I've been cooking and baking since I was a child. As a child I especially loved to bake. I still use the Cowboy Cookie recipe that I copied from a neighbor in Montana over 30 years ago, printed in my 10 year old handwriting. These cookies are my trademark cookies. I first learned to decorate cakes as a 12 year old, taught by a lady I babysat for. Then at age 19 I took a class at a craft store in Bend, Oregon. I eventually went on to work as a professional cake decorator for several years.
I've been married 19 years and of course that means I have cooked a lot of dinners! I like to try new things, but my family is not always as adventuresome as I am. My biggest complaint is that my husband doesn't like cheese! My two boys and I love cheese.
I love to browse the recipes on allrecipes.
My favorite things to cook
In the winter I love to make soups and stews and often will make some bread to go with them.
Cookies, muffins, cakes are also favorites and I usually try to give some to friends so that we don't end up with too much of it around our house.
My favorite family cooking traditions
For the past 5 years I have been hosting a Gingerbread Decorating Party for my children and a few friends. Each year we have invited different families to join us. I bake all the gingerbread houses from scratch and then assemble them. I make the royal icing and supply several kinds of candy and then our friends bring various candies and pretzels. We spread it all out and everyone gets creative. I spend most of my time during the party filling bags with royal icing and getting candy for people. Sometimes I actually get to decorate a house. We had 13 people in 2004.
I also enjoy making Peppermint Cream Puffs each year for Christmas. I make tiny, bite-sized puffs and one year my niece boasted that she ate 13! I guess she likes them!
My cooking triumphs
A few years ago I was chosen by my mother-in-law to fix Prime Rib for our Christmas dinner. She had tried it once and it didn't turn out so I was nervous to take on the responsibilty. I researched several recipes and chose the methods and ingredients that sounded best to me. It turned out great and got rave reviews from everyone.
Other triumphs would be the brunch I did for my sister-in-law's 40th birthday and my yearly Bunko parties. I like to cook for people!
I have recently been entering baked goods at our County Fair and have won several awards and cash prizes. That's FUN!
My cooking tragedies
My husband is a hunter and one year he brought home an antelope. I had never eaten it before. I decided that since I make a delicious venison stew, I would just substitute the antelope meat. It cooked in the crock pot all day long and smelled quite good. We sat down to eat dinner and it was the most awful tasting stew I've ever had. It tasted like there was soap in it! We tried to eat just the vegetables but they weren't edible. We then tried to give some to our dog and she refused to eat it! I don't know if it was just an old, gamey antelope or if the meat market did something to the meat! I have never eaten antelope again!