What is McNack’s Kitchen?

Hello! Thanks for visiting McNack’s Kitchen, the creative and analytical inspiration of two lifetime best friends who absolutely love to cook for and entertain our family and friends. This common passion of two uncommon friends is the core of what makes McNack’s different than so many of the other food websites out there.

mcnacks kitchen

Neither of us is professionally trained. Neither of us has ever worked in restaurants or as event planners. Both of us have busy family and work lives. Both of us have an uncanny ‘nack’ for being able to organize chaos. Both of us had a strong desire to learn to cook and had family able to help get us started on our journey.

What makes McNack’s different?

Menu and Party Planning Services – Do you want to throw a party, have neighbors over for a casual meal or your boss over for a fancy meal? Did the last time you planned a tailgate you forgot more things than you remembered? Do you want to make sure your guests have a great time at your event and not be in the kitchen ‘working’ the whole time? Then McNack’s can help. We provide and will continue to grow our entertaining guides to better serve you and we also offer planning services as well (see How We Can Help You for more details). We believe strongly in teaching you to do it for yourself more than reaching for the phone to hire a caterer. Check back frequently for updated menu plans.

Cooking Tips – McNack’s tries to work for both the beginning cook and the more experienced. Check out Cooking 101 for great ideas, tricks and cooking methods. We hope these helpful tips improve your performance in the kitchen and give you the skills and confidence needed to cook anything. As they say, ‘if you can read, you can cook.”

Our recipes – Denise and Melissa have different styles and preferences. Denise is more real world while Melissa is more “uppity”. If you follow us for long, you’ll begin to see the differences in our styles which helps us provide great ideas that don’t become repetitive – two brains are better than one!

Our Backstory:

We are two best friends who have known each other since before we were teenagers. We had very different backgrounds and upbringings, but what did that matter? We were friends. We grew up, went to college, lived on opposite coasts, got married, and started families. One thing that remained a constant was our love for cooking and entertaining. We were always comparing stories of parties we threw and how our friends were constantly asking for our recipes or how we did whatever we did as it related to cooking.

It was these consistent requests when we realized we should share our passion with other folks who are starting now where we started several years ago and McNack’s Kitchen was born.

We are here to help you reach your full potential in the kitchen…whether you simply want to learn how to make a delicious easy dinner for your family, have a new menu idea or throw an amazing party for 50 of your closest friends. Remember this: If you have the desire to cook, you can cook, and we can help you!

What is in a name?

We know you’re wondering, “What does McNack mean and how did they come up with the name?” It’s really quite simple. Melissa’s maiden name is McConkey and Denise’s is Nackley.  When we met, that’s how we knew each other (since we weren’t yet married at age 12) and,  in a lot of ways, it is still how we think of each other – braces, big bangs (80’s hair), tight acid-washed jeans with big aerobic socks over the top. What a hideous look!

Got Questions?

“Can I make this ahead of time?” “What do you think about substituting a different ingredient?” “That was delicious!” “That was not very good.”  Whatever the comment or question, we welcome your feedback. If you read a post and want to know more, just ask. If we know the answer, we’ll get back to you. Comment directly on a post or send us a comment/question in Contact Us.

Sur La Table_Brand_468x60


  1. Lisa Hagler says:


    Congrats on yours and your friends new adventure!!! I’m so happy and excited for you guys! I can’t wait to start trying out both of your recipes!!! I do remember your parties out here in San Diego and how good your food ALWAYS was!! Enjoy your new business!


  2. Pam Nicholson says:

    To my favorite Chef!!! How exciting for you and your friend! I am so ecstatically, excited to partake in ‘mcnackskitchens’ marvelous, meals!!! I know you are an awesome party planner, great chef and an even better friend! We all love Denise! Here’s to great yummy success.

    The Nicholson’s

  3. JO ANN TURNER says:

    Dear Denise and Melissa

    I have known you both for a very long time. I know your adventure will be a great one.I know I’m predjuiced as my daughtr is Melissa.

    Good luck to you both.
    Jo Ann

  4. Becky Carter Green says:

    Rock on ladies…. RRHS Class of ’90! Looking forward to reading your blog for the inspiration I require….


  5. Bryan says:

    My stomach is proof of the “nack” portion’s greatness…for confirmation call 706-555-3038

  6. Kay says:

    So excited for you Denise and your friend, Melissa! How fantastic that you are pursuing your passion and I know you will be over the top successful! Can’t wait to try some of your recipes, have fun with it,



    • Thanks Kay! It has been such and exciting adventure so far. You are such and amazing cook and I hope you will feel free to comment and give some of your own special tips!! By the way, one of the upcoming posts this week wouldn’t have happened without you. Much love!

  7. Barbara Klein says:

    Best of luck to both of you. I have had many delicious dishes made by Denise and I know you both will be very successful in your new venture.

  8. Sylvia Dick says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this with me – I know I’ll enjoy it and learn a lot, too. The Valentine Luncheon was such a treat – teach me how to do that! Denise, it was a pleasure meeting you today!

    • Sylvia – thanks for the kind words. We had a blast at the luncheon today and are glad you enjoyed the meal. I’m not sure I can teach you a thing as everytime I’ve been to your lovely home everything has been absolutely perfect! I’ll see you soon! – Melissa

  9. Margo says:

    Way to go! This looks great. I definitely need inspiration too. 🙂

  10. Nicole Williams says:

    Can’t wait to try some of your recipes!! Congrats!!

  11. Janet Bell says:

    Melissa, kudos to you and Denise!!!! The website is wonderful and wishing you much success. You both are the talk of NDBC (Northside Drive Baptist Church) for the wonderful meal you served us ‘seniors’ at the Valentine luncheon. We are so blessed to have you. Janet

  12. Are you a seasoned writer? Your writing skills are very well-polished. I would like to invite you to check out my article about imei check. Please share your thoughts on my site as well – thank you!

  13. Barb King says:

    Everything I have ever eaten that was prepared by Melissa has been exceptionally good and she makes it look so easy!! I am so excited to learn some of your knowledge and tricks.

  14. Denise and Melissa, congratulations on your new adventure. I know desserts are not your focus but just had to tell you that I tried a recipe from Sur La Table the Art and Soul of Cooking this past weekend. Gingered Scones with Sauteed Apples and Cider Sabayon. It was my first experience with Sabayon. Success! My passion besides Soapmaking is Dessert and Bread making. But I know I will benefit from your joint experience and wisdom.

    • Thanks, Cathy! We will certainly be posting some desserts in the near future. The kids gave up desserts and sweets for lent, so as a good mother, I cannot bring myself to make any until Easter! Thanks for the recipe idea from Sur La Table. We will be sure to try it out!

  15. Lindsey says:

    I LOVE………. TOAST!! make a GOOD toast recipe, or a recipe that involeves the word TOAST!!!!!! 🙂

  16. I just want to say I’m all new to weblog and certainly loved your website. Likely I’m going to bookmark your website . You actually come with outstanding well written articles. Thanks for sharing your website page.

  17. Mary Owen says:

    Hey Melissa-
    I am making the pork carnitas for the third time tonight! A family favorite!

Leave a Reply to JO ANN TURNER Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.