I've always been a career woman and have loved every minute of it. Even after the birth of my 2 sons, I continued working FT. I've always enjoyed being in the kitchen, but I could never dedicate a lot of time to it during the week. At least I was able to spend weekends making creations for my family, which made everyone happy.
18 months ago, my husband was transferred to Japan so our family packed everything up and trekked around the world. I quit my job and have been a FT mommy ever since. Boy is it a lot harder than I thought! I certainly didn't give enough credit to my stay-at-home mommy friends, which I now continue apologizing to! I decided to dedicate this time in Japan to me. Since I'm not working, I want to focus on things that make me happy. When my boys are not in school, I spend as much time with them as I can. I also read, do yoga/pilates, and my favorite, spend time in the kitchen. I logon to Allrecipes.com at least 3 or 4 times/week for fabulous creations!
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake! I have an incredible sweet tooth so there's usually some sort of homemade dessert or muffin/coffee cake in the house.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I do all the cooking in the house, except on the holidays which is when my husband straps on the oven mits and cooks. He prepares the main dish (on Thanksgiving he makes the BEST Turkey I've ever had. He butterflies it, and it turns out juicy each time AND its finished in 1/2 the time of a regular turkey. Cooks Illustrated is the best besides Allrecipes.com, that is! For Christmas, he either grills filets which have been stuffed with Boursin or he makes a Tenderloin. Delish every time!) I prepare all the side dishes and desserts.
My cooking triumphs
I ask my sons each year what flavor birthday cake they'd like to have and what character/theme they'd like on it. It's a bit tricky in Japan since there aren't cake form pans, cake mixes or icing, so I do everything from scratch. Last year I decorated Dumbo for my 2 year old, Buzz Lightyear for the 4 year old and Peter Griffin (from Family Guy) for my husband. Decorating is quite difficult when you don't have the proper tools, so I improvise alot! Overall, they've turned out great!
My cooking tragedies
Not that this was a tragedy, but the Buzz Lightyear cake didn't come out quite as I anticipated. First, the cake I made from scratch was a fiasco! It didn't cook at all in the middle. The rest of the cake rose, but the middle was caved in. UGH! Luckily, I had still had some basic ingredients in my cabinet so whipped something else together. When it was time to draw and decorate Buzz onto the cake, the body turned out pretty good, but there wasn't much room for his face. Instead of a mouth, he had more of a mustache. My husband called him the French Buzz Lightyear - Oui oui!