My Italian mother instilled a love of food and cooking. Growing up in a big family (10 kids), food was a central part of family life. I now have four grown kids of my own and love cooking for family gatherings - big and small. I've won numerous chili cook-offs for both red and green chili, but have kept the recipes secret at the request of my kids. I'll hand down these recipes like my mother handed down her recipes to me.
My favorite things to cook
I love cooking from my mom's old recipes. Seeing her handwriting is like having her there with me. I am very good at traditional Italian dishes, as well as making tasty Mexican food. I love to bake at Christmas and Easter - recipes I learned growing up.
My favorite family cooking traditions
At Christmas every year, we made home-made meat raviolis. Each ravioli is made individually and a fork is used to close the edges. As a kid, we set up an assembly line to get it all done. I have continued the tradition with my kids. We make around 300 raviolis each year.
At Easter, we make Fiadone - an Italian sweet cheese pie. We also make big cookies in the shape of a cross, a bunny, and sometimes a sacred heart. These fill an entire cookie sheet and are frosted after baking. They are a bit like a soft biscotti.
Without these traditions, it just wouldn't be Christmas or Easter.
My cooking triumphs
I feel triumphant any time I cook or bake something that someone loves.
My cooking tragedies
I can't seem to bake a pound cake that will come out of the pan successfully. My husband made a beautiful and delicious pound cake so I thought it would be easy. I've tried and failed several times. These days, he is in charge of that particular baked item.