“What makes food special? Certainly not the best of everything, the most expensive ingredients, or the latest trends in cooking. No; it’s the people who made it for you, and how they loved you. I have always known there was something special about Grandma Gloria’s oven-fried chicken, and I knew that the pains of life were somehow healed in the kitchen.

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There is this beautiful tradition in family, every family, no matter what yours looks like. It matters not what is served, but how it’s served. There are stories and cultures and ways of life that have been forgotten, but certain things will always remain. We don't necessarily remember foods for their expense or extravagance, but for the memories they evoke.”

Rustic Joyful Food: Generations is a thoughtful look at family-driven comfort food – heirloom recipes that have been handed down. The recipes within these pages tell a story of a simpler time and well-worn hands. These recipes give a glimpse into my life and how I grew up; here, you’ll find heartwarming stories about life, love, and the food that made me. These recipes I now cook for family and those I cherish. It’s my hope you will find a recipe within these pages to cherish as well.

Get your copy now! Click here to order!


Rustic Joyful Food: My Heart's Table (2014) is the long-awaited New American cookbook from Danielle Kartes -- former restaurateur, home cook, mom, and food stylist. Simple, flavorful, tested recipes and new twists on classic dishes. Her story of triumph over loss, culinary simplicity and love for people shine brightly in her debut cookbook. This book houses over 140 stunning everyday recipes, heartwarming stories, and over 100 vibrant photos.

Available now at Amazon.com.   Click  to order!

Available now at Amazon.com.  Click to order!




"Never be afraid to create. No matter how hard it might seem to start, follow your dreams, follow your heart and never stop pushing—never stop believing that you were made to dream and accomplish great things. Failure is only a reminder that you’re alive!

It's my hope that you will find something to love within these pages—that one of my recipes will become your own memorized specialty, that you’ll add or take away an ingredient or two to create your own perfect meal. And I hope that meal—your meal—will be enjoyed for years to come by people you love. I want you to feel amazing each time you make it.

Truth be told, that's the beautiful thing about food: I believe that when heart, soul and creativity are interjected into a recipe, no two people ever will make it the same. Every meal is uniquely yours.

Never stop cooking and creating, using your heart first. In a world where social media pressures us to prove to everyone that our lives are happy and magical, I will let you in on a secret: Your life is happy and magical—with all its flaws, and all its failed cheesecake attempts, it is brilliant.

My life is getting better by the day, not because it’s perfect—heaven knows it’s tough some days—but I'm feeling freer than ever through cooking and laughing. The best parts of my life are no longer my achievements; they are seeing my son, Noah, light up every morning because the world is new for him, or hearing his twin cousins knock at the door to play. The boys swing the pantry door wide open, looking for a snack. Their tiny hands reach up to the table for fresh fruit, and we watch Finding Nemo in my living room for the millionth time.

This is what life is about: little people, with glowing, happy, excited eyes, eating the cake you thought was a failure and asking for just one more tiny piece.

The everyday journey is a gift, and every day you’ve got an opportunity for joy."


Rustic Joyful Food: My Heart's Table is available now at Amazon.com.  Click here to order!