I live in western Washington state with my husband and many animals. I love music, (especially Indian and Arab club music), movies, sports, and animals, of course. I'm a wildlife rehabber, and I love raccoons and raptors. (Favorite raptors: Red-Tail Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Seattle Seahawk) I love Seahawks football, but follow the Mariners during the NFL hiatus. GO 'HAWKS! GO M'S!
My favorite things to cook
I prefer baking to any other style of cooking, so I'm in my element when I get a chance to make a cake, cookies, or a dessert that nobody has tried yet. I'm a "scratch cake snob" and will NEVER use a boxed cake mix. I also enjoy cooking dinners for me and my husband, and for others on occasion. My favorites to make are: Oven roasted chicken, Indian keema, spaghetti, meatloaf, roast beef, BBQ pork ribs, scampi. I also like to try new things, and get a bang out of making something delicious the first time I try a recipe.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I like to go "cookie crazy" every year at Christmas time, which is when I get to bake my favorite treats. I start a few weeks in advance and bake cut out cookies and cherry jewels. These keep well for a few weeks in the freezer, so right before the holiday all I need to do is decorate the cut-outs. I also bake brownies and another type of bar cookie, usually one I just learned about. After all the cookies are baked and decorated, I'll make some fudge, too. Then I like to make several festive plates of these goodies and hand out to friends and family. Super Bowl Sunday is also one of my favorite holidays. (It is TOO a Holiday!!!) I make smoked salmon dip and set it out with an array of crackers and crudite, stuffed mushrooms, salsa with tortilla chips, teriyaki and BBQ chicken wings, and shots or cocktails. We all have a blast eating, drinking, and yelling at the TV. It FEELS like a holiday.
My cooking triumphs
At Thanksgiving, my husband and I went to his sister's for the holiday meal and wanted to bring something, since she would do a major portion of the cooking herself. Michael (hubby) made an apple pie using apples from our tree, so I offered to make a sidedish. Donnie (sister-in-law) said I could make rice, and I used a wonderful recipe from a Middle Eastern cookbook. I was very nervous about it though, because while I love different foods from all over the world, not everyone does. And this was THANKSGIVING, so I didn't want to screw up. I made roz bel zafaran (spiced saffron rice) anyway, and for my first time, I might add. It filled the house with a wonderful spicy. sweet aroma while I was cooking it. Mmmmmmmmmm! The saffron makes it a lovely bright yellow, and the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon make it fragrant and delicious. Everyone loved it and I brought home an empty dish. (We didn't bring home any pie either, but Michael is a gifted pieman, so I wasn't surprised.)
My cooking tragedies
Every once in a while I'll make something that neither of us cares for, but we'll eat it since it's prepared. But the other night I made some catfish that was so bad we didn't eat it. I prepared it with milk and a spiced cornmeal coating, then fried it in butter. The coating was yummy! But the fish tasted really fishy, and that's a bad thing. It wasn't edible to us, but the raccoons enjoyed it! The catfish came from one of those frozen bags that has about 8 filets in it. I won't make that mistake again; fresh fish only!