .. The Food, The People .. Was all great! Thank you Allison for sharing your thoughts and Recipes …Now I can cook some food (not like you guys) and go down Memory lane … Thanks 🙂

  2. I love that you are doing this Allison! I remember walking with you downtown Dexter to the little pizza shop at the end of main street (I think it was your sisters) afterschool sometimes! I loved “TJ’s” when your family owned it and even when I brought my now husband there years later where we were waited on by Courtney and you, Brian and your Son were cooking away! What a gem it was for the town of Dexter! Love to you and your family and happy cooking…I also have a love of cooking and just love browsing your pictures and recipes. Happy blogging and cooking!! Laurie

    • Thanks Laurie, I remember those days well. And, the days I spent at your home as well. “The Italian Kitchen” our little pizza shop. Fun times!
      It was always so great to see you guys on your summer visits. It was really awesome having our entire family, working together. We all had a love of people and cooking and still do. Eric and Courtney both have a natural talent in the kitchen, she may even start her own blog or post her creations on mine. Thanks Laurie, for all the kind words. Your support is inspiring!

  3. Congratulations Ally…you are a giving and priceless lady and I’m so pleased you are doing this. Your making lots and lots of people happy! Proud to be a part of your large extended family whom I fell in love with from day one! So happy you married my son…for many reasons, but the food trip has been especially glorious!! lol

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes! I can’t wait to start making some flavors of home! I will start with the cheese dip! Love that stuff!!

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