I've been cooking and baking since I was eight to help my mother, who is handicapped and an excellent chef herself, to feed our family of eight. Today, I have a family of my own and my husband and I share the kitchen and love to create new dishes with our three kids.
I have found that over the years, people have stopped giving me recipes. I have a knack of adding "secret ingredients" that take the dish to the next level and then winning the contest I enter them in. I like to personalize my recipes, so it's rewarding when they make others happy too.
My favorite things to cook
I love to make any type of dessert, salad, and casserole. My husband is an expert in breads, the grill, and stir fry, so we complement each other well.
I also love spices and love to go to our local spice store for fresh ground savory herbs that make sensational meals and treats that smell just as good as they taste.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Being together in the kitchen is tradition for us. We all share in the cooking and take turns making masterpieces and enjoying the time we spend together. My kids would say that their favorite part is always licking the bowl.
My cooking triumphs
I made my first turkey this summer (Aug 2010). I had no idea what to do, but I knew I wanted to inject it with seasoning. I created my own blend of spices and cooked it up. I didn't have any stuffing, so I was worried it would cook all dried out. I was amazed at how delicious and juicy the turkey was and my family that was visiting agreed it was one of the best they ever had.
My cooking tragedies
My most memorable cooking tragedy was a disgusting pumpkin soup we tried a few years ago. It was made with pumpkin, cream of chicken soup, some seasonings (such as garlic and pumpkin pie spice) and some corn. It smelled terrific as it slow-cooked all day, but it turned out awful. We had brought to a family gathering and we all sat quietly trying to stomach the soup but it was a definite no-go. My poor, brave, thoughtful husband tried to eat the left-overs the rest of the week so it wouldn't go to waste. To this day, when we pick our pumpkins from our garden we always say "Do you remember that pumpkin soup?" and we end up laughing anyway. We are completely pumpkin soup shy now - perhaps one day (a long day from now) we'll find a recipe that will work for us.