I've been baking and cooking since I was 5. I learned from my mom and my grandmother and developed a real love for baking at an early age. I've dabbled in everything from simple casseroles to making my own yogurt and cheese, artisan breads, high-end bakery cakes, pastries, bagels, you name it. I love trying new recipes and challenging myself to create something not only scrumptious, but gorgeous as well.
My favorite things to cook
Anything baked - I love making bread, cookies, cake, pastries, etc.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom's "brown bag turkey" and her California casserole. I grew up in a household of adventurous cooks (especially my father) so I wasn't one of those picky kids who wouldn't try anything. I have a great love of food and I think that's the best thing my family has passed on to me.
My cooking triumphs
Making my first truly gourmet cake at age 12. It was a black forest cake covered in chocolate with chocolate leaves (that I made from leaves I had picked in the backyard, washed, dried, and coated in chocolate).
Also, when I wanted to make crepes when I was 10 and my father just said "well, they're pretty hard to make" and didn't think I'd be able to. I ended up making them better than he did!
My first danish and croissants - they were a true labor of love and I only tried danish twice more after that, but it was something I just had to try. They were soooo good hot out of the oven.
Making lasagna from scratch - homemade sausage, cheese, pasta, and sauce. The only thing I purchased was the ricotta.
My cooking tragedies
Too many to count! Anyone who bakes/cooks a lot is bound to fail some of the time, but that's how we learn what not to do.