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Paul and Molly

Back in 1995, we decided to publish a book of recipes that included old family recipes handed down from our mothers and other favorite recipes from friends, cookbooks and magazines as well as some original recipes that we developed ourselves. We intended to use them as holiday gifts that winter, but it didn’t happen. Books don’t happen easily and it was another year before we finally had it together. We printed about a hundred of them for our family and friends in 1996.

As the years went by, we would get inquiries from friends and nephews and nieces as to when there would be a new release. Meanwhile, we continued our search for great recipes and learned a lot about food and cooking. In 2009 we decided that a website would be fun to do since we could post our collection to share with family and friends and expand it to include techniques, resources and news. A year later, we have the first incarnation of cookingwithmolly.com. We have tried to give credit where credit is due or known and have provided links to the cookbooks that have inspired us over the years. We appreciate the efforts of all the cooks that have shared their recipes with us.

We plan to grow this website with more recipes, techniques and other resources as we go. We also welcome contributions from our food loving friends and family who have shared meals and recipes over the years. Just sign up and start cooking!

~Molly Johnston and Paul Mills, San Francisco 2010

Paul and Molly's Cookbook Cover

Introduction from the Paul and Molly’s Cookbook, 1996

A Note from Molly

While growing up, my mom, Jennie Johnston, was a constant source of great food. She enthusiastically tried many new recipes and wouldn’t let us get away from the table without at least trying each new recipe. Because of this, we children all grew up with an open mind towards food and cooking. I spent many fun hours with my mom going through magazines looking for the perfect recipes. The ones we found ended up in the first handwritten tried and true cookbook. Many of the recipes in this book come from Mom’s “tried and true cookbook” which included recipes from my grandmother, Helen Janusz. From both of them I learned the basic truism about cooking: “use the best ingredients you can find and don’t ruin them!” My catering business provided an excellent opportunity to try dozens of new recipes for the many business luncheons and hors d’oeurve parties I catered over a 10-year period. The results of this research are best reflected in the appetizer, salad, sandwich and dessert sections.
Paul and I, who enjoy cooking together, decided to compile this book in order to organize all our favorite recipes into one book. We hope this will provide a valuable source of recipes for you as well. Please let us know which recipes you like the best or if you have any difficulties. Comments and criticisms are welcome. Happy Cooking!
~Molly Johnston, San Francisco, 1996

A Note from Paul

I grew up in a family where mealtime was an integral part of our family life. My mother, Trulah Mills, insisted on proper table settings, good manners, no TV, and most importantly, nutritious food.
My life is filled with wonderful dining experiences with friends and family. These include holiday dinners when the family gathered together and shared our recent experiences over a warm meal, romantic dinners for two with candlelight and wine, bowls of soothing broth when I had the flu, potluck theme parties and many more.
I thank my mother for teaching me the value of regular homemade meals and for opening my palette to foods of the world when she made sukiyaki in our home in Idaho. After I joined my sister, Beverly, in San Francisco, my exposure to new foods took a quantum leap as she introduced me to many more world cuisines and taught me recipes that could keep a bachelor alive and impress a pretty girl like Molly. She also taught me that candlelight was appropriate almost every night.
My sisters, Glenna and Deborah, who both have lived with me, share the family’s love of a good meal and conversation. Glenna and I also lived by the maxim: The one who cooks does not wash dishes. Deborah taught me the health benefits of a good diet that emphasizes vegetables and fruit.

When I met Molly, our mutual love of good food played a major role in our decision to marry and we have enjoyed many years of grocery shopping, meal preparation and dining. When Molly ran her catering business, my exposure to new foods took another quantum leap. Molly was constantly trying new recipes to expand her repertoire and I was a most willing test subject.
Molly spends her days painting now and we felt we should compile our favorite recipes into a single book since they were scattered among notebooks, file folders, and cookbooks. You hold the result of this labor of love in your hands.
~Paul Mills, San Francisco, 1996