A stay at home mom with four children ranging from 6yrs to 1yr. I love to cook and have been taught through cookbooks and trial and error. I love cooking by scratch, and think it makes your meal better when you've spent the time to make it yourself, and you also know what's in it, and can control the ingredients, like salt and fat. I like spending time on our food and showing my children how to actually make things and where they come from, like growing it in the garden, since most children are disconnected to how things are made. I was talking to my phlebotomist and she said that one thanksgiving she wanted to make mashed potatoes from scratch so she asked her adolescent daughter to get out a peeler and start on the potatoes, and her daughter looked at her dumbfounded and was like, "what's a potato?" She said her daughter seriously thought potatoes just came from a box, because that was all she ever saw. It really makes you think.
My favorite things to cook
Desserts by far, although my husband swears I'm trying to make him fat. I told him I just make it, I don't force him to eat it.
I also like to bake bread. It's rather soothing to kneed it by hand, it makes me calm and gives me reflection time.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas cookies with the kids and my nieces, I hope I can do that again this year. And my stepmom always has a gingerbread house decorating night where we all get together and get crazy at my dad's house. It's one of those nights you know only 1/4 of the candy ends up on the houses and the other 3/4 end up as a sugar rush with my kids running a muck around the house.
My cooking triumphs
I make a mean chocolate chip cookie. I also love the fact that I can pick up a recipe and 95% of the time I make it pitch perfect. I made baklava that way. I just winged it and it came out like a dream. I think it's because I'm a stickler at following directions to a T until I'm familiar with a recipe and then I feel comfortable with changing it up a bit. My husband Earl and I also love to make home made pizza, and I love fresh kneeded bread out of the oven, both aided by my most treasured possession, the Pizza Stone in my oven. I love that thing. I made crummy pizza plenty of times without it, and only when I bought one, I finally made a great pie! I also have 4 birthday parties, so buttercream and fondant are my other specialties.
My cooking tragedies
Baking powder biscuits are the hardest thing for me to get. I have never been able to make them, they never rise and are hard as hockey pucks every time. Makes a friend of mine laugh. She was like, "you can make all the complicated stuff without a problem, and something that's suppose to be the easiest thing ever, that everyone can do, and you can't do it." I was like "I know, crazy huh!"