I'm a working mother of 4 teenagers. I've lived on the Central Coast of CA my entire life. I've been cooking since I was a little girl. My favorite place to be when I wasn't outside riding bikes, playing in the ocean and creeks or building tree forts, was watching my mother in the kitchen. I have been introducing new foods and flavors to our diet since my children were little. We eat very little processed food. I cook 6-7 nights a week from whole, fresh food ingredients. Here on the Central Coast we have the freshest produce, meats, seafoods and dairy products available. The only downfall to the variety of foods cooked, is that my children have very developed pallets and are getting more expensive to please. They'd rather eat at home than go to most restaurants. In the Spring, when the Salinas river is full and the weather starts getting warm my kids head down for a swim with friends. They always return after a long day in the swimming hole, with a bucket of crawdads for me to cook
My favorite things to cook
This is a tough one. I love to cook everything. I enjoy cooking traditional regional recipes as well as trying new things. I consider cooking an art that requires passion and creativity for successful dishes. Cooking is my favorite past time. With the recent economic troubles we're experiencing, it's quite challenging to make creative, tasty dishes with what I have on hand, but it's so exciting and rewarding to look at what appears to be an empty kitchen and provide a tasty, creative, hearty and healthy meal for your family.
My favorite family cooking traditions
No kitchen is complete without a quality cast iron skillet, a dutch oven and at least 1 quality sharp, knife. I am the 4th generation owner of my dutch oven and use it at least twice weekly. It's truly an investment. We love the holidays and celebrate every one with traditional recipes for each. St. Patrick's day wouldn't be the same without Corned Beef & Cabbage,a quality Irish Brew and Double fudge brownies topped with mint buttercream frosting. Celebrating each season's bounty is a tradition at our home. The fall brings lots of pumpkin, apples, pears, and comfort foods such as hearty beef stews, homemade soups, baked macaroni& cheese and Lasagnas. Summer options and ideas are endless with so many fresh seasonal fruit & vegetables. There's nothing like ending a hot summer day with a grilled dinner (who wants to be leaning over a hot stove) and an ice cold drink.
My cooking triumphs
I love creating new and flavorful dishes that are low fat, and very high in fiber and protiens. Sometimes it gets hard to be creative. One of my husbands favorite healthy snacks, is boiled egg whites stuffed with hummus, instead of the traditional egg yolks and mayo, and much healthier too. I recieve a lot of complements and recipe requests from friends & co-workers. Some of the most requested are my; blueberry muffins, scones, Reese's Peanut Butter Cookies, and various types of salads.
My cooking tragedies
The very first pie I made for my husband when we were daiting was pumpkin, his favortite. I realized right away that it didn't taste right. I had forgotten to add any sugar. Not wanting to hurt my feelings, my husband poured sugar on top and ate it anyways, even having seconds.Now that's love! One morning I fixed my husband a bowl of hot oatmeal and added the usual brown sugar, cream and spices. We were in a hurry to get off to work, and I hadn't put my contacts in yet. As he began to eat it, he started to sweat and ask what I had done differently? I told him nothing was different. He ate it all, and described how he felt the heat all the way down his throat and into his stomach. When my daughter got home from school that day, she called me at work to ask where the cinnamon was. I told her I'd left it on the counter by the microwave. She looked at it and asked, "Mom, is it the one that says C..A..Y..E..N..N..E?" I gasped and said "NO that's hot pepper. I felt horrible.