My name is Jennifer and I am a stay at home mom to two wonderful kids, ages 2 and 1. One of my goals for 2009 is to enroll in culinary school. My professional skills are no longer very useful with the state of this economy, so I am really at a turning point in my life.
My favorite things to cook
Anyone who has ever tasted my cooking will tell you that eggplant parmesan is my specialty and admittedly, it's my favorite of my own dishes. I am also a master of tender, juicy steaks. I really enjoy cooking from natural, whole ingredients and I'm a big proponent of the idea that it doesn't take that much more effort to make it from scratch. The end result speaks for itself :)
My favorite family cooking traditions
ITALIAN. God love my mother, but everything I learned about cooking came from my Italian father. At an early age, he pulled a step stool over to the stove so I could help him make enough marinara to fill a tanker truck. Lasagna is his specialty and mine is not too shabby either. Chicken parmesan is the favorite dish of my husband, and I never disappoint him with mine. As I've gotten older, I've begun to cook (and eat) more with a mind for healthfulness, but that has just meant that I've found ways to make healthier choices while cooking the dishes that I and my family love. This Italian comfort food cooking mama will be the first to tell you that eating right doesn't have to mean sacrificing enjoyment of your food.
My cooking triumphs
The first recipe I ever really made up all on my own was once featured in a magazine about super foods. I make a spinach salad topped with chopped walnuts, diced apples, crumbled feta and hand whisked balsamic vinaigrette and it features 3 super foods. It is extremely easy to make and extremely flavorful, and everyone I've ever made it for raves about it. It is a great accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish, or with grilled chicken or fish on top of it. I was very proud to have thought up such a delicious and easy idea, and to have it in a magazine was a very proud moment for me.
My cooking tragedies
When I was pregnant with my first child, I had been on a stir frying kick and one stir fry was the worst failure ever to come out of my kitchen. It looked like that take out chinese food you get from a place in the mall. It was horrifying. Even the rice was crunchy! It was my worst moment in the kitchen for sure. My supportive husband tried to eat it like a champ, and then laid it on thick about how hard I tried while he ordered pizza :)