I am a 33 year old woman, engaged to be married to my absolute soulmate! I manage a busy, privately-owned stationery store in my small hometown. When I want to unwind at the end of the day, I come home and cook!(a lot of my girlfriends think that is crazy :) ) All of my life, I have had a major passion for food! I love eating, and I love cooking ~to me, they go hand in hand! I am not huge into entertaining. I mostly like cooking for one or two eager recepients. I am absolutely addicted to anything "cooking-related"! The Food Network (of course) and Bravo's series "Top Chef" rank high as my only television watching. I am always seeking new recipes (I subscribe to all of the "Taste of Home" wonderful magazine publications) and own many cookbooks, as well.
My favorite things to cook
Without a doubt my favorite things to cook are Italian food! Pasta, and lots of it! Everyone who has sampled my meatballs falls in love with them! I also love cooking lasagna and stuffed shells, stuffed chicken breasts( I vary the ingredients), meatloaf, hearty main-dish soups, main dish salad variations, cornish hens, rich butter sauces, rich cheese sauces, and last but not least, chicken enchiladas with a tomatillo sauce.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Well, I grew up with both an old-country French grandmother, and an old country Italian grandfather. When those two were in the kitchen, it was fireworks! I mean that in both the sense of the delicious food they were preparing, as well as their discomfort in sharing the same small kitchen space (there was a lot of cursing ~ thankfully in foreign languages. :) I like to think that their passion, both for cooking and for life in general, was passed onto me. My mother is what I would call a "safe cook", somewhat unwilling to try new recipes, tastes and flavors. I am more like my European grandparents. I cook and live with passion, always willing to try something new. I think that my grandparents' cultures influence my style of cooking greatly.
My cooking triumphs
As previously mentioned, my meatballs have earned great acclaims! The woman I work for has declared my oatmeal cookies the best she has ever tasted (and she's a big fan of oatmeal cookies!). I make them for her every chance I get! My other dish that folks rave about are my chicken enchiladas with tomatillo sauce. Although they take around 3 hours to prepare, they are truly worth the work. Finally, I would have to say that several Christmas cookies that I have obtained off of this site have always met with rave reviews, in particular, "Cranberry Pumpkin Cookies" and "Caramel-Filled Chocolate Cookies" have been a big hit for all of the years I have been making them! I love that even people who say they don't like chocolate fall in love with those caramel-laced creations!
My cooking tragedies
I have to say that I have been extremely lucky in this area! I recognize my own cooking ability, and am pretty receptive to the tastes of those that I cook for, so I can sense what we/they will like or dislike. I don't think I have ever served anything inedible, fortunately. But a good cook always tastes her dishes before serving them anyway! I guess I have to tell about the time that I was preparing a pork roast in a glass (Pyrex) dish. It was getting dried out, I could tell, in the middle of its cooking time. I pulled the rack out a bit, with the dish still in the oven, and added some apple cider to moisten it. Well, the cider was fresh out of the fridge and quite cold, and when I put that cold liquid into that hot pan, the dish itself blew up in my face!!! Many pieces of Pyrex to pick up! We ordered pizza!:)