I'm 28 and I live with my boyfriend of six years and our two cats. He is my guinea pig for all of the fabulous (and not-so-fabulous) recipes that I get off of this site. The better that I get at cooking, the more I enjoy using fresh produce (rather than canned or frozen) and making desserts from scratch. I haven't used a box cake or brownie mix in probably two years! I love to entertain, whether it's a formal family holiday or just having a friend or a few over to share our supper.
My favorite things to cook
I have a lot of my own recipes, whether they are of my own invention or something my mother or one of my grandmothers made. These are my favorites. Ironically, no one from my family has ever given me a recipe. I know how they made things simply by observation. I am on a quest to find a few "perfect" recipes. Meatloaf, Macaroni and Cheese, and Chocolate Chip Cheesecake are a few of them. I try these recipes from this site occasionally, but I have yet to find the perfect one! That's okay, though, because I come across a lot of yummy ones in the process. I love to cook with citrus, expecially lemons and limes. One of my favorite desserts to make is the Barefoot Contessa's (Food Network show) Lemon Bars. Mmmmm!
My favorite family cooking traditions
I'd love to find a recipe that even comes close to my 100% Italian grandmother's tomato sauce. She passed away when I was eighteen, and I never got the recipe from her. All I know is that she cooked chicken in the sauce, and then removed it (there was not pieces of chicken in the sauce, she only used the chicken for flavor). It was not a dense or chunky sauce; rather, it was more on the thin side. She used the sauce, also, to make a fantastic soup with balls of fried dough. Her sauce and soup would be two of my absolute favorite things to cook, if only I knew how! My mother never even got the recipes from her. Shame on her! But, I guess that had a lot to do with the fact that my grandmother didn't use recipes. She just knew how to do it.
My cooking triumphs
Anything that I serve to my step-father that he will actually eat. He is, by far, the pickiest eater I have ever met. Nothing green, no onions, easy on the spices. Those are just some of his guidelines. And, he's not shy about telling you that he won't eat it and why, either. So, anything that he eats, I definitely consider a triumph! My boyfriend isn't particularly picky, but he won't eat feta, bleu cheese, green olives, nuts, spinach, or Mexican dishes and those are things that I absolutely ADORE! Other than that, I can pretty much make whatever I want and he'll eat it, but doggone it, sometimes I'm hungry for some spinach or tacos! If I can get him to eat one of those things, that's a huge triumph for me -- because I get to eat it too! Really, I can't point to a specific recipe and say it was a triumph. If people eat my cooking, and like it, and tell me that it was good . . . what more could I ask for? It doesn't matter if it took five minutes or five hours to prepare, wh
My cooking tragedies
Emily's Famous Marshmallows. What a disaster! I had never made marshmallows before, and the recipe stated to mix the gelatin and the hot sugar mixture together in a small saucepan. This is what I did, and the mixture exploded all over my stove. I was actually preparing them the day before Easter because I was going to make home-made peeps for my step-father. He LOVES peeps, and those store-bought ones have so many additives and preservatives in them that they're terrible for you. I was out of gelatin, so I searched for a recipe without gelatin, and came across a vegan recipe. It only had a one-star rating, but I was desperate. Well, that didn't work either; in fact, I blew up my hand mixer trying to whip it because it got hard. Needless to say, he didn't get any homemade peeps. Since that debacle, I can make marshmallows. I just use a different recipe.