“If there’s never enough time to do the things you want to do, then why not enjoy the time you have? My first cookbook gave me the courage to go a long way. I hope, in some small way, I can do that for you.” Ingrid Croce
In 1985, Ingrid Croce opened Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar as a tribute to her late husband, legendary songwriter Jim Croce. Recreating the warmth and energy from their early days of entertaining together, Ingrid infused Croce’s with great food, live music, and inviting atmosphere.
Ingrid parlayed Croce’s success into a group of popular restaurants and clubs, pioneering the rejuvenated Gaslamp district of downtown San Diego.
Now, many of the recipes that made her restaurants famous are available in Thyme in a Bottle. From Croce family favorites to the seasonal American cuisine that defined her restaurants, Ingrid spirit is embodied in such recipes as Santa Barbara Sea Bass with Caramelized Onions and Fig, Ricotta Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms and Sage, and Pacific Rim Tamales.
Drawing on Ingrid’s multicultural background and interests, Thyme in a Bottle features Italian favorites as interpreted by the Croce family, like Roasted Pepperonta Salad and Fried Zucchini Blossoms, as well as the Russian and Jewish classics of her childhood, such as Brisket and Tzimmes with Kasha and Varnishkas.
Ingrid also reveals the secrets behind her own signature blitzes and “poppers.” Much of Ingrid’s inspiration for her seasonal American cuisine comes from memories of the exceptional food and music that she created in her and Jim’s Pennsylvania farmhouse in the late sixties. Interspersed with the recipes is Ingrid’s own inspired story.
Ingrid writes openly about her intense romance with Jim Croce, the difficult repercussions of Jim’s early death, battles with the music industry, and raising her son, A.J. Croce, as a single mom. And, most intimately, she shares the challenges of starting a restaurant and becoming a real player in a notoriously competitive business.
As proprietor of five award-winning San Diego restaurants and clubs, Ingrid garnered an enviable reputation in the culinary world.
In Thyme in a Bottle, Ingrid serves up the recipes – and memories – that combined to make her a success.