I grew up the youngest of six children and my house was always filled with people and chaos. Meals oftened varied depending on who was cooking and who was eating. Somehow I was the only one that ending up eating everything, probably out of survival haha. My siblings are pretty picky in my mind considering we all grew up eating the same things. I branched out as I got older and was the type willing to try anything. I've been making meals for myself since I was a kid but it wasn't until I first lived alone that I began experimenting and really enjoying to cook. Luckily I had enough skill to get me by but I give AR a lot of credit for all the ideas and inspiration I could draw from others. I'm the type of person that likes to have a recipe to follow. And while I've become much more comfortable and knowledgeable over the years I still like having a plan and direction.
My favorite things to cook
I love baking the most. My mother was a good cook considering she could feed a family of eight on a budget and do it quickly. But it is her baking recipes that my sisters and I call her for. One of my favorite smells to this day is homemade bread which my mother baked constantly and effortlessly. Her mother was also a great baker who taught her as a child which was then passed down to me. I loved helping my mother and learned invaluable information and techniques from her long before I knew what it all meant! If I'm going to a friends house or a party I always come with a sweet treat. I love making cupcakes, pies, cookies and breads. I have plenty of recipes I keep in my arsenol but I also love the opportunity to try something new. Especially a new twist on something old. My house is always stocked with unsalted butter, flour (AP, WW and bread), white and brown sugar, baking soda and powder, chocolate chips and baking squares, cocoa powder and an assortment of nuts.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Every Sunday my family always got together for dinner. Even long after my older siblings moved out they would bring their children over and we'd all eat together. My mom always made it and it was usually served early around 5 or 6pm (that was very early to us). Birthdays were also celebrated on Sundays and we always got to choose our favorite meal and cake. I loved roast beef with mashies and gravy. I also loved my grandmother's banana cream pie. Sundays were always spent in the kitchen with lots of laughter. Most of my favorite memories were created there.
My cooking triumphs
I'm proud to say my cupcakes are my most prized accomplishments. Over the last few years I've been experimenting more and more trying cool variations like cocktail cupcakes. I've made strawberry daiquiri, lime margarita and italian rum cake to name a few. I've also had great results with healthier versions like vegan lemon cupcakes and zucchini chocolate chip. Bringing cupcakes to a birthday party or just because is always a way to excite people. And a great way to impress! My mom taught me young that you never go somewhere empty-handed so if you invite me over I'm bringing dessert.
My cooking tragedies
Over the years I've had a few! If I were just serving myself or my friend or boyfriend I usually didn't mind if something flopped. I would just say "oh well, I tried" and move on. It's a different story tho if I'm bringing a dish somewhere for people outside my immediate family or closest loved ones. I once brought a key lime pie (one of my favorite desserts) to my boyfriends' friend's house. It was the first time I tried this particular recipe. Tastes often vary when it comes to how creamy or tart one likes this pie. This recipe was way too tart and borderline inedible. I had tried the mix before baking and it seemed to have promise. But it all came together a sour mess. The silence that feel upon us as we sat there eating said it all. I was especially mortified because these friends are foodies with high standards. I quietly tried to explain and apologize for the sub-par results. It was definitely one of those dishes/moments you still wish you could un-do. But you live and learn!